The Way Out Is In

By Plum Village

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Description

This podcast series is aimed at helping us to transcend our fear and anger so that we can be more engaged in the world in a way that develops love and compassion. Thich Nhat Hanh’s calligraphy ‘The Way Out Is In” highlights that the way out of any difficulty is to look deeply within, gain insights and then put them into practice. The podcast is co-hosted by Brother Phap Huu, Thich Nhat Hanh's personal attendant for 17 years and the abbot of Plum Village's Upper Hamlet, and Jo Confino, who works at the intersection of personal transformation and systems change.

Episode Date
Slow Down, Rest, and Heal: The Spirit of the Rains Retreat
1:11:58

Welcome to episode seven of The Way Out Is In: The Zen Art of Living, a podcast series mirroring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s deep teachings of Buddhist philosophy: a simple yet profound methodology for dealing with our suffering, and for creating more happiness and joy in our lives.

In this episode, hosts Zen Buddhist monk Brother Phap Huu and lay Buddhist practitioner and journalist Jo Confino were recorded in Thich Nhat Hanh’s former residence in Plum Village, the ‘Sitting Still Hut’. 

Here, they talk about the yearly Rains Retreat – a 90-day retreat started by the Buddha – including the aspirations and other key concepts at the core of this gathering of practitioners. Brother Phap Huu explains in detail the origins of this ancient tradition, and how it unfolds in Plum Village, including some special insights from this year’s retreat.

Both then share their own aspirations, and discuss taking refuge in the sangha, the need to slow down, stillness, getting support from the community for our aspirations, and that even zen masters need constant reminders to practice. (Did Thay need help from the sangha? And is Phap Huu as busy as the others think?)

The conversation touches upon our (and their) relationship with ‘stuff’; a free yard sale in the monastery; how to know when we have enough; and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s jackets, and how he relates to his few material possessions.

Jo opens up about his youth and the burden of collective pain; letting go of possessions; and getting some of his best creative ideas while sitting still on a train.

You’ll also find out where the yellow-orange in our podcast’s logo comes from. And autumnal fruit trees make a cameo appearance.

Finally, Brother Phap Huu shares daily tips for beginners’ practice, and ends the episode with a guided meditation to find calm and solidity.

Co-produced by the Plum Village App:
https://plumvillage.app/

And Global Optimism:
https://globaloptimism.com/

With support from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:
https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/


List of resources 

Alms Round – The Practice of Love, Humility, and Gratitude
https://plumvillage.org/articles/alms-round-the-practice-of-love-humility-and-gratitude/ 

‘Breathing In, Breathing Out’
https://plumvillage.org/library/songs/breathing-in-breathing-out/

The Faces of Manas Revealed
https://plumvillage.org/library/dharma-talks/live-dharma-talk-by-sister-tue-nghiem-2020-11-29-plum-village/ 

The Green Mile 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Green_Mile_(film)

Monastic robes
https://plumvillage.org/about/thich-nhat-hanh/letters/monastic-fashion/

Monkey mind
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_mind

Rains Retreat 2021
https://plumvillage.org/retreats/info/rains-retreat-2021-gems-of-the-plum-village-tradition/

Rains Retreat Opening Ceremony
https://plumvillage.org/articles/rains-retreat-opening-ceremony-2021/ 

The Spirit of the Rain’s Retreat
https://plumvillage.org/library/dharma-talks/the-spirit-of-a-rains-retreat/

Sister Jina
https://plumvillage.org/people/dharma-teachers/sr-dieu-nghiem/

Store consciousness
https://plumvillage.org/library/dharma-talks/interbeing-and-store-consciousness/

Sutra
https://plumvillage.org/sutra/ 

Theravada tradition
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theravada


Quotes

“The Rains Retreat carries the spirit of being still; not running from suffering or chasing after an idea of happiness. This is an opportunity to return home to oneself, to take refuge in our spiritual family, to enrich and deepen our dharma body with our mindfulness practice, and to continue our teacher’s legacy in our sangha body.”

