Tag Archives: 2012 Summer Opening

Can nothing become something?

August 2, 2012. 92-minute recording given at New Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the twentieth dharma talk of the Summer Opening. The talk was originally given in French and this is an English translation.

We begin with a  meditation on the birth of the flame. Does “nothing” exist?  What is the existence of nothing?

What is our nature? Are we caught in the notions of birth, death, being, and non-being? These are the foundation of our fear and anxiety. In Buddhism, Right Thinking is being free of these notions.  There is only continuation and manifestation. Thinking is already an action.

We continue with a teaching on Right View, Right Speech.

This concludes the 2012 Summer Opening. 

Is it ever okay to tell a lie?

August 1, 2012. 87-minute recording given at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the nineteenth dharma talk of the Summer Opening and this is a session of questions and answers. Editor’s note, we have skipped the talks from July 29 & 31 here on this site; it may appear later.

Children

  1. Why is my brother always so nasty to me?
  2. Why does Thay do hand symbols (mudra) during chanting?
  3. Why do Buddhist shave their head?
  4. What should we do if we begin to hate someone we love?

Adults

  1. Is it correct to tell a lie if the truth would hurt the person you love?
  2. How can I be stable? How can I live with a person who doesn’t believe in spirituality?
  3. Why is it that monastics sisters have more precepts than monastic brothers? If it is because they have special problems, shouldn’t the brothers at least have the same number of precepts?
  4. How can you help a child recognize their father of they’ve never had te opportunity to know him? For example, artificial insemination.
  5. What was the biggest notion in your life that you’ve overcome?
  6. How do I practice this teaching with suicide?
  7. When you have arrived on the other shore. Do you still think? Do you still suffer?
  8. How do we build and organize a practice center?

Beginning of Fourth Week of Summer Opening

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.

Question and Answer Session: Is there a life after death?

July 24, 2012. 80-minute recording given at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the fourteenth dharma talk of the Summer Opening and this is a session of questions and answers.

Children

  1. How can you make new friends after moving to a new school?
  2. If there is no such thing as death, then why is it wrong to kill?
  3. I suffer a lot from my father. I don’t want to see him anymore. Can I stop trying to change him?
  4. Why did you become a monk?

Adults

  1. I am the last child in my family linage and there is lots of suffering to transform. How do I help my parents generation? Secondly, why is there still discrimination against women in Buddhism?
  2. Is there life after death?

The Line of Life Meditation

July 22, 2012. 97-minute recording given at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the twelfth dharma talk of the Summer Opening and the talk was originally given in French. This is an English translation.

We start with a 22-minute talk for the children. How we can share meditation with our friends when we go back home from Plum Village? What does it mean to love? Freshness of a flower. We can offer this and using pebble meditation to teach us about freshness. We also have mantras such as “I am here for you.” Solidity. Space.

What is the deep connection between suffering and happiness? In Buddhism, we speak of Interbeing. What is meant by Interbeing? Being and non-being also uses this principle of Interbeing. What is Right Thinking? Free of notions. Applying the teaching to birth and death.

The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold path.

Getting Back into Touch with Life

July 21, 2012. 98-minute recording given at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the eleventh dharma talk of the Summer Opening and this is the first day of the third week.

Listening to the chant. We suffer and we often turn to consumption to relieve our suffering. The teaching of the Buddha, using mindfulness and concentration, can help use embrace our sorrow with tenderness. We can have relieve. Listen to the chanting and allow the sound to penetrate into our body. To stop our thinking.

Avalokiteshvara chant.

The silence we produce can be very healing. We feel alive. The joy of being alive. Instruction for walking meditation. The practices of “I have arrived. I am home,” mindfulness, concentration, insight. Also, the Buddha body. Who is the real Buddha? What is the real Sangha? What is the Dharma?

Mind, Mindfulness, and the Three Concentrations

July 19, 2012. 119-minute recording given at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the tenth dharma talk of the Summer Opening and the talk was originally given in French. This is an English translation. We begin with chanting and a short guided meditation getting in touch with our parents.

The teaching on “nothing is born and nothing dies” for the children. How do we live with happiness?

At 34-minutes, Sister Chan Khong introduces Alexandra from L’Express magazine who is preparing  a special issue on happiness. She will interview Thay  because he is a master of happiness.

  1. How can zen Buddhism help us westerns who are in a crisis in our society ?
  2. Can we reach our children to be happy?
  3. What is your definition of happiness?

We can use the exercises on mindful breathing starting with the first eight exercises. Mental formations are explored in the ninth exercise. The three concentrations taught in all Buddhist traditions: emptiness, signlessness, aimlessness.

How does it feel when you’re dead? Question and Answer Session

July 18, 2012. 88-minute recording given at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the ninth dharma talk of the Summer Opening and this is a session of questions and answers.

Children

  1. How does it feel when you are dead?
  2. Sometimes I feel nobody loves us and I’m all alone.
  3. A game the children are playing has something about killing. Is this okay? Help me understand.

Teens and Adults

  1. People seem afraid of silence. Is it because they are afraid of being with themselves?
  2. I experience extreme energies and sometimes feel as a victim with the energy.
  3. Husband is in a deep depression and then one of our daughters was seriously injured. He feels it’s unjust and he is suffering. How can I help him transform suffering he doesn’t see in himself?
  4. Difficulties with meditation. What happens during meditation and how can I improve?

Plum Village Mantras and How to Be the Sum of Your Acts

July 16, 2012. 91-minute recording given at New Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the eighth dharma talk of the Summer Opening and we begin with seven minutes of chanting.

Last week the children also learned pepple meditation. When you practice this, you become more stable, fresh, and calm.

Story of the rich businessman who doesn’t have enough time to spend with his family.  All the little boy wanted was his father to be truly present. Also told the story of the German businessman who thought he was indispensable to his business.

The first mantra is, “Darling, I am here for you.” We can learn this mantra by using pepple meditation. Thay wants you to learn both. Then, we have the second mantra. “Darling, I know you are there and it makes me happy.”

Product of our action. Our karma. It I out environment. Retribution. We have been living in such a way that we’ve destroyed our environment. We are our environment. Thought, speech, and action are energies that cannot be destroyed. We are talking about the noble eightfold path.

Thay continues fromm yeaterday by giving a teaching on Right Livelihood and Right Diligence. Includes a teaching on store and mind consciousnesses.

Interbeing of Father and Son, Exploring the Fundamental Teachings of the Buddha

July 15, 2012. 121-minute recording given at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the seventh dharma talk of the Summer Opening and the talk was originally given in French. This is an English translation.

We begin with a talk for the children. What is the Buddha? How can we make use of suffering? What can we do with anger? What is loving speech? The story of the corn plant. The method of meditation called Signlessness. Uses the birth of a child to illustrate.

Following the talk for children, the main talk begins at 53-minutes into the recording. In classical science things are all outside of each other. In modern science, quantum physics, we see that things are inside each other. In Buddhism, we try to look this way. There is no separate self. Coexistence. This is, because that is. Interbeing.

A teaching in the Four Noble Truths. Why do we have suffering? Hiw do we get understanding and love? How can we see the all in the one?

The noble eightfold path beginning with Right View (the fruit of our meditation). The notions of being and non-being. Right Thinking. Right Speech. Right Action.