Tour Reflections

October 31, 2013. 70-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Stillwater Meditation Hall, Upper Hamlet of Plum Village. The sangha has recently returned from the North American tour. The talk was given in Vietnamese and this is the English translation by Sr. Chan Khong.

We begin with a summary of the 3-month teaching tour of North America that has just ended. Thay shares about the dry earth at the centers in North America and yet the rain came to each during the tour. Because we travel in so many buses and cars, Thay reminds us to be aware of our trip. Walk with the Buddha. Drive with the Buddha. Sit with the Buddha. Be aware of the Buddha with every breath and every moment.

How can we have the Buddha in our lives? Example of the bell master, even on the bus, and if that person is the only one with mindfulness and then that person and the energy of the bell can help carry into the sangha.

There are many who are thirsty for the practice is large and all our events sold out. We were able to stream the talk in Oakland with the support of Sounds True [video] and 35k listened online. We don’t have the capacity to meet all the needs but we are able allow for many to listen online, even with our retreats. We need more monastic and lay dharma teachers.

Suffering and happiness are two sides of one reality – like two sides of a piece of paper. If we know how to suffer, then we suffer very little and can enjoy our happiness. Just because we become a Buddha does not mean we do not suffer; it is because suffering and happiness Interare. For example, because we have a body then we will have disease. If we know how to suffer, we don’t let the second arrow cause us to suffer more.

We all have to practice something – to find a spiritual dimension for our lives. We must find time for this in our lives. Shares about the 2-day visit to the World Bank for their employees. Some thought it strange to have this monk and his students come to the World Bank but people discovered the value and were appreciative.

The four nutriments, especially for the business person; how to make money without being evil. Of particular importance is the fourth nutriment: volition. But don’t run away from your body and your mind.

We were also invited by Harvard University and Stanford University [video] to offer a teaching on mindfulness and compassion. Why is compassion important?