“Even though we devote ourselves to a monastic life and the practice of transformation for ourselves and our spiritual growth, it’s still very important to be connected to everyone in the world.”

“Walk just to walk, and do it with ease.”

“When we stop is the only time we’re able to face ourselves.”

When we are still, our internal aspirations, voices, and perceptions have a chance to really reveal themselves. Then, we have the clarity to look at them with the eye of a practitioner, in order to take care of them.”

“This stillness that we cultivate is not only for our aspiration, our internal stories, or our internal reflection; it is also very important in the present moment, where we need rest or healing. We are so busy. We are not aware of our body. We’re not aware of our posture. We’re not aware of where there is stiffness, of where there’s stress. So learning to be still is an art for healing. And this is very important. To have total relaxation is one of the core teachings in the Plum Village tradition.”

“Stop, rest, and heal.” 

“In modern Western society, we don’t trust natural processes. We think we need to intervene in some way. But, actually, sometimes the art of simply stopping, of resting, creates the healing.”

Through the stories, the history, and the sutras that we read, we see that even the Buddha, after enlightenment, continued to keep his practice alive – because the practice is a living energy that you have to maintain.”

“That evening, the meeting ran late and I went straight home. I was sitting on the train – no computer, no phone, no book, no bag; just me. And I had one of my best creative ideas in years, which manifested into a whole new section of The Guardian. If I’d had my phone, my computer, or a book, I would have filled that time. But because I couldn’t, I just had to stop. And what I realized in that moment was that, when we stop, we allow more than just our mind to take place. Some people call it grace – well, there are all sorts of names, but it exists in those moments.”

“If we are constantly busy, we don’t allow for that channel of grace, that openness to life to actually show up.” 

“Science is also showing that it’s not that you learn to practice mindfulness once and get the job done; we have to constantly remind ourselves, work with it, practice it, build it.” 

“Thay was very selective in his possessions. Not because he’s picky, but because when you have enough, you don’t need more.”

Sep 23, 2021
Are You Truly There for Your Cup of Tea? Practical Ways to Slow Down
50:07

Welcome to episode six of The Way Out Is In: The Zen Art of Living, a podcast series mirroring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s deep teachings of Buddhist philosophy: a simple yet profound methodology for dealing with our suffering, and for creating more happiness and joy in our lives.

In this episode, hosts Zen Buddhist monk Brother Phap Huu and lay Buddhist practitioner and journalist Jo Confino talk about the sacred practice of drinking tea, and why it’s important in a world where grabbing a cup of tea on the go seems to be the norm. 

Over a cup of genmai (cloud tea), they discuss bringing the energy of mindfulness into daily life with a cup of tea; sitting with a cup of tea and its power to bring people together; the ceremony behind this daily habit and why enjoying making tea is just as important as drinking it.

Brother Phap Huu recalls making his first cup of tea for Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, as his attendant, and doing so again years later, after Thay’s stroke. The brother explains why drinking tea is so significant in a Zen monastery; how to feel at home with a tea kit; and why one should offer and receive a cup of tea with both hands. There’s even an in-depth exploration of the types of tea drunk in Plum Village.

Jo recollects Thich Nhat Hanh’s calligraphies and why he poured tea into the ink. He discusses transformative moments in simple gestures, and shares his love of PG Tips and how it can get one through climate talks. 

The conversation also touches upon slowing down and enjoying the simple things in life; good habits; the cloud in the cup of tea. And have you ever wondered if the tea is experiencing us too? They did.

You’ll also experience the mindfulness bell of the Plum Village monastery.

Finally, Brother Phap Huu ends the episode with a guided meditation.

Co-produced by the Plum Village App:
https://plumvillage.app/

And Global Optimism:
https://globaloptimism.com/

With support from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:
https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/


List of resources

The Tea Inside the Calligraphy
https://plumvillage.org/library/dharma-talks/the-tea-inside-the-calligraphy/ 

Schumacher College
https://campus.dartington.org/schumacher-college/

Kukicha
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukicha

High-mountain tea
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-mountain_tea 

Cloud tea
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_tea 

Bamboo shoots and tea
https://plumvillage.org/articles/bamboo-shoots-and-tea/


Quotes

“If you know how to slow down and be more present, allow things to settle, then your way of life will be much better.”

