Thich Nhat Hanh Dharma Talks

By Kenley Neufeld

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Description

Dharma offered by the Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Episode Date
Live Happily in the Present Moment
11:27
This 59-minute talk was given on May 13, 2004 in New Hamlet, Plum Village, France. The talk was given between retreats to the monastic community and a small number of lay residents and guests. Thank you to Chân Phúc H?i for writing the summary and providing a time-stamped transcript. Thay begins this talk with a description of the concept of Apranihita or aimlessness.  Our tendency is to be constantly running, constantly searching.  We need to stop and reestablish ourselves in the here and now.Walking meditation is a wonderful way to learn how to stop. Can we walk with freedom and happiness?The Buddha said it was possible to live happily in the here and now.  In the sutra given to the White Clad People (Upasaka Sutra) “live happily in the here and now” occurs five times.The first time our planet was seen from space we were made aware of what a beautiful and precious place the Earth is.  The Earth is the bastion of life. It is a real paradise.  The pure land is right here. What are you searching for? Are you looking for love, for freedom, for understanding?  We need to get in touch with the wonders of life.  Our practice is to get in touch. Mindfulness is a very concrete way to go home to the here and now.Having a sangha is of great benefit.  In a sangha we remind each other that it is fortunate to be alive.  If we know how to stop running, how to take care of ourselves, how to water seeds of happiness every day, we can transform our suffering.  Doing this together is wonderful.Thay tells a story about visiting a prison.  Even in prison a person can be free.  And even outside of prison a person can be a prisoner of anger, despair, and hate.  Freedom is freedom from fear, from anger, from forgetfulness.  And our practice is the practice of freedom.  Our practice is the practice of awakening.The twenty-four brand new hours given to us every morning are a precious gift.  The day when we lay down to die we cannot bargain for another day.  Today is available, and if we are lucky, tomorrow will also be available.
Feb 07, 2021
How do we Practice as a Sangha
1:17:10
2000-06-03 (77-minutes) – It's been a long while since posting a dharma talk for you all, and for that I apologize. Today for our Day of Mindfulness at Deer Park Monastery, we heard this talk from June 3, 2000 at New Hamlet, Plum Village. The talk is part of the 21-Day Retreat that year with the theme of Eyes of the Buddha. For this talk, we take a deep dive into what it means to be sangha. Some of what Thay shares is for the monastic sangha, but can be equally applied to a lay community. Right out front, Thay says the very minimum number for a sangha is four people. He then proceeds to outline the steps for the Sanghakarman Procedure. From this presentation, the rest of the talk focuses on the Six Togethernesses. A real sangha must practice all six. Body. Being physically present in one place.Mindfulness TrainingsSharing. Dharma discussion. Nonverbal action. Presence. (View, insight, understanding, wisdom)Speech. Loving speech. Calm and gentle.Material resources are shared equallyHappy and joyful. Synthesis of all ideas. Toward the end, Thay explains the difference between the core sangha and the extended sangha. I hope you enjoy the talk.
Jan 21, 2021
Making Peace with Ourselves
1:55:32
The date is November 25, 2001 at Plum Village, Upper Hamlet. This is the first talk of the 3-month winter retreat. The talk is offered in English. 00:00 Connecting with Green Mountain Dharma Center and Deer Park Monastery09:10 Chanting34:12 Going Home to Ourselves41:08 Drinking our Tea43:22 Mindfulness of our Body46:04 Body52:50 Feelings56:26 Perceptions1:01:38 Mental Formations1:05:14 Consciousness1:06:01 Reclaiming Our Sovereignty1:14:01 The Sangha1:17:58 The Energy of Mindfulness1:24:55 Healing from Within1:29:04 Looking Deeply1:37:53 Building a Sangha What is the 3-month retreat? How do we practice together? Our practice is to build brotherhood. How do we know if we are succeeding in our practice? To practice to be happy together. It is a kind of daily food. Through our sitting mediation, walking meditation, eating in mindfulness. These help build our sisterhood and brotherhood. This is done by building peace within ourselves so it can manifest around us.  The Energy of Mindfulness Buddhist meditation has a universal value. The energy of mindfulness help us to there, to be fully present in every moment of our daily life. To be there for us. Our body, our feelings, our perceptions - they are all there, but are we taking care of them? Our practice is to go home to ourselves and tend to our feelings, perceptions, and our body. Our tendency is to run away from ourselves.  Drinking our tea. Are we fully present to drink our tea? Or are you drinking like a machine? Mindfulness of drinking. Everyone can do that. If we are not careful, we may follow our habit. Mindfulness is the energy to be there for what is going on. Through breathing, walking, eating, etc.  Mindfulness is the kind of energy that helps you to be fully there. This is the first action for peace. Have you abandoned yourself? Mindfulness can help you come back to yourself. We start with our body. Your breath is part of your body. When you breathe in, bring your mind back. Mindful breathing. This is the best way to begin making peace. It is the door in which you can come back to yourself. We can restore ours sovereignty in the territory of ourselves.  The Five elements (Skandhas)  The first element is form - your physical body. Our physical body is like a river; it is always flowing. The first thing a practitioner should do is make peace with our body. Learn how to calm and renew your body. Learn the art of deep and total relaxation. Give our body a chance to rest and restore itself. It is an action of peace. In the Harvard medical school, they have studied the role of meditation in healing the body. Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile to my body. The second element of your person is feeling. The painful feelings, pleasant feelings, neutral feelings. All kinds of feelings. Like the body, there is a river of feelings. They are born, remain, and affect other aspects of our person. Are you taking care of your feelings? Your emotions? Our tendency is to run away. Breathing in, I am aware of my feeling. Breathing out, I calm my feeling. They are like a suffering baby and they have been left alone. We need to take care of this territory of feelings.  The third portion of our territory is perception. We perceive realities, we have an image of ourselves. That is a perception. We have an image of the other person, or other group of people. This is a perception. And very often they are wrong. And because of our wrong perceptions, we suffer very deeply. There are a lot of contradictions.  In the Buddhist tradition, the physical body is called a formation. Formation is a technical term that means anything that manifests based on conditions. For example, a flower. Our body is formation. Our feelings are also a kind of formation, but we call it a mental formation. The fourth element is mental formations. According to Buddhist psychology, we have defined 51 mental formations. And mindfulness is one of the mental formations; we s...
Jul 06, 2020
Happiness is Right Here
43:30
A 43-minute segment on the third door of liberation – aimlessness. The talk takes place on August 17, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness and this is part four of a four-part series. Aimlessness You don’t put something in front of you and run after. It is a wonderful practice. It can bring you peace. We have the habit of running after something. Fame. Profit. Wealth. Even enlightenment. People imagine that monastics are running after enlightenment. But that is not the practice. If you have received the Five Mindfulness Trainings, you belong to the lineage of Linji. His teaching is very strong on this aspect of running. Don’t run after what you already are. Stop running. Happiness is right here. In this very moment. Just one step. Peace. Joy. Healing. Enlightenment. Are all in the present moment. This is the teaching of aimlessness.  Are you enlightened already? But how can we make plans for the future? The answer lies in the teaching of aimlessness.  Enlightenment is not something you strive for. The moment you are aware you are breathing in, that is a moment of enlightenment. We also practice to be aware of the present moment. We don’t live in a dream anymore. There is no way to enlightenment. Enlightenment is the way.  To be there for each other. At the breakfast table. There are things we can do so that mindfulness is there. If we organize well, breakfast can be a celebration of life.  So, let us take care of the present moment. The future is contained in the present moment. And let us not lose ourselves in regret about the past.  Nirvana  In the Buddhist tradition they speak of nirvana. Nirvana is the absence of notions. Notions like birth and death. Nirvana is not a place or space located in time. We have a notion of time. That we have birth and death.  We hear the story of the flame.  Pairs of opposites.  Birth and deathBeing and nonbeing Coming and going Sameness and otherness  Sangha building. 
Apr 17, 2020
Falling in Love with a Cloud
13:38
A 13-minute segment on the second door of liberation – signlessness. The talk takes place on August 17, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness and this is part three of a four-part series. Signlessness The second door of liberation. Sign here is the appearance. When we look deeply we have to see the nature of signlessness. The seed of corn has an appearance, we see it as a seed of corn. But when it grows, it no longer appears as a seed of corn. But the seed of corn is still there; it’s only changed how it appears.  Say you fall in love with a cloud. Thay helps us smile by recognizing our beloved cloud. It has not died. A cloud never dies. This too has been confirmed by scientists.  Piece of paper. Can you establish the birthdate of this sheet of paper? Was it at the paper mill? But the paper hasn’t come from nothing. Even if we burn the sheet of paper, it will continue. Being and non-being are just ideas. They do not apply to reality. These are conventional designations.  More examples. A drop of water falls from the sky. What happens? Does it become nothing? Before you were born. Were you there? Did you exist before the moment of conception? It is all a continuation. The same applies to “so called” death.  In the moment of great despair, great anguish, signlessness is there to rescue you. 
Apr 15, 2020
The Raft is not the Shore
38:21
A 38-minute segment on the first door of liberation – emptiness. The talk takes place on August 17, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness and this is part two of a four-part series. Three Doors of Liberation Today we are going to talk about the Three Doors of Liberation. In several discourses reminds us his teachings are only a device to help us liberate ourselves. They are not absolute truth. They are like a raft helping us to the other shore. The raft is not the shore. Make use of the raft. It is also like a finger pointing to the moon. It is not the finger. The finger is only a means to help us see the moon. Don’t be caught by the dharma of the Buddha. We can practice being non-dogmatic.  The Three Doors of Liberation are like the finger or the raft. These three doors are in all schools of Buddhism. We can use any door to help us get out of suffering. The practice is to have real insight.  Everything is impermanent. Intellectually we know this. But the notion of impermanence alone will not help us. We need to understand the truth of impermanence. We hear an example of our relationship with a loved one. We need to look deeply to see the true nature of impermanence. The insight will help us to behave wisely. Impermanence makes life possible. It gives us a chance to heal.  Concentration is to focus your attention on one thing deeply. To see the nature of that thing. It could be your love, you hate, your depression, your fear. To discover the true nature of what is there.  It can also be the guide offered by the Buddha. To see the true  nature of things. This can be liberating.  The Three Doors of Liberation have also been called the three concentrations.  Emptiness The first door of liberation. Emptiness has to do with our suffering and our happiness. We can get out of our suffering through the door of emptiness. It does not mean non-being. Thay teaches us what emptiness means.  Empty of what? The glass. The flower. Is there a separate existence? Thay offers several examples of emptiness ranging from parent/child, seed/corn, and cells.  When we touch the true nature of emptiness, we transcend all fear, all discrimination, all suffering. Let’s be less busy in our daily life so we can touch this truth. But remember, it is only a device. Striking a match to get a flame. Making use of the match. The fire is what I need for my liberation. I don’t need the match. A concept. We live each day in a way so we can touch the nature of emptiness. 
Apr 13, 2020
The Wisdom of Nondiscrimination
15:42
A 15-minute segment on the Wisdom of Nondiscrimination. The talk takes place on August 17, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness and this is part one of a four-part series. The Wisdom of Nondiscrimination Togetherness is not possible without a kind of wisdom. The wisdom of non-discrimination. The practice of looking deeply helps remove our discrimination.  Teaching on the umbilical cord. The art of being an expecting mother. Everything you do as a expecting mother, you do for your child. And the father is there to support. Even after the umbilical cord is cut, you are still linked very deeply with your parents. Even if we think are different person as we grow older. This is discrimination. And looking deeply we see are still linked. Non-discrimination.  Teaching on Thay’s right hand. There is no inferiority and superiority between the two hands. Writing a poem. Hammering a nail. This is the wisdom of non-discrimination. Low self-esteem (inferiority) and high self-esteem (superiority). And even equality. In Buddhism, these three complexes are also a symptom of discrimination. If we have the wisdom of non-discrimination then we will not suffer. We inter-are. 
Apr 12, 2020
Misunderstanding and Fear
8:03
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this eleventh post, we hear a question on the theme of spiritual leaders being killed. Jesus, Martin Luther King and Gandhi were all killed and I know that you were exiled from Vietnam. Why do bad things happen to spiritual people?  The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness.
Mar 16, 2020
Sexual Abuse at the Family Level
13:31
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this tenth post, we hear questions on the theme of sexual abuse in families. Earlier we had a question about transforming suffering from sexual misconduct at a community level. Now we have a question from several people about transforming this at an individual level and the family level. One person shared about being abused as a child and now as an adult, what can I do to help heal this scared little child who feels like the past is the present. Another person shared about sexual abuse in their family and I’m afraid for a new baby’s safety in our family.  The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness.
Mar 15, 2020
Working with Judgment and Fear
10:47
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this ninth post, we hear two questions. Photo copyright Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism. Two years ago I was here extremely depressed and anxious. You said, people feel the storm of the mind when experiencing depression. For now that storm has subsided. I now have fear about losing my mother, and people in my family, and how can I transform this fear?Thank you for your light. Often times I struggle with judging, and I think I’m getting better, but when I do judge people I am happy to be proven wrong. The challenge is when I judge other people for being judgmental. How can I overcome this type of judging judging?  The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness.
Mar 12, 2020
Chronic Depression and Medications
8:45
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this eighth post, we hear one question. Many of us experience chronic depression. Earlier in the retreat you talked about what is feeding that depression. For me, there is also an underlying biochemical component. Do you think I should not need medication and heal from the practice only?  The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness.
Mar 08, 2020
Living with Cancer
9:07
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this seventh post, we hear one question. The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness. There are 10-million people with cancer. Recently I was diagnosed with late-stage cancer and given a period remaining to live. And yet I am still alive today. Is there a path for me to do my spiritual work before I pass on? 
Mar 07, 2020
Sexual Misconduct
9:29
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this sixth post, we hear one question. The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness. Question about healing within my church community. A church leader who has acted inappropriately with sexual misconduct. The person is now gone, but we still need a healing process. Is that important even when some don’t want to or with people who didn’t even know the person?
Mar 05, 2020
Toxic Inputs
7:15
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this fifth post, we hear two questions. The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness. 1. How can we influence other members of our family, especially other adults, who want to avoid toxic inputs such as television shows, alcohol, etc. often they are not interested in changing their lifestyle or the practice. How can handle this in our home. 2. What should you do if someone feels bad and you want to make them feel better.
Feb 16, 2020
Aware of Suffering Surrounding Death
10:03
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this fourth post, we hear one question. The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness. Aware of the suffering surrounding death. Are we forced to see our friends and loved ones as impersonal parts that will manifest in other ways or are we able to take comfort in the idea or notion that their energy will live on and are we attaching to them as a notion to much?
Feb 14, 2020
Living with all the Madness
8:48
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this second post, we hear one question from a teen and another from an adult. The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness. Why are some children born handicapped? With all the madness in the world today, how do you keep from losing faith and giving up on humanity all together? 
Feb 09, 2020
I Have a Big Family
11:27
We continue our series of posts with questions and answers. In this second post, we hear three questions from children. The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness. What do you do when someone is annoying you?Do you see your family much? How often do you travel in a year?
Feb 03, 2020
How Can I Control my Temper?
5:28
We are beginning a series of posts with questions and answers. In this first post, we hear three questions from children. The session takes place on August 16, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness. Why is the bell so important? What do you do when you are angry or scared?How can I control my temper?
Feb 02, 2020
Sitting on our Portable Lotus Flower
1:35:29
In this 95-minute talk we learn how to sit, how to practice with the love mantras, and how to practice insight in order to transform our suffering. The talk takes place on August 14, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness and this is the second dharma talk of the retreat. We begin with the monastics chanting The Four Recollections. Sitting on our Portable Lotus Flower 9:25 Thay leads us in a short guided meditation. To be alive is the greatest of all miracles. Please sit like a Buddha. Thay teaches us about the lotus (or half-lotus) position. Feeling solid and stable. This way of sitting influences the mind. We are sitting like a mountain. The solidity of the body has something to do with the solidity of the mind. It is like sitting on a lotus flower. What does this mean?  16:15 A story of the time Thay visited a prison in Maryland. Sitting with a few hundred inmates, we learned how to sit like a Buddha on a lotus flower. How to keep our back upright and to release tension. We also learned how to practice a mindful meal. This visit later became a book called Be Free Where You Are.  19:25 We describe the Buddha as an artist. Sitting on the lotus flower. As a friend of the buddha, it is nice to know how to sit like him. The Buddha is not a God. He was a human being. He did become a free, happy, enlightened person. The word Buddha is a title, not a name. Anyone can become a Buddha. Do you have a capacity to sit like a Buddha? What are the challenges we experience as students of the Buddha.  21:57 When Mr. Nelson Mandela came to visit France, he was asked what he’d like to do the most. He responded by saying, to sit down. To rest. Thay said we need some training in order to sit well. To do nothing. To be a Buddha is to allow freshness, solidity and peace to manifest in us. Sometimes we are very close to this. Almost a Buddha.  Love Mantras 25:13 When you love someone, the best thing you can offer them is your Buddhahood. To have a little Buddha as a present for our loved ones. In this moment, Thay is teaching this to the children present at the talk. The best kind of present is your beautiful presence. Our mindful sitting and walking can improve our presence. It just takes some practice.  29:02 In Buddhism, we sometimes practice a mantra. It is something that can help transform a situation. “Darling, I am here for you” You can practice with this. To love is to offer your fresh presence. And when you are truly there, you may notice something else is there – your beloved one, and the world. This mantra is the first step. Then you can say, “Darling, I know you are there and it makes me happy.” To acknowledge the presence of your loved one. To be loved is to be recognized. We are reminded that you don’t need to go to the meditation hall in order to practice. No matter how old you are, you can still practice these two mantras. Without love, happiness is not possible.  What would it be like to have a million dollars? Would this make me happy? Allow me to do more? Would it bring happiness? What Thay has is mindfulness, and this can bring us a lot of happiness. When we have enough insight, we are not caught up in difficult situations anymore. This comes from our mindfulness and concentration. We come to this retreat to learn how to do things with mindfulness. To create love, understanding, and insight. This is the gift of the Buddha.  Contemplating the Body 38:59 In the previous talk, we were trying to learn just one thing – releasing the tension. The Buddha has much to teach us on healing. Every step we take can help us release the tension. Every breath that we take can help us release the tension. When we allow our body to relax, our body begins to have the capacity for healing itself. There are many ways to do this, such as deep relaxation practice.
