Monthly Archives: May 2010

Net of Love Sutta (Part IV)

May 13, 2010. 56-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese (found here) and is translated into English by Sr. Chan Khong. This is the fourth in a series (Part IPart II, Part III).

Thay provides a commentary on Gathas 12-18. Since the translation into English continues to be a work in progress, I will not transcribe the gathas here at this time. When they become available, it will be posted. In the meantime, enjoy the talk and translation as it is provided.

As a reminder, this text is from Chinese Dhammapada and originally in the sanskrit (Taisho #213). The sutra has 32 chapters, has 752 stanzas, and was translated to Chinese in the 3rd century.

In our dharma sharing, we are encouraged to look deeply impermanence. Thay also recognizes that in some cases it may be appropriate for lay and monastic, young and older, to share separately.

Net of Love Sutta (Part III)

May 9, 2010. 54-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese (found here) and is translated into English by Sr. Chan Khong. This is the third in a series (Part I, Part II).

Thay provides a commentary on Gathas 8-11. Since the translation into English continues to be a work in progress, I will not transcribe the gathas here at this time. When they become available, it will be posted. In the meantime, enjoy the talk and translation as it is provided.

As a reminder, this text is from Chinese Dhammapada and originally in the sanskrit (Taisho #213). The sutra has 32 chapters, has 752 stanzas, and was translated to Chinese in the 3rd century.

In our dharma sharing, we are encouraged to look deeply into pride (superiority, inferiority, and equality) and especially our habit energies.

Net of Love Sutta (Part II)

May 6, 2010. 75-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese (found here) and is translated into English by Sr. Chan Khong. This is the second in a series (Part 1).

Before Thay begins his continued commentary on the Net of Love, he spends about 25-minutes re-examining the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) and how important it is to take care of ourselves. We uses the tree metaphor, found in the sutra too, to illustrate how we need to be strong in our practice by having strong roots.

In the remaining 45-minutes, Thay provides a commentary on a few more of the gathas found in the Sutra on Net of Love (Gathas 7-10). As a reminder, this text is from Chinese Dhammapada and originally in the sanskrit (Taisho #213). The sutra has 32 chapters, has 752 stanzas, and was translated to Chinese in the 3rd century.

Practitioners are encouraged to explore the themes presented in local dharma sharing. He would like to hear of the fruit from the dharma sharing.

Net of Love Sutta (Part I)

May 2, 2010. 80-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Full New Meditation Hall, New Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese (found here) and is translated into English by Sr. Chan Khong. This is the first in a series.

The Sutra on Net of Love, as discussed here, is from Chinese Dhammapada and originally in the sanskrit (Taisho #213). The sutra has 32 chapters, has 752 stanzas, and was translated to Chinese in the 3rd century. The topic is sensual love and has historically been a sutra for the monastic community. Sensual love is like a net that can imprison us. However, Thay believes that lay people (non-monastic) can benefit from it too though it is easier for monastic because they are in a safe environment. The main intention of sutra is to help monastic keep celibacy.

A portion of the sutra being discussed today are Gathas 1-6.

When the mind goes in the direction of sex, the tree of sexual desire springs up and quickly sprouts branches.
With sex as the object of mind, a fire will burst up in us and cause the mind to be dispersed.
Those who look for sex are like monkey’s that search for fruit, jumping from branch to branch.

Sensual love inflicts us with suffering and ties us to worldly life.
Worries and accidents caused by sensual love grow day and night like an invasive grass with tangled roots.
Blinded by love, sooner or later, we fall into passion.
Obsession grows daily like a trickle of water filling a pond.

In life there are many worries and sorrows, but there is no greater worry than that brought by sensual love.
Being able to let go sexual desire, releases all worry.
If we want to happy and joyful, then we must be determined to let go of sensual love.

Free from sensual love, we are no longer caught in the circle of samsara.
Nor burdened by anxiety.
Nor restlessly searching for what is unwholesome.
The absence of attachment will lead to true peace and joy.

If we have been deeply caught in love, then on our death bed, surrounded by relatives, we will see just how long the path of worry and suffering is before us.
The suffering caused by love often leads us into unsafe situations and numerous disasters.
As a practitioner, we should not go in the direction of sensual love that it’s roots can no longer sprout.
It is not simply cutting reeds above ground.

The roots of sensual love are deep and firm.
The tree may be cut, yet branches and leaves sprout again.
When sensual love is not uprooted, the suffering it causes will come back.

