Monthly Archives: February 2013

Keeping the Essential Teaching of Buddhism

February 3, 2013. 91-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-sixth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. It is the final talk of the winter retreat.

Are we the soulmate of the Buddha? We are asking if we are making any mistakes about the teaching. Are we misunderstanding the Buddha? We’ve learned about dualistic thinking. And we’ve learned about the unnecessary questions.

How do we practice with the Dharma body? The teaching? Everyone can practice like the Buddha. Everyone can be enlightened. It is not a religion. The teaching of the Buddha non-dualistic. Even right from the beginning Buddhism split into two schools. The misperception started right from the beginning. Again, what is being the soulmate of the Buddha? How do we keep the essential teaching and also the delusion?

What happens if we diefy the Buddha, then what happens? We can get lost in the idea of self. Discovering the middle way. Sometimes we need to dilute Buddhism a little without forgetting the essential teaching.

Signlessness. Seeing the Buddha in others and other things. The Buddha is next to you. Open your eyes. The Buddha is still there if we practice signlessness.

Your self is transforming every day.

Universal Monarch

January 31, 2013. 83-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-fifth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không.

We begin with an outline of the next few weeks at Plum Village. Following the winter retreat, the sangha will celebrate the lunar new year for four days. After the lunar new year, there will be a monastic retreat which concludes with a monastic lamp transmission ceremony in which our lay friends are welcome to attend. During the monastic retreat, all monastics will stay at Upper Hamlet and our lay friends will stay at other hamlets. We are fortunate to have the monastics from Germany and Paris join us for the monastic retreat. The lamp transmission ceremony will take place on February 21.

Last week we learned the sutra on the white clad disciple. We should practice the five trainings and the four recollection To be on the path of enlightenment. There is also something called the five powers. This is very helpful for the businessman or the politician. The first power is faith. The others are diligence, mindfulness, concentration, and Generosity. Thay talks about sutra called the Universal Ruler or Monarch and the seven treasures. Ruling with the Dharma.

The story of a couple of kings is shared. King Ashoka. King Milanda. Kanishka. We also listen to the transition from tribal society to Monarch society to democracy. Polytheism and monotheism. We conclude with the story from the Sutra Agama #2.

Nirvana Walking

January 27, 2013. 76-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-fourth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không.

In first 17-minutes, we arr reminded how to be in touch with yourself. Through walking meditation and no thinking. When we walk, we walk relaxingly and solidly. Every step is solid and every step is freedom. And with Freedom you can arrive in Nirvana. Nirvana is extinction of all the affliction. Walking meditation can be very profound.

Three Dharma Seals. Impermanence. No self. Nirvana.

The island of self. There is no way to Nirvana,  nirvana is the way.

At 45-minutes, we look at the Four Noble truths and noble eight fold path. The five mindfulness trainings are a concrete manifestation of this path to Nirvana. What are the five mindfulness Trainings? Includes a discussion of the four Kinds of nutriments.

The White Clad Disciple

January 24, 2013. 67-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-third dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không.

We continue the teaching from the sutra on the white clad disciple – Upasaka Sutra, Madhyama Agama 128. The second Sutra we are learning is he teaching for those who are sick or those who are dying – Ekottara Agama 1.1, 8 (in consultation with Majjhima Nikaya 143 and Madhyama Agama 26). Both these texts are available in the Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book.

The laypeople only need to learn two teachings and they will be happy living in this very moment. The first is the five mindfulness training. And the second is the four recollections.

How do we skillfully practice? Dwelling happily in the present.