Dec 31, 2019
Breathing Begins Transformation
1:58:14
In this 2-hour dharma talk, Thich Nhat Hanh teaches how important our breathing is for transformation. The talk takes place on August 13, 2007 during the Stonehill College retreat during the U.S. Tour. The retreat theme is Mindfulness, Fearlessness, and Togetherness and this is the first dharma talk of the retreat. Eating Breakfast We begin with a brief reflection on Lazy Day at Son Ha Temple in Plum Village. Being lazy can be difficult for some people. In Plum Village it means to take your time in every moment. Whether we are brushing our teeth or eating our breakfast. Each moment is a moment of joy, of peace, of freedom. Thay has discovered that he loves french toast, but he’s been unable to find french toast in France. I eat breakfast because I like breakfast. In the Buddhist practice, we take time to enjoy our breakfast. We don’t eat in a hurry. During this retreat, we also eat in silence. This is known as noble silence. We practice being mindful of every morsel of food we eat and also mindful of the people around you. The same is when we drink tea – to be truly present in the here and the now. True life is there in the present moment. Drinking mindfully I can see the cloud in my tea. Many of us are running after something, such as a diploma. When we are running, we missed the opportunity to be in the present moment. To stay with my breakfast or with my tea. This is called mindful eating.  Walking Meditation 14:25 – Today, we started with walking meditation early this morning. The purpose of walking meditation to arrive in every moment. To arrive in the here and the now. There is always something in the here and the now. Our habit of running causes us to missing what is happening in the present moment. I have arrived. I am home. When you have arrived, happiness becomes a real thing. We arrive in every moment. This is called mindful walking.  Lazy Day 18:43 – Mindful breathing is also enjoyable. We need some training. In the beginning, we may still feel the energy of running. To do things quickly. Stop running and learn to breathe. Thay uses the example of brushing our teeth. We enjoy every moment of the day, whether we are washing or sitting or walking. And on the other days, not the lazy day, you simply follow the schedule. And you profit from the collective energy of the sangha. You can cherish every moment of your lazy day. Are you lazy enough today? Nowhere to go, nothing to do. There is a tendency in every one of us to run. A kind of energy that is pushing us to run after something. The practice of Buddhist meditation is to be aware of this tendency and be able to stop. Stopping is a very important practice. We can stop running. I have arrived. I am home.  Slow Walking Meditation 27:28 – When you are alone and you have 5-10 minutes, you may like to practice slow walking meditation. You breathe in, and you make one step. Bring attention to the sole of your foot. Become aware of the contact between your foot and the ground. And say silently, I have arrived. Invest 100% of your body and your mind into the step. The running has become a habit in our body, our mind, and our consciousness. We can create another habit, of arriving and stopping, to counter that habit of running. This practice of slow walking meditation is one of the methods to form a new habit. Stay in that first step until you have fully arrived in the moment.  With this practice, we can begin to heal. The practice of stopping. It is a training. We need to allow our body to do the healing. Resting. Our body and mind have the capacity to heal itself by allowing our body and mind to rest.  Mindful Breathing 39:08 – In the “Sutra of Mindful Breathing,” the Buddha offers a method to release the tension in our body. To allow our body and mind to rest. Breathing in, I am aware of my body. This is one exercise described by the buddha. When you breathe in, you bring your mind to your body. This is a basic practice. Breathing in,
Dec 24, 2019
Ultimate Dimension of Ourself
57:26
The 2007 United States Tour began in August at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. In this 57-minute recording, we begin with Sr. Chan Khong offering a lovely orientation to the basic practice. Sister Chan Khong is one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s most senior student having met Thay in 1959 and then became one of the first members (the “Six Cedars”) of the Order of Interbeing. Following the sharing by Sr. Chan Khong, we continue with Brother Phap Tri.  The date is August 12, 2007.  Introduction During this retreat we want to learn the way the young man Siddhartha discovered the ultimate dimension of himself. If we can put this into practice, we can take the ultimate dimension within ourselves. How can everyone can touch that deep dimension of ourself? To help us to love.  Our body is here, but our mind is somewhere else. Our mind is not in the present moment. That is why we don’t see the ultimate dimension. The training he discovered is our breathing. This can bring our mind back to our body. That breathing is the link. During this week, we learn this training. Be aware of your in-breath and your out-breath.  The first part of Buddhist practice is samatha. Stopping. Doing this we can see deeply. We then use vipassana. If you look deeply, then it is very interesting. We can see the wonderful nature of the present moment. During our retreat, when we hear the bell then we stop and come back to the present moment.  Breathing  The practice is to be happy. Even if we have 30% of bad things, we also have 70% of good things. With our practice, we go back to the present moment all the time. In the present moment, we go deep into the positive things. Even our cell phone can be our bell of mindfulness. Sr. Chan Khong relates a story of a retreat at the Ojai Foundation that occurred during a fire. Many people were so upset by the helicopters and Thay reminded everyone that this too can be a bell of mindfulness. We come back to the present moment by following our breathing – this is not so easy, but we work toward stopping our thinking. Even when we are irritated. Any unfriendly noise can be transformed by following our breathing.  Sitting  Sitting meditation. How can we sit on the cushion, or the bench, or the chair? Chrysanthemum position - whatever position is most comfortable for you. The key is to sit in a stable position. What can we do with pain we experience during sitting meditation? If you are in pain, then you may be trying too hard. It is okay to change position. And we pay attention to our breathing as it goes in and out of our body. In the book, Blooming of the Lotus, there are simple exercises for following our breathing that build and expand upon the Buddha’s teachings on the Sixteen Exercises of Mindful Breathing.  Sister Chan Khong offers us one of these short exercises through a song. In. Out. Deep. Slow. Calm. Ease. Smile. Release. Present moment. Wonderful moment. We can use this song while practicing walking meditation.  By dwelling deeply in the present moment, we can all become enlightened during this retreat. 
Dec 21, 2019
We Contain the Whole Cosmos
1:17:23
This is a 78-minute dharma talk from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in Hanoi during the “Engaged Buddhism in the 21st Century” retreat. This is the sixth and final talk on May 11, 2008 and the talk is offered in English. Photo by Paul Davis The Dharma is something you need to come and see for yourself. It is experiential. Meditation holds the keys. We can unlock the door of reality. Among them are the Three Doors of Liberation. Emptiness. Signlessness. Aimlessness. These are the keys. What are these Three Doors of Liberation? Along with this, we take a deeper look at several pairs of opposites (in the context of signlessness). birth and death being and nonbeing coming and going sameness and otherness We can liberated from our fear, our anger, our despair. The story of the flame is quite humorous and enjoyable.
Oct 13, 2019
Questions and Answers
1:57:34
This is a 117-minute session of questions and answers with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in Hanoi during the “Engaged Buddhism in the 21st Century” retreat. The date is May 10, 2008 and the questions and answers are offered in English.  Questions How would applied Buddhism look to the healthcare professional? (3:25)How do we deal with guilt? (8:07)My father cares about no-one and has no interest in life. He also has lots of anger. How can I help him? (17:50)A question on mindfulness of joy. Can you explain a little more about joy as it relates too attachment to the joy? (23:30)Experiencing suffering in not being able to conceive a child. (32:30)A question about medication and depression. In reference to what Thay taught in a previous talk. Sometimes there is also a physiological aspect to depression. Concern that Thay’s teaching may be misunderstood. Can you clarify? (41:24)Why does life exist? Why are we here? (56:33)As a young person, how can I use the practice and be able to share with other young people? Is there some more creative language that might speak more to young people? (1:00:00)How do we forgive someone whom we have never known intimately and have no way of communicating? For the suffering they have caused. (1:08:15)Having recently traveled in Laos and meeting many people impacted by the war and areas where unexploded ordinance remains. This caused anger and sadness to arise in me. Is this karma? Is this a time when we can be righteously angry? (1:16:03)There are young people who grow-up in a loving and supportive environment, but when they travel for university or work, they will face really negative pressure. This is a challenge. We should vaccinate our mind. Should we give children challenges so they are better prepared? (1:25:50)What is your intention with offering the Five Mindfulness Trainings? (1:35:30)Question about the 5th Mindfulness Training. This training watered by feeling of fear based on my upbringing as a Catholic. (1:45:30)
Oct 05, 2019
Love in Action
1:18:30
2008-05-09 | Love in Action This is a 78-minute dharma talk from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in Hanoi during the “Engaged Buddhism in the 21st Century” retreat. This is the fifth talk on May 9, 2008 and the talk is offered in English. Teaching and Social Work In 1964, Thay was teaching at Colombia University and my friends in Vietnam asked me to return home. In Saigon there was a school (School of Youth for Social Service) to teach engaged Buddhism and serve the communities in Vietnamese countryside. An expression of Love in Action. They did not want sponsorship from the government and didn’t want to be involved in the war. Inspired by compassion. Nonviolence and rural development. It started with 300 workers and expanded to 10,000 workers — these were volunteers. Thay shares some of the work they did during this time and where they learned to do this work. Some of these social workers died in service and there is a memorial at the Dharma Cloud Temple (Chua Phâp Van) in Ho Chi Minh City. Thay talks of the spiritual dimension to this social work. This is where the Order of Interbeing arose and Thay talks of the first members and the first ordination. In 1966, That was invited by Cornell University to teach a series of lectures. The purpose was also to help Thay get out of Vietnam and to speak out about the war in Vietnam. This was sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation. After this, Thay was not allowed to return to Vietnam. At this time was intensifying and a young OI member immolated of herself - her name was Nhat Chi Mai. Also several members of the school were murdered. The School for Social Service setup pilot villages. One village was bombed multiple times after re-building. To help with farming, health, and economics. They also setup refugee camps to assist with resettlement of thousands of people. This too is Engaged Buddhism. And we must also maintain our spiritual development. Thay remained in France and raised money to help fund the work of the school and bring awareness of the real war in Vietnam. After we setup Plum Village (1982) in France, they offered retreats for veterans, health professionals, business people, members of war-torn nations, congresspeople, school teachers, and young people. Buddhism is for all walks of society. We also reach into serving those who are imprisoned. Releasing the tension. Holding the emotion. Heal yourself. Heal your family. This too is Engaged Buddhism. Engaged Buddhism is our business in every minute and every hour. It can even be practiced in a normal fashion, without appearing religious. Manifestation-Only Buddhism The first practice of Right Diligence is: the negative seeds, let them sleep. Don’t water them. They become weaker and weaker. This is an art. It is the practice of Right Diligence. It is continued practice. Today we introduce the concept of manas. Sometimes this consciousness is called ‘the lover.’ It is born from a number of unwholesome seeds. For example, feelings of superiority, inferiority, and equality. We learn of subject, object, and emptiness. Thanks to emptiness everything is possible. But manas ignores this. Manas believes you have a self. It doesn’t see Interbeing. Manas is always seeking pleasure. It is always trying to run away from suffering and ignores the goodness of suffering. No mud. No lotus. Interbeing. We need the Wisdom of Nondiscrimination (gained through meditation). Linked with Right Thinking and Mindful Consumption. Changing the Peg The second practice of Right Diligence is when a negative seed does arise, we help return the mental formation to our store consciousness. How? Thay provides an example. Change the peg. Mindful breathing and invite another mental formation to arise. Coming to a retreat is a good way to water a lot of positive seeds. Create a positive environment. We can do this at home too. Listen to a dharma talk, practice chanting,
Oct 03, 2019
The Buddha in your Wallet
1:37:31
This is a 97-minute dharma talk from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in Hanoi during the “Engaged Buddhism in the 21st Century” retreat. This is the fourth talk on May 8, 2008 and the talk is offered in English.  We begin with Thay offering a short guided meditation that encourages us to bring our attention to our father and mother inside of us.  There is a school of Buddhism called “Mind Only” and that school studies our mind in depth. Another name is “Manifestation Only” school. No birth and no death. We are not a creation, we are only a manifestation. What does Thay mean by “manifestation” and how is it present in our lives? Before things manifest themselves they can be conceived in the form of Seeds. Bija. When the seeds manifest themselves, they become dharma. Samskara. This teaching of manifestation only could be easily applied in our daily life. And this is part of the practice of engaged Buddhism. In work. In family. In the May 7 talk, we explored the 51 forms of mental formations. Seeds.  This is illustrated with the story of a young couple where the woman is pregnant with a child. Thay recalls her niece who was pregnant and how she used the Lotus Sutra to nourish her unborn child by reciting the sutra regularly.  In Buddhism, we learn that understanding is the foundation of love. How do we practice this within our families? We can adopt loving speech. Concrete examples of how to do this is offered. We learn of the “Peace Treaty” used in Plum Village. And of flower-watering, or selective watering. It can be practiced in on our own.  What is buddhanature? Do we all have buddhanature? Illustrated by a couple who lives in Paris. They are well to do and have been married a long time. But they are not happy. They do not know the art of selective watering. How language and loving speech can impact their relationship. The language of love.  We receive a lesson on writing a letter of love. Thay shares the story of giving the monastics a “homework” assignment to write a letter to their parents.  Conditions of happiness. We have more than enough conditions of happiness. The practice of mindfulness is very crucial. The Five Mantras. Darling, I know you are there and it makes me happy. A young man who suffered greatly because of his father — they were very rich but his father was not available to his son. His father was completely absorbed with his business. The young man asked for his father to present for him. Darling, I am here for you. That is what he was asking of his father. To love means to be there. Your presence.  True love. Overcoming pride. In Plum Village we have a formula, a practice, for overcoming anger. Asking for help. The fourth mantra.  The Buddha in your wallet.  Story of Mr. Trung from many centuries ago in Vietnam who had returned home after being gone in the army a long time. A tragedy of misunderstanding and miscommunication. Wrong perceptions. They did not know how to practice the fourth mantra.  After 9/11 Thay tried to get America to practice the fourth mantra. Only a few days after 9/11, Thay gave a talk on holding our anger in Berkeley, California. To help people to calm down. Collective anger and collective fear. This is very dangerous. We calm down first and then practice the fourth mantra.  Loving speech and deep listening is effective for anyone in relationship, including nations. This is engaged Buddhism. 
Sep 18, 2019
Joy and Ease for Enlightenment
1:14:55
This is a 82-minute dharma talk with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh from Hanoi during the “Engaged Buddhism” retreat. This is the third talk on May 7, 2008 and the talk is offered in English.  Walking Meditation How can we enjoy walking? How can we use breathing? Every step is life. Every step is a miracle. Every step is healing. Every step is freedom.  We learn how to use this gatha with our walking - whether alone or in a group. Photo by Paul Davis Seven Factors of Awakening The Buddha taught of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. Buddhism is about enlightenment and mindfulness is already enlightenment. Awareness of breathing is already enlightenment.   We explore mindfulness, joy, and ease. How does this link with the Four Noble Truths? Ill-being and well-being. Relaxation, lightness, and peace. We have methods for reducing stress. This is the path - The Path of Well Being. We have very concrete practices to assist.  For example, the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing. In this talk, we touch on several of the methods for breathing. This is a Noble Path. You don’t have to be a scholar, you simply need to be a practitioner. We have all experienced ill-being. How can we do this as practitioners?  Engaged Buddhism in Vietnam About 39-minutes into the talk, we turn back toward the history of engaged Buddhism. In the 1950s, Thay began writing about religious belief and society. In the mid-60s, we established the Order of Interbeing arising out of war and ideologies.  We can look at the precepts of the Order as a direct response. What is the teaching on views from the Buddha? To be free from views is a basic foundation of Buddhism. In 1965, I wrote the book Lotus in a Sea of Fire. The war in Vietnam was raging. Our enemies are not man, it is hate and violence. We needed more international support to hear us say we don’t want this war. The peace movement in Vietnam was the lotus. The book was released underground in Vietnam. Sister Chân Không was arrested for having the book. In 1964, we also establish the School for Youth and Social Service to focus on education, health, economics, and organization.  Thay shares of the creation of a new group for today’s youth - now known as Wake Up!  And there are also new courses coming from the Institute of Applied Buddhism. These are building upon these early days in Vietnam.  If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Jun 15, 2019
You are Both Depression and Mindfulness
1:36:34
This is a 96-minute dharma talk with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh from Hanoi during the “Engaged Buddhism” retreat. This is the second talk on May 6, 2008 and the talk in offered in English. We begin with a teaching on mental formations and the roots of our ill-being before moving toward the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.  Samskara.  A Buddhist technical term. Means formation. Physical, biological, and mental. What is a formation? Recognizing that all formations are impermanent. When we observe a formation, we should be able to see this impermanent nature.  Mental Formations In the Plum Village tradition, we talk of 51 mental formations. There are positive formations - compassion, loving kindness, joy, etc. These are wholesome mental formations. As practitioners, can we recognize and help them to manifest? We also have negative mental formations - craving, anger, hate, jealousy, etc. In our practice, we refrain from watering these negative formations. Further, there are also indefinite mental formations - they can be wholesome or unwholesome. Practicing meditation is a way to recognize the mental formation. Thay teaches examples of how to do this practice of awareness with mental formations. Mindfulness. In the present moment.  Bija These are seeds we all carry. For example, we have a seed of anger. It may not be present as a mental formation right now, but it is a seed in our consciousness. These seeds can become a mental formation. Learning to water the wholesome seeds so they may arise as a mental formation.  The two layers of consciousness - Store and Mind. The seeds live in store. With the practice, we can water wholesome seeds in store and help them manifest into kind consciousness. Thay teaches this is greater detail along with concrete examples.  Mindfulness of our mental formations. An example of depression. No fighting between mindfulness and depression. It is simply to recognize. And then to embrace with tenderness. This is the energy of depression. And this is the energy of mindfulness. This is our practice. Supporting through non-duality and non-violence. Both seeds are you. You are both depression and mindfulness.  Mindfulness, Concentration, Insight In the Sutra the Four Establishments of Mindfulness, the Buddha teaches to begin with the body. Today we move into the second realm of practice. Aware of the feelings and emotions. And then take good care of them. Mindfulness has the function to recognize, to hold, and bring relief. It also carries the energy of concentration.  Mindfulness leads to concentration. With concentration, you can take a deep look at your feelings and the. discover the roots of what is. This brings insight - liberation. This only comes if you have strong concentration. This begins with mindfulness.  Roots of Ill-Being and the Noble Eightfold Path Coming home to the present moment. To recognize ill-being as it is. The first noble truth. Through looking at ill-being, we can discover the second noble truth. Craving. Hate. Ignorance. Wrong perception. Lack of communication. What is the cause of our ill-being? Do we know how to live like a Buddha? To bring a spiritual dimension to our daily life? What are the methods of removing wrong perceptions? Even in the case of war and terrorism.  Consumption, developing countries, large populations, meat industry, and learning to reduce our consumption. From the roots of ill-being we can discover the path. By practicing deeply the first and the second noble truths we can discover the fourth noble truth. Using the Five Mindfulness Trainings to guide us. Protecting life and the practice of love. Thay offers a summary of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.  In the noble eightfold path, the Buddha recommends Right View. This is the insight of interbeing. And once you have this insight, you discover Right Thinking. Right Speech. Right Action. Engaged Buddhism can be seen in the light of the Four No...
Jan 27, 2019
Life at Every Breath
53:03
A gentle and kind teaching from Thich Nhat Hanh on the merits of the breathing and sitting meditation. Hanoi, 2008.
Dec 28, 2018
The Art of Being Peace
54:16
For the Fifth International Buddhist Conference in May 2008, the Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh was invited to offer the opening keynote address. The event took place at the National Convention Center, Hanoi, Vietnam with the theme Buddhist Contribution to Building a Just, Democratic and Civilized Society. Hosted by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and co-organized by International Organizing Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and National Coordinating Committee for the United Nations Day of Vesak. The date is May 13, 2008 and both audio and video are available below. The talk is 53-minutes.  Promoting Peace Practicing Buddhism is the art of being peace, the art of promoting peace, in the society and in the world. We all should learn this art. We all have elements of war in our body. Practicing Buddhism is recognizing these elements so that we can then transform these elements. In the Sutra on Mindful Breathing, the Buddha provided us the practice to release the tension in our body. It only takes a few minutes. If we can release the tension in our body, then our body can learn to heal itself. When we make peace body, we can begin to make peace with our feelings and emotions. Do you know how to recognize your emotions? This is the art of making peace with ourselves. Our body, and our feelings and emotions. The Buddha also taught in this sutra how to recognize and transform our mental formations. The Buddhist practice means going home to oneself. To restore peace. How does this work in the family setting? Or in the school setting? Why is it important for parents and teachers to learn this art of being peace?  Deep Listening and Loving Speech During our time teaching in the west, we have also taught listening with compassion and using loving speech to restore communication. In Plum Village, we have practiced this intentionally with groups in conflict - Israelis and Palestinians. What is outlined above is used to illustrate practical application with these groups. In Mahayana Buddhism, we have the Bodhissatva Avalokiteshvara - the bodhissatva of compassion. They do this practice in order to suffer less.  Right View is the view of dependent co-arising, no-self, interbeing. Practitioners should always remember to maintain this right view in their daily life. How does this look between a father and a son? We learn that suffering is not an individual matter. Everything this is linked to everything else. To protect other species on earth, and the earth itself, is to protect ourselves. This is the insight of interbeing.  The Five Mindfulness Trainings Thay reminds of Unesco’s Manifesto 2000 which Thay helped to create with several Nobel Peace Prize laureates. There are six points and has been signed by 75-million people. This arose from the teachings of Buddhism and are very similar to the Five Mindfulness Trainings. If we practice these, we will have peace in ourselves and in the world. Just signing is not enough; we need to put it into practice. This is why we recommend forming ourselves into communities - in our families, schools, workplace, and within governments. These can all become a sangha and bring these six points (and Five Mindfulness Trainings) into practice.  The practice of deep ecology, mindful consumption and the Five Mindfulness Trainings. The trainings also teach us not to exploit people or the earth. We have been talking a lot about peace, but we have not done enough for the cause of peace. Whatever we can do in terms of thinking, speech, and action could be considered as an offering to the Lord Budhha. As an example, we learn how Deer Park Monastery in California is using solar energy and having car free days. Reducing consumption, learning to live more simply, and to have more time to take care of oneself and our beloved ones is very crucial and is the way of peace.  Living happily in the present moment. And taking care of the present moment is taking care of the future.
