Every Step for my Mother and Father

June 12, 2011. 105-minute Dharma Talk in Vietnamese, with translation provided by Sr. Chan Khong, given by Thich Nhat Hanh at New Hamlet, Plum Village, France. This is the first talk after being in Germany and Southeast Asia.

Thay reads a letter from a young monastic aspirant requesting a 5-year ordination because the parents will not give permission for a lifetime; they need the daughter to care for them as they age. She sees the freshness of a novice life. A monastic life. Each day is precious. Singing together with nature.

Our daily practice is to find happiness in all we do each day. How do we understand our parents? How are we their continuation? Do we really know our parents? I vow to live happily for you mother, for you father. We only see part of our parents, our partner, our children but we can discover more every day. The same is true with ourselves.

Sangha body and dharma body. The jewel of the sangha. The quality – brotherhood, sisterhood, joy, peace – where does it come from? The first fruit of the practice is “I have arrived, I am home.”

What is work? What is it’s relationship to the practice? Do we work to much? We need to look deeply in our sangha. What are our talents and how best to apply?

Happiness can be found in everything we do.

The talk was given in Vietnamese with English translation and is available below. There is a video version available too. Please note, we are missing just the first minute or two of the recording.

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Development Leadership with Mindfulness: Q&A Session

May 27, 2011. 105-minute question and answer session given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the fourth dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.

Questions: (1) What does “Thich Nhat Hanh” mean? (2) What is the source of laziness and how can I overcome it? (3) How do we practice interbeing with those we don’t know? (4) If young people who have yet to cultivate awareness feel hate or misunderstanding, how can I help to release this tension and water the good seeds in their minds? (5) How can I balance between dealing with my issues and sharing them with my loved one? (6) How can i be mindful and compassionate with my children? (7) How can I transform my tendency to experience the pain of others? (8) How can we develop leadership and power based on mindfulness? (9) What are steps to help families overcome infidelities and divorce?

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

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