Attadanda Sutra (Part V)

April 29, 2010. 52-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese and is translated into English. This is the final talk in this series.

The Sutra on Transforming Violence and Fear was given in the first year of the Buddha’s teaching and is known as Absolute Truth (Attadanda) Sutra #16. It is a very ancient text, but still very relevant to our time. This first two talks were given February 7 and February 11 during the Winter Retreat and the Part III and Part IV were given during the Spring Retreat.

This talk covers stanzas 17-20.

17. No one caught in the concept of mind and objects as reality that are interdependent from each other or any other concepts, not seeing anything to grasp. Understanding that space and objects are empty. Nothing in this world can make the practitioner complain or grieve.
18. Having completely transcended all concepts, including the concept of an object, there is not a single practice among all the practices that we do not achieve.
19. Having attained understanding, the practitioner is no longer dependent on anyone.
20. Looking down, the muni doesn’t feel proud. Looking up, he doesn’t feel afraid. He dwells in nondiscrimination and is not caught in any view. At that time, all conflicts have stopped. Hatred and jealousies disappear, even when he is understanding, he has no pride.
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Attadanda Sutta (Part IV)

April 25, 2010. 50-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Still Water Meditation Hall, Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given in Vietnamese and is translated into English.

The Sutra on Transforming Violence and Fear was given in the first year of the Buddha’s teaching and is known as Absolute Truth (Attadanda) Sutra #16. It is a very ancient text, but still very relevant to our time. This first three talks were given February 7February 11, and April 1.

This talk covers paragraphs twelve through sixteen and deals primarily with sexual desire and other cravings. The flood of need, desire, craving can subside. The stream of the practitioner is to know the truth. Very few can let go of sexual desire and when you do then you don’t feel a loss.

The talk begins with Thay listing names of monastics and lay practitioners who are dharma teachers in training.

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Attadanda Sutta (Part III)

April 1, 2010. 80-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk was given Vietnamese and is translated into English. The talk was not previously posted here, and is therefore taken out of chronological order from the other talks.

The Sutra on Transforming Violence and Fear was given in the first year of the Buddha’s teaching and is known as Absolute Truth (Attadanda) Sutra #16. It is a very ancient text, but still very relevant to our time. This first two talks were given February 7 and February 11 during the Winter Retreat.

This talk covers stanzas 8-11 and this begins about 45-minutes into the talk.

8. We should let go of pride. We shouldn’t sleep too much nor let ourselves fall into indolence. We should know how to live and work moderately and not let ourselves be carried away by the majority. Let us not be caught by any dazzling appearances and let us know how to walk away unfazed. Let us always contemplate the empty nature of all things in order attain the quiet nirvana.
9. Don’t insult anyone. Don’t let yourself be pulled by and attached to deceiving appearances. Don’t let yourself be drowned in entertainment and forget that the goal of our practice is to help ourselves and others get out of suffering.
10. What belongs to the past, we don’t think about anymore. What belongs to the future, we don’t dream about. We should recognize what is happening in the present moment so we don’t get caught in it. In this way, we just walk alone on the five vast continents with no one jealous of us anymore.
11. I say sexual desire is the force that causes the most destruction. The flood the engulfs the whole world. Only by seeing that, can we master all doubts. When we wholeheartedly contemplate interdependent co-arising, we must see that if we are not free from the pollution of sexual desire, it will be difficult for us to end suffering.
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Attadanda Sutta (Part II)

February 11, 2010. This 90-minute dharma talk in Vietnamese, with translation into English, was given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Dharma Cloud Temple, Upper Hamlet, Plum Village.

This is the second part of the Absolute Truth (Attadanda) Sutra #16, a sutra on Transforming Violence and Fear.  The first part is available here. This talk covers the sixth and seventh stanzas of the sutra.

6. Don’t let yourself be caught by any of the entanglements of life. We must know to cut through the roots of errors and disorder. Let go of them. Stop leaning on them.  If you can let go of wrong desires, you can overcome all suffering. Practitioners must transcend the cycle of suffering in order to realize their career of liberation.
7. A real practitioner must have a sincere mind. He doesn’t do anything based on his wrong perceptions. He just walks straight on his path and he doesn’t speak with two tongues. He must know how to extinguish the fire of hatred and anger. He must know how to break through the obstacles of ambition in him. If he knows how to unravel the net of afflictions, he will start to see the shore of liberation.

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How to Face Violence and Fear

February 7, 2010. This 60-minute dharma talk in Vietnamese, with translation into English, was given by Thich Nhat Hanh in New Hamlet, Plum Village.

This is the first (of five) part of the Absolute Truth (Attadanda) Sutra #16.

1. Let us listen and observe to understand how from a peaceful and secure situation we have brought society to the present situation. Full of terror and violence. How have past generations behaved for the situation to have become like this? I want to talk with you about this issue of suffering and tell you how I was able to let go of fear.
2. People in the world experience one suffering after another, like a fish living in a pond that is drying up day by day. In a situation of suffering, violent thoughts easily arise and people in their ignorance seek to relieve their suffering by terrorizing and punishing others.
3. The whole is burning with violence. In the ten directions, all is in chaos. There is not a place where there real peace and security.  Everyone sees himself as superior to others. Few people know to let go of passions. Not having seen this reality, people continue to hold hatred and ignorance in their hearts.
4. Binding themselves in those states of mind, they bring themselves more misunderstanding and suffering. I have looked deeply into the states of mind of unhappy people and I have seen hidden under their suffering a very sharp pointed knife. Because they don’t see that sharp pointed knife in themselves, it is difficult for them to deal with suffering.
5. The pain caused by the sharp pointed knife lasts a long time and does not change. Because they continue holding onto the knife like that, they fill the world with suffering. Only when they have the opportunity to recognize it and extract it from their hearts will the suffering cease. And only then will they have the chance to stop.
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Update: This is part of a series on the Attadanda Sutta

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