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April 1, 2010. 80-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese and is translated into English. The talk was not previously posted here, and is therefore taken out of chronological order from the other talks.
The Sutra on Transforming Violence and Fear was given in the first year of the Buddha’s teaching and is known as Absolute Truth (Attadanda) Sutra #16. It is a very ancient text, but still very relevant to our time. This first two talks were given February 7 and February 11 during the Winter Retreat.
This talk covers stanzas 8-11 and this begins about 45-minutes into the talk.
8. We should let go of pride. We shouldn’t sleep too much nor let ourselves fall into indolence. We should know how to live and work moderately and not let ourselves be carried away by the majority. Let us not be caught by any dazzling appearances and let us know how to walk away unfazed. Let us always contemplate the empty nature of all things in order attain the quiet nirvana.9. Don’t insult anyone. Don’t let yourself be pulled by and attached to deceiving appearances. Don’t let yourself be drowned in entertainment and forget that the goal of our practice is to help ourselves and others get out of suffering.10. What belongs to the past, we don’t think about anymore. What belongs to the future, we don’t dream about. We should recognize what is happening in the present moment so we don’t get caught in it. In this way, we just walk alone on the five vast continents with no one jealous of us anymore.11. I say sexual desire is the force that causes the most destruction. The flood the engulfs the whole world. Only by seeing that, can we master all doubts. When we wholeheartedly contemplate interdependent co-arising, we must see that if we are not free from the pollution of sexual desire, it will be difficult for us to end suffering.