Dec 08, 2018
Practicing in a Stressful Environment
1:11:12
This 71-minute dharma talk in the Ocean of Peace Meditation Hall takes place on Sunday, February 8, 2004. The monastic and lay community are practicing together during the 2004 Rainy Season Retreat from January 4 to March 14 at Deer Park Monastery. Both audio and video versions are available with this post. Thay has received many letters from those participating in the retreat. Some contain joy and some contain their difficulties. We begin with a review of some of these letters and picks three questions.  If nothing is created and nothing dies, where is the beginning? What are the elements that form the beginning? Continuing the teaching on the sixteen exercises of mindful breathing in the recent weeks. The last four are about perceptions, and this question is about our perceptions. A contemplation on the nature of reality. The objects of our perception, and look deeply, in order to touch the ultimate dimension.  I often feel I have no reason to continue to live. If there is no birth, no death then I feel ready to live.  This question too has to do with the ultimate dimension. This too is a good object of meditation. We can inquire about our body and our mind. We can water the seeds of love and understanding. This question is very important.  For 15-years I have been working as a medical doctor with two other doctors in a health center. We provide care for immigrants, refugees and people who are destitute. The more patients who come, the more it costs the health center because the government only pays for a few per year. This leads to many long days, house calls, and financial challenges. Personally, I am tired and stressed out.  We can have compassion and willingness to help, but this can lead to burnout. We cannot continue like this. Thay shares a story of the congressman who practices walking meditation in the capitol.  How do we respond? The first thing is to look at how do we organize our day. We have to know how to preserve ourselves in order to continue. We do this with our practice - eating, walking, etc. Do we allow time for this? Can we incorporate into our daily life? The next step is to call upon others to help. We don’t need to do this alone. We could learn how to setup a Sangha to nourish our practice - an island and refuge for us.  Last time we spoke about how to take care of our feelings. The four exercises in the realm of feelings are about knowing how to bring the feeling of joy and happiness.  Five Kinds of Energy or the Five Powers  Faith (or confidence/trust) DiligenceMindfulnessConcentrationInsight  We begin to learn about store consciousness and the seeds contained therein. Followed by our mind consciousness and selective watering. Appropriate attention. Positive and negative seeds.  Let us use the five power to create the source of happiness. And we can add “letting go” as the sixth power.  Now we come to the 7th exercise - recognition of the mental formation. That feeling or emotion has its base in store consciousness as a seed (bija). The first function of mindfulness is to be aware, to recognize. It is a practice of love.  RecognizeEmbraceReliefTransformation  In the seventh exercise, we are only doing the first step above.  https://youtu.be/o6KTb0QMyJ8 If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Oct 14, 2018
Happiness is Made of these Moments
1:14:31
This 74-minute dharma talk in the Ocean of Peace Meditation Hall takes place on Sunday, February 1, 2004. The monastic and lay community are practicing together during the 2004 Rainy Season Retreat from January 4 to March 14 at Deer Park Monastery. Both audio and video versions are available with this post. In the process of renewing Buddhism, many people disagreed with me. Today, Thay offers some words on renewing Christianity. The teaching of living deeply in the present moment is also very clear in the gospel. We should take care of today. Living happily in the present moment is possible. Our basic practice during this Rainy Season Retreat is this: living happily in the present moment. If the Buddha is there, the pure land is there too. If God is there, then the kingdom of God is there too. This practice is not difficult. Mindfulness will help us be in the present moment. Thay proposed that theologians and Christian teachers offer us the teaching and practice to help us live in the present moment. The same is said to Buddhist teachers. Walking and contemplating in the pure land or the Kingdom of God. Then we no longer have to run after fame, power, wealth, and sex.  The teaching should be embodied by the teacher. The life of the teacher can then be authentic. If you are Dharma Teacher, you have to embody the teaching of living happily in the present moment. If you want others to be able to stop suffering and to live happily. Every moment of our daily life can be seen as a miracle. Thay offers a few examples of how we embody the practice.  If you are beginner, a new practitioner, there are brothers and sisters who are more experienced. And these more experienced practitioners can show how we can live in the present moment. Mindfulness and concentration bring about happiness, solidity, understanding, and compassion. And this will nourish us and the other people around us. We can help those around us. Thay offers some examples of how this is practiced. Practicing is helping the sangha.  There are those who have received the Five Trainings, and yet sometimes there are those who have not  received the trainings who may be more solid in their practice. We can learn from these students because their present in the sangha is a blessing too. It makes the sangha more beautiful and a better refuge. It’s not because of have received the Five Trainings that makes us more important. Anyone can be the teacher. Our teacher is a little bit everywhere. Signlessness. Not caught by the form. The same is true for the Order of Interbeing member - those without the brown jacket may be better practitioners than us. When we wear the brown jacket, we have to be more careful and embody the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. Our real value, as members of the Order of Interbeing, is how we practice these trainings. In order to do this, we have to be solid in our daily practice and see our teacher in others. As members of the Order, we have a duty of setting up a sangha. We have to do the work of sangha building. The sangha is protecting and supporting us. So, whether you have received the Five Trainings or not, whether you have received the Fourteen Trainings or not, whether you have received the Ten Novice Precepts - we need a sangha.  Daily Practice worksheet - there is a column for each day. And in the evening before you go to sleep, we can evaluate our practice. We start with waking up - when you woke up, did you practice? Were you aware and present with waking up. In the teaching, we continue through the other parts of the day where we can enjoy and practice in each moment - putting on your shoes, folding your blanket, opening and closing the door, etc. There are also verses (Gathas) of practices.  During this retreat, we have been learning about how to take care of our body and our feelings through the Exercises on Mindful Breathing proposed by the Buddha. We are learning how to handle our feelings,
Sep 30, 2018
Practicing in the Present Moment
1:35:07
The monastic and lay community are practicing together during the 2004 Rainy Season Retreat from January 4 to March 14 at Deer Park Monastery. This 95-minute event took place outdoors at San Dieguito County Park, Solana Beach in the afternoon of Saturday, January 31, 2004. Because the event is outdoors, there is some wind noise on the microphone from time to time. Both audio and video versions are available with this post. 00:00:00 Slideshow of Alms Round (music) 00:01:51 Chanting 00:10:15 Introductory Words from Thay on Asking Questions Are we supposed to spend all our time in the here and now?How to help someone get rid of the anger?How do we practice to do the right thing, even when it is difficult?How do we practice when someone we love dies? Can there ever be a positive benefit to anger?How do we keep a balance with the practice and personal fulfillment, especially in professional efforts?How do I forgive myself? Sometimes I have difficulty in believing in myself; how do I believe in myself?My son wants to marry a Catholic and I want him to be in front of our ancestors first; what can I do?What do you think of humans living in this place and time; the wrong frequency? 00:19:25 Dharma Talk in Response to the Questions The past is already gone, and the future is not yet here. There is only the present moment. Being in the present moment doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the past nor that you can’t make plans for the future. We can be grounded in the present moment and not get lost in the past or the future. The past can even be the object of your practice in the present moment.  Suppose you have anger at your grandmother, in the past, and she is no longer alive today. But if you practice deeply you can see she is still alive inside of you - in every cell of your body. Nothing is lost. We can practice to heal our suffering and out anger.  Understanding and compassion are the answer to our anger. Where does anger come from? It arises from the things we consume. We can practice mindful consumption to protect ourselves and our families from anger. This is the first thing to do when practicing when anger. The second second part is to work on transforming the anger that is already present inside of us. The fifth mindfulness training can help us practice with consumption.  It is important to not suppress our anger; this can be very dangerous. We use the energy of mindfulness to recognize and embrace our anger. This is much safer. Then we can learn to use loving speech to better express our feelings. Thay shares how to go about skillfully responding to another person with whom we are angry. Some think the energy of anger is a powerful tool, but this can be dangerous.  00:58:19 You might think your practice of meditation might contradict your eagerness to succeed in your career. How to practice and succeed in your business? These can come together perfectly. Business leaders suffer like any other person. And if they suffer less, they can succeed more in their business. Career does not need to be an obstacle for your practice. There are ways to practice in order to have time for your families, your practice, and your business and career. Thay shares a story of offering a retreat for members of congress and some methods for practicing mindfulness in the work environment — mindful walking and mindful breathing. Taking care of yourself is taking care of your career. Mindfulness brings about understanding and compassion. Happiness is possible only when we have good communication, mutual understanding. Employees should be taken care of in the same way we take care of our families.  Practicing with our grief. Our true nature is the nature of no-birth and no-death. Illustrated by a cloud in the sky.  The last story of the dharma talk is one of a Vietnam veteran who attended a retreat in the 90s and shared about having killed some children during the war. The transformation of the veteran can also be th...
Sep 16, 2018
Practice Means Enjoyment
1:17:49
The monastic and lay community are practicing together during the 2004 Rainy Season Retreat from January 4 to March 14 at Deer Park Monastery. This 76-minute dharma talk in the Ocean of Peace Meditation Hall takes place on Wednesday, January 28, 2004. Both audio and video versions are available with this post. Today we have a session of questions and answers from the retreat attendees.  A question of a dream and a sacred story. Practice means enjoyment. This is a question from an author of children’s books. How do we practice to remain in the pure land? How do we cultivate our merits? This was a question from Sister Dang Nghiem asking about remaining in the community as a monastic. What can we offer as monastics? Thay teaches on three kinds of offering - money, dharma, and non-fear - and the four kinds of pleasures. A question about sangha-building, conflict, and not escaping into our lives. Where does individual practice intersect with sangha practice? Can there be harmony in the sangha when there isn’t harmony in the sangha? Thay shares briefly on the seven steps of reconciliation and how the lay students can use the vinaya to build lay sangha. A mindfulness practice center is inside.  A question about negativity. As a person who works with children and adults with very severe disabilities.  They often have very negative things to say based on their life experiences. As I write a book about their experience, do I share of these negative aspects?A question about action - my role and contribution in the world to reduce suffering, particularly in social justice action. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk. https://youtu.be/Q6KTlj_U_S0
Sep 02, 2018
Exercises on Mindful Breathing
1:23:00
The monastic community is practicing during the Rainy Season Retreat from January 4 to March 14 at Deer Park Monastery with the lay community. This 83-minute dharma talk in the Ocean of Peace Meditation Hall takes place on Sunday, January 18, 2004 at the beginning of the third week. Both audio and video versions are available with this post. It takes about 5-minutes to work through some technical difficulties before the dharma talk begins. During that time Thay reflects on a few small things like the freshness of the air in Deer Park and the upcoming Year of the Monkey. The monkey is in the mind. Our practice is not to force the monkey to stop, but to become aware of the movement of the mind. We don’t try to suppress our mind.  Last time we spoke about how to become fully present and fully alive. The practice is so easy that it would be a pity if you don’t do it. The power and energy of mindfulness is available because we all have the seed of mindfulness in our consciousness. If we keep the energy of mindfulness, concentration, and insight then we are good continuations of the Buddha. But we also live in forgetfulness and we can transform this with the flower of mindfulness. Garbage and flowers. We are like organic gardeners that can produce the flowers of peace and happiness. Our happiness arises from elements of affliction and we don’t need to be afraid of the garbage. We don’t need to run away from our pain and sorrow.  Mindful Breathing Exercises The Buddha offered very simple and effective methods of practice. We can master these methods and we can no longer be afraid of sickness, fear, despair, or even death. In the Sutra on Mindful Breathing, the first exercise is simply breathing in and out. Simple identification and awareness. Thay offers several methods on how to follow our in breath and out breath. When mindfulness is there, then concentration is there too. Concentration is born from mindfulness. This first exercise proposed by the Buddha is so easy and so simple. It is for our enjoyment. It is a gift. And when we practice mindfulness, we are a Buddha.  The second exercise is long and short. Following our breath all the way through. Breathing in a long breath, I know I am breathing in a long breath. Breathing in a short breath, I know I am breathing in a short breath. But the practice is not to try and make the breath longer or shorter. Don’t try to force your breath. Your breath is what it is. Simple, mere recognition. Just turn on the light of mindfulness and become aware of it. It is like the sunshine and the flower. Mindfulness is the sunshine and the energy will recognize and embrace the flower, our breath. The photons of the sunshine penetrate right into the flower and it opens. Our in-breath and out-breath are like a flower. In our practice of meditation, there are three elements: body, mind, and breath. They are interconnected with each other. These can become one, and all of them inherit from the energy of mindfulness and concentration brought about by mindful breathing. The second exercise suggests we enjoy our in-breath and out-breath all the way through from the beginning to the end. To follow your breath.  The third exercise is awareness of the whole body. Breathing in, I am aware of my body. Breathing out, I am aware of my body. This is a practice of going home to your body and being present. We can reconcile with our body. Awareness is already enlightenment. We receive a short teaching on “formations.” The formation of our physical body. We are fully aware that our body fully is. To recognize our body as a formation. This practice can help to heal our body. Awareness and practicing with a smile. It’s yoga of the mouth. How do we practice this even if our mind and body are not aligned? We can smile to release all the tensions and relax the body. If you are a doctor or a therapist, you may want to explore more with the Sutra on Mindful Breathing. 
Aug 19, 2018
Surrender Yourself to the Present Moment
55:10
The monastic community is practicing during the Rainy Season Retreat from January 4 to March 14 at Deer Park Monastery with the lay community. This 55-minute dharma talk in the Ocean of Peace Meditation Hall takes place on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 during the second week. Both audio and video versions are available with this post. https://youtu.be/N93IvR45D80 We begin with a reminder of the gatha we learned in the prior dharma talk. The gatha can be used when we are practicing sitting mediation, standing, walking, and lying down - the four positions of the body. We can listen to the music of our breathing in and breathing out.  The Practice of Stopping This is practice of stopping. This does just mean stopping the mind, but it also applies to our body. Because our body also has a habit of running; a feeling of restlessness in the body. And the body contains the mind along with the mind containing the body. Helping the body to stop is also helping the mind to stop. And this is why meditation includes the body. The Buddhist term for stopping is samatha.  We also need some insight, vipasyana, in order to truly stop. These are like two wings of a bird. The first insight is to stop running. Being in a retreat environment is a good opportunity to learn how to stop. With our practice of walking, each step is a healer. We can totally surrender ourself to the present moment. To the power of healing that is inherent in our body. In the Plum Village tradition, we offer the practice of total and deep relaxation. We use the techniques of mindful breathing to allow our body to rest. We embrace our body with tenderness. This is a practice of love. Darling, I am home. Thay takes us through some parts of meditation on the body. We also learn some of the exercises found in the Sutra on Contemplation of the Body in the Body. This practice can be very pleasant and healing.  Stopping means to be fully present. In the here and the now. And when you are fully present in the here and now, then you are present to being fully alive. And vipasyana is what helps us to see this. Another function of samatha is to recognize: to recognize what is happening in the present moment. When we are able to recognize, then the "blue sky" is always there. We come to Deer Park so that we can learn to practice stopping.  If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Aug 12, 2018
Sitting and Walking in the Here and Now
1:20:47
In early 2004, Thich Nhat Hanh and two hundred monastics came to Southern California to spend several months at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California. The monastic community is practicing during the Rainy Season Retreat from January 4 to March 14 with the lay community. This 80-minute dharma talk takes place on Sunday, January 11, 2004 at the beginning of the second week. We are in the recently opened Ocean of Peace Meditation Hall. Both audio and video versions are available with this post. https://youtu.be/O88cKbZu0E4 We begin with an overview of how to begin the day in the monastery — the bell, walking meditation, sitting meditation, and chanting. How much time should we allow for these activities? Do we need to wait to begin meditation? When you hear the bell announcing sitting meditation, you begin right away with your walking. What is our practice when we are walking? What is our practice when we arrive at the mediation hall? Thay shares and outlines the Plum Village practice. What can the dharma teacher do to contribute to the practice? The dharma teachers have a responsibility to be present for the orientation. To help support those who have newly arrived. The dharma teachers can help assure that people practice in the practice center (so we don’t become a "non-practice" practice center!). A reporter recently asked Thay, what happens after we die? The question is kind of a trap. What happens in the present moment? The answer to both these questions is the same. And if we can answer the second question, then there is no need to answer the previous question. What is our practice to be fully present in the here and now — to become a free person. And with our practice, we can then free our ancestors. What is the role of the sangha in helping with your practice of sitting meditation? Practicing with the wonders of life in the practice center with the support of the sangha. Thay reflects on the meaning of the kingdom of God. Transforming our homes, sanghas, and practice centers into a pure land. A place of refuge where we can experience brotherhood and sisterhood. To enjoy deeply every moment of our daily life. The practice of walking, sitting, and chanting is for the care of the present moment. It is not for the future. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. There is no way to enlightenment, enlightenment is the way. We don’t sit for anything and do not expect anything. Just be present in the here and now. That is good enough. Don’t be caught by the idea of the Buddha that is outside of you — you are already a Buddha. Living and working in harmony with nature, plants and animals, at Deer Park Monastery. Even though we are many hundreds, we can walk in the pure land in harmony with nature. How do we practice walking meditation? I have arrived. I am home. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate I dwell.
Jul 29, 2018
A Beginners Mind for a Beautiful Future
1:55:22
The Sangha is gathered together at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2011 US Teaching Tour with the theme Cultivating the Mind of Love. This 115-minute dharma talk is from October 2, 2011 and both the audio and video are available with this post. This is the last day of Magnolia retreat and may be a little difficult if listeners have not heard the talks from the previous days (video playlist). https://youtu.be/g_F_cxM9d5Q The beginners mind. It is a source of energy. A willingness to practice. And to serve others. We are not afraid of obstacles in order to realize our dream and our intention. Siddhartha had this beginners mind, and we can too. The mind of love is the beginners kind. During this retreat has allowed this to arise in our heart. Do we know how to continue this mind? In Buddhism, there are two kinds of truth: conventional and ultimate. Thay explains how it is similar to what we see in science. We can learn to understand the true nature of reality. When we come to the ultimate truth, we can leave behind our notions of birth and death, suffering and happiness, being and non-being, etc. How can we do this? We cannot be an observer, we must try to be a participant. The Buddha’s insight received under the bodhi tree was to be relieved of all fear. This cannot be learned from notions and concepts. We learn of Right View, another element of the noble path. Thay tells a story of Katyayana, a student of the Buddha, asking about Right View. A teaching of no-birth, being and non-being, as illustrated by a cloud. Right View is being able to transcend all these notions: being and non-being, birth and death, left and right, above and below, subject and object, etc. All pairs of opposites. We cannot remove one without the other. Story of a grain of salt wanting to know how salty is the ocean to illustrate the subject of cognition and object of cognition. Being a participant to truly understand. Talking to a flame to illustrate this teaching of being and non-being. Thay writes these pairs of opposites on the board: birth and death, being and nonbeing, coming and going, sameness and otherness. All these must be transcended to see the true face of reality. A teaching on interbeing and four more notions - self, man, living beings, and life span. Thay explains each as outiined in the Diamond Sutra. This Sutra teaches us that humans are only made of non-human elements. This is one of the oldest teachings in deep ecology. The Buddha too is comprised of non-Buddha elements. This is why bowing to the Buddha is not worshiping, but is a meditation. We have been talking of Right View and dualism. We turn now to three other elements of the noble eightfold path that arise from Right View. Right Thinking can help us remove all discrimination. It is thinking that can produce understanding and compassion. It can heal the world. From these two we can then practice Right Speech. To restore and reconcile. This element includes our ability for deep listening. And then we turn to Right Action. Anything we can do with our body to protect and save. These three are all forms of action, starting with our thoughts. Thinking is already action. And we produce each of these every day. The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said that man is the sum of his action. In Sanskrit, this is called karma. Everything we produce will continue us; it does not disappear. We are the author, and that is our continuation. If we can keep our beginners mind alive, surely we will have a beautiful future. The other elements of the path, briefly outlined in this talk, are Right Livelihood, Right Diligence, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. This path can be seen very concretely in the Five Mindfulness Trainings. We also briefly learn of the Three Doors of Liberation — emptiness, signlessness, and aimlessness — in light of the retreat’s teaching. We talk concludes with a couple of songs led by Sr. Chan Không.
