Tag Archives: five sources of power

Exploring the Joy of Practice

monasticFrom the Rising Tide Meditation Hall at a retreat at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the third dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Healing Ourselves, Healing the World. The date is September 27, 2013. We begin with seven minutes of chanting from the monastic brothers and sisters.

Thay introduces and explains the process for the Novices and Aspirants along with the 5-year program of training as a monastic. It can bring you a lot of joy. They practice the Ten Precepts of a novice. The third source of nutriment is volition – deepest desire of your life. What you want to do with your life? Knowing what you want to do can give you energy. Brotherhood and sisterhood creates a very deep love. What is life as a monastic like, how are decisions made, how do you practice? Why did Thay begin to take students after living in exile in the west? The need for dharma teachers across the world is great. Thay invites you to join the five year program.

At approximately 38-minutes into the recording, we turn to a new topic. We have talked about the art of suffering – if we know how to suffer, we will suffer much less. The art of suffering is linked to the art of happiness. Skillfully we can create joy for ourselves and others. There are many ways to create joy and happiness. The first method is to let go, to leave behind. Letting go will give birth to joy and happiness. If you let go, happiness can come right away. What are holding onto that we think is crucial for our happiness? The practice of releasing our cows. We can practice using sitting meditation and learn to release our cows. A whole country can even be caught my a cow – our ideology. The teaching of the monk Badhya who exclaimed “Oh my happiness!” during his meditation. He was able to let go.

The second way to joy and happiness is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a source of joy and a source of happiness. This is our practice. Then we have concentration – if you are very mindful, then concentration can be born. From concentration we then have insight – it can liberate us. Joy and happiness can arrive.

in the teachings of the Buddha, there are five types of energies that you can generate. They can help generate joy and happiness. The first three were covered earlier – mindfulness, concentration, and insight. The other two are faith and diligence. Faith here means confidence. The other teaching on power is cutting through / letting go. The power to cut by brought requires courage and courage requires us to have insight. The second power is wisdom. The third power is the power to love, to forgive.

How do we listen to a dharma talk? What is the zen way? We continue with a brief review from the exercises of mindful breathing.

At 86-minutes into the recording, we turn to a teaching on the three doors of liberation – emptiness, signlessness, and aimlesslessness. We hear an explanation and teaching on each of these doors.

No video is available for this talk.

Universal Monarch

January 31, 2013. 83-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-fifth 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.

We begin with an outline of the next few weeks at Plum Village. Following the winter retreat, the sangha will celebrate the lunar new year for four days. After the lunar new year, there will be a monastic retreat which concludes with a monastic lamp transmission ceremony in which our lay friends are welcome to attend. During the monastic retreat, all monastics will stay at Upper Hamlet and our lay friends will stay at other hamlets. We are fortunate to have the monastics from Germany and Paris join us for the monastic retreat. The lamp transmission ceremony will take place on February 21.

Last week we learned the sutra on the white clad disciple. We should practice the five trainings and the four recollection To be on the path of enlightenment. There is also something called the five powers. This is very helpful for the businessman or the politician. The first power is faith. The others are diligence, mindfulness, concentration, and Generosity. Thay talks about sutra called the Universal Ruler or Monarch and the seven treasures. Ruling with the Dharma.

The story of a couple of kings is shared. King Ashoka. King Milanda. Kanishka. We also listen to the transition from tribal society to Monarch society to democracy. Polytheism and monotheism. We conclude with the story from the Sutra Agama #2.

Auspicious Signs

CSA Pizza Party
Image by kenleyneufeld via Flickr

December 10, 2009 dharma talk translated from Vietnamese by Sr. Chan Khong at New Hamlet, Temple of Loving Kindness, Plum Village.

The fourth talk (72 minutes) continues where we left off with the December 3 dharma talk on exploring the Discourse on Happiness (or Sutra on Auspicious Sign) this Winter Retreat.

Here we review the 10th, 11th, and 12th gathas of the discourse. Topics include vegetarianism, chastity, wisdom, faith (one of the Five Sources of Power), equanimity.

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