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Retreats

Miracles of Reconciliation

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August 11, 2011. 60-minute dharma talk with Thich Nhat Hanh from War Memorial Gym at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. The sangha is on the North American Tour and this the third talk of the retreat.

Today we continue with the Noble Eightfold Path. Right Speech. Deep listening. The purpose of deep listening is to allow the other person, or group of people, to have a chance to speak out. Maybe nobody has listened to them and you may be the first person. They can empty their heart. Compassion can protect you, even if the other person is full of accusations, bitterness, and wrong perceptions. When we sit down and listen, we can follow our in breath and out breath to help the other person suffer less. The is the role of a bodhissatva. Every one of us has the seed of compassion inside. We can all benefit from this discipline of deep listening – we all have the seeds of compassion and understanding.

The dharma talk comes from the living experience of the teacher. The best way to listen to a dharma talk is not with your intellect – send your intellect on vacation and allow the dharma rain to penetrate the soil and it will water the best of the seeds in us. One of those seeds is awakening; enlightenment.

Right Diligence has four aspects. We need a little understanding of our mind in order to practice  true diligence. The mind has two layers: store consciousness and mind consciousness. The practice of diligence is to not allow those negative seeds inside of our store consciousness to manifest. In Buddhist psychology, there are 51 varieties of seeds. A seed can manifest as a mental formation.

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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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Retreats

Now is the Time: Aware of What’s Going On

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April 19, 2011. 97-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Mandarin, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the third day of a five-day retreat in Taipei, Taiwan.

Before we begin the dharma talk, Thay took a few minutes to introduce two of the monastics. The first is Phap Lien, who is English and has been a strong support for the Wake Up Movement and the second was Phap De, also known as Young Brother, who is an American practicing both Christianity and Buddhism.

We continue the Anapanasati Sutta (we covered the first six exercises during the April 18 talk). Working with strong emotions. Provides meditation instruction of focusing on abdomen breathing. The seventh exercise is to become aware of a painful feeling. We should recognize it and return to our breathing.

Mental formations. There is a river of mind flowing with many feelings and emotions. To meditate is to sit on the bank of the river. The tenth exercise is to touch the wholesome mental formations. Feelings like love, compassion, and joy. We all have mental formations in the form of a seed. When we come to a retreat like this, the seed of goodness is watered in us. In Buddhist psychology, we talk of store and mind consciousness. In store they are seeds and in mind they are mental formations. Flower watering is a method of selective watering of the wholesome seeds in others.

In this segment of the talk, Thay talks about restoring communication, especially with our loved ones. Our wife. Our husband. Father. Mother. Son. Daughter. How can we do it? Practical steps are offered.

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

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Public Talk

Every act of mindfulness is an act of resurrection

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April 12, 2011. 52-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Mandarin by Sister Hui-jiny, at Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This talk is very similar in content to the April 2 talk given in Thailand.

The present moment. The Anapanasati Sutta gives this lesson. Can relieve our concern about the past or future. Ww can discover many conditions of happiness in the present moment. It could be our sight, or our hearing, or our feet. It is possible to be happy in the present moment.

Aware of joy and happiness are two exercises proposed by the Buddha. Mindfulness as a kind of resurrection (this week is Easter). There is a lot of light with mindfulness. Walking meditation too can bring you to the present moment of happiness. To walk like a Buddha.

Thay speaks on reducing suffering through stopping and the practice of deep listening. Mindfulness of compassion.

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

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Public Talk

Everyday Practicing

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April 2, 2011. 87-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh on a Day of Mindfulness at the Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives, Bangkok, Thailand.

Thay shared about the Anapanasati Sutta, Mindful breathing exercises. Awareness of body and releasing tension. Mentions bell on computer as a method to return to our breathing. Going back to our breathing using sounds like a clock, telephone, etc. Stopping. Breathing.

Eating as a family. Using bell. Smiling to each other for a moment before eating. If you can’t smile, perhaps the situation is difficult between the married couple; then we need to try and communicate. Thay offers suggestions for cultivating the relationship.

What are suffering and happiness? The teaching of the four noble truths are about suffering and happiness. Using deep looking and loving speech is a method to nourish the relationship. This practice was recommended by the Buddha in the Eightfold Noble Path. Just a few hours of practice can help us. The same practice can be applied to other relationships, such as with parents.

Mindfulness in the supermarket. Shop and consume in a way so not to be intoxicated with awareness of the environment and the earth. Thay shares also about the revised version of the Five Mindfulness Trainings, and the practice of mindful eating.

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

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English/French Plum Village

The Land of the Buddha

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March 1, 2011. 60-minute Dharma Talk in French given by Thich Nhat Hanh at New Hamlet, Plum Village, France. This is the first day of the 5-day French Retreat and the translation is provided by Sr. Pine. We are testing a new platform with this retreat so the audio recording carries both languages – the French on the left and English on the right. Enjoy.

Suffering can be neutralized. And love is what can do this transformation. Understanding can generate love. To live, we must love.

The teaching on true love by the Buddha is clear. How do we taste this happiness? To love is to offer your presence. Meditation cam make us fresh. One in-breath is enough to bring you present.

Darling, I am here for you.This is the first mantra of Plum Village. When you are in touch with yourself, then you can be present.

The beauty of the earth. We should love her. If you love her, you will do anything to preserve it. One in-breath. One step in mindfulness.

Darling, I know you are there and I am happy. This is the second mantra of Plum Village. If you are present then you can so this. Precious presence of the other.

Provides some waking meditation guidance. The ability to stop and share something beautiful.

Shares story of meeting Martin Luther King and about community. The beloved community. The importance of building sangha. There are so many people in our society who are lost. They need a sangha. This is why you build a sangha in your area. It takes a lot of love and a lot of patience to build a sangha. Loving speech and compassionate listening are the instruments we use to build sangha.

Today the topic has been on suffering. We use consumption to try and forget out suffering. The teaching is we must come back to ourselves and get in touch with the suffering. It will help us to transform it. Then we can understand the suffering of the other person.

Deep compassionate listening.

The talk was given in French (left channel) with English translation (right channel) and is available below (French and English are on the same recording) as well as video version.

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Plum Village

The Universe is a Single Flower

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February 17, 2011. 78-minute Dharma Talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in the Assembly of Stars Mediation Hall at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France. We begin with 8-minutes of chanting. This is the final dharma talk of the Winter Retreat before the Great Ordination Ceremony and the close of the retreat. Here we continue discussing the Sutra of Flowers and Fragrance.

Seeing the Earth in that way he felt a deep compassion for all the people who live on the Earth. They are trying to do something to protect our environment. Only from very far away do you look back and see the fragility of our planet, and you feel compassion.

One astronaut said that when he left the Earth and looked back, then he became a humanitarian, because I feel that I have to take care of the people on that planet. The vision is so important from far away. If you are a schoolteacher, or parents, you try to help your students to get in touch with this.