Keeping the Essential Teaching of Buddhism


February 3, 2013. 91-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). This is the twenty-sixth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. It is the final talk of the winter retreat.

Are we the soulmate of the Buddha? We are asking if we are making any mistakes about the teaching. Are we misunderstanding the Buddha? We’ve learned about dualistic thinking. And we’ve learned about the unnecessary questions.

How do we practice with the Dharma body? The teaching? Everyone can practice like the Buddha. Everyone can be enlightened. It is not a religion. The teaching of the Buddha non-dualistic. Even right from the beginning Buddhism split into two schools. The misperception started right from the beginning. Again, what is being the soulmate of the Buddha? How do we keep the essential teaching and also the delusion?

What happens if we diefy the Buddha, then what happens? We can get lost in the idea of self. Discovering the middle way. Sometimes we need to dilute Buddhism a little without forgetting the essential teaching.

Signlessness. Seeing the Buddha in others and other things. The Buddha is next to you. Open your eyes. The Buddha is still there if we practice signlessness.

Your self is transforming every day.

By Chan Niem Hy

Dharma Teacher.


  1. Once again, I thank you all for making these truly marvelous teachings available to us online. I’ve tried to listen to a number of this retreat’s dharma talks, and this talk is the perfect culmination of all. Thay just expands and expands in breadth and height and depth. My friend and I say with great fondness that Thay is like Clark Kent, whose demeanor as a mild-mannered reporter masks the brilliance of Superman. We are stunned with the brilliance of all that we are learning, taught by Thay in his quiet, peaceful manner! Since I am an English speaker, I appreciate Sr. Chan Khong’s translation of these talks. I might mention that in some of the talks, the volume for her voice is set too low, and it is a struggle to hear and understand her. Happily, her voice comes through clearly for this, the final summary talk. I would’t have missed it, and thank you so much!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.