Insight of No-Self


July 26, 2013. 90-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the twelfth talk of the summer.

The bell of mindfulness. In a short talk for children, this is something Thay wants us to bring home with us when you leave Plum Village. This can help to bring peace to the family. He then tells the story of Henry who was a math teacher in Toronto, Canada. How to be a bell master – Thay provides concise instructions for inviting the bell.

The main talk begins at 31-minutes. Karma, retribution, reincarnation teachings have been around a very long time. Before the Buddha. But this is not at the heart of Buddhist teaching. It is the insight of no-self. Teaching on the actor. Impermanence. Sameness and otherness.

To illustrate, we hear the story of a serial killer at the time of the Buddha who then joined the sangha. Transformation.

The self is only made of non-self elements. We don’t need to be dogmatic and caught by words – er can say “self” too. If you are not open then you are not Buddhist. Buddhism too is only made of non-Buddhist elements.

Non-self is Interbeing.

Right thinking is the element that goes along with this teaching. It has a lot of understanding and compassion. We continue with an explanation in several other aspects of the noble eightfold path.

By Chan Niem Hy

Dharma Teacher.


  1. I was fortunate enough to attend this dharma talk. Of all the dharma talks of his I have attended, this one had the most profound impact on me. It is a profound explanation of the inter-relationship between, inter-being, impermanence and emptiness and how that relationship transcends being and non being, coming and going, birth and death.

  2. Dear Friends of Plum Village
    please can you write down the mantra what thay is speeking when he invites the bell, I would like to learn as well.
    I thank you very much

  3. Here you go…

    Inviting the Bell

    Body, speech and mind in perfect oneness
    I send my heart along with the sound of the bell
    May all who hear it waken from forgetfulness
    And transcend the path of anxiety and sorrow.

    Hearing the Bell

    Listen, listen, this wonderful sound
    brings me back to my true self.

  4. I thank you so much, this is a wonderful speach to the listening of the bell, thank you dear Kenley, thank you dear Thay

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