“Even a small, simple practice, like drinking tea, contains all of life.”

“A woman in the Indian Sangha said, ‘In India, they say if it’s hot, it’s time for tea. If it’s cold, it’s time for tea. If you’re happy, it’s time for tea. If you’re sad, it’s time for tea. It’s something that calms us down.’”

“When you drink a cup of tea, you’re not drinking your projects, you’re not drinking your worries; you’re not drinking, you’re thinking. And it’s a real art for being in the present moment.”

“There’s something very powerful and symbolic about tea. It’s a chance to come back to ourselves, to relax, to hold something in the palms of our hands – which is itself almost a reverent act, to feel the heat, to smell the aroma. It’s actually a very visceral experience.”

“The cloud is in your tea.”

“In the present moment, the way we live, the way we think, the way we talk, and the way we act is a contribution to society, to life. So our actions are already our reincarnation.”

“It’s an act of awakening: to wake up to life and smell the fragrance of the tea; you taste it, you feel its warmth, and turn to your body. It’s very simple, but very deep in that moment. If you allow yourself to be in the very here and now, drinking tea is meditation in disguise.” 

“This cup of tea in my two hands is mindfulness held perfectly. My mind and body dwell in the very here and now.” 

“Having good habits is part of meditation.”

“You can have a moment of enlightenment just sitting there drinking your tea.”

“Have time for a cup of tea, because it is present for you. You just have to be there for it.” 

Sep 16, 2021
Connecting to Our Roots: Ancestors, Continuation and Transformation
53:55

Welcome to episode five of The Way Out Is In: The Zen Art of Living, a podcast series mirroring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s deep teachings of Buddhist philosophy: a simple yet profound methodology for dealing with our suffering, and for creating more happiness and joy in our lives.

In this episode, hosts Zen Buddhist monk Brother Phap Huu and lay Buddhist practitioner and journalist Jo Confino talk about connecting to our roots, and the three lineages in Buddhism: spiritual, blood, and land ancestry.

They further share about what it means to be a continuation of blood ancestors; transforming the suffering of our ancestors for ourselves and our descendants by healing the past in the present moment; honoring land ancestors and creating harmony with the land we live on; dealing with estranged parents; reconnecting to past wisdom to help a society in crisis; transcending the individual frame of mind.

You’ll also discover what the red and white roses mean in the Rose Ceremony which celebrates parents; and why a former Gestapo building was turned into a monastery.

Brother Phap Huu recollects growing up in a Buddhist family and its daily ways of honoring ancestors, and what it was like to move from East to West as a child. He also expands on spiritual ancestors; transforming land and memories; the power of collective energy; trees as ancestry.  

Jo recalls his mother’s suffering during the Nazi regime, her subsequent journey of forgiveness, and considers the power to heal our parents’ suffering in the present moment. He also comments on the consequences of the lack of connection to ancestors for Western consumerist societies; reports on a feng shui story in Hong Kong; and considers why it’s best to be responsible stewards rather than owners.

Finally, Brother Phap Huu ends the episode with a guided meditation connecting us to our parents and ancestors.

Co-produced by the Plum Village App:
https://plumvillage.app/

And Global Optimism:
https://globaloptimism.com/

With support from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:
https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/


List of resources

The Rose Ceremony
https://plumvillage.org/thay-shares-about-a-rose-for-your-pocket/ 

Kristallnacht
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht 

Joanna Macy
https://www.joannamacy.net/main 

Old Path White Clouds
https://www.parallax.org/product/old-path-white-clouds-walking-in-the-footsteps-of-the-buddha/ 

Sutra
https://plumvillage.org/sutra/ 


Quotes

“We are a stream, a lineage, and we have roots and that give us grounding.” 