Jul 22, 2018
Calm | Ease Guided Meditation
36:37
A great 37-minute guided meditation offered by Thay to help us cultivate calm, ease and joy. Find a comfortable place to sit and settle in with this recording.  
Jun 16, 2018
How to Enjoy the Sunset
7:29
Listen to Thay's experience in India.
Jun 12, 2018
What Does it Mean to be Free
The sangha is gathered together at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2011 US Teaching Tour with the theme Cultivating the Mind of Love. It is the fourth day of the retreat. This 108-minute question and answer session is from October 1, 2011 and both the audio and video are available with this post. https://youtu.be/TQr0bqbqKiI A good question can help many people. It can be a question about our suffering and our happiness. We begin with a few questions from the children. What are some of the traditional foods in a Buddhist monastery? (4:33) What helps to clear your mind? (13:55) Is it true that if you don’t believe in God that you go to the underworld? (17:32) What kind of Buddha’s are there? (21:40) Followed by questions from teenagers, young adults, and adults. How can I relate to another person, and love another person, but not experience the three complexes - inferiority, superiority, and equality? (27:14) What would you advise someone who has been diagnosed with attention disorder, or any mental illness, that hinders a person from being in the now. And have had to rely on medications for their whole life. How can they live in the now? (32:40) What would you do if you had a friend who isn’t being loving to each other, and you are caught in the middle? (37:28) How can I not suffer when I see my 26-year old son’s life unraveling due to his drug addictions? I am overcome by grief and despair. (56:45) When facing a decision, where your only see two possible answers - the one you think is right and the one you feel is right - how can you know which one? (1:03:45) What does it mean to be free?(1:23:50) How can a Vietnam veteran, who still suffers from PTSD, communicate to the many generations of Vietnamese people at this retreat that he cared for the Vietnamese? (1:34:23) We have one more talk in this series from Mississippi. Stay tuned. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Jun 03, 2018
Nourishing Your Mother and Father in You
The Sangha is gathered together at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2011 US Teaching Tour with the theme Cultivating the Mind of Love. This 88-minute dharma talk is from September 30, 2011 and both the audio and video are available with this post. We begin with a 23-minute teaching for the children present at the retreat. Of course, everyone can benefit and enjoy this teaching regardless of age. Thay shares a story of bringing a bag of popcorn, but not to pop, to the children at an Italian retreat. The seed of corn that becomes the plant of corn. And how we can nourish our father and mother. https://youtu.be/yHetqgMB8SM After the children leave, we continue with the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing. Yesterday we learned the first eight exercises of mindful breathing - the realm of bodyand the realm of feeling. Today we continue with realm of our mind. Mental formation. 9. Aware of mental formation What is “formation” - comes from samskara. Anything that is formed, is a formation. There are physical formations and mental formation. What are the mental formations? The good ones and the negative ones. Can we name our mental formations? Call it by it’s true name. Store and Mind consciousness. What are the characteristics of these? A teaching on seeds (bija) and how we can use our practice. What is our the ways that we suppress our negative mental formations? The most common is to consume. But what can we do instead? 10. Gladden the mental formation This is equivalent to the practice of Right  Diligence. There are four steps in this practice: First, not to give opportunity for the negative seeds to come up in the first place / in ourselves or in each other. What are the conditions we are creating around us? We should know how to consume. Second, if by chance a negative seed arises then try your best to help it go down as quickly as possible. This is the art of embracing the negative mental formation. We can invite a good seed to come up. Change the CD. Third, give the good seeds plenty of chances to come up. This is the art of flower watering. In ourselves and in the other person. Thay shares the story of the couple who came to Plum Village from the city of Bordeaux. The fourth aspect of the practice, of the good seed has manifested then keep it present as long as you can. If we can do this, then even more good seeds continue to grow. 11. Concentrating the mind / mental formation 12. Liberating the mind / mental formation When we are concentrated, we discover the nature of what is there. We can see the non-flower elements of the flower. Happiness is made of non-happiness elements. Mindfulness can bring concentration. Liberation is the fruit of concentration. There are many forms and teachings in cultivating concentration. What are some examples? There are three kinds of concentration found in every school of Buddhism: emptiness, sighlessness, and aimlessness. These are the Three Doors of Liberation. Insight arrives. Impermanence is another concentration. When we look into the family album, are we the same or different from the baby in the picture. The last four exercises of mindful breathing are about the objects of mind. Reality is not something outside of our mind — it is the object of our mind. These last four help with the practice to release and transform our suffering. 13. Contemplating Impermanence 14. Contemplating non-craving 15. Contemplating the ultimate (nirvana) 16. Contemplating letting go  The talk concludes with an overview and teaching of these last four exercises, particularly our objects of craving. Money, power, sex. The conditions of our happiness are already present and available. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
May 13, 2018
Call Your Cows By Their True Name
The Sangha is gathered together at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2011 US Teaching Tour with the theme Cultivating the Mind of Love. This 85-minute dharma talk is from September 29, 2011 and both the audio and video are available in this post. We begin with a 27-minute teaching for the children present at the retreat. Of course, everyone can benefit and enjoy this teaching regardless of age. https://youtu.be/Z8pFAjQpTKY When you love someone, what can you offer them? What is the most precious thing we can offer them? Thay offers a story of an unhappy child and his father - what does the child want for his birthday? The first mantra of Plum Village is “Darling, I am here for you.” In order to do this, you really have to be present. We should all memorize this mantra. This is a meditation and does not take time and money. Mindfulness helps you to be there. Thay teaches us about how and why to use pebble meditation. The first pebble represents a flower. What is a true flower? And the second pebble represents a mountain. Cultivating our stability. The next pebble represents still water. The last pebble represents space. Open your heart. A child can very easily lead pebble meditation. We continue teachings on breathing exercises. This morning the guided meditation explored the first four exercises of mindful breathing. These first four have to do with the body. We first recognize our in-breath and our out-breath. What is the intention of this exercise? Then we move to breathing-in, I follow my breath all the way through. During this time, there is no interruption. You only follow the breathing. With the third, we are aware of our body. Mind and body are together. To restore the oneness. And our body is a wonder. Thay shares of a recent visit to the Googleplex. Practiced these breathing exercises, especially helping them connect with the body as described in the third exercise. It is a reconciliation between the mind and the body. The fourth exercise is breathing in, I release the tension in my body. This practice is very relevant to our time. We can reduce the amount of pain. Contemplation of the body. Revisit all parts of our body. How do we do this? The next set of exercises are designed to help us handle our feelings. 5. Generating joy 6. Generating happiness 7. Recognize a painful feeling 8. Embrace a painful feeling Can we recognize the conditions of joy and happiness? Living happily in the present moment. This is found right in the Sutra and is especially relevant for business people. Mindfulness is being able to go home to the present moment. Mindfulness is not something you can buy. When you are mindful, you are there with your body. Mindfulness and concentration are two sources of happiness. Another practice is that of letting go. Here we have the teaching on the farmer who has lost his cows. To know our obstacles is also a path to knowing our happiness. Letting go is a good practice. Once we know our joy and happiness, then we can more easily handle our pain. When the pain manifests, a good practitioner can recognize this and know how to take care of the painful feeling. We can hold our pain.  
Apr 24, 2018
Remove the Dressing
The Sangha is gathered together at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2011 US Teaching Tour with the theme Cultivating the Mind of Love. Both the audio and video are available in this post. In this 42-minute introduction, Thich Nhat Hanh begins with a teaching on Mindfulness, breathing, and the energy of mindfulness. It can be generated by our practice. And it is always mindfulness of something. We receive a teaching on breathing, sitting, and walking. How to arrive. https://youtu.be/dNjdhGZv2GE Sangha body. We are all a cell in the sangha body. And we can breathe together as one Sangha body. With just 3-seconds of breathing, we can make ourselves available to life and life is available to us. That is the miracle of mindfulness. We release the past and release the future. Do we have the time to get in touch with the miracle of mindfulness? When we bring our mind and body together, we have a chance to touch this miracle through the practice of mindfulness of breathing and mindfulness of walking. The cells in our body have the capacity to generate energy. And we can listen as one sangha body. And we can become a real and true sangha in that moment. And with this we can gain insight. Thay teaches how the practice of walking allow us to touch the wonders of life in the here and now. I have arrived. I am home. Every in breath and every out breath allow us to remain in the here and the now. And we are supported by many other practitioners. As with walking, sitting meditation is the same. We can enjoy in a relaxing manner. It can be a delight! We have our Sangha and our breathing. We don’t need to suffer. I have arrived. I am home. This is not a declaration! During this retreat, we will learn to practice and be the living Buddha, the living Dharma, and the living Sangha. At 23:45 into the recording, Thay invites Sister Pine and Br. Phap Dung to offer a few words on how to enjoy our practice more - how can we enjoy our life? One of the practices is called Noble Silence — what does this mean? How do we practice with noble silence? Another practice we offer and teach is Working Meditation — an opportunity and a training to come back to our body and our breathing. In a retreat, we can slow down and enjoy our capacity to stop, be present, and perhaps gain insight. Br. Phap Dung shares a story of eating salad without the dressing. We can remove the dressing in our lives. Cultivate the ability to generate your own bell of mindfulness. In our tradition, the practice and the non-practice are interweaved. It’s hard to tell where the meditation begins. Try to pay attention to the non-practice. The non-effort.
Apr 10, 2018
No Sameness No Otherness
No sameness. No otherness. That is the nature of all that is. The retreat theme is "What Happens when we die?" at Plum Village, France. This is a 26-minute portion of the talk offered from the Stillwater Meditation Hall at Upper Hamlet on June 12, 2014. Both the video and audio are available below. In this talk we return to many common teachings of no-birth, no-death as illustrated by the corn seed and the corn plant, the cloud and the cup of tea, and seeing ourselves as a 5-year old child. We are reminded that we carry all our ancestors in our body. When we walk, our ancestors walk with us at the same time. We don’t just walk for ourselves, but we also walk for our ancestors. The same is with our spiritual ancestors - we are the continuation of these ancestors too. The teaching also reminds us how to work with our more difficult ancestors in order to discover healing and transformation. We can turn our anger into compassion. https://youtu.be/FD1M0jdC_Hg You can support us by: - donating: https://plumvillage.org/support
Mar 10, 2018
The World We Are
1:03:15
Thank you for patience in our posting a dharma talk from our teacher. Today we are happy to offer a talk for the new year. This 63-minute dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh is from December 31, 2008 at Plum Village, Lower Hamlet, Dharma Nectar Temple. The theme of the talk is about interbeing and the world we are. It’s the last day of the year. Can you believe it? Where does it go? And from what direction does the next year come? Questions are interesting and important. And in the teaching of the Buddha, we learn of no-coming and no-going. Thay shares a story of his walking meditation from Still Sitting Hut to the temple at Son Ha, down the hill. Life is everywhere. Seeing also how the oak leaves become the soil. There is a lot of happiness in seeing and observing these things. Why? Because then Thay is not afraid of dying! Life is everywhere, inside and all around us. Teaching on giving - there is the giver, the gift, and the receiver. Illustrated by the corn seed. And that of our parents. Is there a distinction between the giver, gift, and receiver? The emptiness in giving. Another illustration, the left and the right. Everything is inside everything else. How do we love? And healing and forgiveness? Every thought is considered action. You can heal the world by right thinking. Your thought can be the giver of life. Our right thinking is already action toward healing and forgiveness. We the also have right speech - also a healing action. Be the giver of life. We can profit right away. Right action can be also be seen in a triple aspect - thinking, speaking, and acting. This is our continuation, our karma. This is retribution - two aspects of retribution are taught. We never die. Whether we like it or not. But we can continue beautifully. You are your environment. The oak leaf becoming the soil teaches us this - the oak leaf becomes the soil. The World We Have, recently published by Parallax Press, might have a better title as “The World We Are.” As you walk around, look at everything as yourself. In the closing minutes of the talk, Thay speaks to a handout of personal commitments that we can make to better support the environment in the coming year. A version of this handout is available on the Earth Holder website under Personal Commitments. Happy New Year! If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Jan 01, 2018
Create a Loving Support Group
1:30:22
Dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh on August 16, 2001 at the University of Massachusetts during a retreat with the theme, "The Practice of Peace and Nonviolence in Family, School, and the Workplace,” from August 13-18, 2001 in Amherst, Massachusetts. We begin with the creation of a loving support group in the classroom and then continue with teaching on consumption. These students are my continuation of mine and should create a loving support group in your class or school. We can then begin practicing peace and happiness in the class. We can understand the suffering so we can then transform. Suffering is there. A little bit everywhere. Including in our children and in the classroom. Recognizing this is the first noble truth of the Buddha. The group can propose a session of deep listening that includes the teacher, so the teacher can know about the suffering of the children. If we have such a group in the class, then the group can support each other. You can practice the Third Mantra: I suffer, please help. Thay shares how a student can communicate to the teacher by using loving speech. We can also learn how to address being persecuted by another student. How do we practice this? How do we help children feel happy when they think of school? How does the teacher feel excited to come and teach? The children should be able to express their difficulties. We don’t need to be cruel to create happiness. Many sessions of deep listening may need to be organized. The schools should allow this to take place. It is about ethics and should be an aspect of school life. Thay tells the story of Henry, a mathematic teacher in Toronto, who came to Plum Village to learn about mindfulness. At this point we shift away from the children and Thay begins a talk on anger. Anger has roots in the body and in the consciousness. The Five Skandhas: body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, store consciousness. What is a formation? Anger is a feeling and a mental formation. Anger is in every cell of our body. All our ancestors are in every cell of our body. To illustrate, Thay teaches about chickens. Mindfulness can help. In particular, mindful consumption. Thay shares a report on meat eating, food production, and deforestation. We then turn to the Discourse on the Sons Flesh. Bringing toxins into our body. Nourishing compassion can by looking deeply into the food we eat. Sangha is where we learn to generate compassion. Sangha is a way out. Everyone can be a Sangha builder. We turn to the Four Kinds of Nutriments and it starts with edible food. Then we turn to sensory impressions. We need a collection he awakening. When you listen to a dharma talk, then you don’t consume poisons. But thinking too can be consuming. Our elected people also need to be awakened to consumption. Some discussion of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Practice with a gatha to help us with our consumption. We conclude with a discussion on the third kind of nutriment. Volition. Your deepest desire. That is a type of food too.
Oct 15, 2017
The Art of Mindful Walking
1:46:44
We begin this Public Talk at the World Forum Theatre in The Netherlands, dated April 28, 2006, with a 5-minute introduction on how we can listen to the monastics invoking the name of Avalokiteshvara. Listening can bring peace and well-being into ourselves. We can listen deeply with compassion to relieve suffering. Following the brief introduction, the monastics begin the chant. 31-minutes (bell) Walking meditation is a way to move between one place and another. With Mindful walking we can enjoy every step and bring peace. It is an easy and effective way to learn how to live deeply in every moment of our daily lives. Even the children can enjoy this practice. Taking refuge in the Sangha through the collective energy of mindfulness through our mindful breathing. Walking meditation is a time when we can behave as one organism and we can feel the energy of this collective effort. I have arrived. I am home. With one in-breath, you touch the earth with your step. Established in the present moment. I have arrived. This means I don’t want to run anymore. With one out-breath, you arrive in your true home. Right here in the present moment. We arrive in the here and the now. We can live deeply in our daily life. Happiness is possible. We all have many conditions of happiness if we look for them. We don’t have to run around looking for our happiness. We can touch the pure land of the Buddha, the kingdom of God in each step. Touching the many wonders of life. 57-minutes (bell) Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. And we can be mindful all day long. It is the kind of energy the allows us to be present in the here and the now. Anyone can generate this energy. It is the energy of the Buddha, and so any one of us can be a Buddha. Even if it’s a part-time Buddha. Our spiritual leaders should offer the kind of teaching that helps us to enjoy the kingdom of God. Then many could possibly return to the church. Especially for our young people. 66-minutes (bell) Freedom from our anger, fear, violence and despair. Our teachers should teach us how to handle these emotions. To be able to embrace and transform them. Peace should be cultivated in our daily life while we sit, while we drive, while we cook, while we wash the dishes. This only needs some training. Compassionate listening. To have the capacity to listen with compassion. Avalokiteshvara is such a person. She can teach us how to listen in order to provide relief from suffering. 71-minutes (bell) The art of mindful breathing is a method to cultivate this compassionate listening. To listen without blaming or judging. We can also use the techniques of loving speech. These tools help us reestablish communication. During a five-day retreat, we teach people how to do this work. Thay offers a very concrete example how we can do this in our family. 83-minutes (bell) During this process, we may observe many wrong perceptions. What can we do? What techniques can we use to better practice loving speech and deep listening. Wrong perceptions are the foundation of fear, anger, and violence. We should know how to remove wrong perceptions. Even our own wrong perceptions. This practice is effective for individuals, groups, and even nations. Peace can become possible. Why do young people who want to blow themselves up? What can we do? Do we blame them for the violence, hate, and despair? They need our compassion. A community of practice makes this effort much easier. 92-minutes Thay answers a few questions from the audience. If you don’t have time to listen, especially to someone who is angry, then what can we do? Anger can be a very good energy. Can you explain more about this and transforming the energy? Can you say more about loving speech? Where can I learn more? Su Co Chan Không concludes the evening with a song. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery.
