April 4, 2013. 116-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh, Brother Phap Dung, and Sr. Tue Nghiem from Mahachulalungkornrajavidyalaya University in Bangkok, Thailand. The sangha is in the 5-Day Applied Ethics Retreat as part of the spring Asian Tour. The talk is given in English with simultaneous translation into Thai.
We begin with an introduction to listening to the chant by Thich Nhat Hanh. How do we move from mindfulness of suffering to mindfulness of compassion leading to our transformation and healing? We hear the monastics chant the name of Avalokiteshvara at 14-minutes.
The main talk by Thich Nhat Hanh begins at 36-minutes. Happy teachers will change the world. What to do when we hear the bell? How will it help our breathing? Being established on the present moment. Gives us the power to heal. What is walking meditation? Why do we practice walking?
Beginning at 60-minutes two monastics, Brother Phap Dung and Sister Tue Nghiem, teach about the breathing practice, sitting practice, eating practice, and noble silence practice.
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.
January 13, 2013. 117-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 twentieth 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.
Here in Plum Village, when we walk, we don’t talk and we stop thinking. We bring our breathing and our step into the present moment. Concentrate in a relaxing manner. We can use walking as a bell of mindfulness.
How can we practice eating meditation? We turn off the TV, including the TV in your mind. We can use the Five Contemplations to help practice. Thay reviews the traditional contemplation and compares to the modern version.
Four Kinds of Nutriments. How do we help outr mind? What to do with negative thought? What is volition?
At 70-minutes, we turn to our ongoing sutra study. My teaching is to touch your suffering and transform your suffering. It is not an intellectual exercise. The Buddha only shared a few practical ideas to heal. There are some questions refused to answer. What are they?
The Buddha taught two things on many sutras. Non-self. Impermanence.
January 6, 2013. 88-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 eighteenth 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.
Editorial Note: the recording is currently missing the first part of the talk (not much); if I am able to secure a complete file then I will repost.
The joy of sitting and resting. When you sit down and you know how to harmonize your body and breath, you can have nirvana. Walking for ourselves, our ancestors, our nation. Every step is healing. Every step is nourishing. Taking care of the earth. Thay tells a few stories of astronauts. Earth gazing and seeing that the earth is alive. We learn a walking gatha.
At about 48-minutes, we transition to sutra study. Upadi means caught or grasping. It means here grasping an object of your observation. Your Five Skandhas. Set them free. It’s not the five Skandhas that are wrong, but it is the grasping.
December 24, 2012. 118-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) and this is the special Christmas Eve dharma talk (and the fourteenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha?)
Begin with a teaching on listening to the chant. Learning to recognize our own suffering and the suffering of the other person. We can then generate compassion. The monastics then chant the name Namo ‘valokiteshvaraya.
The practice of going home is a very deep practice. We need the energy of mindfulness. We don’t need a plane or train ticket to go home. There is a station – Radio NST – (non-stop thinking) and this doesn’t help us arrive home. Walking and breathing allow us to arrive. The more you are mindful and concentratesd the more pleasant. Help you stop the thinking and the worrying. Just walk and heal.
“I have arrived. I am home.” This is the best dharma talk we have in Plum Village. We do not have to force ourselves to breathe or to walk. It can be really pleasant. There is no way home, home is the way. The Buddha taught about the island of self.
Loneliness is an illusion. It is a wrong perception. Every breath and every step can help us see this. The teaching on “going home” is very strong.
Thay explores the living Christ. We reflect of the birth of Jesus into this world as the son of man. Did he exist before this time? What do we mean by birth?
Science and Buddhism. Matter and energy. Nothing is born. Nothing dies. Our true nature is of no birth and no death. This is the ultimate truth.
There is no being, no non-being, only Interbeing. When we celebrate the birth of Christ, we can look deeply into this teaching of no birth and no death.
November 8, 2012. 92-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha had just begun the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the first dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong.
About 60-years ago, Herbert Spencer was the patriarch that transmitted the ten mindful movements to Thay. Acting instead of speaking. Thay talks about how he took and modified. We do it to be healthy in the present. Non Buddhist elements.
