December 24, 2012. 118-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat) and this is the special Christmas Eve dharma talk (and the fourteenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha?)
Begin with a teaching on listening to the chant. Learning to recognize our own suffering and the suffering of the other person. We can then generate compassion. The monastics then chant the name Namo ‘valokiteshvaraya.
The practice of going home is a very deep practice. We need the energy of mindfulness. We don’t need a plane or train ticket to go home. There is a station – Radio NST – (non-stop thinking) and this doesn’t help us arrive home. Walking and breathing allow us to arrive. The more you are mindful and concentratesd the more pleasant. Help you stop the thinking and the worrying. Just walk and heal.
“I have arrived. I am home.” This is the best dharma talk we have in Plum Village. We do not have to force ourselves to breathe or to walk. It can be really pleasant. There is no way home, home is the way. The Buddha taught about the island of self.
Loneliness is an illusion. It is a wrong perception. Every breath and every step can help us see this. The teaching on “going home” is very strong.
Thay explores the living Christ. We reflect of the birth of Jesus into this world as the son of man. Did he exist before this time? What do we mean by birth?
Science and Buddhism. Matter and energy. Nothing is born. Nothing dies. Our true nature is of no birth and no death. This is the ultimate truth.
There is no being, no non-being, only Interbeing. When we celebrate the birth of Christ, we can look deeply into this teaching of no birth and no death.