The Eyes of the Buddha – Interbeing


2000-06-13. This is the 9th dharma talk of the 21-Day Retreat, The Eyes of the Buddha, offered at the Lower Hamlet, Plum Village.

Our practice is to go back to the present moment in order to be aware of what is going on – whether they are positive or negative. The sangha eyes is the instrument in which we use to practice deep looking. And the Buddha eyes is the instrument we use in order to practice deep looking. We don’t only look as individuals.

The first issue we face is loneliness. The disintegration of the family. Individualism. Our families need to be rebuilt. Our communities need to be rebuilt. Our society need to be rebuilt. Our church need to be rebuilt. The second issue we need to look at is violence. There is so much violence. Violence leads to despair. What we consume feeds us with more violence, with more fear, with intolerance, anger, and despair. The dharma should be effective in helping us deal with violence and hatred. The teaching of the Buddha on consumption has much to do with the nurture of violence. The third issue is of fear/uncertainty. We are afraid of what will come in the future. Division and alienation is destroying our happiness. We should get together and build sangha. To learn again how to live as a community. The dharma should address real issues of our time. The dharma is not something for the future. The dharma is now. To take care of the present.

Anytime we hear the teaching of emptiness, interbeing, aimlessness, nirvana, we should bring our suffering in order to understand our suffering. Ask the question, what does this teaching have to do with our suffering – both individual and collective.

Interbeing. This teaching is an antidote to the situation of division, discrimination, alienation. It should be the medicine for individualism. Thay teaches on a gatha on dependent co-arising – pratitya samatpada.

* Dependent Co-Arising
* Emptiness
* Conventional Designation
* The Middle Path

In the second half of the dharma talk, we turn our direction towards the reality of birth and death. Burning a sheet of paper to illustrate the teaching. We cannot kill Gandhi or Martin Luther King. We need to let go of the idea of form. We can transcend the notions of birth and death. This is a training.


By Chan Niem Hy

Dharma Teacher.

1 comment

  1. Im new to this concept of buddhism and im very much interested in learing
    more . I’ve made an affermation that this year is my year to overcome , to rise above the clouds .This year is the year of my rapture .in march 1971 i came out out of viet nam hooked on china white .i was 21 years of age . in the year 1978
    ,memorial day weekend i killed a man , my wife’s ex . That same year my younger sister gloria ; her 1 year old son ,my 2 nices ,and other nephew died in jim jones gayuana . My mother escaped because she was in george town at the time with a group of jim jones people .my mother came back to the states to see me off to prison . You see my older sister abandon her children to be with a man. My mother already in her sixties tried to take care of the children but found them to difficult to handle so she thought it best to join the cult being that my younger sister had been there for some time .little did she know that gloria had wanted to leave jim jones but because she new to much of the goings on of the cult , they ,he , wouldn’t let her, telling her that they would find her in pieces . (Thats what some of surviving members told my dad ). Im not finished. 3 months before my release after our last familly visit ,my wife (the same one ) killed herself with a 357 magnum to the heart . My mother told me that she said that i would never forgive her . I was a very hard man . It didnt matter to me what she did as long as she brought in the dope . When she died my mother took up the job. I was a very hard man . I just turned 66 feb. 15 . If it wasn’t for these prayer beads i wear on my left hand, i wouldnt be here right now . Im searching for a better way . My first root is jesus christ .i just joined a buddhist temple i felt i was led to . I washed toilets today . Its Japanese , but i like the teacher .who new there were so many sects of buddhism . But this was not a coincidence . Im sure of that .ive read the “living buddha ,living christ ” and now im reading the anger one . My tai chi teacher at the va is my #1 teacher and im his #1 student .i feel im on the right track.
    Many thanks for your works to teacher Hanh.

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