A Peaceful River

January 26, 2012. 105-minute dharma talk from New Hamlet of Plum Village, France. The sangha is in the 2011-2012 Winter Retreat. The talk is given in Vietnamese with English translation.

We have learned that birth and death are nirvana. There is nothing separate. The river of life can either be nourishing or less nourishing depending on the inputs. We also have outputs. A river will also continue. It cannot die, so we need be in a way to make life more beautiful. We don’t have to aim at anything – aimlessness. This is the first door of liberation. We are already what we are searching for. With that deep vision, the river can run peacefully.

Today we begin a new text, Praising the Buddha of Light. Amit?bha Buddha. With each renewal of a text, what we’re doing here, we have to reflect back to the original. There are also texts in the Mahayana tradition that were written hundreds of years after the Buddha. Sometimes of these later texts are even more profound (such as the Avata?saka sutra). Thay talks about how Buddhism is different depending on the country and the time. Pure land is in your heart. You are of the nature of Amitabha. Every living being has a Buddhanature.

Play
Play

Maintaining Awareness, Transcending Discrimination

May 26, 2011. 90-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.

Thay shares about the notions of birth and death, creator and creature, and the practice of cultivating right view with regard to these notions. How do we transcend ideas of suffering and happiness, being and non-being, birth and death? Compassionate listening. Applying what we learned from Israeli and Palestinian retreats. Thay also touches on the three actions of body, speech, and mind as our true continuations.

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.

Play
Play

Generating a Feeling of Joy

May 25, 2011. 84-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the first Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany.

Learning to walk in the Kingdom of God, the Pure Land of the Buddha.

Suffering and happiness. Happiness is available through understanding and love. And first we must understand suffering. No mud. No lotus. This teaching can be found in the Four Noble Truths originally taught by the Buddha. This is Interbeing.

Next, we look at breathing and it’s role in Mindfulness to generate joy and happiness. Thay explains the first eight exercises from the Sutra on Mindful Breathing (Anapanasati Sutta).

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.

Play
Play

Zen is Eating

January 13, 2011. 75-minute Dharma Talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh, from Upper Hamlet, Plum Village, France. The recording begins with about 10-minutes of chanting.

Eating meditation. Delicious and healthy. Our sitting meditation should be the same. Healthy. Relaxed. Follow your breath to harmonize your body and mind. Sitting meditation is also a type of consumption. It should be the same for everything. Walking. Eating. Working. Resting. It is an art.

Zen is also eating. The meal is a moment of practice. And there is a collective awakening when you practice together with others. Each of us are a drop contributing to the river.

Every step is your joy. This is it. Thay talks about what his calligraphy called “This is It” means.

The continued sutra commentary begins at 48-minutes into the talk. The verses 17-20 19 Feelings. Perception. Suffering. Mental formations. Nirvana.

The talk was given in Vietnamese with English translation and is available below (French and original Vietnamese audio are also available, as well as video version).

Play
Play