Like a monkey that jumps from one tree to another, people jump from one prison of sensual love to another.
The mind of attachment is like a stream of water that goes with the flow of habit energy and pride.
Our thoughts and perceptions can be embellished by the colors of sensual love and then we ourselves hide the truth and cannot see it.

That is all available in English at this time. The lines may “broken” at incorrect places, as this has been transcribed verbally. Please post any comments, suggestions, or corrections below.

Update: the sutra as written above is the initial English translation and a couple of drafts are still in development. Look in future posts for updated versions.

Attadanda Sutra (Part V)

April 29, 2010. 52-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese and is translated into English. This is the final talk in this series.

The Sutra on Transforming Violence and Fear was given in the first year of the Buddha’s teaching and is known as Absolute Truth (Attadanda) Sutra #16. It is a very ancient text, but still very relevant to our time. This first two talks were given February 7 and February 11 during the Winter Retreat and the Part III and Part IV were given during the Spring Retreat.

This talk covers stanzas 17-20.

17. No one caught in the concept of mind and objects as reality that are interdependent from each other or any other concepts, not seeing anything to grasp. Understanding that space and objects are empty. Nothing in this world can make the practitioner complain or grieve.
18. Having completely transcended all concepts, including the concept of an object, there is not a single practice among all the practices that we do not achieve.
19. Having attained understanding, the practitioner is no longer dependent on anyone.
20. Looking down, the muni doesn’t feel proud. Looking up, he doesn’t feel afraid. He dwells in nondiscrimination and is not caught in any view. At that time, all conflicts have stopped. Hatred and jealousies disappear, even when he is understanding, he has no pride.

Attadanda Sutta (Part IV)

April 25, 2010. 50-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Still Water Meditation Hall, Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given in Vietnamese and is translated into English.

The Sutra on Transforming Violence and Fear was given in the first year of the Buddha’s teaching and is known as Absolute Truth (Attadanda) Sutra #16. It is a very ancient text, but still very relevant to our time. This first three talks were given February 7February 11, and April 1.

This talk covers paragraphs twelve through sixteen and deals primarily with sexual desire and other cravings. The flood of need, desire, craving can subside. The stream of the practitioner is to know the truth. Very few can let go of sexual desire and when you do then you don’t feel a loss.

The talk begins with Thay listing names of monastics and lay practitioners who are dharma teachers in training.

Attadanda Sutta (Part III)

April 1, 2010. 80-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese and is translated into English. The talk was not previously posted here, and is therefore taken out of chronological order from the other talks.

The Sutra on Transforming Violence and Fear was given in the first year of the Buddha’s teaching and is known as Absolute Truth (Attadanda) Sutra #16. It is a very ancient text, but still very relevant to our time. This first two talks were given February 7 and February 11 during the Winter Retreat.

This talk covers stanzas 8-11 and this begins about 45-minutes into the talk.

8. We should let go of pride. We shouldn’t sleep too much nor let ourselves fall into indolence. We should know how to live and work moderately and not let ourselves be carried away by the majority. Let us not be caught by any dazzling appearances and let us know how to walk away unfazed. Let us always contemplate the empty nature of all things in order attain the quiet nirvana.
9. Don’t insult anyone. Don’t let yourself be pulled by and attached to deceiving appearances. Don’t let yourself be drowned in entertainment and forget that the goal of our practice is to help ourselves and others get out of suffering.
10. What belongs to the past, we don’t think about anymore. What belongs to the future, we don’t dream about. We should recognize what is happening in the present moment so we don’t get caught in it. In this way, we just walk alone on the five vast continents with no one jealous of us anymore.
11. I say sexual desire is the force that causes the most destruction. The flood the engulfs the whole world. Only by seeing that, can we master all doubts. When we wholeheartedly contemplate interdependent co-arising, we must see that if we are not free from the pollution of sexual desire, it will be difficult for us to end suffering.

Healing Environment

April 22, 2010. This 75-minute dharma talk was given in French by Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village. The translation into English is lovely, with a clear and solid voice.

The themes in this talk include the four kinds of nourishment, mindful breathing, meditation practice, and karma. Though the these themes are common, and frequently covered by Thay, it continues to be nourishing. In fact, the section on meditation is very helpful as it provides specific guidelines for how to meditate. Always worth a reminder.

We can be as Buddha today by practicing mindfulness. There is an alliance between the body and the mind. The body can help the mind and the mind can help the body.