“When I meet somebody, I never meet that person as an individual, I meet their entire lineage.”

“I am a representation not of just myself, but of an entire history of a group of people.”

“With our ancestors, we can do the things that they were not able to do.” 

“If we see that we are our parents’ continuation, we can have more understanding for them and more love for them.” 

“Having compassion for our ancestors means having compassion for ourselves, because we are their continuation, and because we will become an ancestor.”

“The practice of mindfulness and the teachings of the Buddha tell us that we can transform for our parents, for our ancestors. And if we have that chance, then our descendants can be free from suffering.”

“If we heal something in the present, we heal the past, because our ancestors are not just gone and buried. They are in us, so we’re healing both ourselves and our ancestors within us. And by doing this healing, we’re changing our future because we’re not passing that [negativity] on.” 

“Whenever you listen to the Buddha’s teachings, ask yourself, ‘How can I apply this to my daily life?’ The teachings have to continue to be renewed because they have to be relevant.”

“What have we got? Well, we can shop. We can amass things. But when Thich Nhat Hanh talks about a stream or a river, when we understand that we’re not separate, then that changes the very nature of how we see life. And this idea that we’re coming from somewhere and going somewhere actually creates an ethical responsibility.”

“People are talking about the importance of bringing Indigenous wisdom, bringing feminine wisdom. A lot of the wisdom which we have lost is coming back, because the challenges that humanity is facing means that people are recognizing that the past has a lot of the answers that modern society doesn’t.”

“Our spiritual ancestors are those who have taught us how to love and understand in our life.”

“This idea that we’re a separate self, that we’re born alone, is actually very painful.”

The wisdom from our ancestors is our inheritance, and we have to recognize that they have been there and their past actions are there for us to learn from.”

“If I look after this house, if I look after this garden, if I look after these grounds, then they’ll be passed on and then the next person will take it on. And that changes the nature of how I perceive the house, because there’s part of me that wants to put pictures on Instagram saying, ‘Look at my house, look at my garden’. As though by having paid money for it, I am able to feel better about myself because it’s mine. But actually that’s a false idea of ownership.”

“My mother, despite being the only remaining member of her family after the Second World War, and despite suffering enormous traumas as a result of the Nazi rise to power, she chose to go back as she got older, to heal those wounds. And not just her wounds; she visited old classmates who had excluded her at school and treated her very badly, she went and gave talks at schools about her experience.”

“The great original suffering is to be born.”

“If we don’t know anything about our blood ancestry, there can still be lots of data in how we respond to things, which can give us clues about our past. But beyond that, we can find refuge in many other parts, not just about blood family; each of those rivers can offer us a chance to understand ourselves better.”

“We all have our traumas. We all have our sufferings. But we can all take responsibility for doing our bit. And that actually does change the world.”

Sep 09, 2021
Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet
51:08

Welcome to episode four of The Way Out Is In: The Zen Art of Living, a podcast series mirroring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s deep teachings of Buddhist philosophy: a simple yet profound methodology for dealing with our suffering, and for creating more happiness and joy in our lives.

In this episode, presenters Zen Buddhist monk Brother Phap Huu and lay Buddhist practitioner and journalist Jo Confino are joined by special guest Zen Buddhist nun Sister True Dedication (Sister Hien Nghiem). Together, they address contemporary environmental crises and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s ethical framework of living, to help us reach a better future – as presented in his new book, Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet

The three further discuss Buddhist insights into the many existential crises faced by the global community; practical ways people can become empowered; not being overwhelmed by the suffering in the world, and how to work with our emotions to take positive action. 

Jo recollects interviewing Christiana Figueres, the architect of the Paris Climate Agreement, including on how the practice of mindfulness was instrumental in her achievements, and the importance of deep listening in global talks. 

Brother Phap Huu explains the insight of interbeing; the practice of gratitude; and shares about walking the (sustainability) talk in Plum Village; the ‘no car days’, shifting to veganism during a 800-people retreat, and starting a happy farm to become more self-sufficient and in touch with the Earth as a community of practitioners.