Oct 06, 2017
Collective Mindful Energy
1:11:55
During the annual Spring Retreat at Plum Village, Thay offers this 72-minute dharma talk at the New Hamlet with the themes of mindfulness, sangha, and concludes with a gatha translation. The date is April 2, 2006. We begin with three chants, in English, French, and Vietnamese. Mindfulness is the heart of our practice. It's the kind of energy that can bring nourishment, healing and transformation. Here at Plum Village we learn how to generate and to incorporate into every moment of daily life. The energy of mindfulness helps to pull everything together. And the practice of the sangha makes it easier. The sangha is a boat that transports and embraces us in our practice. Do you know how to surrender yourself to the sangha? Thay teaches how to begin the practice, especially as it relates to the dharma hall. When and how does the practice begin? What is the role and purpose of the sangha? We embody the practice. How? You don't need to wait until you arrive in the dharma hall before you practice. You don't need to hurry to not hurry. How does the bell help our practice? But we don't become trapped by the form. In physics it's called phase (quantum) entanglement. We create a collective energy together on the same frequency. We can transform. Have you noticed the power of the bell in the meditation hall? Even just the half sound. It combines our energy of mindfulness. We become a cell in the sangha body. Every moment of our daily life is a moment to practice mindfulness. Lamp transmission gathas. Thay offers some history on our recent lineage. The lamp gatha of Thay's teacher. Matter and mind are both perfect and shining. If you want to study this topic more, you may be interested in this document  - Letter to Friends About our Lineage by Thay Pháp Dang. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Aug 03, 2017
Conscious Breathing is Nourishing
1:36:08
The sangha is practicing in the Lower Hamlet, Plum Village during the Spring Retreat. We begin this March 19, 2006 dharma talk with 18-minutes of chanting by the monks and nuns followed by a dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh. We need to be nourished by joy and happiness in our daily life. Breathing in, I feel the joy. Breathing out, I am nourished by happiness. The practice is to know how to generate joy and happiness. How is this possible? We have the sangha and the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Joy is born from the awareness that happiness is possible. Whether you practice alone or you practice with a sangha, you should be aware of the positive elements around us. But with a sangha, it is easier and we have the energy of the sangha. With a sangha, we can practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings much better. What is the difference between joy and happiness? Thay shares a story of a meeting with a San Francisco Chronicle journalist. With each journalist, Thay always invites them to practice mindfulness before the interview so they can write a good article that can help many people by watering the seeds of joy. To write with compassion. Every article can be a practice. Practitioners of meditation should get the right nourishment every day - joy and happiness. They are there already. How do we water these seeds? Walking meditation is one method. Mindful consumption and the Four Kinds of the Nutriments (from the sutra, “The Son’s Flesh"). Collective decisions in a sangha can help protect us from unmindful consumption because we practice together. No effort. It's wonderful. Compassion can protects us. And compassion is born from understanding. Understanding is born when you can listen and look deeply. And by consuming understanding and compassion, we can live a more healthy and happy life. And know how to nourish this understanding and compassion. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Jul 26, 2017
The Effectiveness of Prayer
1:10:18
From the Thursday, March 9, 2006 dharma talk at the Assembly of Stars meditation hall, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. The theme for this talk is the practice of prayer and we are guided by a series of questions asked by the magazine Publishers Weekly. Questions How is prayer related to peace and peacemaking? How do you see the relationship between mediatation and prayer in your own life? Why is it important to pray with the body? How can you avoid falling into the trap of routine when you are praying? The words and motions without attention. Some Christians think of God as external, powerful and transcendent would be surprised to hear that Buddhists pray. What would you say to them? How can people find the time to pray every day? What is the one thing people can do everyday to bring them closer to the happiness they seek? Should Christians attracted to Buddhist teachings become Buddhists? What did you find in Vietnam when you returned in 2005? What were your impressions? You will 80 this year, do you plan to retire as a spiritual teacher at any point? We begin with the fifth question. When we pray, we ask the sangha to help us, we ask the Buddha to help us. We do this first by being truly present; established in the here and the now with a clear intention. Though we do not speak of God, we do recognize the collective mind from which everything manifests. At 24-minutes, Thay addresses the third question. Why is it important to pray with the body? There is no separation of the body and the mind. In the spirit of Buddhism, anything you do that is accompanied with mindfulness, concentration, and insight can be considered a prayer. It also removes the distinction between the one who prays and the one who is prayed to. Every step can be a prayer. Buddhism is mindfulness, concentration, and insight. If you practice this, then you are Buddhist. Christians can be Buddhists, but we don't need to use the label. There are also Buddhists who are stuck in dogmatism and they are less Buddhist than many Christians. There are enough Buddhists already; we don't need to make more Buddhists. People can stay rooted in their own tradition. Enjoy this 75-minutes teaching. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Jun 30, 2017
Happiness is Found in the Present Moment
1:17:04
In this December 10, 2006 dharma talk from Lower Hamlet, Thay reflects on the 2005 trip to Vietnam followed by a teaching on mindfulness of walking and eating. The sangha is in the Annual Winter Retreat and the talk is 77-minutes. It was a warm winter at Plum Village in 2006 and Thay reflects on walking meditation on the grass and the leaves. We can enjoy every step we make on this planet. When a novice monk at the root temple in Vietnam, Thay did not know the practice of walking meditation. As a you don't no Dharma Teacher, Thay still did not find the time for waking meditation. But when he returned to the root temple in 2005, it was wonderful to practice walking meditation on the hills with over 900 monastics. What is important, there is no need to make any effort and the practice is perfect. Only you can produce this step in mindfulness and concentration. Thay shares of returning to Vietnam and of bringing the monastic sangha together in harmony. The happiness and the joy of they incorporating some of the Plum Village practices, such as practicing as a fourfold sangha and gender equity. Mindfulness is a mental formation - one of the fifty mental formations. When we are inhabited by the energy of mindfulness, we can have the eyes of the Buddha and the feet of the Buddha. We know how to generate the energy of mindfulness from our seed of mindfulness. Walking like a Buddha can happen right now. We don't have to force ourselves. It is a pleasure. Walking meditation is not a practice, it is an enjoyment. The best reason to do walking meditation is, because I like it! The same is true of sitting meditation. We don't force it, but we enjoy it. It is an act of love. Getting in touch with the food and our ancestors through eating meditation. Thay recalls his mothers cooking. A meal is a time to know who we are - through what we are eating and how we are eating. Eating can nourish our compassion. We can get in touch with the nature of reality. Are we eating in a way to nourish our compassion? We can get enlightenment just by eating. It should be a relaxing time, to eat as a sangha. To allow more time. For sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Plum Village tradition, eating is a deep practice. How? Mindfulness is the kind of energy that has the power of knowing what is going on. Mindfulness is a miracle. It is like a light that allows us to see things, and everyone has this light of mindfulness. Mindfulness is mere recognition; we don't try to grasp it. When mindfulness is there, everything will be different. Including your joy and your pain. And it is always for the better. When mindfulness is there, the Buddha is there. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
May 18, 2017
Transforming Our Suffering
1:06:03
In this 65-minute dharma talk from the New Hamlet of Plum Village, Thay teaches a message on transforming our suffering. The date is Sunday, November 26, 2006 and the sangha is in the Winter Retreat. Dhyana is the Sanskrit word for meditation. In meditation, we have stillness. We have relaxation. We have mindfulness, concentration, insight, joy, and happiness. These virtues can be cultivated. How can we do this? The practice of "leaving behind." This is the first act of meditation. Joy and happiness is born from this practice. Many young people have this aspiration to "leave behind" and want to become a monastic. They have experience joy and happiness. But after two or three years, the joy and happiness are not deep enough to reach down into our blocks of suffering. We have this stillness for a period of time but then the block of suffering will emerge. What is the nature of our suffering? Hidden in the depths of our unconscious. If we can't move into the deeper practice, we begin to blame and point to problems, we then sometimes see monastics leave the community. We have to go home to ourselves and try to recognize our suffering and embrace it. Thay illustrates this teaching through bitter melon. Our natural tendency is to run away of suffering and we don't know the hidden goodness of suffering. Suffering can heal us. We in the Plum Village tradition belong to the School of Linji. We have to use our intelligence, our insight in order to transform our suffering. In Buddhism we have the notion of the three worlds. Desire. Craving. Form. We may leave behind the world of desire but still have mental discourse. We practice stillness. It is made of two elements: vitaka and vijara. Thought and reflective thinking. Thay returns to talking of a monastic who leaves the community and then may wish to return, and this is a problem for all practicing communities. We have to be willing to go deeper, to learn how to preserve our happiness, and transform the pain, anxiety, and deep suffering that is still there in the depth of our consciousness. When suffering is emerging, adapt another attitude. Don’t try to run away from it. This is Thay’s recommendation. Stay where you are and welcome it. How do we work with suffering rooted from injustice? How do we work with suffering rooted from our parents? Bodhicitta. Mind of enlightenment. Beginners mind. Inspired by the desire to practice in order to transform your suffering and help many people who suffer around you. The mind of love. As practitioners, we should maintain this beginners mind because it is a powerful source of energy.
Apr 30, 2017
Continuing our Spiritual and Blood Ancestors
1:03:11
In this 53-minute dharma talk from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village, Thay teaches a message of love. The date is Sunday, November 12, 2006. We begin with two chants from the monastics. You are a continuation of your father. Intellectually we know this to be true. And yet we feel that we are different. It is because you have a notion of your father - you haven't looked deeply enough at your father. Who is the father inside of you? Can you practice for your father? Transformation of your father inside of you also helps to transform the father on the outside. How can you can get in better touch with your father? First, we need to be aware. Thay shares about how he practiced regarding his own father. Creating a conversation with your father can occur anytime, whether they are alive or not. The same practice can apply to your mother. Begin a conversation with your mother inside of you. And if she is still alive, you can talk with her too. Thay offers specific. You also have a spiritual teacher inside of you who is also outside of you. How are you carrying your teacher into the future? How is your teacher evolving inside of you? How are you practicing for your teacher? We should not be exactly like our teacher. We should learn and transform for the time. To see the suffering of our time. The Buddha of our Time. A global ethic. To be able to respond to globalization, the environment, and other present needs. When you contemplate an orange, you see everything about the orange. The universal aspect of the orange. Harmony. We need a global ethic to look at something like globalization. The global ethic manifests through the Five Mindfulness Trainings. This is the path to take up and they are presenting in a non-sectarian way and it's nature is universal. You don't have to be a Buddhist. You can remain yourself but you can create harmony, sisterhood, brotherhood. The Five Mindfulness Trainings are the way out of difficult situations. They may also be inherent in other traditions and people are encouraged to look and discover this too. We conclude with Thay sharing a short story of the Buddha. Seeing with the eyes of the Buddha. Contemplating the beauty of the world. 1:45 Bell and Chanting 10:30 Continuation of your Father 29:15 Continuation of your Teacher 36:15 The Buddha of our Time 39:20 Global Ethic: Five Mindfulness Trainings 51:30 Returning to our Ancestors If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Apr 21, 2017
Turn Every Cell On
1:47:05
Dear fellow practitioners and friends on the path. In this talk we learn of the joy and the happiness of the practice. The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh offered this 107-minute dharma talk on December 11, 2005 from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village (France) during the annual Winter Retreat. We are reminded of the basic practices of walking and sitting followed by a deeper teaching on the Five Dimensions of Reality. Touching paradise. When you practice walking, you involve your body with your practice. We can walk in the ultimate dimension. You turn on every cell in your body. Being completely free with the energy of mindfulness. Each step brings healing and nourishment to you. We use the techniques of mindful breathing. We apply the same techniques to sitting. We turn on all the cells in our body to arrive in a unified state of being. All the cells will sing in unison and we are in a state of concentration. This is the foundation of enlightenment. Thay comments on sleepiness during sitting meditation. We have to make our sitting interesting. There is so much to enjoy. This state of being gives us the capacity to heal. The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing offers us exercises to touch all the cells of our body. Thay offers some reflections on neuroscience and consciousness and how the Buddhist tradition sees things quite different. The elements of the human are: Form, Feelings, Perceptions, Mental formations and Consciousness. The Five Skandhas. Perceiver and the perceived. We train ourselves in seeing the object of our perception. What is the object of our perception? Our consciousness? The Five Dimensions of Reality in Buddhism. Thay offers a deeper teaching on consciousness and mental formations, including technical terms from Chinese and Sanskrit. One lesson from this talk is we practice with body and mind together. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Apr 12, 2017
Spiritual Evolution
1:22:13
An 88-minute dharma talk from the New Hamlet, Plum Village on November 27, 2005. Building on the previous dharma talk on biological evolution, we begin with the topic of sensual pleasures. We know that sensual pleasures are very fleeting and they don't last. Do we want survival or do we want happiness? Happiness and survival, these two things go together. What is this drive for survival. This drive for sensual pleasure. The Buddha does not speak about survival. The Buddha speaks of a way out of suffering. The Buddha teaches us to recognize our anger and our fear. Our fear causes us to act in a very destructive way. Is there a way to transform our fear. We are also invited to look at our delusions (confusion). We don't know where to go. What to do. We can become desperate because of our confusion. We should also look at the nature of our craving. This too pushes us in the direction of wrong action. In the teachings of the Buddha, these are called poisons. As we look into the world, we can see that confusion and anger are destroying us. This is why we need spiritual evolution. To give survival another way. Another meaning. Not only can we purify our mind, through the training of meditation, we can also purify and transform our body. We learn a new way of dealing with events that happen in our lives. The practice can create new patterns of behavior and our body can learn to behave differently. We can replace the old patterns of our body and our mind. Transmission of the practice. We can transmit the practice to our children, our friends. It doesn't need to be genetic. This is spiritual evolution. If we are going to survive as a species, we need to bring in this dimension of spiritual evolution. It can be realized. Thay explores different elements of the practice. Listening to a dharma talk. Walking meditation. Listening to the bell. In the last segment, we learn practices for dealing with anger. We need a spiritual immune system to treat these poisons. When we've been able to transform these poisons, then we can help many people. During the talk, Thay illustrates with the following stories Young man with terminal illness Pirate in Thailand raping refugees A nun who was arrested in Vietnam If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Mar 08, 2017
The Practice for Engaged Buddhism
1:55:49
This is the final dharma talk of the 2000 21-Day Retreat, The Eyes of the Buddha, offered from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh on June 20, 2000. The primary theme of the dharma talk is the Noble Eightfold Path. In Part I, we begin with an introduction to deep listening - protected by compassion - followed by a teaching on the Noble Eightfold Path threaded with teachings on the Five Mindfulness Trainings Right View Right Thinking Right Speech Right Action Right Diligence Right Livelihood Right Mindfulness Right Concentration In Part II, beginning at 1-hour and 8-minutes we turn to the topics of violence, nonviolence, UNESCO’s Manifesto 2000, and dependent co-arising. Live your life as a bodhisattva. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Feb 26, 2017
The Eyes of the Buddha – Interbeing
1:39:51
2000-06-13. This is the 9th dharma talk of the 21-Day Retreat, The Eyes of the Buddha, offered at the Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. Our practice is to go back to the present moment in order to be aware of what is going on - whether they are positive or negative. The sangha eyes is the instrument in which we use to practice deep looking. And the Buddha eyes is the instrument we use in order to practice deep looking. We don’t only look as individuals. The first issue we face is loneliness. The disintegration of the family. Individualism. Our families need to be rebuilt. Our communities need to be rebuilt. Our society need to be rebuilt. Our church need to be rebuilt. The second issue we need to look at is violence. There is so much violence. Violence leads to despair. What we consume feeds us with more violence, with more fear, with intolerance, anger, and despair. The dharma should be effective in helping us deal with violence and hatred. The teaching of the Buddha on consumption has much to do with the nurture of violence. The third issue is of fear/uncertainty. We are afraid of what will come in the future. Division and alienation is destroying our happiness. We should get together and build sangha. To learn again how to live as a community. The dharma should address real issues of our time. The dharma is not something for the future. The dharma is now. To take care of the present. Anytime we hear the teaching of emptiness, interbeing, aimlessness, nirvana, we should bring our suffering in order to understand our suffering. Ask the question, what does this teaching have to do with our suffering - both individual and collective. Interbeing. This teaching is an antidote to the situation of division, discrimination, alienation. It should be the medicine for individualism. Thay teaches on a gatha on dependent co-arising - pratitya samatpada. * Dependent Co-Arising * Emptiness * Conventional Designation * The Middle Path In the second half of the dharma talk, we turn our direction towards the reality of birth and death. Burning a sheet of paper to illustrate the teaching. We cannot kill Gandhi or Martin Luther King. We need to let go of the idea of form. We can transcend the notions of birth and death. This is a training. Madhyamikakarikasastra
Jan 22, 2017
Being Free from Dogma
1:02:27
This 58-minute dharma talk is the second half of a talk offered on November 17, 2005 at the New Hamlet, Plum Village. Thay continues a discussion from the earlier dharma talk. When we make a statement in Buddhism, it should help to transform and to present the truth. Buddhism is not a philosophical position. Zen is free from notions, statements. For example, Space is a conditioned dharma. Space is not a conditioned dharma. Dharma and the non-dharma. Does Buddhist fundamentalism exist? Are there those who have gotten dogmatic about the dharma. Buddhism should be free from dogma, but there is some dogmatism in Buddhism too. Why isn’t this a good thing? The truth of interbeing. At the cellular level and in nature. In heart of reality there is cruelty, violence, and a struggle for survival. In the heart of reality there is also wisdom, compassion, and togetherness. And this is the foundation of reality. We conclude with a brief teaching on Buddhism and science.
