May 19, 2013. 32-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the Lotus Pond Temple in Hong Kong. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this talk is given in English with simultaneous translation into Chinese. This is a Day of Mindfulness celebrating vesak.
Birth story of Siddhartha and the relationships in the family that effected his birth. Siddhartha left shortly after the birth of Rahula, his own son, in her to search for the way. He was doing that for all of us – his father, his mother, his country. When you become a monk or a nun, you do so for more than just yourself. He found a way to reduce tension in his body, to calm down his feelings, to see the deep roots of suffering in himself and other people, found a way to restore communication, and most importantly the nature of no-birth and no-death. Today we celebrate Siddhartha’s birth.
The Buddha saw that happiness is possible and it’s made of understanding and love. It only takes a short time to learn this path. We can learn to release the tension in our body, to calm our painful feeling and emotions, to learn how to generate a feeling of joy and happiness, and to understand the suffering in oneself and in the other person. We can use the Sutra on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing.
May 18, 2013. 62-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the Hong Kong Institute of Education. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this talk is given in English with simultaneous translation into Chinese. This is a Day of Mindfulness for educators and students.
There are a few practices a teacher can use in order to bring happiness to herself and the classroom. Mindful breathing and the energy of mindfulness. The pure land is here and now … you don’t have to wait until you die. Joy and happiness are possible in the present moment.
A good teacher knows how to take care of himself. Harmony is possible in herself. If we practice mindful breathing and mindful walking then we can create joy and happiness whenever you want.
The language of loving speech.
The story of Henry who was a mathematics school teacher in Toronto who transformed himself and his classroom.
March 10, 2013. 45-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village during the Daffodil Festival. We have been quiet here on the archive because the sangha took time for lazy days as well as a monastic retreat (not distributed). This talk is given in English and the sangha is preparing for the arrival of 600 French in the coming week. A few suggested subjects for the retreat include: happiness is possible, healing is possible how to live more deeply, coming home, do not wander anymore, and go as a river.
The practice of Plum Village can be seen in two points. First, how to recognize the suffering and embrace it and transform it. We cannot avoid suffering. If you know how to suffer, you will suffer less. The art of suffering. We have blocks of suffering, but how to handle the little sufferings? How do we support those attending the retreat? How do we prepare the space so they know that healing is possible with every step and every breath? There is no way to healing, healing is the way. In order to heal, we have to stop. The Five Mindfulness Trainings can help us with this practice. They have the power to heal. It is possible to create moments of happiness in our daily lives. Learn how to enjoy and savor the little happinesses in life. Can you create a moment of happiness?
What can we do about the mental discourse in our head? Radio NST (Non-Stop-Thinking). One practice is to feel our body and our feelings. We can practice walking meditation. It is an opportunity to create moments of happiness and to heal. Eating in mindfulness is another practice. Being aware of the food and members of the sangha around you. This is not hard labor. The dharma is lovely and every minute of the practice can be healing and transforming.
November 1, 2012. 76-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. This is the 8th, and final, dharma talk of the fall retreat. Thay begins with a short review of what’s been covered in the last four weeks.
Today we will look more deeply into the nature of our birth and our death. We begin with an analysis of a cloud. What is a cloud and when does it exist? We have to look at the cloud with eyes of signlessness. The rain is the new form of the cloud. How do we appy this to our own being? Is there really birth and death? There is only continuation.
Collective action. In Buddhism, the notion of action is very important. It is called karma. Triple action: thought, speech, and action. With mindfulness we can recognize our thoughts and make a decision that they produce healing and reconciliation. In order to so, we need Right View and Right Understanding. What is the connection between birth, death, and karma?
We need mindfulness and concentration to gain the insight if Right View. Birth and death inter-are with each other. Thay teaches briefly on each of the other elements of the Noble Eightfold Path.
October 28, 2012. 82-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness.
Last week we spoke about the nutriment of volition. An intention. A deep desire. We have learned that joy and suffering inter-are – we should recognize the suffering within ourselves. This leads to transformation and healing. The energy of mindfulness will help use with the transformation.
The Practice. Bhavana. To cultivate. Establishing yourself in the here and the now is enough to be free. How do you practice?
Everything we do in a practice center is to learn how to practice. To learn how to breathe. How to release the stress and the tension. Coming to a Day of Mindfulness or a Retreat can teach us the practice. Get a practice. Secondly, we need a group of people at home to help us maintain the practice. A sangha. Gather friends together from your local community. We learn the practice, we gain the support in out community, and third, we can bring the practice to your work place in order to help people suffer less. If we are a school teacher, we can bring the practice to our students. To help the students to suffer less.
Understanding is love and compassion. When you have understood your own suffering, you begin to love yourself.
October 25, 2012. 105-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness.
Last week we learned about the Four Kinds of Nutriments and having to do with the Fifth Mindfulness Training.
Power. Some people think if they have power, they will be happy. It takes a great deal of understanding. The mind of love; of enlightenment. Bodhicitta. This comes from the practice of mindfulness and concentration. Understanding your own suffering helps you understand the suffering of others around you. I’m the family and in the nation. Love and understanding. Understanding is the foundation of love. The mind left uncultivated will bring lots of suffering. We need a spiritual dimension in our daily life. This is our practice. Bodhicitta is a tremendous source of energy.
Mental formations. There are mental formations that make us suffer, but they can be transformed.
Samadhi. Maintaining awareness.
Meditation on impermance. We have to keep this alive in us. Treasure the moments we have. Impermanance is a characteristic of life.
The Three Doors of Liberation. Concentrations. Emptiness. Signlessness. Aimlessness. This teaching includes an exploration of birth and death. Being and non-being. Impermanance. Non-craving. Nirvana.
October 18, 2012. 84-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness.
What is the Winter Retreat? Why do we practice together for 90-days? The theme this winter will be are we soul mates of the Buddha? Do we understand the Buddha? There are many misunderstandings and we’ll focus on this problem. That’s why we have the Sutra on a Better Way to Catch a Snake.
We continue a teaching on relationships and working with suffering. How do we feed our relationship? The source of nutriments? This teaching is found in the first and second Noble Truths. Why do we need to start with suffering? Nothing can survive without food, including your love. In a relationship, we should know how to nourish each other. How can we nourish our relationship? Right Speech, Right Action, and the remaining Noble Eightfold Path. In addition, we have the Five Mindfulness Trainings to help us practice.
October 14, 2012. 67-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. We begin with the chant May the Day Be Well followed by a brief guided meditation by Thay.
What is a bodhissatva? Mother Earth is a great bodhissatva.
Mind and matter are not two separate entities. What is Interbeing? The mind of non-discrimination. What is suffering an how do we respond? If you understand suffering, then already have a kind of enlightenment. A bodhissatva for yourself.
The practice if the fourth mindfulness training – loving speech. This is the work of a bodhissatva. This also includes compassionate listening. Restore communication and bring about reconciliation.
Thay tells the story of a catholic woman who suffers greatly in her marriage and wants to commit suicide except for the help of a Vietnamese Buddhist friend who helps her learn about the fourth mindfulness training and reconciliation.
October 11, 2012. 118-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day
Teaching of suffering and the transformation of suffering. We don’t speculate on philosophical questions. We don’t only use our intellect. Buddhism is practical. How to handle a painful feeling? A strong emotion?
There is an insight on Interbeing. Non-self. Emptiness. What is true happiness? What is understanding and love? Practical application of the Four Noble Truths. When we are able to see our own suffering, we are better able to see the suffering of others.
Thay shares a few more stories from the time of the Vietnam war in terms of hope and despair. Generating joy and happiness through the exercises on mindful breathing.