Sister True Dedication talks about editing Thich Nhat Hanh’s new book, Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet; the hardest part of working on a book; Thay’s involvement in the environmental movement since the early 1970s, as a pioneer of deep ecology; the importance of joy and vitality for facing hard times; falling in love with the Earth; accessing the insight of interbeing in our daily lives, and having fulfilled present moments; finding peace and equanimity in a suffering world; practicing deep truth; taking care of our despair. 

Finally, the sister ends the episode with a guided meditation.

Co-produced by the Plum Village App:
https://plumvillage.app/

And Global Optimism:
https://globaloptimism.com/

With support from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:
https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/


List of resources

Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet
https://www.parallax.org/product/zen-and-the-art-of-saving-the-planet/

Deep ecology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_ecology

Spiritual ecology
https://plumvillage.org/book/spiritual-ecology-the-cry-of-the-earth/ 

Sister Chan Khong
https://plumvillage.org/about/sister-chan-khong/

The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology
https://www.parallax.org/product/the-world-we-have-a-buddhist-approach-to-peace-and-ecology/

Other key books by Thich Nhat Hanh
https://plumvillage.org/about/thich-nhat-hanh/key-books/

Alfred Hassler
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Hassler 

The Diamond Sutra
https://plumvillage.org/sutra/the-diamond-that-cuts-through-illusion/  

Christiana Figueres
http://christianafigueres.com/#/

Jo Confino interviews Christina Figueres
https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/climate-change-unfccc-christiana-figueres

Paris Climate Agreement https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement 

Blue Cliff Monastery
https://www.bluecliffmonastery.org/ 

Happy Farm
https://plumvillage.org/community/happy-farm/ 

A koan
https://plumvillage.org/bg/about/thich-nhat-hanh/letters/bat-nha-a-koan/


Quotes

“To be able to see heaven on earth is part of our mindfulness practice.”

“What we learn in this kind of spiritual practice is that it’s a very embodied, complete, fully human experience of what it means to be alive and to be on this planet.”

“If we allow ourselves to fall in love with the Earth, we will know what to do and what not to do to help. When there’s love, the possibilities open up right away. The priorities are clear; we would sacrifice anything for the one we love.”

“This [planet] is the source of all life, our shared home, a miracle in the middle of a very spartan cosmos. And we want to do everything to ensure that the Earth can have a healthy and beautiful future, and that humans can have a part in that.”

“Through the eons of history, everything comes into manifestation and everything passes. And that’s true of civilizations; civilizations rise and civilizations fall.”

“The environment is not outside of you; you are the environment. So interbeing, this insight, lets you see that the way we live, the way we are, is already a contribution.”

“It’s important to do one thing well, not to take on the whole weight of saving the planet on your own.”

“I have learned to sit well and walk well.”

“As children of the Earth, activists for the Earth, and as members of humanity, while doing what we can to save the Earth it is really important to not lose the present moment, because the present moment is life.”

“If we lose the present moment, we lose everything. The future is only made of the present moment.”

“The beauties of Mother Nature can nourish us and give us the strength we need to keep going, to find balance, and to sustain ourselves.” 

“If we know we have done our part, made our contribution, and done our best, that is how we can have peace.” 

“Thay once asked the question, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen?’ And he said, ‘Your despair is the worst thing that can happen.’ We have to be vigilant against despair. We have to take care of our despair and metabolize it into the kind of action that can give cause for hope.”

“We want to transmit an energy of hope, of possibility, of living fully, and of fearlessness. These are the qualities that future generations will need. And it’s up to us to develop them now.” 

“We look for our own happiness. We look for our own success. We look for our own pleasure. And therefore, we act in a way that only relates to our wellbeing; we don’t see how our action has an effect. But with the insight of interbeing, when you have awareness, when you have mindfulness, you start to see how what you consume has an impact on the earth.”

“The first thing to do with a meditative practice, a mindfulness practice – any kind of contemplative practice where we’re trying to see how we can help our beloved planet – is to come back to our body, a body that has come from the Earth, and to really touch what it means to belong to this beautiful realm.”