Walking meditation. We do it 100%. Focus on the in breath and the out breath. And our steps. No thinking. Then we can see clearly. Freedom. Touching the present moment. Friends in the sangha can help us wake up. Cut the suffering with the sword of understanding. You can have peace and happiness right now. This winter, let’s practice walking. Every step gives you more freedom.
Your Freedom is a Practice. Even if you have been a scholar learning and teaching Buddhism, you can still be caught by some construct of our mind and not the deep teaching the Buddha taught. We can use practice methods to see whether we really understand the Buddha. We can use The Four Criterion on the Truth
We have to speak the language of the world – the worldly view.
We may speak differently for each person to reflect how they think and their ability to receive the teaching.
We prescribe the right medicine for the right teaching.
Absolute truth teaching. When you read a sutra text, you will not be confused.
August 26, 2012. 137-minute dharma talk given in English, with simultaneous translation into German, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is a Day of Mindfulness at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.
A day of mindfulness is a day of practice so that we can live each moment of our life very deeply. Anyone can generate the energy of mindfulness, bringing our mind home to our body. There are many wonders of life. And mindfulness is always mindfulness of something – drinking your tea. This can bring freedom and joy and happiness.
A couple of sweet moments when a local church bell is ringing and then a rain downpour. Every moment can be a pleasant moment. A miracle happens when you breathe in mindfully.
On a day of mindfulness we have time to sit and breathe together. We can stop our thinking every time we hear the sound of the bell. Enjoying the here and the now is the address for the pure land of the Buddha. Instruction on listening to the bell. Walking meditation and the country of the present moment. Instruction on walking meditation. This is followed by true communion and eating meditation.
Mindful listening and mindfulness of suffering. Many of the things we do in life are to cover up out suffering. How we help each other to suffer less? The chant of Avalokiteshvara can help touch suffering with mindfulness. When we listen to the chant, we should sit and listen and try to stop our thinking. Allow our body to relax. Chant begins at 1:20m into recording and the talk resumes again at 1:41m.
If a relationship had become difficult, there is always a way to transform it. In order to heal a relationship, you must heal yourself. We have Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing to help us heal ourselves.
August 13, 2012. 122-minute dharma talk given in English, with simultaneous translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.
Teaching on the seed of corn and teaches the children about being a seed in the womb of your mother. We can use pebble meditation to learn how to breath again. To be fresh and beautiful. The children are excused about 42-minutes into the recording.
Thay begins with a story of a French journalist who wanted to write an article on the practice in Plum Village. Her article was titled “In the Country of the Present Moment.” She started with walking meditation. I have arrived. How can we arrive 100% in each step? How do we train?
Right Diligence (Effort). In Buddhist psychology we talk about store consciousness and seeds (bija). Seeds for the soil of the mind. Seeds manifest as mental formations in the mind consciousness. Mindfulness is a seed that we can cultivate. How do we help water the positive seeds in ourselves and others? What do we cultivate for right diligence?
(1:28) Right Speech and deep listening should go together. Thay shares the story of a soldier in the Vietnam war that poisoned children because he was so angry after his unit was ambushed, who then later came to Plum Village for a retreat.
July 28, 2012. 93-minute recording given at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the sixteenth dharma talk of the Summer Opening and we are beginning the fourth and final week of the retreat. Please note, we have skipped the talk from July 26 here on this site; it may appear later.
Understanding of suffering. Compassionate listening. Embracing suffering brings relief. What are the monastics doing when they are chanting the name Avalokiteshvara?
Chanting begins at 18-m into recording. The main talk begins at 39-minutes.
Listening to the bell. Deep listening. Let peace and mindfulness penetrate into you. How do you feed your happiness? Where is your true home?
The Buddha proposed sixteen exercises of mindful breathing. What are the first four exercises? How can we use this for walking mindfully? This is applied Buddhism in our daily lives.
June 2, 2012. 82-minute dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet in Plum Village during the 21-Day Retreat with the theme The Science of the Buddha. The talk is given in English and this is the first dharma talk (of 15).
Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing – the first four exercises
Walking Meditation – arriving in the here and now
Our teacher and the sangha feels very relaxed. In no hurry. We have 3-weeks to practice and learn.
0:00 The Practice of Listening to the Chant
21:30 Namo’valokiteshvaraya Chanting by the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village
43:30 Main Talk