Dec 14, 2016
Relaxing in the Present Moment
1:08:51
The 58-minute dharma talk offered by Thich Nhat Hanh took place at the New Hamlet of Plum Village on November 10, 2005. Please note, the recording begins with a few minor sound issues, but the dharma talk doesn't begin until it is resolved by the sound team. We left it in the recording because it adds some character. When we speak about dwelling in the present moment, we mean living deeply in every moment of our daily life. Do we know how to live in the present moment? It begins with relaxing ourselves and to stop running. To release our worries. Our tensions. Stopping our mental discourse. Do we know how to rest after a long day of work? To relax our mind and body? Mindfulness tells us the conditions for testing are there for us. Awareness of breathing is exactly what we need to stop our mental discourse. To touch the conditions of happiness that are there. This is not hard work. We can free from our thinking and our body begins to relax, and to heal itself. Simple. We have to stop the mental discourse so we can be free in the present moment. Walking to be present and aware of the present moment is also possible. We can relax during walking meditation too. This practice is a practice freedom.  A teaching on the historical and ultimate dimension as illustrated through drinking our tea, our coffee. Can you drink your tea in the ultimate dimension? Avata?saka S?tra. In China, there was a time when they tried to bring Zen and the Pure Land together. In Plum Village, we practice Zen using the energy of mindfulness and insight but we also say the Pure and is available in the here and the now. The pure land is now or never. Thay shares a koan from that time that is still practiced today. Who is the person invoking the name of the Buddha?  This is the subject of our mediation. Both Zen and Pure Land practice this. Thay teaches on this koan - what is the purpose of this koan? This koan is an invitation. Thay then shares a Chinese story of two philosophers contemplating fish swimming. Are the fish happy? Niem - mindfulness, recollection We should always ask ourselves with any teaching, what does this teaching have to do with my suffering? It is not intellectual. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Dec 01, 2016
Touching Life – Come Home to Yourself
53:42
The 53-minute dharma talk offered by Thich Nhat Hanh took place at the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village on November 3, 2005. What does it mean, "I take refuge in the Buddha." Buddha is the one who is mindful, awake, enlightened. Taking refuge is not believing in a God or deity. We all have a seed of mindfulness, understanding, and love. We can become a person who is fully awake, enlightened, just like the Buddha. Taking refuge is confirming the fact that you can be enlightened. You are a Buddha. This is not a declaration of faith, but a commitment to practice. In every breath we are taking refuge. In every mindful step we are taking refuge. The way in is also the way out. Our spiritual life should be established in that vision - being truly ourselves. Practicing to bring a spiritual dimension into your life. Through drinking our tea, preparing our breakfast, or brushing our teeth. These are spiritual acts. Not being caught by the future or the past. This is being a Buddha. Going home to ourselves. How is this act accomplished? Practicing in a community like Plum Village, everyone is supported by the sangha. This is taking refuge in the sangha. We have faith in the community. Helping to build this refuge for others. Story of when the Buddha was about 80-years old and how he offered the teaching on taking refuge in the island of yourself. Here we can encounter the foundation of ourselves - the island includes the Buddha, dharma, and sangha. This is the practice of Plum Village also. How do we respond when we are lonely, not feeling like ourselves? Our feelings of fear? Do we know how to practice going home to ourselves? Walking meditation is a method. Can we walk like a Buddha? Enjoying every step. This is a miracle. The Buddha-nature is within you and through mindfulness, concentration, and insight it is you that is performing a miracle. It is a practice of enjoyment. Editor's Note: If the play button or download link doesn't work, please try again shortly. We are testing out a new service and there may be caps on the downloads. Thank you for the patience.  If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Nov 02, 2016
Non Fear
1:45:06
The Retreat on Buddhist Psychology continues in Key West, Florida. The date is November 9, 1997. This is the final talk in the series. Thay jumps immediately to the teachings on the verses of consciousness, the topic of this retreat, beginning with the thirtieth verse. Self and nonself. Interbeing. Consciousness is always flowing and evolving. Conditioned dharmas (36). Space and time are not separated entities. The only dharma that can be considered "unconditioned" is nirvana. Suchness (36). No coming. No going. Tathagata. Verses 37-40, we learn about the four conditions. Primary cause. Object cause. Supporting causes. Immediacy of continuity. These four conditions are necessary for manifestation. Deluded mind and true mind. Codependent arising. Paratantra (41). Samsara and suchness are no different. It is deluded mind to think they are different - they have the same ground. The flower is already present in the garbage (42). We see one in the other. They are not two. There is no need to run away from birth and death (43). We can understand that the kingdom of God is at hand; available in the present. Conscious breathing and Right View (44). Mindfulness can transform all mental formations (45). Mindfulness is the energy of God. And mindfulness is not an idea, but something we can cultivate and allow to grow. To be alive in the presence of God. Transformation at the base is down there at the depth of our consciousness. This is where the real transformation takes place and our internal knots are slipping (46). The present moment contains the future (47). The secret to transformation at the base is how well we handle the present moment. And practicing with a sangha can help it occur more easily. Affliction and enlightenment are the same (50). Ride on the waves of birth and death. With no fear. There are three kinds of gifts: material gifts, gift of the dharma, and nonfear (this is the greatest gift to give). The practice of nonfear can let I'd look into the light of interbeing. When we chant the Heart Sutra, we see that Sariputra has been able to transcend fear. History of Buddhist Teachings Many have asked who is the author of these 51 Verses. After the Buddha passed away, a few decades after, there was a need to systemize the teachings of the Buddha. This is known as the Abhidharma - super dharma - and it contains many many teachings. Thay offers the background on the abidharma teachings over time. Some of these teachings have been translated into English so it can be available to you. For example, the Path of Purification, the Twenty verses on Manifestation only (or mere manifestation - it is a very difficult teaching), but the 51 verses are much easier. You can listen to these talks again or purchase Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology. Two Stories on Dying Story of Anapindika and Sariputra with the practice on the Recollection of the Three Jewels. Story of Alfred Hassler. About 8-years ago, on the way to the Omega Institute for a retreat, we learned our dear friend Alfred Hassler was dying in a hospital nearby. Sr. Chan Không and Thay decided to stop and visit him along with Alfred's wife and daughter. Thay recalls some of the work done with Alfred and his family. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Oct 26, 2016
Reconciliation
1:55:42
The Retreat on Buddhist Psychology continues in Key West, Florida. The date is November 8, 1997. This is the seventh talk (115-minutes). We begin with the story of David, an America who came to Plum Village and was given he assignment to write a Iove letter to his father. He thought he couldn't do this to reconcile with him father. Thay had him practice as a 5-year old boy for a week so to touch the vulnerability and fragility in himself. We smile and identify the little child inside of us. This practice is followed by seeing our parent/father as a 5-year old child as well. Maybe we need a picture to help us truly visualize this our parent. The teaching of emptiness of transmission. Everything depends on everything else. It always includes a transmitter, an object, and a receiver. But these three elements cannot be separated. Another story, this one of Michael, another American, where he was asked to list the wholesome qualities of his father and mother. He had a challenge doing this for his mother because of some anger and resentment. This exercise can help repair our resentment and anger. And he was able to write a beautiful love letter to his mother. The practice has the power to liberate and bring non-fear and joy. When we feel that we have been abused, when people have treated us with violence, anger, hatred, discrimination then a block of suffering is within us. The negative energy is in us. And if you don't know how to handle and transform the violence within us then that violence will destroy us and the people we love. The criminals, the terrorist, they have not been able to transform the violence. We have to learn how to handle and transform the violence in us and to help others do the same. In our schools, in our prisons, and in our police departments. Mindfulness practice must be offered to society and it can be done in a non-sectarian, non-religious form. Thay shares his idea for an Association of Mindfulness Practice Centers and what that would look like in practice and reality. He shared about three mindfulness practice centers taking shape in America (DC, Vermont, and California). Living according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings. We need to be affiliated with a group of people, a sangha. It is essential to our practice. The sangha is our refuge. At 58-minutes we resume the teaching on the 50 Verses. We begin with verses 15-22 - about the seventh consciousness of manas. Then verse 23 is about the sixth, mental consciousness. Thay repeats a little on the three modes of cognition - the realm of things in themselves, the realm of representation, and the realm of mere image. Verses 25-27, the root of all actions. With verses 28-30, we move to the five consciousnesses of sensations. Historical Perspective During this talk, Thay announces the 21-Day Retreat planned for May 23, 1998 that took place at St. Michaels College in Burlington, Vermont. The theme of that retreat was the Sutra on Mindful Breathing. This was the first time the 21-Day occurred in North America. He also announced that 200-acres are being donated in Vermont for a practice community. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Aug 26, 2016
Handling Strong Emotions
1:36:06
The Retreat on Buddhist Psychology continues in Key West, Florida. The date is November 7, 1997. This is the sixth talk (96-minutes) offered as an audio recording below. Seed of anger. Mindfulness of anger. How do we practice with this energy of anger? How do we make peace with another in which we are angry? One method is to use the practice of deep looking. First, we generate our energy of mindfulness. Then we recognize our anger. Finally we look deeply into the nature of our anger. Teaching on the four mantras, deep listening, and loving speech. We can restore communication. Thay shares the text of a song he wrote to help us with our practice. It rains softly outside, and yet I feel the sadness and the sorrow coming up in me. Please go to sleep my little pain and let my in breath and out breath embrace you tenderly. I know you are there and I do my best to take good care of you. You know I am trying to plant and water the seeds of harmony and loving kindness everyday so tomorrow from the soil of my consciousness flowers of peace and joy and forgiveness will bloom for everyone. Please go to sleep my little knots. My little pain. With this practice there will be transformation and tomorrow we will be able to accept and love each other. How are we watering our store consciousness through our consumption? Are we intoxicating ourselves with seeds of craving and despair? Thay shares his excitement about mindfulness being applied in legislation (smoking) and in what we can buy in the supermarket (tofu). The five mindfulness trainings are a concrete practice to help us to become more mindful of our consciousness. We continue with a deeper teaching on the first aspect of meditation: stopping. In the concluding 15-minutes, we return to the teaching on the verses of consciousness. We are on verse 13 exploring inter-penetration. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Aug 13, 2016
Selective Watering and Total Relaxation
1:53:41
The Retreat on Buddhist Psychology continues in Key West, Florida. The date is November 6, 1997. This is the fifth talk (114-minutes). Much of this talk is offered in the context of those working in the helping professions such as therapists and doctors. The practice we are learning here is taking care of ourselves. We should be able to take care of ourselves in order to help other people. This can bring is a lot of joy. First, we have to learn how to rest. The practice of stopping. We have a habit of running. We can practice arriving in the here and the now. We begin with a teaching on Total Relaxation. You can practice as an individual and as a sangha. The total relaxation exercises also brings mindfulness to our relationships, our eating, and much more. We should practice body scanning daily. Another aspect of practicing to stop is we have to learn how to say no - we should know our limits. Secondly, we should give our body and mind time to recover after meetings. Do waking meditation or total relaxation. This is especially important for those in the helping professions. Can we meet our colleagues in a kind of dharma discussion. We can ask, do you know how to take care of yourself? The Buddha said, it is possible to live happily in the present moment. He was aware that we had suffering and sorrow, but that we can also discover joy. Joy is made of non-joy elements. Like sorrow. We don't need to remove all the pain and the sorrow. The need of mindfulness allows us to experience the present moment. Brief teaching on the role of walking meditation and sitting meditation in the context of dwelling happily in the present moment. We can arrange our days to offer space for practice. Brings more solidity, more joy, more insight. We practice the same way when working with our sorrow. Sangha building. Why is it important in our work settings, especially those in helping professions? Cultivating the mind of love. What is a sangha? A sangha is community that practices joy and happiness. Thay expresses his joy with having a community of monks and nuns traveling together and living together in Plum Village. The sangha is a wonderful instrument to relieve suffering. Why is taking refuge in the sangha important? What is crossing over to the other shore? In the last 35-minutes, Thay returns to teaching on the verses (9-10) on consciousness. Alaya. Cautions on a society of hungry ghosts. The nature of dharmas - conditioned and unconditioned. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk. Editors Note: Lost about 2-minutes of sound at 1h 20m into talk. 
Jul 16, 2016
Self and Non-Self: The Evolving Consciousness
1:39:43
The Retreat on Buddhist Psychology continues in Key West, Florida. The date is November 5, 1997. This is the fourth talk (99-minutes). Teaching on the Three Dharma Seals Impermanence No-self Nirvana The authentic teachings of the Buddha must contain all three of these. They are not only a description of reality but a way of seeing things. Impermanence and nonself also contain the teaching of rebirth. What is impermanence? Is it the cause of our suffering? How do we practice with impermanence? Impermanence and no-self are two sides of the a coin. And nirvana is the metal. The base. Nirvana is extinction. Extinction of notions/ideas. All the pairs of opposites. Other topics covered in this talk: Teaching of the Three Natures of Reality 18 Realms of Being Universal mental formations Verses 23-25, 39-42 of the Fifty Verses of Consciousness In the last 15-minutes, Thay offers suggestions for practice during the lazy afternoon and also outlines formal lunch. Metaphors: a coin, the wave
Jun 23, 2016
Realms of Being
1:37:50
We continue our series from the archives. The date is November 4, 1997 and the sangha continues a mindfulness retreat in Key West, Florida with the theme of Buddhist psychology. This is the third talk (98-minutes) where Thay teaches on the first 8-verses of the Fifty Verses on Buddhist Psychology. The nature of the flower and the garbage. The transformation of flowers and the nature of Interbeing between the two. This is a pair of opposites and we can see this in other pairs of opposites. Interbeing. When we talk about enlightenment and illusion, it is the same. They do not exclude each other. Enlightenment and illusion are always present. Dukka. Suffering. The first of the Four Noble Truths. We have to recognize that ill-being is present and see the nature of it. The First Noble Truth is a Holy Truth. Teachings from the Fifty Verses. 1. Mind is a field in which every kind of seed is sown. This mind field can also be called all the seeds. Our mind consciousness is like a gardener. It is like the earth, the earth is holding, preserving, maintaining, everything together. The function of Alaya. 2. There are an infinite variety of seeds. Seeds of samsara, illusion, and nirvana, suffering, delusion, and enlightenment. Seeds of suffering and happiness. Seeds of perceptions, names, and words. How do we transform samsara and suffering? What are perceptions and what are the objects of our perceptions? 3. Seeds that manifest as body and mind. As realms of beings. As stages and worlds, are all in our consciousness. That is why it is called store consciousness. What are the different realms of consciousness? The six sense organs. Six objects of the sense organs. And six kinds of sense consciousness. These are the Eighteen Realms of Beings. Plus the three worlds: form, desire, and non-form. And the ten stages of the bodhissatva. They are all manifestation from store consciousness. 4. Some seeds are innate, some were handed down by our ancestors. Some were sown while we were still in the womb. Others were sown when we were children.  Where did the seeds come from, when did they arrive, and will they always be there? 5. Whether from our family or friends, our society or our education, all seeds by nature are both individual and collective. Another pair of opposites and can be transcended. The collective and the individual inter-are. What are these concepts? Thay uses the metaphor of a bus and its passengers to illustrate. Followed by the candle to also illustrates - its brightness. Is the brain collective or individual? Father and son. Self and non-self. 6. The quality of our lives depends on the quality of the seeds that lie in our consciousness. 7. The function of the store consciousness is to receive, to maintain, and make manifest in the world these seeds and end our habit energies. Store consciousness is like the ocean - there are many rivers that are received by the ocean. It has the power to manifest these seeds. How do we train positive energy and habits? 8. The manifestation of Alaya can be perceived as a field within themselves, as that of representations or mere images are included in the 18 realms of being. Perceptions of reality. For example, when we fall in love. Falling in love with the image of the other person. Teaching on the field of representation, field of things in themselves (such was), and the field of mere image. We conclude with a short (10-minute) teaching on suffering and our relationships. Seeds of loyalty and betrayal. When things are not to your liking. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Jun 08, 2016
Interbeing and Store Consciousness
1:28:06
Another talk from the archives. The date is November 3, 1997 and the sangha continues a mindfulness retreat in Key West, Florida with the theme of Buddhist psychology. This is the second talk (96-minutes) where Thay introduces the interbeing and gives a teaching on store consciousness. Seeing things in the light of Interbeing. The right is made of the left and the left is made of the right. They are not enemies, but they contain each other. Thay teaches in the context of politics. The Buddha taught, this is because that is. Then we move to body and mind - they are interbe. Non-duality. In each cell of our body is stored the whole cosmos. In the study of Buddhist studies of the mind, the body is always first an object of our perception. Teaching on object and perception. Touching the present moment. Using the present moment to touch the past; including our past suffering. In doing this we can experience the Interbeing of past suffering. You can heal the wounds of the past by touching the present moment. How does this apply to the future? Namarupa. The body and the mind. Contemplation. Observation of the mind in the mind and observations of the body in the body. Stresses non-duality. The five skandhas. This is the Sanskrit word that means heaps. Can also be translated as elements or aggregates. What are the five skandhas? Remember these distinctions are only there to help us with our practice.what are formations? How are the five interare? After this brief overview of the skandhas, the teaching shifts to focus primarily on consciousness. Specifically, store consciousness and seeds. Working with our seeds using mindfulness. For example, mindfulness of anger. What is store consciousness? Store consciousness is like a garden that is able to maintain and store the totality of all the seeds. The practice of meditation is being aware and recognize the seeds inside us and to water the good seeds. Recognizing and taking care of our seeds. Why do we do this?
Apr 24, 2016
Interbeing and Emptiness
3:48
What is interbeing and emptiness? A brief excerpt from the November 3, 1997 dharma talk given at Key West, Florida.
Apr 19, 2016
Enjoy Each Mindful Breath
1:35:21
The date is November 2, 1997 and the sangha is holding a mindfulness retreat in Key West, Florida with the theme of Buddhist psychology. This is the first talk (100-minutes) where Thay introduces the attendees to the basic practices of mindfulness. It's a wonderful teaching covering breathing, sitting, walking, and silence. We begin with a basic introduction, along with instructions, to the practice. How can we practice mindful breathing? Why is mindful breathing important? Breathe, you are alive. How do we practice sitting meditation? When we sit, don't struggle. Breathing and sitting can both be very enjoyable. Sitting is not to become someone else but to be aware that you are alive. This is enlightenment. Do we know how to allow our body to rest? Do we know how to trust our bodies in order to rest? To worry too much has become a habit for us? We have learned to worry too much. This energy of worry has become to strong and preventing the healing of our body and spirit. We also have a habit of rushing and restlessness. Buddhist meditation can help us deal with these habits of running and worry. It is possible to live happily in the present moment. The boat of mindfulness can help us not to sink into the river of suffering. The energy of mindfulness that we can generate within us that we cultivate through meditation. In addition to our meditation practice, we also have a sangha. What is the sangha? The sangha is another component of the boat that supports you to not sink into the river of suffering. Our brothers and sisters are a source of support. Sitting together. Eating together. Walking together. Breathing together. The practice of mindfulness is, first of all, the practice of going back to the here and now. Our habit energies are obstacles to our going back to the here and now. The address of happiness, peace, and stability is the here and now. Instructions for walking mediation. I have arrived. I have arrived. I am home. I am home. Instructions for eating meditation and eating together in community. This too is an opportunity for being aware of our breathing and it is a moment of practice. A moment of joy. There is no waiting. Listening to a dharma talk. This is an opportunity for the most precious seeds to grow in us. We don't need to use our intellect. Allow the dharma rain to fall on your consciousness. A short teaching on the historical and ultimate dimensions followed by Thay leading everyone with a song - "I Have Arrived, I am Home." The last topic is on the practice of purification of speech. How do we practice with silence during the first four days of the retreat. In the retreat, we will use a notebook to write down the things that we want to say - we can observe the habit energy in us. We can also use the notebook to communicate with others if it's absolutely necessary. Learning to observe your feelings and ideas during this period of silence. Do you know how to observe and look deeply at your feelings? We can train ourselves to recognize and embrace our feelings. The conditions of our lives don't have to make us suffer and we can transform the situation. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Apr 04, 2016
Purification of Speech
13:09
This 13-minute segment is from the first dharma talk during the November 1997 retreat in Key West (Florida) and Thich Nhat Hanh offers us a teaching on silence. The practice of purification of speech. How do we practice with silence during the first four days of the retreat. In the retreat, we will use a notebook to write down the things that we want to say - we can observe the habit energy in us. We can also use the notebook to communicate with others if it's absolutely necessary. Learning to observe your feelings and ideas during this period of silence. Do you know how to observe and look deeply at your feelings? We can train ourselves to recognize and embrace our feelings. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Apr 02, 2016
Geese Flying South
1:08:17
Our talk today is from 16-years ago and begins with a reading, first in English by a nun, and then in Vietnamese by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is 23 January 2000 and the sangha has gathered in the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village for a dharma talk during the winter retreat. The talk is in English. The main talk begins with Thay sharing an article from a magazine about geese flying south. This story is used to illustrate the wisdom of the animal kingdom and they know about how important sangha is for the individual. There are things that are difficult to do alone but will be easier with the sangha. Why is important to eat with the sangha? Why is important to walk with the sangha? How does your sitting with the sangha help both you and the sangha? We learn more about sitting meditation, the miracle of walking with the Buddha, and living in community within the monastery. Living in these 24-hours. Even how to enjoy brushing our teeth. Below is a general outline of the topics covered in this talk. 0:00 English Reading 7:44 Vietnamese Reading 15:00 Geese Flying South and Sangha 26:00 Walking with the Buddha 37:08 Sitting in the Meditation Hall 40:48 The Miracle of the Orange 52:07 Everything is the Practice 56:40 How to Sit 1:05:43 Listening to the Bell If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Mar 02, 2016
How to Sit
7:58
In this short audio clip from 2000, Thay instructs us how to sit. We will be posting the complete talk in a few days. Or, simply wait a few days. Enjoy the weekend.
Feb 27, 2016
Because I Like It!
1:32:37
With Thay's gentle and compassionate humor, we discover the teaching of Right Diligence. This is the eighth talk during the 21-Day Retreat with the theme Path of the Buddha. The date is June 11, 2009 and we are at the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village. The Four Noble Truths are an exact science - there is right view and wrong view. For the Fourth Noble Truth, the Path and well being, we have Right View. For the Second, ill being, we have Wrong View. They are opposites. Thay reviews Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood in the context of well being and ill being. In this talk we continue with a teaching on Right Diligence. What is the difference between diligence and effort? Intensive versus regularity. Why is diligence better (easier) than effort? How does Right Diligence bring well being? What is Wrong Diligence and why does it bring ill being? Practical tips for practice are offered. The story of Frederick, a businessman, and his wife Claudia and their son Phillip. The story concludes with a wonderful teaching on walking and carrying peace in every step. True Diligence Source: The Mindfulness Bell, Summer 2008 True Diligence is often described in four steps. First, the unbeneficial seeds are in us. Be skillful to not let these seeds arise in us. Thay teaches on consciousness - store and mental consciousness. We can practice to lullaby these seeds of suffering to sleep. Second, if by chance that seed of suffering has manifested then we need to do something to let it go back to store consciousness. Don't allow it to stay too long. Not suppressing but helping it to go back. This is appropriate attention. Third, we invite the beneficial seeds to come up. Like a good friend who you have not seen in a long time. Send an invitation to dissipate the darkness. Joy and happiness are always possible and give them a chance to manifest. How? One method is a sangha. Fourth, when those beneficial seeds are present then we try to keep them present as long as possible. Help them to be strong. Again, what is a method for practicing this step? Generosity We continue the talk with a teaching on the second mindfulness training and how we consider the revision. The second mindfulness training is about generosity. How does it relate to right diligence? What is practicing generosity? Stealing? Is it possible to have no more desire? Are you aware of your conditions of happiness? The talk concludes with a short teaching on the Sutra of the White Clad Disciple. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk.
