Foundations of Mindfulness

August 16, 2012. 91-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the fifth (and final) Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.

Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. An object. The first object of mindfulness is our body. Our body includes our in-breath and out-breath. There is a sutra on the contemplation of the body. The second object of our mindfulness is our feelings. Pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings. The third object is our mind. It is comprised of mental formations. The fourth is the objects of our mind.

After a brief review of the first 8 exercises on the Full Awareness of Mindful Breathing, Thay moves ahead with the remaining exercises. Also, a teaching on impermanence, non-self, and Interbeing. Contemplating a cloud. The three concentrations. Emptiness. Aimlessness. Signlessness. Also known as the Three Doors of Liberation. Dwelling happily in the present moment.

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Does A Dog Have Buddha Nature?

August 15, 2012. 103-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the fourth Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. This is a session of questions and answers. The recording isn’t perfect, but it can be improved by switching the balance at different points during the recording.

Children

  1. How can you prevent arguments?
  2. Why do I have bad dreams?

Teens and young people

  1. Can I give you a hug?
  2. How do you love someone who is very different than myself?
  3. Is it sometimes difficult to be so wise?

Adults

  1. a dilemma on when to confront someone
  2. How to transform knowledge to wisdom? But I am confused by the words of the Heart Sutra.
  3. A question about “no action” and  when to act.
  4. Several questions on watering good seeds. And, how do I feel love?
  5. Question on deep suffering related to the holocaust, family, EIAB, etc.
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Creating Freshness and Beauty

August 14, 2012. 100-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the third Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.

Freshness and beauty are in you. If you know how to breath and how to walk then freshness and beauty can come out. we can also help others do the same because we all have it, but we don’t always know how to help it manifest. We all have a Buddha inside. That teaches what it means to bow to someone in a greeting. It’s not just a ritual, it is a practice.

How to use a mantra in your practice? The first is “Darling, I am here for you.” This one is to offer the other person your presence. The second mantra is to recognize the other person is something important to you. “Darling, I know you are there and I am very happy.”

Reconciliation. Mindfulness of compassion. Listening. Thay uses the story of Palestinians and Israelis coming to Plum Village on how to practice deep listening and loving speech.

Teaching on no birth and no death, being and non-being, coming and going, sameness and otherness. These are all notions. They are the ground of our suffering and our fear. These pairs of opposites can be the objects of our meditation.

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The Palace of the Child

August 13, 2012. 122-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.

Teaching on the seed of corn and teaches the children about being a seed in the womb of your mother. We can use pebble meditation to learn how to breath again. To be fresh and beautiful. The children are excused about 42-minutes into the recording.

Thay begins with a story of a French journalist who wanted to write an article on the practice in Plum Village. Her article was titled “In the Country of the Present Moment.” She started with  walking meditation. I have arrived. How can we arrive 100% in each step? How do we train?

Right Diligence (Effort). In Buddhist psychology we talk about store consciousness and seeds (bija). Seeds for the soil of the mind. Seeds manifest as mental formations in the mind consciousness. Mindfulness is a seed that we can cultivate. How do we help  water the positive seeds in ourselves and others? What do we cultivate for right diligence?

(1:28) Right Speech and deep listening should go together. Thay shares the story of a soldier in the Vietnam war that poisoned children because he was so angry after his unit was ambushed, who then later came to Plum Village for a retreat.

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The Body and Mind are One

August 12, 2012. 90-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the first Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.

Can the body be without the mind? Can you take the body out of the mind? And the mind out of the body? If we meditate on the question, we can discover the answer. The same inquiry can be applied to father and son, mother and daughter. Are they the same? Again, with meditation we can also see continuation. Interbeing. This was a very clear and gentle teaching for the children on a very deep topic.

The country of the present moment. Those who are in the present moment have body and mind together. Mindfulness helps this to happen. We can release the past, release our projects, and discover freedom. It only takes a few seconds. The conditions for happiness are present right here. Can we see the conditions for happiness?

The first eight exercises of mindful breathing and the three kinds of energy generated by meditation: mindfulness, concentration, and insight. The last segment is a teaching on the Four Noble Truths and the noble eightfold path.

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