December 21, 2011. 97-minute dharma talk from Upper Hamlet of Plum Village, France. This is the ninth talk offered in the 2011-2012 Winter Retreat. The talk is given in Vietnamese with English translation.
We begin with the First Noble Truth. Why did the Buddha begin with suffering. Suffering and happiness are rooted in our own mind and are two sides of the same coin. With the Second Noble Truth, the Buddha saw the cause of suffering. From here we have the Noble Eightfold Path. It starts with Right Thinking. Suffering or not suffering all begins with our mind. It is not because of the environment. We need to have peace inside of us first before we can change (see!) the outer environment. This is the revolution of Buddhism. This is important for the social activist.
We resume the sutra study at 53-minutes with Gatha 26-29.
26. Because of the difference between previous and present life and because the cause is found in the effect, we do not say that the one who acts and the one who enjoys the fruit of the action are different from each other.
27. Because the process of cause (and effect) is uninterrupted the process of action is due to completion. These two processes contain their own cause and also the object of the action.
28. When the cause is the delight in the proliferation of ideas then there is action that is wholesome or unwholesome. With the ripening of all the seeds comes a desired or undesired fruit.
29. Relying on the ripening of seeds, the view of self arises. At that point there is a recognition of an inner knower which is formless and invisible.
The next dharma talk will be our annual Christmas Eve talk on the topic of God Can Be a Person.