Energies of Buddhism


September 3, 2011. 101-minute dharma talk with Thich Nhat Hanh from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, CA. The sangha is on the North American Tour and this is the only Public Talk in California. For those who regularly read this podcast, we are posting this talk now as we have not completed preparing the last two talks from the retreat at Deer Park – they will be posted soon.

Mindfulness, concentration, and insight are the energies of Buddhism similar to the Holy Spirit being the energy of God.

We all have the capacity for understanding and love. It comes from the inside and comes with the practice of Mindfulness and concentration. This is the Buddha nature in us. We can generate a feeling of joy, a feeling of happiness in any moment. The Sutra on Mindful Breathing offers sixteen-exercises. Breathing in and breathing out with Mindfulness is a practice of resurrection. Thay takes us through the first eight exercises.

For me, the word wonderful means full of wonder. This is a wonderful moment. Our body is a wonder, and it belongs to the kingdom of God. We can touch the kingdom of God. In the Christian gospel, there is a story of a farmer who discovers a treasure on a piece of land and he sold everything except this piece of land. This is the kingdom of God. This is all you need. Happiness is possible in present moment. A good practitioner can generate happiness.

The importance of sangha. Taking refuge in the sangha. How do we handle suffering? A painful feeling? With a sangha.

True happiness needs suffering too. No mud. No lotus. They interare. This is right view. We should make good use of suffering.

How can we be liberated from despair and anger?

Applied ethics. Mindfulness in schools. How to handle painful or difficult emotions.

By Chan Niem Hy

Dharma Teacher.


  1. Hello there – just to thank you so much for continuing to keep us up to date with these talks, it must take a lot of your time, especially as you go to the trouble of giving us these lovely notes as well, much appreciated as ever. Just wondring also if you may ever get a chance to give us one of Sr Chan Khong’s deep relaxation sessions Thay sometimes mentions, and would it be possible to ask Thay to talk a little bit more one day about something he said in his talk on 9th September, ‘even dogs have buddha nature, and animals, vegetables and minerals can attain buddhahood’ I haven’t heard Thay say this before and am not sure if I understood or not! Many thanks, Trish

  2. Hi Trish. Thank you for the kind words. It is truly a labor of love and I enjoy myself. I’ll see what I can do about getting a recording of SCK leading Total Relaxation. Regarding your question on dogs; maybe we can email the question for the Q&A session in Blue Cliff Monastery next month. 

  3. I’m also interested in both questions or requests,
    Happy to participate as always and thankful as well

  4. Hello there – and many thanks for the latest Q&A, these are a top favourite and it is always totally inspiring to watch or listen to Thay answering such a wide range of questions. Re your reply to my query wondering what Thay meant by ‘animals, vegetables and minerals can attain buddhahood’, much as I would like to know the answer, I don’t think the question comes in the right category, as Thay always asks for questions on the practice. Trish

  5. Insightful! Buddhism is a major global religion with a complex history and system of beliefs. I think Buddhism must be more relevant to our spiritual needs than other belief systems. I am encouraged by Lama Surya Das thoughts and experience. I am learning to pace myself and be more careful with my personal

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