English/French Plum Village Retreats

Pebble Meditation: Children’s Talk


July 16, 2011. 56-minute dharma talk for the children. Thich Nhat Hanh speaks in French, with English translation provided by Sister Pine, from New Hamlet, Plum Village, France. The sangha is in the annual Summer Opening Retreat.

Four positions of the body. We should hold our body in order to have peace. How can we sit on a lotus flower. When we have peace, we can have freedom and happiness.

Happiness is also possible using mantras. The first is “My dear, I am here for you.” To be there is a practice. We can do this by bringing our mind and body together. The second is “I know you are there and I’m very happy.” It’s just as easy to apply as the first. The person you love is there. The first was to recognize our own presence and the second is to recognize the other.

The quality of our presence is also important. One practice we can use to help with quality is Pebble Meditation. Using a sack of four pebbles to practice a self-guided meditation on being fresh as a flower, solid as a mountain, reflective like water, and free as space. Specific instruction is given for each step.

In the concluding 15-minutes, we are led through the mindful movements.

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

Questions and Answers Retreats

Now is the Time: Q&A


April 20, 2011. 124-minute question and answer session given in English, with consecutive translation into Mandarin, with Thich Nhat Hanh and others. This is the fourth day of a five-day retreat in Taipei, Taiwan.

Unfortunately, the first 8-minutes of the talk, the English can’t be heard very well. What you are missing is Thay Phap Dung introducing a few other monastics at the request of Thich Nhat Hanh. A few of the monastics he introduces are Phap Luu (Br. Stream), Sr. Pine, Sr. Purification (violinist), Sr. Dang N., and Sr. Lien N. (in Thailand). The introductions are very sweet and take about 30-minutes in total.

The remainder of the recording are the questions and answer. Thay reminds us to ask a question of the heart. Not about Buddhism, but about suffering and happiness.

Being present for those around us through touching the earth. Meditating on sad or negative emotions. Don’t we have enough different Buddhist groups in Taiwan. Question on the fourth mantra – please help.Asking for help. As adopted child, who are my ancestors? Who are my parents? Questioning a lesbian relationship; how do I work with my suffering?. What is relationship between happiness and sadness?

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.


Now is the Time: Mantras and Sutras


April 18, 2011. 112-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Mandarin, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second day of a five-day retreat in Taipei, Taiwan. Please note, the first 20-minutes of the talk has really low volume but it does improve after that.

The Four Noble Truths. Suffering and happiness are inseparable. Offering your true presence. In this talk, Thay introduces the Four Mantras in the context of the Anapanasati Sutta. Included is also an introduction to pepple meditation and some mindful movements.

The first mantra is, darling, I am here for you.

The Buddha taught exercises for mindful breathing. Recognize and follow are the first two exercises. By following, there is no interruption of mindfulness. The third exercise is being aware of your whole body. Formations. Everything is a formation. My body is a formation. And the fourth exercise is to release the tension in my body.

Producing a feeling of joy and of happiness are the fifth and sixth exercises. These are mental formations. Breathing in, I know that I am alive. Breathing out, I smile to life.

The next exercises ask you to recognize and embrace painful feelings. Today we will talk of mindfulness of anger. Recognize the anger and embrace with mindfulness.

We now return to the mantras. The third is darling, I know that you suffer and I am here for you. The forth is much more difficult. Darling, I suffer and I want you to know it. I am trying my best to practice. Please help me.

The Sutra on Mindful Breathing is a wonderful text for practice.


Understanding Our Mind: Subject and Object


March 27, 2011. 105-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh on the third day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thay speaks about mental formations and the nature of their manifestation in the mind. Specific topics covered in this talk include begin present, the five mantras (first two only), pepple meditation, and non-duality. On subject and object: each of the mental formations have a subject and an object and they manifest at the same time. On cause and effect: this is because that is. On the Five Skandha: there are five sections that represent form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, consciousness but they manifest from the same thing.

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.

English/French Plum Village

The Land of the Buddha


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.

Plum Village

The Fifth Mantra


December 27, 2009. This 55-minute dharma talk in English given by Thich Nhat Hanh in New Hamlet, Plum Village.

We know The Four Mantras in the Plum Village tradition and here we learn more about the fifth mantra: this moment is a moment of happiness.


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