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Retreats

Now is the Time: Aware of What’s Going On

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April 19, 2011. 97-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Mandarin, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the third day of a five-day retreat in Taipei, Taiwan.

Before we begin the dharma talk, Thay took a few minutes to introduce two of the monastics. The first is Phap Lien, who is English and has been a strong support for the Wake Up Movement and the second was Phap De, also known as Young Brother, who is an American practicing both Christianity and Buddhism.

We continue the Anapanasati Sutta (we covered the first six exercises during the April 18 talk). Working with strong emotions. Provides meditation instruction of focusing on abdomen breathing. The seventh exercise is to become aware of a painful feeling. We should recognize it and return to our breathing.

Mental formations. There is a river of mind flowing with many feelings and emotions. To meditate is to sit on the bank of the river. The tenth exercise is to touch the wholesome mental formations. Feelings like love, compassion, and joy. We all have mental formations in the form of a seed. When we come to a retreat like this, the seed of goodness is watered in us. In Buddhist psychology, we talk of store and mind consciousness. In store they are seeds and in mind they are mental formations. Flower watering is a method of selective watering of the wholesome seeds in others.

In this segment of the talk, Thay talks about restoring communication, especially with our loved ones. Our wife. Our husband. Father. Mother. Son. Daughter. How can we do it? Practical steps are offered.

The talk was given in English and Mandarin at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

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Retreats

Now is the Time: Mantras and Sutras

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April 18, 2011. 112-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Mandarin, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second day of a five-day retreat in Taipei, Taiwan. Please note, the first 20-minutes of the talk has really low volume but it does improve after that.

The Four Noble Truths. Suffering and happiness are inseparable. Offering your true presence. In this talk, Thay introduces the Four Mantras in the context of the Anapanasati Sutta. Included is also an introduction to pepple meditation and some mindful movements.

The first mantra is, darling, I am here for you.

The Buddha taught exercises for mindful breathing. Recognize and follow are the first two exercises. By following, there is no interruption of mindfulness. The third exercise is being aware of your whole body. Formations. Everything is a formation. My body is a formation. And the fourth exercise is to release the tension in my body.

Producing a feeling of joy and of happiness are the fifth and sixth exercises. These are mental formations. Breathing in, I know that I am alive. Breathing out, I smile to life.

The next exercises ask you to recognize and embrace painful feelings. Today we will talk of mindfulness of anger. Recognize the anger and embrace with mindfulness.

We now return to the mantras. The third is darling, I know that you suffer and I am here for you. The forth is much more difficult. Darling, I suffer and I want you to know it. I am trying my best to practice. Please help me.

The Sutra on Mindful Breathing is a wonderful text for practice.

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Retreats

Now is the Time: Taiwan Retreat Orientation

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April 17, 2011. 47-minute orientation given in English, with consecutive translation into Mandarin, in Taipei, Taiwan. This is the first day of a five-day retreat. The orientation is provided by Thay Phap Dung and Sister Dinh Nghiem and introduces the basic practice.

The talk was given in English and Mandarin at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

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Retreats

Understanding Our Mind: No Birth, No Death

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March 31, 2011. 155-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh on the seventh (and final) day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

After a brief review of manas and store consciousness, Thay speaks about the nature of no-birth and no-death discovered by the Buddha. Being and nonbeing – we can’t have something from nothing. How are we continuing the teacher. The young monks, nuns, lay practitioners are also Thay – their practice becomes my Thay’s continuation. Its like the Century plant that we have at Deer Park Monastery. One plant can become many plants.

Right thinking is your continuation. Thinking is already action. Karma. Our karma continues after The dissolution of the body.The second karma action is speech. The third is body. The way we eat. The way we drive. So, dissolution of the body is not our death.

Birth and death
Being and nonbeing
Coming and going
Sameness and otherness

The ultimate reality is free from all these notions. Suchness. The ultimate reality. It cannot be conceived of by ideas or notions. Nirvana is the other word for ultimate reality. The extinction of all notions.

At the end of the talk, Sister Chan Khong shares about the Thai Plum Village, inviting everyone to come to practice at the new international practice center in Thailand.

The talk was given in English and Thai at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

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Retreats

Understanding Our Mind: Q & A

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March 30, 2011. 140-minute session of questions and responses provided in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh on the sixth day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Over a period of two hours, participants of the retreat ask Thay questions about the practice. The questions are sincere, heartfelt, and based in life experience. The questions pertain to topics such as: When we die, where does our mind go? Here we practice listening to the sound of the bell, but in our daily life we don’t have anyone to invite the bell, the bell we hear is people who scold us or admire us. How do I practice when people scold me or admire me? How do I deal with the emotions resulting from being treated not as well as my older brother? How do I practice to come back to myself, when I feel that I am lost? What is the role of medication in the treatment of mental illness? What is the difference between neutral feelings and joyful feelings?

The talk was given in English and Thai at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

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Retreats

Understanding Our Mind: No Mud, No Lotus

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March 29, 2011. 140-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh on the fifth day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thay speaks on the Four Noble Truths, on the interdependent nature of the mud and the lotus, transforming our compost into happiness. In the second half of the talk he goes into a detailed discussion of the Thirty Verses of Vasubandhu, focusing on the nature of manana (manas) and its characteristic, and how mindfulness can help transform the mind at the base so that manas may become the wisdom of non-discrimination.

The talk was given in English and Thai at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

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Retreats

Understanding Our Mind: Supercomputer

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March 28, 2011. 138-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh on the fourth day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Today Thay speaks about keeping a bell in our home to remind us to come back to ourselves, and he transmits the Second, Third, and Fourth Mantras: “Darling, I know you are there, and I am happy.” “Darling, I know you suffer, that is why I am here for you.” “My dear I suffer. Please help me.”

He also shares about the nature of store consciousness, discussing specifically the first two verses of Vasubandhu’s Thirty Verses.

The talk was given in English and Thai at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

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Retreats

Understanding Our Mind: Subject and Object

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March 27, 2011. 105-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh on the third day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thay speaks about mental formations and the nature of their manifestation in the mind. Specific topics covered in this talk include begin present, the five mantras (first two only), pepple meditation, and non-duality. On subject and object: each of the mental formations have a subject and an object and they manifest at the same time. On cause and effect: this is because that is. On the Five Skandha: there are five sections that represent form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, consciousness but they manifest from the same thing.

The talk was given in English and Thai at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

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Retreats

Understanding Our Mind: Manifestation

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March 26, 2011. 97-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh on the second day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

The recording begins shortly after the dharma talk begins, but only a few minutes are missing. The first part of the talk is a lesson on inviting and listening to the bell. The product of this practice is the energy of mindfulness and concentration. In the second part of the talk, we learn more about the practice of walking meditation. The final part of the talk is an exploration of topics such as manifestation, subject and object, mental formations, body, mind, and consciousness. This is all part of Buddhist psychology.

The talk was given in English and Thai at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

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Retreats

Understanding Our Mind: Retreat Orientation

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March 25, 2011. 111-minute dharma talk and presentation given in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh, Br. Phap Luu, and Sr. Dang Nghiem on the first day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

There is a period of 3:30 minutes of silence on the recording at the beginning. Thich Nhat Nhan then provides a lovely introduction to Avalokiteshva, and how we can listen to a chant to heal ourselves and others. The monastics than chant her name.

Following the chant, Thay introduces the two monastics who then provide an orientation on breathing, walking, eating, and noble silence.

The talk was given in English and Thai at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.