This is a session of questions and answers on August 23, 2014 from the Understanding Is Love Retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The questions and answers are given in both English and Dutch. We start with a series of questions from children followed by teens and adults. Both the audio and the video are available below.
Children and Teens
Do you know a better way to choose and to get rid of my doubts?
What does your name mean and do you have a sign to represent your name?
What should you do when you are really worried about something?
What does Thay love most about Buddhism?
Why did you become a Buddhist?
I would like to inspire my friends. How do I do this? How did you gain so much confidence?
I am confused about the word compassion. How can I be compassionate without suffering and still remain sensitive?
I have a question about a problem in my family. I have anger towards my brother but also wants to have compassion and take care of herself.
A question about attachment and letting go.
A question about self love and acceptance.
How do help someone who feels no connection to her ancestors and the world. She has shard that wants to end her life numerous times.
Continuing to reconcile with my mother who is an alcoholic and sex addict.
Non duality. Can you explain more about watering positive and negative seeds.
Written question on sexuality and the Third Mindfulness Training. Isn’t it to strict? Does it really need a “long term commitment”?
Right Livelihood and True Love. The livelihoods I love requires lots of time. How can we maintain True Love for ourselves, families, etc?
From the Nourishing Happiness in our Hearts retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. This session of questions and answers on August 16, 2014 is given in English with consecutive translation into German. Both the audio and the video are available below.
Why are the monks and nuns not allowed to have a family?
Were you unhappy when you weren’t allowed to be in Vietnam anymore?
Why are the monks and nuns also called brothers and sisters?
Why is it all the monks and nuns shave their head?
Why should we eat vegan and not vegetarian?
Why did you decide to become a Buddhist or a monk?
What are the essential practices of a Buddhist monk or nun in today’s world?
There are so many schools of Buddhism. Is there something, a teaching, that is the same for all schools of Buddhism?
In Buddhism, there are the four stages of contemplation and some people need to visualize. Can Thay comment on this?
What is a good way, a wholesome way, to handle the news of the world?
How do we work with relationships in our family that are not so healthy?
When can we know that feeling our feelings is good and when we are watering the wrong seeds?
How do I balance watering good seeds in me and in my partner?
Can lying and the practice of mindfulness go together?
From the Stillwater Meditation Hall at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the fourth question and answer session of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village on July 30, 2014. The talk is in English and both the audio and the video are available below.
How do we eat our parents?
When Thay became a monk, was he aware of the suffering in the world or did that come later?
Why sometimes when we cry we are happy and sometimes we are sad?
How did you create Plum Village?
We talk a lot about respecting Mother Earth but a lot of the food we eat here is not organic and comes from far away. I feel blocked when reading the Five Contemplations. This seems incongruent.
Who am I?
How do I recognize suffering in myself and learn to take care of that Suffering? Loneliness.
And we find another person presents not nursing, should we and how do we withdraw?
From the Stillwater Meditation Hall at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the third question and answer session of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village on July 23, 2014. The talk is in English and both the audio and the video are available below.
Why do monks and nuns always have brown clothes and no hair?
How can I express my anger without taking it out anyone?
Why does a seed give birth to a flower and sometimes not? Why am I myself as I am and not as the others?
Why did you make Plum Village?
Teens and Young Adults
I’m not the only one who feels lonelineness and sadness about myself and I’ve had struggled with self hatred. How do I learn to care and love myself and stop negative perceptions?
In school it is very competitive and there is a lot of pressure to succeed. I feel like I need to work harder. How do I take it easy without hurting myself further?
How can I love myself more and how can I have more confidence in myself?
It seems we live in a global culture of non-stop talking. Can you help us learn more about the practice of silence?
I have a friend who’s father was diagnosed with cancer. His father shared he was contemplating suicide. What should he do?
From the Stillwater Meditation Hall at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the second question and answer session of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village on July 16, 2014. The talk is in English and both the audio and the video are available below.
How can I feel less sad about my dog who has died?
What do I do when my mom is angry with my father?
How can I stay calm when I am annoyed?
What does it mean “to guess”?
Teens and Young Adults
When talking with friends, how do I stop the conversation from going toward gossiping and judging?
How do you change people’s perception of you and ignore the reputation you already have?
Why does Thay give these teachings and what does it bring Thay?
Does Thay have some tips for me to help a lot of people in my future profession?
A written question: How do I heal a suffering from sexual abuse when she was younger? Should I go to a therapist?
In my country there is a great economic crisis. As a doctor who sees many people and I don’t know if I can say happiness is here and now.
How do I practice with self love and also being open to receiving love? I struggle with deserving love.
How can I better take refuge in the sangha because I feel more comfortable alone?
How can I be there for someone who tends to lose herself in the presence of others?
