Monthly Archives: December 2009

Muni Sutta

December 20, 2009. Upper Hamlet. Plum Village. 75-minutes. Dharma talk given in Vietnamese and this translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong.

Sound quality is poor and recording begins a little late, but it us still understandable. However, the first few minutes are spent with description and background on new meditation hall in Upper Hamlet. The hall is done after six months of construction.

Muni Sutta
Background: A translation in prose by an English author and a Vietnamese translation by Thay. Translations are from Sanskrit, Pali, and Chinese.

Muni is not a proper name; it means a serene monastic. The calm one. The silent one. A successful monastic. Free. The term existed already in Hinduism.

The purpose of this sutra is to answer the question put to the Buddha on what is a true muni.

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The Lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh

Zen Master Li?u Quán (1670-1742)December 17, 2009. New Hamlet. Plum Village.

Thay tells the story of the beginnings of the Lieu Quán Dharma Line, of which Thich Nhat Hanh is the 8th generation of this Vietnamese branch. Our lineage is also traced to through the Lâm Te Dyana School (Linji), of which Thich Nhat Hanh is the 42nd generation.

The talk begins with the gatha given to our main root teacher, Zen Master Lieu Quán (1670-1742), by Zen Master Tu Dung in Thuan Hóa, Vietnam in 1702.

All phenomena rely on Oneness, what does Oneness rely on?

Thay then traces all the teachers through the generations and how they each received their name from a gatha of Zen Master Lieu Quán. The classical Chinese characters of the gatha represent the name given to each of the generations.

The English translation of the gatha is as follows:

The great way of Reality,
Is our true nature’s pure ocean.
The source of Mind penetrates everywhere.
From the roots of virtue springs the practice of compassion.
Precepts, concentration and insight -
The nature and function of all three are one.
The fruit of transcendent wisdom,
Can be realized by being wonderfully together.
Maintain and transmit the wonderful principle,
In order to reveal the true teaching!
For the realization of True Emptiness to be possible,
Wisdom and Action must go together.

Students of Thich Nhat Hanh are encouraged to memorize this gatha.

Editorial Note: not all the accent marks are correct in this post.

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Craving and Mindfulness

December 13, 2009 dharma talk translated from Vietnamese by Sr. Chan Khong at Lower Hamlet, Dharma Nectar Temple, Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall, Plum Village.

This 85-minute talk is the fourth and final part on exploring the Discourse on Happiness (or Sutra on Auspicious Sign) during this Winter Retreat (other parts available at Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

Specifically, the final three gathas of the sutra are discussed. Gatha 13 is on the recognition of our craving. Gatha 14 is about livelihood and gatha 15 is on serving.

The next talk will begin a new sutra.

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Auspicious Signs

CSA Pizza Party
Image by kenleyneufeld via Flickr

December 10, 2009 dharma talk translated from Vietnamese by Sr. Chan Khong at New Hamlet, Temple of Loving Kindness, Plum Village.

The fourth talk (72 minutes) continues where we left off with the December 3 dharma talk on exploring the Discourse on Happiness (or Sutra on Auspicious Sign) this Winter Retreat.

Here we review the 10th, 11th, and 12th gathas of the discourse. Topics include vegetarianism, chastity, wisdom, faith (one of the Five Sources of Power), equanimity.

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A Happy Moment Continues

December 3, 2009 dharma talk translated from Vietnamese by Sr. Chan Khong at New Hamlet, Temple of Loving Kindness, Plum Village.

We took a slight detour by posting the December 6 (see Thich Nhat Hanh Speaks to World Leaders) talk first because it was important to hear that talk during the time of the world events. We now resume the dharma talks for the Winter Retreat on the topic of happiness.

This talk continues where we left off on November 29 (see This Moment is a Happy Moment) with the comparison of two versions of the Discourse on Happiness (or Sutra on Auspicious Sign). It begins with a scholarly discussion of early Buddhist history as it relates to the texts we are reviewing.

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Thich Nhat Hanh Speaks to World Leaders

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

Image by Geoff Livingston via Flickr

December 6, 2009 dharma talk from Plum Village given by Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) to world leaders, spiritual leaders, political leaders and to us.

Thay uses the familiar language of our basic practice like sitting meditation, walking meditation, the Five Mindfulness Trainings, and a collective awakening to send a message to world leaders meeting in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (December 7-18) and those in Melbourne for the Parliament of the World Religions (December 3-9)

We hear the Five Mindfulness Trainings and further discussion on their meaning and practice for peace, love, happiness, and helping to save the planet.

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This Moment is a Happy Moment

Clarity Meditation Hall

Image by kenleyneufeld via Flickr

November 29, 2009 dharma talk translated from Vietnamese by Sr. Chan Khong at the Dharma Nector Temple, Lower Hamlet, Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall Plum Village.

This is the second dharma talk of the 2009-2010 Winter Retreat taking place at Plum Village in France.

This talk begins a comparison of two versions of the Discourse on Happiness (or Sutra on Auspicious Sign). In our tradition, we use the Mahamangala Sutta, Sutta Nipata 2.4 translated from the Pali Canon. It is available in our Chanting from the Heart text. At the retreat, Thay has distributed another version from the Chinese Canon (Dhamapada 210-213). Thay also mentions Sarvastivada briefly.

As a reminder, suffering and happiness are deeply linked, like mud and the lotus.

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The Art of Happiness

November 26, 2009. Translated from Vietnamese by Sr. Chan Khong. New Hamlet. Plum Village.

This is the first dharma talk of the 2009-2010 Winter Retreat taking place at Plum Village in France. It is the fourth day of this annual 90-day retreat. The topic for the retreat is The Art of Happiness.

In this talk Thay begins our exploration of happiness by drawing a direct connection to suffering. It is linked to the practice with our feelings.

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