Jan 22, 2016
Sitting with Our Father and Mother
10:00
Before the sixth dharma talk of the 21-Day Retreat: The Path of the Buddha at Plum Village in June 2009, Thich Nhat Hanh offered this guided meditation. It is a 10-minute meditation, so please find a place to sit and be fully present for the entire meditation. Breathing in, I invite the Buddha to breathe with my lungs. Breathing out, I invited the Buddha to sit with my back. Buddha is breathing, Buddha is sitting. I enjoy breathing, I enjoy sitting. I know that the quality of the breathing, in the Buddha breath, is excellent. I know the quality of his sitting is excellent. I enjoy breathing. I enjoy sitting. I am aware that my father is fully present in every cell of my body. I invite my father to breathe in with me. Breathe out with me. I would like to invite my father in me to sit with my back - this is my back, but it is also his back. Father and son. Father and daughter. Breathing together. Breathing in, I feel so light. Breathing out, I feel so free. Daddy, do you feel as light as I do? Do you feel as free as I do? I know that my mother is fully present in every cell of my body. I invite my mother to breathe with my lungs, to sit with my back. This is my back, but it is also hers. Mother and son breathing in together. Mother and daughter breathing in together. Mother and son breathing out together. Mother and daughter breathing out together. Breathing in, I feel so light. Mother, do you feel as light as I do? Breathing out, I feel so free. Mother, do you feel as free as I do?
Jan 07, 2016
Inviting the Bell
12:31
Thay teaches us how to invite the bell in this 12-minutes excerpt from a 2009 dharma talk at Plum Village.
Dec 16, 2015
We Only Need to Look in the Present Moment
1:00:37
In June, 2009, a 21-day retreat was offered at Plum Village on the theme "The Path of the Buddha" and this recording is the first talk of the retreat (June 2, 2009). This was also in the first year of Obama being president of the United States. Thay teaches about the sangha as it relates to the president. Now, many years later, Obama is in the last year of his term and we have the opportunity to reflect on how we did with Thay’s instructions. We begin with a story of meeting MLK to build the idea of the beloved community and sangha building. What is the sangha and why do we need one? Thay teaches that even President Obama needs a sangha in a very compassionate and loving way. The 21-Day Retreat is an opportunity to perceive the sangha visibly. We should build and preserve the sangha. We have been planting seeds of brotherhood, sisterhood, peace, nonviolence. We have produced our politicians. Our politicians need a strong sangha, even though it is not a Buddhist one. And we have a role in that sangha too. Obama is not an individual, he is a part of the sangha. Without the sangha, we cannot go far. The 21-day retreat is a time to strengthen our sangha and open the way for the world. The sangha includes the Buddha and the dharma. It contains the the path of understanding and love. The 21st century is like a hill and we are climbing this hill together as a sangha. Can we climb beautifully? Each step should be love, healing, forgiveness. With a sangha, this becomes easy. What are we looking for? Our joy. Our success. Our transformation. Our happiness. Our emancipation. Our freedom. Whatever we are looking for, we have to look for it in the present moment. How do we do we go home to the present moment to discover the power to nourish and to heal? What is the path of the Buddha? We are going to explore a global spiritual ethic. The five mindfulness trainings represent this ethic. All the other precepts - 10 novice precepts, 14 mindfulness trainings - also represent this ethic.  We will explore this during our retreat together. If you appreciate this teaching, please consider making a donation to support the ongoing efforts of the online monastery. Please make a note with your donation that it was because of this talk. Enjoy the talk.
Dec 13, 2015
Cultivating Peace
1:53:59
In this 2007 dharma talk, we go back to the Vietnam trip (February 21 to May 9) that focused on the Great Requiem Ceremonies across the country. The purpose of this trip was to to heal the last wounds of the war. The date of this recording is May 7, 2007 and it is the last talk of the Vietnam tour. It is possible to cultivate peace as individuals, as families, and as nations. We need to begin with understanding and love - this is the foundation of peace. Our peace begins with our in-breath as we bring our mind back to our body. The breathing is the bridge connecting our mind and body. Do we know our conditions of happiness to live happily in the present moment? There is also the wisdom of non-discrimination in Buddhism. Four elements of true love - maitri, karuna, mudita, and upeksha. The wisdom of non-discrimination (29:45) - a topic that is very crucial for our own peace and for peace in the world - a very important element of true love. The Three Kinds of Powers (49:55). We need to discover that the Buddha was a human being. The source of wisdom in Buddhism can help us overcome our despair. Spiritual power can be attained through our daily practice. The first is to cut-off. For example, to cut off from our craving, our anger, our despair. We do this by looking at the nature of suffering. The Buddha did this and you can to. The second power is insight. We cultivate this through our meditation. The third kind of power to cultivate is the power to love, to forgive. The practice of mindful breathing and mindful walking allows us to be present in the here and now. When you practice like this, each breath and step can bring you to the pure land of the Buddha and touch the wonders of life. Thay responded to a series of questions from the audience. How do you practice offering love to someone who does not want that? (55:02) Can you teach us how family can practice beginning anew? The practice of deep listening and loving speech. Practicing peace. (58:02) A question about impermanence. Is nirvana achievable and is it permanent? (1:11:52) A question about anger. Working with children in the classroom caused me to lose my temper often because I couldn't control the class. (1:23:52) How do we help people to live in peace when they live in poor environments. (1:29:27) What is the difference between “non-discrimination” and “forgiveness” when defining the fourth element of true love (upeksha)? (1:39:07) At the conclusion of the questions (1:41:42), Thay shares a little bit about the prayer ceremonies that were organized during this tour for those who died in the war and for those who died at sea. There were three ceremonies - one in the south, one in central, and one in the north of Vietnam where we practiced sitting meditation, reciting the sutras, and doing charity work. We transferred the merit of our practice to the dead people. The sharing concludes with an English translation of the readings used during the ceremonies.
Nov 04, 2015
Stop Waiting and Start Living
1:30:35
https://youtu.be/ZX9H56UN3wg The Miracle of Mindfulness tour is underway with 50-60 monastics traveling and teaching in the USA. We have just completed the New York events at Blue Cliff Monastery and in New York City. A retreat will begin later this week in Mississippi followed by retreats and events in California. You can see the entire tour schedule on the tour site. The recording included here is from the public talk in New York City  that took place on September 12, 2015 at The Town Hall with the theme of Mindfulness: Stop Waiting, Start Living. Our two teachers are Sister Jina and Brother Dharma Embrace. We've included both the video and the audio. Sister Jina (Chan Dieu Nghiem - True Wonder) is an Irish-Dutch nun who ordained in Japan in 1985 and joined the Plum Village community in 1990, one of Thich Nhat Hanh's first European monastic disciples. After serving as the dearly loved Abbess of Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, for 16 years, she now lives at Deer Park Monastery in California. Sister Jina's teachings have inspired generations of practitioners around the world. She is an avid mountain-hiker, bird-watcher and to relax, loves folk-dancing. Brother Dharma Embrace (Chan Phap Dung) is a Vietnamese-American monk who came of age as a San Fernando “Valley Boy” break dancing and skateboarding. He struggled in school before eventually graduating from USC and working as an architect in Santa Monica. Disenchanted with the corporate world, he decided to ordain on visiting Deer Park Monastery . He is loved by young and old for his dynamic creativity and urban cool. He is involved in many initiatives to bring mindfulness into schools, business, and politics. A few of the topics covered in this talk include: A Full Time Refugee Taking Refuge in the Breath Taking Refuge in the Bell Growing Up / Anger / Suffering as a Young Man / Conditions of Happiness Coming Home and Opening and Closing the Door Where are my Roots Celebrate Our Spiritual Roots Engagement and Community Questions and answers  
Sep 19, 2015
This Moment, Only Once
1:19:57
The audio archives contained here will continue to grow and change moving forward. In addition to sharing Thich Nhat Hanh talks from the archives, we will also share current talks from senior dharma teachers from our community. This rich and lively talk was given in the Assembly of Stars Hall in Lower Hamlet, Plum Village, on Thursday May 21, 2015, as part of the community's Spring Retreat. Thay Phap Hai Brother Phap Hai (Brother Dharma Ocean) offers some challenging questions to help us energize and focus our practice and truly arrive in ourselves in the present moment. What is the "seed sound" of the Plum Village practice "I have arrived, I am home"? What is the difference between knowledge and insight? What is the original meaning of the word "Path" in Buddhism? Have you actually ever "seen" the Dharma? If you saw the Buddha today, what would you ask?
May 31, 2015
Love and Happiness
45:31
It was Thanksgiving Day in Plum Village on November 25, 2004. The sangha gathered in Lower Hamlet, Plum Village during the Fall Retreat and Thay gave a 45-minute dharma talk on the topic of love and happiness. https://youtu.be/QtPqonJJP_o The telephone line should be called the "compassionate line." We hope this line can be established everywhere so that young people in their suffering, despair, and strong emotions can have someone to talk with. Suicide is a real issue and young people they feel lonely and suffer so much. Who can they talk with? Someone who has the capacity to listen. Each of us can make a vow to be that person who has the capacity to listen. Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of deep listening. Compassionate listening. We have to cultivate this capacity and transform ourselves in this bodhisattva. Without the capacity of listening deeply, we cannot understand. According to the teachings of the Buddha, love is born from the ground of understanding. We can apply this in our relationships and our families. Understanding is not something that happens “just like that” - it takes time and we have to give our ideas, our views, our prejudices, our judgment. Understanding what? The difficulties and suffering of the other person. The deep hope and desire the person has. The kind of obstacles the person is experiencing. We can ask the other person, "do you think I understand you enough?” Once you understand, you can stop doing and saying things that cause the other person to suffer. Then you have True Love. This is the practice of love. Do we understand ourselves? The nature of our own suffering? Everyone has an idea of happiness and we may strive for that idea. But, can we see that happiness can come from any direction? Joy comes from letting go and the first thing we can let go of is our idea of happiness. In the Buddhist teaching of love, there are four elements. The first is maitri - friendship, brotherhood, loving-kindness. And the second is karuna - capacity to understand the suffering and help remove and transform it - compassion. Mudita is the third element - joy - your joy is her joy, her joy is our joy. The last element is upeksha - nondiscrimination. This is a higher form of love. The four qualities have no limits - infinite love - these elements are also call the Four Unlimited Minds. The bodhisattva of love is in you.  
Mar 25, 2015
Fresh Opportunities of Abundance
48:31
As we continue to send Thay our lovely energy of healing, we look back to a dharma talk he gave on January 26, 2003 from the Dharma Nectar Temple, Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. The sangha is in the middle of the Winter Retreat and the lunar new year is approaching. This short dharma talk (48-minutes) begins with a monastic chant in Vietnamese. The Buddha teaches we should try to make our practice pleasant, joyful, and nourishing. There are several different types of joy. Mindfulness is the key to exploring. How should a practice center be organized? Are we creating the right conditions? The two sentences for the coming lunar year (2003) are part of the practice - All misfortunes entirely away. Fresh Opportunities seen in abundance. - we post these in order to remind us of our practice. We have many opportunities to practice all around us. Can you write down all the opportunities available to you? Mindfulness will help us touch these opportunities. Other kinds of joy. Sangha building. Helping our brothers or sisters in the community can bring both a lot of joy. This is based on understanding and love. There may also be a kind of joy based upon craving. Craving for recognition and praise. Can you learn to operate as a sangha? How? You don't need to be #1 to be happy. The teaching is a teaching of no-self. Inferiority. Superiority. Equality. How can we take care of our ups and our downs? We cannot hide our suffering. How to ask for help? The 51-mental formations in the boat of self. We have the five universal and five particulars - these are travelers in the boat of ourselves. They can also form a team and work together. Mindfulness and concentration. We have to learn to live in harmony with the sangha of self. Smile and breathe. Enjoy the gem.
Mar 01, 2015
Evolutive Dharma
1:03:33
From the archives, this talk by Thich Nhat Hanh was given during the 2002-2003 Winter Retreat (January 19, 2003) from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village. The one-hour talk begins with a short chant in English by the monks and nuns. The living Buddha. How do we get in touch with the living Buddha? When we think of the Buddha, we have a notion. We think of Shakyamuni. If we are caught by the notion of the historical Buddha we cannot be in touch with the living Buddha. The practice of signlessness. With the eyes of signlessness, we can recognize the cloud in the tea or the ice cream. This is not something metaphysical or abstract. We see people and things in their new forms with the eyes of signlessness. We can be free from our ignorance. Impermanence makes life possible. It allows the Buddha to grow beyond his 80-year lifespan. The living Dharma. The living dharma is something you can see for yourself, something that grows. The dharma needs to be offered in an intelligent way: it must be the right teaching for the right person, it must be flexible, and it must be able to grow. The notion of the evolutive dharma. The nature of Interbeing can help us touch our true nature. Buddhism is only made of nonbuddhist elements. Buddhism has no fixed identity and is evolving. It's like a Bodhi tree remains the same tree even as it grows in different directions. The living dharma is alive, moving, and growing. And the living Sangha has the living Buddha and living dharma inside. Practice in an intelligent way and don't be caught in fundamentalism. Even in the Buddha's lifetime, the Dharma and Sangha were evolving. Fundamentalism is our enemy. Thanks to our practice and our enlightenment, Mahayana Buddhism can grow. Different types of concentrations - impermanence, nirvana, no self - will help us grow in the practice.  
Jan 30, 2015
Francophone Educators’ Retreat
28:57
Dear listeners. As you know, Thay is in the hospital recovering from a brain hemorrhage. This fall, Thay has been able to given one dharma talk and that was for the Francophone Educators' Retreat in Upper Hamlet on October 27, 2014. The talk is 30-minutes long, available in audio only, and is given in French (without translation). Though we may not all understand the words, please enjoy the talk.  
Nov 15, 2014
An Update from the Editor
2:02
Dear Friends This is a short message from your editor and host. It has been a month since our last dharma talk post and over two months since Thay has shared a dharma talk with the sangha. This is a short update to let you know that Thay did talk at the Francophone Educators Retreat earlier this week and if the talk becomes available, then it will be posted here. In the meantime, please support our efforts by visiting http://patreon.com/plumvillage. For as little as $1 per dharma talk, you can show your ongoing support. The donations are always in your control. You can limit the total per month and a total per dharma talk. This helps to pay for our internet services, hosting and equipment for bringing the talks to you. Thank you for the comments, support, and most especially for your practice. Kenley
Oct 29, 2014
The Practice of True Presence
32:40
This is the second dharma talk of the “The Mind of Love Transforms All Difficulties" retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the New Hamlet of Plum Village in France. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Italian. In this very short talk on August 29, 2014, Thay teaches on the elements of love and the four mantras. Both the audio and the video are available below. Mind of love - bodhicitta. Why not the heart? Bodhi is to wake up. It begins with understanding the suffering in ourselves and then we can begin to see the suffering in the other person. Then we can help him or her to suffer less.  What is love? Love me to be there. The practice of mindful breathing and mindful walking can help us to be there for ourselves and for our loved ones. What are the elements of true presence? Am I a true lover?  You can answer this question yourself by looking to see if you have these four elements. The four mantras of Plum Village. http://youtu.be/Kjkk3M7YfOU
Sep 30, 2014
This is a Legendary Moment
51:43
This is the first dharma talk of the The Mind of Love Transforms All Difficulties retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village in France. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Italian. In this short talk (30-minutes) on August 28, 2014, Thay teaches on the mind of love of the relationship between suffering and happiness followed by chanting with the monks and nuns. Both the audio and the video are available below. The mind of love is a tremendous source of energy. Can we look inside and recognize the mind of love? What is it? What is our deepest desire? To relieve the suffering in the world is a good desire. And understanding is the foundation of love. How can we wake up to be a Buddha? We have to wake up in order to help others who are suffering. To wake up to the beauties of nature and heal yourself. And to wake up to the suffering of the world and to help. That is the career of the Buddha. The art of happiness and the art of suffering. What is the connection between happiness and suffering? The practice of mindfulness. How do we help the other person to suffer less? Who is Avaloketeshvara? http://youtu.be/7V6hGD6kdQA
Sep 24, 2014
Our Cosmic Body
1:20:29
This is the fourth and final dharma talk of the "Understanding Is Love" retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Dutch. In this talk on August 24, 2014, Thay teaches on birth and death. Both the audio and the video are available below. Topics Homework for the children. Seed of corn. A teaching on birth and death. What happens when you die? Why meditate on death? Our cosmic body Interbeing of birth and death Two levels of truth: Conventional and Ultimate Right View. Transcends being and non/being, birth/death. God is the Ultimate Teaching of the Flame. Birth and death. Teachings on The Three Recollections, the Six Sense Organs, and No Coming, No Going as given to Anathapindika on his deathbed http://youtu.be/auaDj8K8eXU
Sep 22, 2014
Right Livelihood and True Love
1:17:39
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? Adults 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? http://youtu.be/NlVko4-f2lA
Sep 09, 2014
Professor Buddha and the Bell
1:24:47
The third dharma talk of the Understanding Is Love Retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Dutch. In this talk on August 22, 2014, Thay teaches on using the bell and the noble eightfold path. Both the audio and the video are available below. Topics The Bell. How to use the bell in the family. (40-minutes) Object of our mindfulness Producing Mindfulness, Concentration, and Insight Right Thinking Right Speech Right Action Right Livelihood Four kinds of nutriments Right Diligence http://youtu.be/Sy1IESeYhJ4
Sep 05, 2014
The Popularity of Mindfulness
1:28:04
The second dharma talk of the Understanding Is Love Retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Dutch. In this talk on August 21, 2014, Thay teaches on the noble eightfold path, the five mindfulness trainings, and applying mindfulness in the world. Both the audio and the video are available below. Topics Living in Plum Village and living in brotherhood and sisterhood. What is life like at Plum Village? Story of a Bell and Thay's Dream Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma - the Buddha's first dharma talk. The noble eightfold path. The popularity of mindfulness in the world today. Is it an instrument to make more money and to kill better? The Five Mindfulness Trainings Applied Buddhism in schools; our experience in France. Learning how to understand, communicate, and reconcile http://youtu.be/d8CGTkqjcik
Aug 30, 2014
The French Call It Amour
1:27:51
The first dharma talk of the Understanding Is Love Retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Dutch. In this talk on August 20, 2014, Thay teaches on feeling joy and happiness and on True Love. Both the audio and the video are available below. Topics Learning how to nourish and love and have it last a long time. The cloud in my cup of water What does it mean: this is a happy moment? Mindfulness of body Producing a feeling of joy Producing a feeling of happiness Mindfulness of Suffering Understanding and Suffering Four Elements of True Love The four pebbles http://youtu.be/RtP2hvI3mvo
Aug 29, 2014
A Cloud in the Water
1:18:00
The fourth dharma talk of the Nourishing Happiness in our Hearts retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. In this talk on August 17, 2014, Thay teaches on dependent co-arising, interbeing, and the four pairs of opposites. Both the audio and the video are available below. Topics A cloud in the water Two kinds of truth; conventional and the ultimate How to suffer less Right View and the ultimate dimension Birth and death The wisdom of adaptation and the art of looking deeply Dependent co-arising Interbeing Emptiness Four Pairs of Opposites Sangha Building http://youtu.be/oKCmX4mMXTY
Aug 21, 2014
What is Truth?
