What is Happiness?


From the Stillwater Meditation Hall at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the first question and answer session of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village. The talk is in English and both the audio and the video are available below. The questions are a little difficult to hear but they are included below for you to read.

  1. Is it okay not to speak and still be understood?
  2. What is happiness?
  3. When we die, where does our spirit go?
  4. A question about suffering, particularly those of animals and the environment. What is the most effective way to reduce this suffering?
  5. Thay, do you feel old?
  6. How can we practice with the escalating violence in the world and particularly in Israel and Palestinians?
  7. How can I be in touch with the conditions of happiness and live with constant pain too?
  8. At times when I feel truly mindful, I feel a special force or intuition. What is this – a coincidence?

By Chan Niem Hy

Dharma Teacher.


  1. I was very happy to see this talk posted however I was sad that the audio quality was so poor. In the past the recordings were clear with very little room noise…I hope that soon that quality will be back 🙂

  2. Indeed. It does happen from time to time. At least the words of Thay are reasonably good even if we can’t really hear the questions. I used headphones and it made a big difference.

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