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.
August 21, 2012. 102-minute dharma talk given in English, with simultaneous translation into German, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second Dharma talk offered by Thay in the German Retreat at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.
In a talk for the children, Thay talks about being a seed of corn and how we too began as a tiny seed.
What is the connection between happiness and suffering? If suffering exists, something else exists at the same time. It is like the left and the right. If suffering is there, there must be a cause. We can see this teaching in the Four Noble Truths. The Buddha taught a path from the cessation of suffering to happiness. It’s called the Noble Eightfold Path and it begins with Right View. With Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, we can have breakthrough to Right View.
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.
How can zen Buddhism help us westerns who are in a crisis in our society ?
Can we reach our children to be happy?
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.
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.
April 5, 2012. 125-minute dharma talk given at The University of Nottingham by Thich Nhat Hanh. The sangha is on the UK and Ireland Tour and this is orientation for the Cultivating Happiness Family Retreat.
We begin with an introduction to chanting. By recognizing the suffering in ourselves and the world, we can gain understanding and compassion. The Avalokiteshvara chant begins about 23-minutes into the recording.
About 46-minutes into the recording, a short dharma talk is given by Thay. A cultivated mind can bring a lot of happiness. This is the practice that can transform the suffering. How do we cultivate? Awareness of breathing is a form of enlightenment. We are practicing to come back to the here and now. Following this talk, the monastics (Brother Phap Ung and Brother Phap Lai) continue with some of the basic practices such as listening to the sound of the bell, eating, noble silence, and listening to dharma talks.