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Retreats

Inclusiveness is the Love of Jesus

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April 14, 2012. 95-minute recording given at Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney, Ireland by Thich Nhat Hanh. The sangha is on the UK and Ireland Tour and this is the second dharma talk for the Mindful Living Today retreat.

We begin with a new chant with the inviting the bell and listening to the bell Gathas. The chant is accompanied by traditional flute.

To meditate means to have the time to be calm and to look deeply. Anyone can learn and teach meditation. Connecting with our mother, especially if she is still alive, and we can use the second mantra to be happy she is still alive. Don’t wait. Darling, I know you are there and I am so happy. We can use this with our loved ones. And for those without our mother, we can look for her in the palm of our hand. Thay then uses the hand to illustrate the wisdom of non-discrimination. If we meditate deeply we can learn this wisdom.

The first mindfulness training is about protecting life. A human is made of non-human elements. To protect the environment and other species is to protect ourselves. This is deep ecology. This is a deep practice.

The second mindfulness training is about true happiness. We have to change our idea about happiness. The third mindfulness training is about true love. Kindness. Compassion. Joy. Non-discrimination. We can reduce the suffering with true love. The fourth mindfulness training is about deep listening and loving speech. This training can open up new possibilities. It is a real peace process. How can we heal deep division? Thay provides specific instructions. Last, the fifth mindfulness training is about mindful consumption. The five trainings are not teory. It is very practical. It is the deep teaching of Jesus and the Buddha. We should keep our Christian roots and meditation can make our roots stronger.

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Retreats

Ireland Retreat: Orientation

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April 12, 2012. 112-minute recording given at Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney, Ireland by Thich Nhat Hanh. The sangha is on the UK and Ireland Tour and this is orientation for the Mindful Living Today retreat.

Everyone is capable of generating mindfulness. But many of are caught by the past or by the future – a kind of prison. Mindfulness can help us to be free an settle in here and now. There are simple practices to help us to touch mindfulness. In this retreat we will learn about mindful breathing and mindful walking. Mindfulness can be practiced any time in our daily life. One method of healing our suffering is through mindful chanting. Thay provides instruction on listening to the chant.

The monastics chant the name Avalokiteshvara (29:50). Following the chant, Thay leads the sangha in mindful movements and the talk resumes at 58:37.

Listening to the bell. Stopping our talking. Stopping our thinking. Calm our body. Releasing the tension in our body. Instruction for walking meditation. Eating meditation.

In the last 20-minutes, two monastic sisters give additional teachings on sitting and smiling.

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Public Talk

Cooling the Flames in Dublin

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April 11, 2012. 160-minute recording given at he Dublin Convention Centre by Thich Nhat Hanh. The sangha is on the UK and Ireland Tour and this is the public talk in Ireland. Though it has been over twenty years, this is Thay’s second trip to Ireland. The recording begins with singing and a guided meditation led by monastics.

At 23-minutes into the recording, Thay gives an introduction to chanting. With compassion and love, we can be a happy person. How can we generate understanding and love as energies? They can be generated by a spiritual practice, a spiritual dimension. A nation can do the same. We have to learn how to handle our own suffering. Suffering within ourselves and in the world. The monastics have learned to generate compassion by chanting the name of Avalokiteshvara. We listen to the chant 43-minutes into the recording.

The main talk begins at 1:04 into the recording. Mindfulness is an energy for our practice. We can begin with breathing and discover the conditions of happiness in the here and now. At the conclusion, about 2:13 into recording, there is a period of questions and answers.

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Cooling the Flames: Live from the Convention Centre Dublin from Plum Village Online Monastery on Vimeo.

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Day of Mindfulness Plum Village

“Breathing In” is not just for Beginners

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March 22, 2012. 80-minute talk from New Hamlet in Plum Village, France. The talk is given in English. We begin with 4-minutes of chanting in Vietnamese.

In Plum Village, our practice is to always go back to the present moment. We do this in many ways, like mindful breathing and mindful walking. Simple, but very important practices. We have the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing is one of the most important sutras. In this talk we review the first six exercises.

When going through a difficult situation can be supported with these practices. It can be your second body. That is the Buddha.

