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Tissametteya Sutta

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January 24, 2010. This 52-minute dharma talk in Vietnamese, with translation into English by Sister Chan Khong, was given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Assembly of Stars Mediation Hall, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village.

After nearly two weeks for the Great Ordination Ceremony, transmission of the Lamp, Thay returns to a regular teaching schedule. Here we begin the 10-gatha Tissametteya Sutta, one of the oldest teachings of the Buddha (the 7th teaching after enlightenment). It was written down in sanskrit (Pali Canon) around 200-300 BC and then translated into Chinese in the 3rd century with the help of Master Tang Hoi.

The topic of the sutta is sexual intercourse and the question was posed to the Buddha by a young monk. How do I deal with my sexual energy?

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Puràbhada Sutta, Part III

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January 7 10, 2010. This 95-minute dharma talk in Vietnamese, with translation into English, was given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Dharma Cloud Temple, Plum Village.

Thay completes his exploration of the Puràbhada Sutta or The Meeting of Father and Son. We begin at the eight gatha and discuss through gatha fourteen. Our understanding of the muni is more full.

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Puràbhada Sutta, Part II

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New Hamlet - Plum Village
Image by Geoff Livingston via Flickr

January 7, 2010. This 90-minute dharma talk in Vietnamese, with translation by Sister Chan Khong, was given by Thich Nhat Hanh in New Hamlet, Plum Village.

When you make tea, the first time you add hot water, the tea is very fragrant. It is less fragrant the second time. This sutra from the Theravada Pali is like the fragrant tea with the first hot water.

In addition to talking on basic practices like walking and eating, Thay continues from the Puràbhada Sutta or The Meeting of Father and Son. We begin at the fifth gatha. It is about the value/quality if the person called muni. Anyone can become muni – a deep, silent, serene person.

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Puràbhada Sutta

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January 3, 2010. This 63-minute dharma talk in Vietnamese, with translation by Sister Chan Khong, was given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Lower Hamlet, Plum Village.

Here we continue the theme of the winter retreat with a sutra translation from the third century called Puràbhada Sutta or The Meeting of Father and Son and refers to when the Shakamuni first returned to see his family after enlightenment. It is in the Taisho Tripitaka. The sutra has 14 gathas in the Chinese and here we explore the first four.

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Practices for the New Year

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December 31, 2009. This 75-minute dharma talk in English given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. Also streamed live to Thailand and received at the monasteries at Deer Park and Blue Cliff.

Thich Nhat Hanh encourages us to practice metta mediation in the first three days of the new year. On the first day we practice for ourselves. On the second day we practice for the other person we love. On the third day we practice for the other person (or institution) that makes us suffer. Concrete practices are described for the coming year.

Transcript of the meditation’s text:

May I be peaceful and light in my body and in my mind.
May I be safe and free from accidents.
May I be free from anger, unwholesome states of mind, fear and worries.
May I know how to look at myself with the eyes of
understanding and compassion.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn how to nourish myself with joy each day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid and free.
May I not fall into the state of indifference or be caught in
the extremes of attachment or aversion.

May you be peaceful and light in your body and in your mind.
May you be safe and free from accidents.
May you be free from anger, unwholesome states of mind, fear and worries.
May you know how to look at yourself with the eyes of understanding and
compassion.
May you be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in
yourself.
May you learn how to nourish yourself with joy each day.
May you be able to live fresh, solid and free.
May you not fall into the state of indifference or be caught in
the extremes of attachment or aversion.
(And I may help. Just as good as I can.)

May all beings be peaceful and light in their body and in their mind.
May all beings be safe and free from accidents.
May all beings be free from anger, unwholesome states of mind, fear
and worries.
May all beings know how to look at themselves with the eyes of
understanding & compassion.
May all beings be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and
happiness in themselves.
May all beings learn how to nourish themselves with joy each day.
May all beings be able to live fresh, solid and free.
May all beings not fall into the state of indifference or be caught in
the extremes of attachment or aversion.

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The Fifth Mantra

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December 27, 2009. This 55-minute dharma talk in English given by Thich Nhat Hanh in New Hamlet, Plum Village.

We know The Four Mantras in the Plum Village tradition and here we learn more about the fifth mantra: this moment is a moment of happiness.

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Christmas in Plum Village

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December 24, 2009. This 80-minute dharma talk in English given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. The recording begins with about 20-minutes of chanting followed by a holiday greeting and talk from Thay.

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Muni Sutta

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December 20, 2009. Upper Hamlet. Plum Village. 75-minutes. Dharma talk given in Vietnamese and this translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong.

Sound quality is poor and recording begins a little late, but it us still understandable. However, the first few minutes are spent with description and background on new meditation hall in Upper Hamlet. The hall is done after six months of construction.

Muni Sutta
Background: A translation in prose by an English author and a Vietnamese translation by Thay. Translations are from Sanskrit, Pali, and Chinese.

Muni is not a proper name; it means a serene monastic. The calm one. The silent one. A successful monastic. Free. The term existed already in Hinduism.

The purpose of this sutra is to answer the question put to the Buddha on what is a true muni.

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The Lineage of Thich Nhat Hanh

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Zen Master Li?u Quán (1670-1742)December 17, 2009. New Hamlet. Plum Village.

Thay tells the story of the beginnings of the Lieu Quán Dharma Line, of which Thich Nhat Hanh is the 8th generation of this Vietnamese branch. Our lineage is also traced to through the Lâm Te Dyana School (Linji), of which Thich Nhat Hanh is the 42nd generation.

The talk begins with the gatha given to our main root teacher, Zen Master Lieu Quán (1670-1742), by Zen Master Tu Dung in Thuan Hóa, Vietnam in 1702.

All phenomena rely on Oneness, what does Oneness rely on?

Thay then traces all the teachers through the generations and how they each received their name from a gatha of Zen Master Lieu Quán. The classical Chinese characters of the gatha represent the name given to each of the generations.

The English translation of the gatha is as follows:

The great way of Reality,
Is our true nature’s pure ocean.
The source of Mind penetrates everywhere.
From the roots of virtue springs the practice of compassion.
Precepts, concentration and insight –
The nature and function of all three are one.
The fruit of transcendent wisdom,
Can be realized by being wonderfully together.
Maintain and transmit the wonderful principle,
In order to reveal the true teaching!
For the realization of True Emptiness to be possible,
Wisdom and Action must go together.

Students of Thich Nhat Hanh are encouraged to memorize this gatha.

Editorial Note: not all the accent marks are correct in this post.
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Craving and Mindfulness

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December 13, 2009 dharma talk translated from Vietnamese by Sr. Chan Khong at Lower Hamlet, Dharma Nectar Temple, Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall, Plum Village.

This 85-minute talk is the fourth and final part on exploring the Discourse on Happiness (or Sutra on Auspicious Sign) during this Winter Retreat (other parts available at Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

Specifically, the final three gathas of the sutra are discussed. Gatha 13 is on the recognition of our craving. Gatha 14 is about livelihood and gatha 15 is on serving.

The next talk will begin a new sutra.

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