November 7, 2013. 93-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet of Plum Village. We begin with two chants, one French and one Vietnamese, from the monastics. The talk is originally given in Vietnamese and this is an English translation by Sr. Chan Khong.
Just let the dharma talk simply go into our store consciousness. No effort needed. You can be surprised later when the seeds of the dharma sprout.
Noble path. Suffering and happiness are deeply linked.
Waking up this morning, I smile. No judgement. Compassion. Gatha practice. Every second, every minute, every action. Insight can arise from simple practice. Walking. Sitting. Eating. But it doesn’t mean we ignore our suffering.
Story of Vietnamese patriarch – One Concentration. A history lesson on our spiritual ancestors in Vietnam.
August 28, 2013. 105-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush, New York during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the third dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Transformation and Healing – The Art of Suffering.
Today President Obama invites us to “Let Freedom Ring” on the 50th anniversary of the MLK speech at the Lincoln Memorial. How do we realize the dream of King?
Thay’s dream of being a student
Being a bell master
Establishing a meditation hall in the home
Thay’s dream is to build a sangha. Harmony. Sisterhood. Brotherhood.
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.
October 7, 2012. 105-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness.
Thay begins his talk today with reminiscences from Vietnam in the 60s. Forty-six years ago, Thay was invited by Cornell University to give a series of lectures on the conditions in Vietnam. The Vietnamese were fighting each other with foreign ideologies and foreign weapons. We were not allowed to use our voices for peace, but there was a peace movement in Vietnam. Thay wrote a book of poems and a book, Lotus in the Sea of Fire, that needed to be published and distributed underground. We also trained many social workers to help orphans and children. Those supporting peace were often threatened and murdered. We need a spiritual dimension in our life so we don’t lose ourselves to despair and to help sustain us.
What do you do when you’re practicing sitting meditation? Sitting isn’t “doing” but it’s more about “being” – harmony, joy, and healing are possible. Sitting is an art. There is no need to do anything. Mind and body must be together to live in the preset moment. One mindful in-breathe may be enough to come home. We don’t need to worry about the future. Teaching on mindfulness of body – it is a wonder, a mystery.
The Kingdom of God. Dharmachaya. The body of the cosmos. Suchness. Reality as it is. We cannot use our notions to describe God. This is available in the here and the now.
Exercises on mindful breathing. Enlightenment is not far away; it can be immediate with mindfulness. Breathing in you can have enlightenment. No thinking. No planning. No fear. Then your concentration becomes stronger. Brings insight to transform our suffering and bring happiness. This is not prayer, this is practice. Happiness does not depend on the outside, it depends on our way of looking at things.
Walking on Mother Earth. Samskara. Formation. We calm down the body formation.
August 13, 2012. 122-minute dharma talk given in English, with simultaneous translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.
Teaching on the seed of corn and teaches the children about being a seed in the womb of your mother. We can use pebble meditation to learn how to breath again. To be fresh and beautiful. The children are excused about 42-minutes into the recording.
Thay begins with a story of a French journalist who wanted to write an article on the practice in Plum Village. Her article was titled “In the Country of the Present Moment.” She started with walking meditation. I have arrived. How can we arrive 100% in each step? How do we train?
Right Diligence (Effort). In Buddhist psychology we talk about store consciousness and seeds (bija). Seeds for the soil of the mind. Seeds manifest as mental formations in the mind consciousness. Mindfulness is a seed that we can cultivate. How do we help water the positive seeds in ourselves and others? What do we cultivate for right diligence?
(1:28) Right Speech and deep listening should go together. Thay shares the story of a soldier in the Vietnam war that poisoned children because he was so angry after his unit was ambushed, who then later came to Plum Village for a retreat.
July 9, 2012. 94-minute recording given at New Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the third dharma talk of the Summer Opening. We begin with chanting and the talk begins at 15-minutes into the recording.
Bowing. Buddhahood. A lotus for you, a Buddha to be. The seed of Buddhahood.
Stories of being in Paris during the war. Supporting peace and practicing being together. Teaching on kingdom of God and the pure land. It is now or never. This is the teaching of Plum Village. We can do everything in the kingdom of God. Suffering and the noble truths. The buddhadharma can help you. We can love and understand our suffering.
June 14, 2012. 86-minute dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper 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 tenth dharma talk (of 15).
The Four Recollections
Joy and happiness with the three kinds of energies: mindfulness, concentration, and insight. When we focus on our breath, we are only our breath. We are not our sorrow or our regret.
Joy while breathing
Happiness while sitting
Joy is the breathing
Happiness is the breathing
Thay tells a story of the Buddha visiting a disciple who was very attached to the Buddha, but was now dying. His name was Vakali to help him die peacefully. The story illustrates the concept of the dharma body (dharmakaya). Our practice is our dharma body. The sangha and our teacher can help is develop our dharma body. Our practice also creates the living dharma.
We also have a sangha body (sanghakaya); a community of practice. The sangha body is in yourself.
We also learn the last two of the Four Recollections: Buddha body (buddhakaya) and the Mindfulness Trainings (silakaya). We practice to cultivate these four bodies.