May 20, 2010. 70-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese (found here) and is translated into English by Sr. Chan Khong. This is the sixth in a series (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V).
Breathing Meditation for Sitting, Lying Down and Walking. The first 40-minutes of the talk explore this idea of breathing. If you really want to let your mind rest, then follow your breath. It’s very delicious, like ice cream. But, if you make an effort then it is not correct. Don’t force.
You can have happiness today. What I teach is what I’ve tried myself. Trust Thay.
The talk is followed by learning to sing the Five Contemplations, practiced before eating a meal.
In the final 30-minutes, Thay provides a commentary on the following gathas of the Net of Love (Attachment) sutta.
24. Seeing and understanding the true nature of things without being caught in any of them and we know how to undo the ties of sexual desire in our mind. Then we have grasped the meaning of the Buddha’s teachings.
25. Offering the right teaching is the most precious offering. The scent of morality is the most fragrant one of all. The most effective way to live according to right teaching is the greatest happiness amongst all kinds of happiness. The practice of putting an end to sensual love once and for all is the practice of putting an end to sexual desires.
26-27. The ignorant person often ties himself with the rope of sensual desire. He doesn’t yet desire to cross to the other shore. Craving creates corruption and brings about disasters and misfortune to others and himself. The greedy mind is the field; craving, anger and ignorance are the seeds. For those who are capable of practicing generosity and liberating others, the merit he harvests is immeasurable.
28. With few traveling companions but a large amount of merchandise to convey, the merchant falls into the state of anxiety and panic. The wise ones don’t run after desires, because they know that the infatuation with sensual pleasures is the brigand, who can destroy his life.