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Blue Cliff Monastery Retreats

One Step is Enough

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October 6, 2011. 117-minute dharma talk with Thich Nhat Hanh from Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush, NY. The sangha is on the North American Tour and this is the second dharma talk for the Stepping Into Freedom, Savoring Life Retreat. Over a thousand people are in attendance.

Thay begins by sharing about how we can be truly present for our loved ones. “You can look into the eyes of the other person and say, ‘Darling, I am here for you.’ That is the first mantra. And it works! When you say it, you and she will be happy right away. And you don’t have to practice it in Sanskrit or Chinese, you can say it in English.”

Thay continues by teaching the first few steps of mindfulness of breathing. He then goes into the teaching on store consciousness and mind consciousness. “The contents of store consciousness are seeds. In nuclear physics they speak of matter being made of subatomic particles; in Buddhist psychology we say that consciousness is made up of bijas, seeds. Very tiny–you cannot see them. We have a seed of mindfulness, and if we are a good practitioner, the seed of mindfulness grows everyday. Then, when we need mindfulness, it is available, right away. We also have a seed of anger, in store consciousness. And when someone comes and says something or does something that touches off the seed of anger in us, it manifests in mind consciousness as a mental formation.”

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