Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Four Elements

March 13, 2011. 63-minute Dharma Talk in French given by Thich Nhat Hanh at Assembly of Stars, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France.

In Buddhism we speak of Four Elements: water, earth, fire, and air. With water we can practice purification. With air we breathe. Breathe out the toxic gases in the body. Fire is also a method purification. With heat we can heal. The earth can purify as well. In Plum Village we have a practice called Touching the Earth. The earth is our Mother. We are children of the earth. we can return to the earth to renew ourself. Intimate conversations with the earth. We hear of Ksitigarbha (Earth Store), a great bodhisattva.

With these elements we can nourish and cultivate love, understanding, compassion, and reduce our suffering.

We briefly review the steps of mindful breathing to bring joy and calm to our minds and bodies.

The talk was given in French with English translation and is available below. There is a French recording as well as video version too.

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Body and Mind Are One

March 10, 2011. 96-minute Dharma Talk in French given by Thich Nhat Hanh at Assembly of Stars, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France.

The body and the mind. Two sides of the same thing. Both the mind and body are aspects of our being. Both belong to the same thing. One supports the other. So, to take care of your mind is to take care of your body (and vice-versa).

We can contemplate our body, and it begins with mindfulness. Sutra on Mindful Breathing has sixteen exercises. The fourth exercise is about resting. This is something we have forgotten how to do and it is very important. Relax. Tension and pain exist both in body and mind. We only hear of the first four.

How do we eliminate toxins in our body and mind? Toxins like hatred, anger, greed. We can learn with our practice. Deep breathing is one method. There are four kinds of nutriments – these are explained. Thay focuses on what we consume and how it impacts us, our well being.

The talk was given in French with English translation and is available below. There is a French recording as well as video version too.

The Five Mantras and Noble Eightfold Path

March 5, 2011. 96-minute dharma talk in French with Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village, France. This is the fifth day of the 5-day French Retreat and the translation is provided by Sr. Pine.

The fifth Mantra. This is a happy moment.

Mindfulness is the source of happiness. Smirti. We should be able to transform any moment into happiness with mindfulness. This moment is worth living. Moment after moment.

I’m here for you. This is the First Mantra. This is for generating your concentrated presence.

My dear, I know you are there and I’m so happy. This is the Second Mantra. To recognize the presence of your lived one. Your loved can be anything.

My dear, I know you suffer and I am here for you. The Third Mantra. Used when you notice something is not right. Not well.

My dear, I am suffering and I want you to know. I’m doing my best. Please help me. The Fourth Mantra. This is the most difficult because it’s when you are suffering and you think you’re loved one is the cause. We want to punish. After you have tried to cool the flames, maybe 24-hours, then you can practice this mantra. Tell him in a calm voice. If you are not able, then write it down.

Right thinking is thinking that goes in the direction of non-discrimination in the direction of understanding. We can always produce a thought of right thinking using mindfulness. Anger is no longer possible with this type of action. Karma (action) is our continuation. Thought is our action. If your thinking is beautiful then you action will be as well. With Right Thinking you can bring Right Speech and Right Action.

The path recommended by the Buddha begins with Right View. In addition to Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Concentration, Right Effort, and Right Livelihood. The noble eightfold path. This path leads to the end of suffering. The fourth noble truth. This is the presence of happiness.

A discussion on the Ultimate and Historical dimensions – they are not separate. Nirvana. Suchness. With the instrument of mindfulness and concentration, we can see the nature of reality. Being and non-being disappear.

The talk was given in French with English translation and is available below. There is a French recording as well as video version too.

Questions and Answers

March 4, 2011. 111-minute Questions and Answers in French with Thich Nhat Hanh at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village, France. This is the fourth day of the 5-day French Retreat and the translation is provided by Sr. Pine.

Some of the topics include Sitting Meditation, Death, Euthanasia, Sex, Suicide, Non-action, Right Livelihood, Religion, Equality, Depression, and the Four Kinds of Nutriments.

