Our Appointment with Life

From the Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the first dharma talk of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village. This short 37-minute talk is in English with a focus on the three energies of practice – mindfulness, concentration, and insight. Both the audio and the video are available below.

Mindfulness is a kind of energy that we can generate. Everyone has the capacity to generate the energy of mindfulness and allows us to be aware of what is going on in our body, in our feelings, in our perceptions, and in the world around us. What is happening in the here and the now. The world around us the object of our mind. If we are not in the here and the now then we cannot know what is happening in the present moment. We have an appointment with life. We may have been running and looking for something elsewhere and we will miss our appointment with life.

Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. For example, drinking our tea. When you are very aware of something, you are concentrated on something and you begin to see something deeply. Therefore, mindfulness contains concentration. Can we see the nature of no birth and no death in our tea? Mindfulness also carries the energy of insight. What are the three energies? Mindfulness. Concentration. Insight. We can all generate these energies, right from the beginning of our practice. With these three kinds of energies, we can do many things. For example, we can generate a feeling of joy and a feeling of happiness.

How do we live deeply every moment of our daily life? How do we see our conditions of happiness? How do we make use of our suffering?

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  • Michael Contos

    Mindfulness, Concentration and Insight all come together in this discussion offered by Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village in France. all give birth to Joy and Happiness. By being mindful, I know that I can deal better with suffering in my life. In fact, I can learn to suffer less . . .

    Yes, that is one of the messages offered here. Learn to suffer less by dwelling in the here and the now. I feel love and compassion for everyone, including myself. I don’t worry about the future; I don’t fret about the past.

    Insight makes me so very happy. Isn’t that what we all want to achieve? Happiness?

    Then, go for it brother!
    Knock it out of the ballpark sister!

    michael J contos,
    aka Contoveros
    Conshohocken, PA USA