April 9, 2013. 116-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Paragon in Bangkok, Thailand. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this 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 have the capacity to listen that can lead to understanding? How can we get in touch with the suffering of the other person? We hear the monastics chant the name of Avalokiteshvara at 18-minutes.
The main talk begins at 38-minutes. When we hear the bell, we stop thinking and allow our body to relax.
The theme for the talk is how to suffer less, how to create happiness in our daily lives. What is happiness? Do we have time to love and take care of our beloved ones? Do I have the capacity to love? What can we offer those who we love? To love is to be there.
Using the Sutra on the Full Awarness of Mindful Breathing to cultivate love.
Walking to arrive in the present. How should we walk? What other daily activities can we do with mindfulness? Can you see the many conditions of happiness?
Editor’s Note: the very end of the talk is cutoff in the recording. We apologize for this error.
April 5, 2013. 120-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh 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. This is the first talk.
The Buddha was a happy teacher and that’s how he was able to help others. If we are not happy teachers then it will be difficult to help out students. How can we offer happiness? Do you have happiness to offer? Do you have happiness and love in yourself? What is the best thing we can offer a person we love? The first mantra is “Darling, I am here for you.”
That shares about people meditation and how the sangha has used it for teaching children about the practice. Flower | Fresh. Mountain | Solid. Water | Reflecting. Space | Freedom.
The practice of Buddhism can be seen in two aspects. First, we learn how to suffer. If you know how to suffer then you suffer much less by making good use of your suffering. Happiness is made of non-happiness elements. Suffering is a non-happiness element. The second aspect of the practice is learning how to create moments of happiness. With this we can transform our anger and fear. A good school teacher should know how to take care of themselves.
Teachers taking care of themselves and is comprised of five elements (Skandhas): Body. Feelings. Perceptions. Mental formations. Consciousness. We can learn to improve the quality of these five elements. How do we do this? We begin with the body and the feelings.
A school teacher can then create a moment of happiness for her students. How we can identify and cultivate moments of happiness for our students? How can we help the young person who is suffering?
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.
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.
July 8, 2012. 68-minute recording given at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second dharma talk of the Summer Opening and it was originally given in French. This is an English translation.
Peace. Freshness. Solidity. We all have these elements in the form of seeds. We can learn how to water these seeds. We all have a Buddha-nature in us. With meditation, we can offer this to ourselves and others. We can use pebble meditation and inviting the bell.
Discovering conditions of happiness. Being the mind back to the body. Established in the present moment. Mindfulness, the first energy, is the heart of meditation. The second energy is concentration. And the third energy is insight. The practice of walking and sitting should bring pleasure. These three energies allow you to identify the conditions of happiness. Meditation is possible all day long.
June 10, 2012. 102-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 seventh dharma talk (of 15).
We begin with two chants: Les Vision Profond (French) and Hien Tien Thanh Tinh (We are Truly Present). Interbeing of the entire cosmos. The flower is interacting with the entire cosmos.
Suffering and happiness
Being and non-being
Fourth Mindfulness Training – deep listening
From The Discourse on Emptiness in its Ultimate Meaning
Monks, when the eye arises, there is no place from which it comes; when it ceases, there is no place to which it goes. Thus, the eye, without any real substance, arises; having arisen it will finally have to cease. It is a result of some action but there is no actor at all.
And from The Paramartha Gathas of Asanga Gathas on the Absolute Truth
5. All conditioned things undergo change at every instant. Their abiding is not something real, much less their function. All we can say is that their arising is their function and their arising is also the agent.
6-7. Eyes cannot see form, ears cannot hear sound, the nose does not smell scent, the tongue does not taste an object, the body does not feel touch, the mind does not recognize objects of mind. However in the organs and objects of sense there is no one who maintains or begins the perception.
April 19, 2012. 65-minute recording given at Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. The sangha has just returned from the UK and Ireland Tour and this is a Day of Mindfulness for the sangha.
We begin with chanting followed by the dharma talk. Thay gives a short teaching on the first two verses of the Discourse on Happiness. “Spring is a messenger” Thay says. Thay talks about dreaming, having a path and making tofu.