Thay briefly discusses the Abidhamma literature – super dharma. Stick to the sutras and what they stay and don’t venture into metaphysical speculation.

Though past, present, and future look different, they are actually the same.
They are ideas. Notions. This is Interbeing.

Nothing is born. From nothing you cannot create something. This removes the notion of creation. This is something stated by science. This is the product of the intellect and is equivant to our idea of no birth and no death. Nothing has a separate existence.

“Breathing In” is not just for beginners. It is the most wonderful thing to do.

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Plum Village Retreats

Dharma Happiness

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December 18, 2011. 117-minute dharma talk from Lower Hamlet of Plum Village, France.  This is the eight talk offered in the 2011-2012 Winter Retreat. The talk is given in Vietnamese with English translation provided by Sr. Chan Khong.

We learn of a new prayer that Thay has been working on for the past several months. It is called Prayer for the Pure Mother Earth but the full text is not available yet. We also learn a new chant. A teaching on happiness and joy is illustrated through several stories on bread making, soybean collecting, walking under the moon, getting teeth removed, washing clothes, sewing.

At 49:45 minutes, we resume Paramarthah Gathas of Asanga’s Yogacarabhumi sutra study at Gatha 22-25.

22. The present disintegrates immediately. The past does not remain anywhere. The unborn depends on conditions to be born. The mind evolves in accordance with the three times.

23. In absolute terms there is association or disassociation. Whether mind is associated or not associated with all formations, it is said to evolve accordingly.

24. in this stream there is no ending, no same and no different. Everything is in accord with the view of a separate self resulting from the relative truth and it is not inexistent.

25. If our physical form is subject to destruction, then our psychological form is also subject to destruction; still it is said that in this life we lay down the cause and in the next life we enjoy the fruit.

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Retreats

Listening to the Chant

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August 8, 2011. 35-minute talk and chanting with Thich Nhat Hanh from War Memorial Gym at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. The sangha is on the North American Tour.

After a greeting and welcome, Thay introduces how to listen to chanting. We then hear the Namo’valokiteshvaraya chant.

The talk and chant are available below. There is a video version available too.

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Plum Village Retreats

Namo’valokiteshvaraya Chanting

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July 29, 2011. 32-minute dharma talk and chanting with Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France. The sangha is in the annual Summer Opening Retreat.

Thay describes, before the chant, how to put our attention while listening to the chant.

The talk and chant are available below. There is a video version available too.

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Day of Mindfulness Plum Village

Each Day I Choose a Joy

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June 23, 2011. 100-minute Dharma Talk in Vietnamese, with translation provided by Sr. Chan Khong, given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France.

Thay speaks about the life of the Vietnamese anti-war songwriter and musician Trinh Cong Son, and the experience of Thay, Sister Chan Khong, and Thay Phap An in the 1960s. Experiences such as being a child in the war and others writing anti-war poetry. One book of 60-poems by Thay had to be published underground – Joining Your Palm in Order for the Dove to Appear. We need to be aware of this era and the despair it caused. Sr. Chan Khong sings a couple songs but the recording is not so good because we are listening to translation; you can turn it up during this period. He goes on to share about the Great Requiem Ceremonies in Vietnam in 2007.

The rest of the talk Thay continues teaching about practicing while touring with the Sangha.

  1. Touring from the Heart
  2. Touring as a Practice. Everyday and second is a practice.
  3. Sangha happiness. The aim is to be happy.
  4. We are not tourists.
  5. Keep our seatbelt properly tight. Precepts.
  6. Fine Manners
  7. Practice Second Body system.
  8. Caring for Second Body.
  9. Walking meditation. Every step.
  10. Stop to talk
  11. Precious moment. Attend all activities.
  12. Sangha confidence.
  13. We are not performers of the dharma. We practice and teach with our heart. It’s not the form.
  14. Mobile Monastery
  15. All activities are equally important.
  16. Time to rest. Especially Thay…one activity per day.
  17. Keep our togetherness.
  18. Mindful electronics. Be discreet.

The talk was given in Vietnamese with English translation and is available below. There is a video version available too.