Create a Moment of Happiness

March 10, 2013. 45-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village during the Daffodil Festival. We have been quiet here on the archive because the sangha took time for lazy days as well as a monastic retreat (not distributed). This talk is given in English and the sangha is preparing for the arrival of 600 French in the coming week. A few suggested subjects for the retreat include: happiness is possible, healing is possible how to live more deeply, coming home, do not wander anymore, and go as a river.

The practice of Plum Village can be seen in two points. First, how to recognize the suffering and embrace it and transform it. We cannot avoid suffering. If you know how to suffer, you will suffer less. The art of suffering. We have blocks of suffering, but how to handle the little sufferings? How do we support those attending the retreat? How do we prepare the space so they know that healing is possible with every step and every breath? There is no way to healing, healing is the way. In order to heal, we have to stop. The Five Mindfulness Trainings can help us with this practice. They have the power to heal. It is possible to create moments of happiness in our daily lives. Learn how to enjoy and savor the little happinesses in life. Can you create a moment of happiness?

What can we do about the mental discourse in our head? Radio NST (Non-Stop-Thinking). One practice is to feel our body and our feelings. We can practice walking meditation. It is an opportunity to create moments of happiness and to heal. Eating in mindfulness is another practice. Being aware of the food and members of the sangha around you. This is not hard labor. The dharma is lovely and every minute of the practice can be healing and transforming.

Available here as a audio download or a video.

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Communication and the Mind

March 25, 2012. 110-minute talk from Upper Hamlet in Plum Village, France. The talk is given in English. We begin with 10-minutes of chanting in Vietnamese and French.

Communication. We trust to much in our instruments of communication – mobile phone, email Skype, etc. Behind the instruments is our mind, and the question to ask is whether you can communicate with yourself. Many of us are angry or don’t respect ourselves. It is a mess inside. In that situation, how can we communicate with another person?

In Plum Village, we try to teach you how to come back to yourself. We learn to breath in mindfulness. We learn to eat in mindfulness. We learn to walk in mindfulness. We connect with our body and our mind. We need to let go our thinking – the practice of non-thinking.

Related to our suffering and being connected to our body is our consumption. We read a book, listen to music, drive the car, etc. We look to consumption to help us forget the pain their ourselves. Again, learning mindful breathing and walking we can gain the energy of mindfulness and be able to look at the pain and the sorrow. If you have mindfulness, you are no longer afraid.

Mindfulness is generated from your practice. And when we are together, we can generate collective mindfulness.

At 56-minutes, the talk switch to Vietnamese with English translation. [Editors Note: a group of Vietnamese exchange students were up for the day and Thay responded to some questions.] Questions about personal relationships, relationship with Vietnam and the Vietnamese government, ethics and relationship to the government

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