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Plum Village Retreats

To Express Our Love For The Earth

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November 27, 2011. 100-minute dharma talk from Lower Hamlet of Plum Village, France. This is the second talk offered in the 2011-2012 Winter Retreat. The talk is given in Vietnamese with English translation provided by Sr. Chan Khong.

Thay shares hows to practice when entering the meditation hall for sitting meditation: quietly, stopping our thinking, and at peace. “We want to express our love for the Earth, so we have to walk mindfully, with gratitude.” Entering the meditation hall and settling. Calmly. Mindfully. Paying attention to your breathing and your sitting position. This brings peace to your body and to your mind. Every breath. Every step. We can use the breathing sutra. We can see our mental and body formations. The entire cosmos is inside of you and inside the earth. What is bodhisattva? Enlightened being. An being who has awakening, peace, understanding, love.

At about 38-minutes, Thay continues sharing on the Paramartha Gathas from the Yogacarabhumi Sastra of Asanga. “Yoga means coming together appropriately.” He teaches how subject and object cannot be separated. “Don’t think there is a subject outside of the object. That is wrong thinking. They manifest together, like left and right. Without the left there is no right, and vice versa.”

“Self (?) has various meanings: 1) owner, 2) actor, 3) inheritor. We should understand correctly: There is rain, but there is nothing that rains. There is blowing, but nothing blowing. There is feeling, but there is no one feeling.”

We can let go of conventional designation. Father and son are born at the same time. Subject and object. We have this idea this is my home, my child, my bank account. But there is no owner. There is feeling, but no feeler. There is action, but no actor. There is thinking, but no thinking. The self has an ego that gives you the idea of a separate self. We are not our feeling. This is a construction of our mind. Your presence is your function.

4 replies on “To Express Our Love For The Earth”

I listen to Thay’s dharma talks almost everyday.  I find them to be very helpful to support my practice.
Unfortunately, the last few talks translated into English from Vietnamese are of such poor sound quality that I can only hear noise. 
Is it possible to quiet Thay’s talk when in Vietnamese, and to enhance the quality of the English translation provided by Sr. Chan Khong?

Hi Susan,
Thank you for the support and for listening to the dharma talks. If you are trying to listen to the video version of the talk, then it will only play on the right channel for English.

I strongly urge you to listen to the audio only versions. With the audio, I strip out the Vietnamese and leave only the English.

The only exception is the 11/24 when the recording was didn’t get completed correctly.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for these talks.  With greater understanding of myself I find it truly helps me understand and empathize with the difficulties of my clients.  Listening to these talks has enhanced my practice and enables me to be more effective.

thank you so very much for making these teachings available to us at home.  a bow and a smile of deep gratitude9

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