From the Stillwater Meditation Hall at Upper Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the first question and answer session of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village. The talk is in English and both the audio and the video are available below. The questions are a little difficult to hear but they are included below for you to read.
Is it okay not to speak and still be understood?
What is happiness?
When we die, where does our spirit go?
A question about suffering, particularly those of animals and the environment. What is the most effective way to reduce this suffering?
Thay, do you feel old?
How can we practice with the escalating violence in the world and particularly in Israel and Palestinians?
How can I be in touch with the conditions of happiness and live with constant pain too?
At times when I feel truly mindful, I feel a special force or intuition. What is this – a coincidence?
From the Rising Tide Meditation Hall at a retreat at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is a session of questions and responses from those at the 6-day retreat with the theme Healing Ourselves, Healing the World. The date is September 28, 2013.
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How do you deal with depression?
How is it possible for humankind to achieve world peace?
How do I help a friend who is depressed?
How can I help a friend who has a problem with his parents and has suicidal thoughts?
How can I help a friend who speaks in anger to his mother and to be less angry?
What do you do when you are stuck between two paths in your life?
What is the Buddhist perspective on mental disorders, particularly personality disorder, and how a family can heal with this ongoing challenge?
How can I practice with my fear of dying?
What is the essence of true love?
Should we act as a human shield to raise awareness and to stop war and violence in the world?
Concerns about consumption of products with less integrity.
How can I work with the historical suffering of the Jewish community?
I would like to offer walking meditation and do you feel that I am qualified?
How does this sangha influence the other sanghas we have created, such as government?
This is the third day of the Educators Retreat at the University of Barcelona. Thich Nhat Hanh, along with the monks and nuns of Plum Village, are on their first tour of Spain this month. In this session, Thay responds to questions from those attending the retreat. The date of the recording is May 11, 2014. The audio and video links are available below. The timestamps included here are for the AUDIO recording only.
How do we bring this practice into our daily life? (2:32)
How can mindfulness help transform the toxic seeds in our subconscious? (9:45)
How can we find a new path for young people in society today? (17:20)
Could you explain a little more about mindfulness of suffering. (26:53)
How do I forgive myself for pain that I have caused and how do I forgive others? (40:30)
How do I plant the seed of mindfulness in my 34 year old? Is this to young? (54:18)
How can we help children to look deeply at the root cause of their suffering? Anger. Anguish. Fear. (1:07:02)
How can men today become softer? (1:13:44)
With limited time, how can I help people who are suffering? They don’t want to hear to embrace suffering. (1:24:18)
How can a young sangha with little experience protect itself? (1:35:44)
October 15, 2013. 103-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. The sangha is on the 6-day retreat with the theme Finding Our True Home. Today we offer a session of questions and answers.
How can I practice to have a connection with my father who has passed away? Also, can you talk about becoming a monastic?
How can I stop being obsessed with playing video games?
How do I practice compassion for those who are harmful to my family and friends?
What is the purpose of doing good and creating happiness if they inter-are with suffering?
How do I become more stable and confident in the decisions that I make and not to seek assurances from others?
How do I work with having too much energy and a fear of burning myself out?
I am fearful of the toxic air we are breathing, especially as it related to chem trails, and I am also angry. What can I do as an activist with these feelings?
If I cause something and it doesn’t effect until the next life, who reaps the effects if there is no-self?
I suffer from PSTD and I often wake up from nightmares. Are there practices I can do to work with my nightmares?
I am new grandmother who’s heart has filled with love and a responsibility about the future for my grandchildren. I feel alone and fearful about the future.
Seizing the moment for peace. Can you advise us on transforming our feelings of frustration to act for peace?
August 29, 2013. 117-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush, New York during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is a session of questions and answers during the 6-day retreat with the theme Transformation and Healing – The Art of Suffering.
Why do people get so angry sometimes and their hearts filled with anger?
Why do people have to suffer?
What do you have to do to have a calm mind?
If you could live your life again, would you choose the same path?
My sister (a monastic aspirant) has been staying with the monastics and it’s been hard for me. How do I practice non-attachment?
What made you decide to become a monk?
What is the hardest thing that you practice?
How have you detached from your strongest attachments in life?
Can we be fast and mindful, especially with sports?
A father who has suffered greatly from violence – his son died at Sandy Hook Elementary. What could have happened differently? What could we have done differently?
Another parent shares about the teen child who died from leukemia. Her question is whether or not she can ever truly be happy again.
If you were Obama’s spiritual advisor, what would you tell him? Referring to Syria.
UN disarmament negotiator. How can we approach young men who are recruited by groups like Al Qaeda that can offer so much?
How to practice joyfully with physical limitations?
How do I forgive myself because of trusting someone who sexually abused him as a child?