Understanding Our Mind: Retreat Orientation


March 25, 2011. 111-minute dharma talk and presentation given in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh, Br. Phap Luu, and Sr. Dang Nghiem on the first day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

There is a period of 3:30 minutes of silence on the recording at the beginning. Thich Nhat Nhan then provides a lovely introduction to Avalokiteshva, and how we can listen to a chant to heal ourselves and others. The monastics than chant her name.

Following the chant, Thay introduces the two monastics who then provide an orientation on breathing, walking, eating, and noble silence.

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

Teachings on Love


March 2, 2011. 100-minute Dharma Talk in French given by Thich Nhat Hanh at Assembly of Stars, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, France. This is the second day of the 5-day French Retreat and the translation is provided by Sr. Pine.

Let’s love each other. In order to be there for each other, there is a practice. We have to stop all the inner talking. Practice breathing in with Mindfulness to bring our mind back the the body. To love is offering your presence.

The second mantra of Plum Village. I know you are there, and I am very happy. When I walk with the sangha, it is exactly the same because the sangha is my love.

Walking meditation together on the hill of the 21st century. Our collective energy can heal and transform us. To walk is to love. The same can be said about sitting meditation. Peace. Concentration. Happiness.

Thay discusses a story from the Little Prince followed by a review of Pebble Meditation that is taught to children.  Four pepples: Flower. Mountain. Still water. Space.

In true love, we should enjoy each other. It has been said, to love is not to look at each other, but to look in the same direction.

Elements of True Love. Maitri. Lovingkindness. Love is first friendship. To produce happiness. Karuna. Compassion. To transform suffering. Mudita. Joy. We offer joy to ourself and the. Upeksha. Equanimity. Absence of boundary. Non- discrimination. Your joy is my joy. These four elements are the Four Immeasurable Minds.

Love begins with myself.

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

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 Universe is a Single Flower


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.

Plum Village

Four Attainments of Plum Village


January 16, 2011. 112-minute Dharma Talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh, from Full Moon Meditation Hall, New Hamlet, Plum Village, France. The recording begins with about 10-minutes of chanting.

Editor’s Note: We are a few dharma talks behind due to one of the Plum Village servers being down for 10-days. The server has been repaired and we’re back on track again. I’ll try to listen to the talks this week and post.

If you practice correctly, you will see results right away. According to the Buddha, there are many fruits of the practice. Results.

The first is “Entering Into the Stream” – the first step of your practice. Only you can judge if you are here. It’s like getting onto the train. Do you have one foot in, and one foot out or are you on the train and in your seat? Or, are you “moving in the direction of the stream” – on the way to the train station. If you arrive, you know you have arrived. The second is two more coming back and third is one more coming back. The fourth is “The Fruit of No Return” – no coming back. You do not go back to the the life of agitation; for a monastic aspirant it is someone who has let go of everything. The fifth is “Extinction of all the Suffering” – arhat. That person is totally free.

In Plum Village we have fruits of the practice, but they are rooted in the traditional teaching. You have arrived, you are home. You are relaxed, you are peaceful. You can arrive in any moment. As soon as you move in that direction, you are happy. The degree of your practice, is the degree of your happiness. How wonderful to be alive! So many conditions of happiness.

The Four Attainments of Plum Village:

  1. “I have arrived, I am home” or “froglessness”
  2. “Dwelling happily”
  3. “Interbeing”
  4. “No-birth, no-death”

Thay invites the brothers up to chant The Four Recollections. (1:08)

We continue the sutra (1:15) we have been studying on the safest place. It’s about nirvana. Nirvana is a place when you arrive to a place of no affliction. A place of no birth and no death. No coming and no going. In this talk, we learn verses 20-23.

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).

Plum Village

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).

Plum Village

Thich Nhat Hanh Speaks to World Leaders

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
Image by Geoff Livingston via Flickr

December 6, 2009 dharma talk from Plum Village given by Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) to world leaders, spiritual leaders, political leaders and to us.

Thay uses the familiar language of our basic practice like sitting meditation, walking meditation, the Five Mindfulness Trainings, and a collective awakening to send a message to world leaders meeting in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (December 7-18) and those in Melbourne for the Parliament of the World Religions (December 3-9)

We hear the Five Mindfulness Trainings and further discussion on their meaning and practice for peace, love, happiness, and helping to save the planet.


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