“One action contains thousands of actions within it.”

“The planet doesn’t need to be saved once. It doesn’t even need to be saved only in the next 10 years. It needs to be saved by countless generations for hundreds and thousands of years to come. So we need to discover truly sustainable ways of being with the Earth, and being with our human nature. Ways that don’t burn ourselves out, and don’t burn the Earth out, so that we can really find peace and simplicity in what we are doing, with a massive resonance across space and time.”

This meditation is about facing something and then being with that fear, being with that grief, listening to it in our hearts, in our bodies. Not repressing it, not pretending it’s not there, but allowing it to be present, embracing it with the energy of mindfulness and compassion in order to metabolize it into not only a quality of peace, but a quality of action that can then follow.”

“It can seem paradoxical to accept the likelihood of a very bad end to our civilization in order to have the energy to take actions that will change that destination. It’s a strange reverse engineering, but it’s very powerful as an exercise and it comes from an original Buddhist meditation on contemplating our own impermanence.”

“Our next task is to see how we can make the book a force for change in the world, not simply something that sits on the bookshelf.”

“Whatever we can do about the future is rooted in the present moment.”

Sep 02, 2021
Mindfulness, Concentration and Insight – Where to Start?
1:11:34

Welcome to episode three of The Way Out Is In: The Zen Art of Living, a podcast series mirroring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s deep teachings of Buddhist philosophy: a simple yet profound methodology for dealing with our suffering, and for creating more happiness and joy in our lives.

In this episode, Zen Buddhist monk Brother Phap Huu and lay Buddhist practitioner and journalist Jo Confino talk about the ancient roots of mindfulness and its growing contemporary popularity. 

Along with special guest Sister Trai Nghiem, from the Plum Village community, the hosts further discuss the differences between mindfulness and concentration; how to deal with strong emotions; ways to awaken the seeds of awareness and mindfulness; being present to ourselves; asking for forgiveness. 

All three share insights about changes mindfulness has brought to their personal lives: “the fruit of the practice”. 

Brother Phap Huu explains what it means to dwell in the present moment; shares observations about Thich Nhat Hanh’s daily mindfulness practice and his “superpower”; addresses the different styles of walking meditation and how to make the most of nature’s energy; and considers the importance of resting in today’s society.

Both monastics go on to share about the weekly ‘lazy day’ in a busy monastery, and why this may just be the most advanced practice day.   

Jo contributes memories of Thich Nhat Hanh explaining the difference between practicing concentration and practicing mindfulness; ways to heal past wounds by being in the present moment; and methods for getting instant understanding when we are good observers of ourselves.

Sister Trai Nghiem shares about her spiritual journey to becoming a nun, and about life in the nunnery before and during the pandemic; being a musician both inside and outside of the monastery; combining playing violin with mindfulness; and how she let go of professional goals for perfection, instead just enjoying the energy of music created by the monastic community.  

Finally, the sister ends the episode with a guided meditation.

Co-produced by the Plum Village App:
https://plumvillage.app/

And Global Optimism:
https://globaloptimism.com/

With support from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:
https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/


List of resources

Plum Village Community
https://plumvillage.org/

Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path
https://plumvillage.org/library/dharma-talks/the-noble-eightfold-path/ 

Books by Thich Nhat Hanh
https://plumvillage.org/about/thich-nhat-hanh/key-books/

John Bradshaw
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bradshaw_(author)

Namo Avalokiteshvaraya
https://plumvillage.org/library/chants/namo-avalokiteshvaraya/ 

Samsara
https://plumvillage.org/library/dharma-talks/nirvana-is-in-samsara-samsara-is-in-nirvana-dharma-talk-by-sr-chan-duc-2018-06-21/ 

Sangha
https://plumvillage.org/about/international-sangha-directory/ 

Lazy days
https://web.plumvillage.app/item/give-yourself-a-lazy-day


Quotes

“Mindfulness is the capacity to also see the beauty of life.”