There is a French recording as well as video version too – Part 1 and Part 2.

Nourishing Happiness

March 3, 2011. 72-minute Dharma Talk in French given by Thich Nhat Hanh at Assembly of Stars, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France. This is the second day of the 5-day French Retreat and the translation is provided by Sr. Pine. The English recording is missing just the first minute or two.

Nourishing happiness and taking care of our suffering with the energies of mindfulness, concentration, and insight. How we respond to suffering is what matters.

Embracing our suffering, looking deeply we see the source (the “food”) of that suffering. Everything needs food. Recognizing the sources of nourishment is the beginning of transformation and healing. Without “food” the suffering will die.

The Five Mindfulness Trainings are an expression of what can protect us.

In eating meditation, there are only two things to be aware of while eating. The food and the loved ones around you. Silence helps a lot. This to is a basis for happiness. The Five Contemplations.

The talk was given in French with English translation and is available below. There is a French recording as well as video version too.

Teachings on Love

March 2, 2011. 100-minute Dharma Talk in French given by Thich Nhat Hanh at Assembly of Stars, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France. This is the second day of the 5-day French Retreat and the translation is provided by Sr. Pine.

Let’s love each other. In order to be there for each other, there is a practice. We have to stop all the inner talking. Practice breathing in with Mindfulness to bring our mind back the the body. To love is offering your presence.

The second mantra of Plum Village. I know you are there, and I am very happy. When I walk with the sangha, it is exactly the same because the sangha is my love.

Walking meditation together on the hill of the 21st century. Our collective energy can heal and transform us. To walk is to love. The same can be said about sitting meditation. Peace. Concentration. Happiness.

Thay discusses a story from the Little Prince followed by a review of Pebble Meditation that is taught to children.  Four pepples: Flower. Mountain. Still water. Space.

In true love, we should enjoy each other. It has been said, to love is not to look at each other, but to look in the same direction.

Elements of True Love. Maitri. Lovingkindness. Love is first friendship. To produce happiness. Karuna. Compassion. To transform suffering. Mudita. Joy. We offer joy to ourself and the. Upeksha. Equanimity. Absence of boundary. Non- discrimination. Your joy is my joy. These four elements are the Four Immeasurable Minds.

Love begins with myself.

The talk was given in French with English translation and is available below. There is a French recording as well as video version too.

 

The Land of the Buddha

March 1, 2011. 60-minute Dharma Talk in French given by Thich Nhat Hanh at New Hamlet, Plum Village, France. This is the first day of the 5-day French Retreat and the translation is provided by Sr. Pine. We are testing a new platform with this retreat so the audio recording carries both languages – the French on the left and English on the right. Enjoy.

Suffering can be neutralized. And love is what can do this transformation. Understanding can generate love. To live, we must love.

The teaching on true love by the Buddha is clear. How do we taste this happiness? To love is to offer your presence. Meditation cam make us fresh. One in-breath is enough to bring you present.

Darling, I am here for you.This is the first mantra of Plum Village. When you are in touch with yourself, then you can be present.

The beauty of the earth. We should love her. If you love her, you will do anything to preserve it. One in-breath. One step in mindfulness.

Darling, I know you are there and I am happy. This is the second mantra of Plum Village. If you are present then you can so this. Precious presence of the other.

Provides some waking meditation guidance. The ability to stop and share something beautiful.

Shares story of meeting Martin Luther King and about community. The beloved community. The importance of building sangha. There are so many people in our society who are lost. They need a sangha. This is why you build a sangha in your area. It takes a lot of love and a lot of patience to build a sangha. Loving speech and compassionate listening are the instruments we use to build sangha.

Today the topic has been on suffering. We use consumption to try and forget out suffering. The teaching is we must come back to ourselves and get in touch with the suffering. It will help us to transform it. Then we can understand the suffering of the other person.

Deep compassionate listening.

The talk was given in French (left channel) with English translation (right channel) and is available below (French and English are on the same recording) as well as video version.