“When we observe ourselves as though we’re an outsider looking in, then we can develop instant understandings.”

“To develop the seed of mindfulness, we need a few formal practices that we can develop in our daily life; that way, we can always come back to them when strong emotions come up. We want to invite mindfulness to be present to take care of these strong emotions.”

“Mindfulness is the energy of cultivating awareness in our daily life.” 

“Only when we’re truly ourselves can we go into the past and heal things, because we’re bringing that awareness of who we truly are. It’s about lifting the veil and being present to ourselves.”

“If you want to take care of the future, learn to handle the present moment.”

“Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh would define love as understanding, because if you want to have compassion and love, you have to have understanding. And to have understanding, you need attention and time and focus.”

“We like to invite people to connect to their breath, letting that breath become a bridge. As they become aware of the breath, suddenly they bring their attention and mind to their body.”

“There are so many people trying to change the world who are burning out, who don’t really realize that you can only change the world if you change yourself.”

“Practicing mindfulness is not just practicing when we suffer. This is really important. Our teacher would encourage us to invest in our practice right now, when we’re happy, because when the storm arises, you don’t go look for a refuge. At that moment, you are the refuge.” 

“There’s no such thing as a thought or an action that is neutral. Everything has an impact. That means that every time we open our mouths, every time we have a thought, it’s either going to create something of beauty or it’s going to create hardship.”

“It’s interesting to see how, when we feel spacious inside, physical space outside doesn’t really matter. We can be anywhere and feel spacious and happy.” 

“To create change in our world, we have to come back to ourselves. And when we come back to ourselves – wow, we can really change the world.”

Aug 26, 2021
Lessons in Impermanence: How to Handle Life when Everything Changes
46:58

Welcome to episode two of The Way Out Is In: The Zen Art of Living, a podcast series mirroring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s deep teachings of Buddhist philosophy: a simple yet profound methodology for dealing with our suffering, and for creating more happiness and joy in our lives.

In this episode, Zen Buddhist monk Brother Phap Huu and lay Buddhist practitioner and journalist Jo Confino address one of the deepest teachings in Buddhist philosophy: impermanence.

They discuss reasons why it’s difficult for humans to recognize the impermanence of life; how impermanence can help us deal with suffering as well as happiness; how to live with the fact that everything changes, and how to avoid become attached to anything (including happiness); enjoying every moment in life, and not taking life for granted, since it is only available in the present moment.

Brother Phap Huu explains the Buddhist insight into impermanence, and how to practice impermanence as meditation. He recollects his first mindfulness retreat at Plum Village (aged just nine) and the teachings about handling strong emotions; visiting Thich Nhat Hanh in 2020, in Vietnam; and reuniting with his grandmother after 15 years.

Jo shares a lesson in impermanence with his favourite cup of tea, and investigates “dying (and living) well”, as well as letting go as one of the most challenging obstacles to embracing impermanence.

Their discussion also touches upon renewing Buddhism and making traditional spiritual practices relevant to the younger generations and to the suffering of today, true happiness, having no expectations, awareness, simplicity, Buddhahood, the practice of gratitude, non-attachment, and the importance of gathas (poems) in the practice of impermanence.

The sound of the bell makes a cameo appearance, and Brother Phap Huu offers some insights into this “Plum Village mark.”

Finally, the episode ends with a guided meditation on impermanence by Brother Phap Huu.

Co-produced by the Plum Village App:
https://plumvillage.app/

And Global Optimism:
https://globaloptimism.com/

With support from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:
https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/


List of resources

Plum Village Community
https://plumvillage.org/

Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation
https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/

True Love and the Four Noble Truths
https://plumvillage.org/library/dharma-talks/true-love-and-the-four-noble-truths/

Old Path White Clouds
https://www.parallax.org/product/old-path-white-clouds-walking-in-the-footsteps-of-the-buddha/

Creating Gathas 
https://plumvillage.org/articles/creating-gathas-mindfulness-at-play/

Gathas to print at home
https://plumvillage.org/articles/mindfulness-verses-for-daily-living/


Quotes

“Imagine every day as though it’s your last.”

“You are much more than your emotions and your feelings.”

“Don’t believe things just because I say them.”

“My life is my message.”

“Actually, Buddhism is very simple, but because of all the scholars and philosophers that have come along the way, they have made it much more difficult for people to understand.”

“When you change, you have to let go of something. And I think that is something that is very challenging for a lot of people.”

“Bringing impermanence into our own life is to recognize that nothing we do in life is ever lost. It’s always there for a moment in one form, and then it will become another form.”

“Impermanence tells us that whatever we are feeling today, it will change tomorrow.”

“If we come back to who we are and recognize our strengths and our way of dealing with something, then you can have all the thrashing on the outside, but we ourselves can become clear.”

“All we can count on is our actions, our thoughts and actions, because those have an impact in the world that ripple out forever, actually, because everything we do has an impact on someone else.”

“Even a mountain that looks as though it’s never going to change, by its nature, is impermanent. It came from nothing and will eventually erode into nothing.”

Aug 19, 2021
The Beginning of a Mindful Journey
54:50

Welcome to The Way Out Is In: The Zen Art of Living, a podcast series mirroring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s deep teachings of Buddhist philosophy: a simple yet profound methodology for dealing with our suffering, and creating more happiness and joy in our lives.

Meet your hosts, Zen Buddhist monk Brother Phap Huu and lay Buddhist practitioner and journalist Jo Confino, as they introduce themselves and share their aspirations for this series. In this episode, they discuss choosing the title and its meaning, the art of calligraphy, the work of the Plum Village zen monastic community, discovering the practice of mindfulness in the tradition of Plum Village, and their first encounters with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay).

Brother Phap Huu also shares stories from his seventeen-year period as Thay’s personal attendant, and glimpses of life in the monastic community. You’ll also hear a short history of Thay’s early years as a monk in war-torn Vietnam, his travels to other parts of the world, and how he joined forces with civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. to call for global peace, and started “the beloved community.”

Phap Huu remembers his first encounter with the mindful art of calligraphy, how the title of the podcast was inspired by a calligraphy, and Thay’s fondness for this art. 

Jo shares his first experience interviewing Thay, an unexpected introduction to mindful walking, how he truly came home to the here and now during his Plum Village visits and retreats, and why he currently resides in the vicinity of the monastery, in the south of France.

The discussion also touches upon the ideas behind applied or engaged Buddhism, the interconnection between suffering and happiness, Sangha (community), Samatha, and Vipassana.

The episode ends with a guided meditation by Brother Phap Huu. 

Co-produced by the Plum Village App:
https://plumvillage.app/

And Global Optimism:
https://globaloptimism.com/

With support from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:
https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/


List of resources

Plum Village Community
https://plumvillage.org/

Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation
https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/

Parallax Press – Publishing House
https://www.parallax.org/

Tu Hieu PagodaThe Root Temple
https://plumvillage.org/tag/tu-hieu/

The Hero with a Thousand Faces
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces

The Hare and the Tortoise
https://fablesofaesop.com/the-hare-and-the-tortoise.html


Quotes 

“One Buddha is not enough.”

“‘The way out is in’ is telling us that a lot of the answers that we are looking for actually begin from within us.”

“The great mystery is to explore within to find the answers, because we now have come to a place in society where we recognise that this is a dead end and actually we are not going to progress as a civilisation or be at peace with ourselves or with nature if we don’t actually go deep into ourselves for the answers.”

“There’s only one style of walking in Plum Village and that is mindful walking, and mindful walking is to enjoy each step.”

“If we know how to suffer, we will suffer much less.”

Aug 12, 2021
Coming Soon
1:35

“The Way Out Is In” is a new weekly podcast by Plum Village where hosts Jo Confino and Brother Pháp Hữu explore how to bring the practise of mindfulness into our daily life. First episode launches on Friday the 13th of August.

Aug 05, 2021