1:40:31
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. Children 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? Teens Why should we eat vegan and not vegetarian? Why did you decide to become a Buddhist or a monk? Adults 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? What is truth? http://youtu.be/bZRRU4rcdQQ
Aug 21, 2014
The Sky is Giving a Dharma Talk
1:34:42
On this rainy morning in Germany, and the third dharma talk of the Nourishing Happiness in our Hearts retreat, Thich Nhat Hanh teaches from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. In this talk on August 15, 2014, Thay teaches the children pebble meditation followed by teachings on Right Livelihood and Right Diligence. Both the audio and the video are available below. Topics What is in Thay's bag? Pebble Meditation I Am Here For You. How to love. Producing and consuming – Right Livelihood, the fifth mindfulness training, and the four kinds of nutriments Intention, insight, and innovation Practicing true Mindfulness. Can it be practiced in business and in the military? Right Diligence and taking care of our good seeds. http://youtu.be/BTynC3l2O_0
Aug 20, 2014
Seeing with Buddha Eyes
1:15:17
The second dharma talk of the Nourishing Happiness in our Hearts retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. In this talk on August 14, 2014, Thay teaches on the Noble Eightfold Path. Both the audio and the video are available below. Topics Seeing with Buddha Eyes Being born and Interbeing with our Parents Buddhanature. The capacity for understanding and loving. The way of happiness - the noble eightfold path Right View Right Concentration Right Mindfulness Right Thinking Right Speech (along with listening) Right Action Right Livelihood Right Diligence http://youtu.be/c6VZidPhETI
Aug 17, 2014
Solidity and Freedom – German Retreat
1:17:38
The first dharma talk of the Nourishing Happiness in our Hearts retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. The talk was given on August 13, 2014 and both the audio and the video are available below. Topics Story of the corn seed. The realm of Dharma. Everything is a wonder. The kingdom of God and the cosmos. Living happily in the present moment. Three kinds of energy; Mindfulness, insight, and concentration. The art of happiness - being able to generate a feeling of joy and a feeling of happiness. The art of suffering. Interbeing Elements of meditation Freedom and walking meditation. http://youtu.be/-9QdmSnc31w
Aug 16, 2014
Who Am I?
1:26:01
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? http://youtu.be/XygtfWM66j0
Aug 13, 2014
The Mark of Suffering
44:44
From the Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the fourth week of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village. This short 45-minute talk on July 27, 2014 is in English with a focus on using the practice of walking meditation in order to be free. Both the audio and the video are available below. There is the habit energy of running in all of us. We're not comfortable in the here and now. Many are caught in regret and sorrow concerning the past. The mark of suffering is very deep. How can we get out of that prison of the last? The same can be said about the future. Life is only available in the here and now. In the present moment. The practice of mindfulness can help us live in freedom. The practice of mindful walking can be very helpful. We can learn how to combine the breathing and walking together. We learn the practice. I have arrived. I am home. Teaching on the Kingdom of God as it relates to walking. Are you able to experience the wonder of life? In the here. In the now. If you know how to stop running, then you can heal yourself. I am solid. I am free. Each step made like this will cultivate more solidity and stability. These words of the mantra are not just wishful thinking. To be a Buddha is possible and to enjoy every step. In the ultimate, I dwell. What is the ultimate? Teaching of the wave. Learn the art of walking. Walk like a Buddha. Don't walk like a sleepwalker. http://youtu.be/FDhn7e8MCWI  
Aug 08, 2014
Why Am I Myself?
1:43:33
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. Children 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? Others 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? http://youtu.be/LbE9G2DUf8c
Jul 31, 2014
What is Man?
45:55
From the Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the third week of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village. This short 45-minute talk on July 20, 2014 is in English with a focus on our action. Both the audio and the video are available below. What is man? What Sartre said is very close to Buddhist teachings. Action. Karma. There are three aspects. (1) Thinking. Your thought is an action. It is an energy. We practice in such a way so to produce good thoughts. (2) Speaking. This is the second form of action. Words can kill and destroy or bring beauty and full of non discrimination, understanding, and forgiveness. We should produce speech that can heal. (3) Body action. Acting. With our body we can help with our efforts. How we consume. Are the totality of our thoughts, speech, and action. Mindfulness can shed light on our action. When we walk with the sangha, we are using these three aspects. We can be fully concentrated in our steps with these three aspects to arrive fully in the here and now. I have arrived. And we see we have enough conditions to be happy? Arriving 100% in the here and the now with concentration. How do we enjoy life in the present moment? With our next step we can say “I am home." I have arrived. I am home. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate I dwell. http://youtu.be/mr0RaqJG_cA
Jul 27, 2014
The Cake in the Refrigerator
1:14:11
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. Children 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? Others 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? http://youtu.be/Wp9Yc_ZXwN8
Jul 23, 2014
I Have Arrived. I am Home.
47:56
From the Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the second week of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village. This short 47-minute talk is in English with a focus on arriving in the present moment with walking meditation. Both the audio and the video are available below. I have arrive. I am home. We have spent so much of our time running and looking for something. We can learn to stop and see the wonders of life in the present moment.  We may miss our appointment with life. Mindfulness helps us enjoy the present moment.  The purpose of the practice is to always go home to the here and now. If you live like that, you can have peace and joy. Teaching on the practice of the "waking up" gatha. Other verses are mentioned, including a "walking" gatha. Arriving in your true home. With each step we have solidity and freedom. http://youtu.be/F7sntErVuQ4
Jul 20, 2014
What is Happiness?
1:29:41
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? http://youtu.be/qT6dnG10d5Q
Jul 16, 2014
Our Appointment with Life
37:17
From the Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. This is the first dharma talk of the annual Summer Opening retreat at Plum Village. This short 37-minute talk is in English with a focus on the three energies of practice - mindfulness, concentration, and insight. Both the audio and the video are available below. Mindfulness is a kind of energy that we can generate. Everyone has the capacity to generate the energy of mindfulness and allows us to be aware of what is going on in our body, in our feelings, in our perceptions, and in the world around us. What is happening in the here and the now. The world around us the object of our mind. If we are not in the here and the now then we cannot know what is happening in the present moment. We have an appointment with life. We may have been running and looking for something elsewhere and we will miss our appointment with life. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. For example, drinking our tea. When you are very aware of something, you are concentrated on something and you begin to see something deeply. Therefore, mindfulness contains concentration. Can we see the nature of no birth and no death in our tea? Mindfulness also carries the energy of insight. What are the three energies? Mindfulness. Concentration. Insight. We can all generate these energies, right from the beginning of our practice. With these three kinds of energies, we can do many things. For example, we can generate a feeling of joy and a feeling of happiness. How do we live deeply every moment of our daily life? How do we see our conditions of happiness? How do we make use of our suffering? http://youtu.be/6V2lEtKy7rY
Jul 11, 2014
Stepping into Freedom
1:09:45
From the Assembly of Stars Meditation Hall at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village. This is a day of mindfulness between the close of the 21-Day Retreat and the Summer Opening. The sangha is preparing for an ordination ceremony for monastic novices on July 2 followed by summer opening on July 4. This 80-minute dharma talk is dated June 29, 2014. The focus of the talk is on the monastic life. Both the audio and the video are available below. Where can we focus our attention when starting to breath mindfully? The tip of the nose versus the abdomen. We stop our thinking and are fully aware. No thinking is a secret of success. We can enjoy being alive in the here and now. What is the object of our mindfulness when we walk? How can we touch reality? Thay tells the story of a 13th century king in Vietnam who practiced very well as a lay person. How can we practice everyday? Touching the ground of reality with every step and not lose ourselves by daily life.This kind of walking can be very healing. The triple training is mindfulness, concentration, and insight. These three work together. These are three of the eight elements of the noble path - the Noble Eightfold Path. They also exist in the Five Powers (the other two are faith and diligence). This is the heart of Buddhist practice. The practice of mindfulness can also be seen concretely in the practice of the precepts and that is why we usually use the words “mindfulness” trainings. The precepts are the 5 trainings for the lay students (and the 14 for the Order members), the 10 precepts for novice monastics, 250 precepts for monks, and 380 for nuns (Some may ask why the nuns practice more? Is that not discrimination? The nuns created their own precepts). Each precept guarantees a zone of freedom. The precepts are seeking freedom. But we need to live mindfully. Thay recently wrote a new calligraphy. “Each Precept Guarantees a Zone of Freedom”. There is joy in practicing and reciting the precepts. The manual we use for training the novices is called “Stepping into Freedom” (and is available from Parallax Press). The practice of the precepts is also the practice of mindfulness and is connected with mindful manners (outlined in the manual). "Be beautiful. Practice the Precepts.” Thay discusses some of the mindful manners for monastics. The manual has four parts. The first part is a set of verses - the essential of the daily vinaya practice. The second part is the ten novice precepts. The third section is mindful manners - many chapters on this. The fourth part is a beautiful text to remind monastics why they are a monk or a nun. The book was originally in Chinese from more than 400 years ago. It has been updated by Plum Village. In the Christian monastic tradition, they have some of the same precepts. Thay shares further of the big commitment to become a monastic. It is like a marriage. You are part of a sangha and you can realize your dream of helping people. To practice as a monk or nun is easier than a lay student because you have the support of the sangha. This is a happy and beautiful moment. http://youtu.be/EfPJ6T-5Z9w
Jul 03, 2014
How to Promote World Peace
1:46:30
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. Try the BetterListen Version of this entire retreat - click the image below 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?
Jun 20, 2014
Exploring the Joy of Practice
1:56:44
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 the third dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Healing Ourselves, Healing the World. The date is September 27, 2013. We begin with seven minutes of chanting from the monastic brothers and sisters. Try the BetterListen Version of this entire retreat - click the image below Thay introduces and explains the process for the Novices and Aspirants along with the 5-year program of training as a monastic. It can bring you a lot of joy. They practice the Ten Precepts of a novice. The third source of nutriment is volition - deepest desire of your life. What you want to do with your life? Knowing what you want to do can give you energy. Brotherhood and sisterhood creates a very deep love. What is life as a monastic like, how are decisions made, how do you practice? Why did Thay begin to take students after living in exile in the west? The need for dharma teachers across the world is great. Thay invites you to join the five year program. At approximately 38-minutes into the recording, we turn to a new topic. We have talked about the art of suffering - if we know how to suffer, we will suffer much less. The art of suffering is linked to the art of happiness. Skillfully we can create joy for ourselves and others. There are many ways to create joy and happiness. The first method is to let go, to leave behind. Letting go will give birth to joy and happiness. If you let go, happiness can come right away. What are holding onto that we think is crucial for our happiness? The practice of releasing our cows. We can practice using sitting meditation and learn to release our cows. A whole country can even be caught my a cow - our ideology. The teaching of the monk Badhya who exclaimed "Oh my happiness!" during his meditation. He was able to let go. The second way to joy and happiness is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a source of joy and a source of happiness. This is our practice. Then we have concentration - if you are very mindful, then concentration can be born. From concentration we then have insight - it can liberate us. Joy and happiness can arrive. in the teachings of the Buddha, there are five types of energies that you can generate. They can help generate joy and happiness. The first three were covered earlier - mindfulness, concentration, and insight. The other two are faith and diligence. Faith here means confidence. The other teaching on power is cutting through / letting go. The power to cut by brought requires courage and courage requires us to have insight. The second power is wisdom. The third power is the power to love, to forgive. How do we listen to a dharma talk? What is the zen way? We continue with a brief review from the exercises of mindful breathing. At 86-minutes into the recording, we turn to a teaching on the three doors of liberation - emptiness, signlessness, and aimlesslessness. We hear an explanation and teaching on each of these doors. No video is available for this talk.
Jun 15, 2014
Feed and Nourish our Happiness
1:22:59
We have enjoyed some time to rest and have not so many dharma talks in the recent weeks. The monastics at Plum Village are currently participating in the bi-annual 21-Day Retreat and those talks will not be made available immediately. In the meantime, we return to the talks given at Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour that haven’t been made available until now. This is the second dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Healing Ourselves, Healing the World. The date is September 26, 2013. Try the BetterListen Version of this entire retreat - click the image below When I was a young monk, I believed he did not suffer but I know now that is not true. How can you not suffer when a dear friend dies? He was not a stone, he was a human being. But he suffered much less because of his wisdom and compassion. This is a very important thing to learn. The other question that had as a young monk is why did the Buddha keep practicing after his enlightenment. I know the answer today. Happiness is impermanent just like anything else. We have to feed and nourish our happiness. What is the goodness of suffering? It can help us to understand and love. We have to learn how to make good use of suffering. Then we can suffer much less. First, we must learn how to not let the second arrow come hit us. When we have pain in our body or mind and we let it be magnified the we create more pain and suffering. The second thing to learn is how to go home and take care of our suffering. To embrace tenderly our pain. Our consciousness has two layers - store and mind. In the store, we have many seeds; mental formations. For example, anger is a mental formation. Another mental formation is mindfulness, the energy of mindfulness, and this can be used to lessen the energy of anger. Mindfulness can embrace tenderly and anger will be transformed. We can then invite you the seed of compassion. Mindfulness of compassion. The first five mental formations are called universal. They are contact, attention, feeling, perception, and volition. They are universal because they are there at any time and at any place. How do we interact and engage with these universal mental formations? The focus of the exercises of mindful breathing are body and feelings in the first eight. then, starting with the ninth we turn to the mind. The mental formations are the objects of our mind. The tenth is about gladdening the mind. We can use Right Diligence to help the negative seeds to not manifest in our mind. This is the first aspect of the practice. And if it's already manifested, this is the second aspect, we invite the negative seed to return to store. The third aspect is to let the good seeds rise. The fourth aspect is to try keeping the positive mental formation present as long as you can. We turn now to Right View - a part of the noble eightfold path. Right view is insight and enlightenment. From Right View, we can have Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, and Right Diligence. Insight can come right away! Right View transcends being and non-being, no birth and no death. Interbeing can be very helpful.
Jun 07, 2014
Questions and Answers with Educators
1:48:33
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) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyvPvnC-7kE
May 14, 2014
The Five Mindfulness Trainings for Educators
1:48:07
This is the second 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 talk, Thay teaches the Five Mindfulness Trainings. The date of the recording is May 10, 2014. The audio and video links are available below. The timestamps included here are for the AUDIO recording only. 0:00 Verses of Practice 15:16 Protecting Life 27:26 True Happiness 34:10 True Love 49:35 True Communication 1:10:55 Consumption When Thay became a monk at the age of sixteen, he was given a book of verses to memorize. One of those verses is for waking up in the morning. Waking up this morning, I smile. I have 24 brand new hours to live. I vow to live these 24-hours deeply. I vow to look at those around me with eyes of compassion. We learn these verses to practice mindfulness. Thay shares a few other examples to help to stop our thinking. There are about fifty of these verses for a novice to memorize. We have written new ones today, such as telephone meditation. We can use this to improve the quality of our communication. Everything we do can can be done in mindfulness. The practice of mindfulness can be very concrete. There are five areas we can consider. The first is to protect life. Our life as well as the lives of others, plants, animals, minerals, and the earth. This is the first mindfulness training. What does this mean? How do we practice with this and what can school teachers and parents do with this training? Everywhere young people are killing themselves because they don't know how to handle a strong emotion. We can use mindful breathing and can see that an emotion is just one little part of a person. We can deep belly breathing and take care of the strong emotion. The second realm of the practice is true happiness. The topic of true happiness should be explored to see what it means. True happiness is made of understanding and love. Love is born from understanding. Understanding is a practice and a true element of happiness. The third area is the practice of true love. Sexual desire is not true love. Many young people do not know what is true love. True love is made of compassion, loving kindness, and nondiscrimination. These are the elements of true love. The fourth aspect of mindfulness is the practice of loving speech and deep listening. This is the fourth mindfulness training. This practice should begin in the family first and then we can bring it into our school and classrooms. How can we restore communication and reconcile? What can we do in the classroom to help students to suffer less? The fifth mindfulness training has to do with consumption. Our society is a society of consumption. This is an idea about happiness. This concept of consumption is taught in the context of the four kinds of nutriments. The first kind is edible food. The second source of nutriment is sense impressions. What are we consuming in our conversations, in the media, and on internet? The third nutriment is volition. Our aspiration or deepest desire. The last source of nutriment is consciousness. What are the seeds in our consciousness and do we know how to water the good seeds? The Five Mindfulness Trainings are a very concrete expression of our mindfulness practice. Happiness is possible. Compassion is possible. Healing is possible. And a school teacher should learn to embody this kind of practice for transformation and healing to take place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhE7vqdJMP0
May 12, 2014
Four Energies and Mindful Educators
1:20:04
Thich Nhat Hanh along with the monks and nuns of Plum Village are on their first tour of Spain this month. An Educators Retreat at the University of Barcelona and this is the first talk providing an orientation to the practice taught by Thay. The date of the recording is May 9, 2014. The audio and the video are both available below. We begin with an introduction to the practice of breathing and the role it plays in mindfulness practice.There is an energy of mindfulness that is born during the time we are breathing. Life is available in the present moment because the past is already gone the future has not yet come. To go home to the present moment is easy…breath in mindfully. We can get in touch with our body when we are breathing mindfully. Our body is the first wonder of life. Maybe when we get in touch with our body, we may notice tension in our body. If we notice this tension while breathing, we can release this tension while breathing out. If we learn to do this well, then we can learn to transmit this to our students. There is another energy of the practice called concentration. This energy is born from the energy of mindfulness. It let’s us focus. (Editor’s Note: short skip in the recording here) The third energy is insight. Insight arises from concentration and mindfulness. The French novelist Camus spoke of this through the story of the prisoner. Breathing in, I know I am alive. This is already an insight and it is a true miracle. Mindfulness allows us to live deeply each moment we are alive and has the power to liberate us. Conditions of happiness. Can we see all the conditions of happiness right here in this moment? We can begin with mindfulness of our eyes. A good practitioner of mindfulness should be able to create a feeling of joy and a feeling of happiness at any moment. The practice of walking is another method to discover a moment of happiness. I have arrived. True happiness is made of mindfulness, concentration and insight. And this will bring compassion, love, and joy.  This is the art of living. With this practice, you can also handle a painful feeling or emotion. Many of us consume in order to not encounter our suffering. We are afraid of our own suffering. Mindfulness can help you know how to suffer. How do we do this? We can use mindfulness to not be overwhelmed by the pain inside. We can recognize and embrace the pain. Once we learn this practice, we can do the same for our students and help our students to suffer less as well. Understanding will always bring about compassion. Compassion is the fourth kind of energy and has the power to heal and transform anger. Once we know our own suffering transformed, how can we help another person to suffer less. Thay draws a circle representing the school teacher. How do we work with difficult aspects in our school environments. We can start with our loved ones, then our colleagues, and finally our students. The first thing to do is going home to ourselves through the practice of mindful breathing and mindful walking. We can do this with the support of co-practitioners. Instruction on walking meditation, mindful eating, and listening to the bell. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1jI2E2qCtg
May 11, 2014
The Resurrection and The Stranger
1:21:05
Today is Easter Sunday and it is a regular day of mindfulness in Plum Village. This talk is from the Lower Hamlet and is dated Sunday, April 20, 2014. The talk is in English. We begin with two chants from the monastics. Mindfulness practice of the sequoia tree, the sky. Thay talks about Albert Camus' book called The Stranger. Here too the prisoner talks about truly seeing the sky. This is awakening. Camus called this a moment of consciousness. Many people are living as if we are dead. The blue sky is a wonder of life. Awakening. Can we wake up? Mindful breathing. Resurrection. From forgetfulness to mindfulness. The miracle of the resurrection. This is not dogma. When we wake up then we can get in touch with the wonders of life. Joy and happiness are possible. How? Waking up to our suffering. Jesus was aware of his suffering and the role of suffering. In Plum Village, we say this bread is the body of the cosmos. Similar to the breaking bread by Jesus. To wake up is to see no birth and no death. It is not because of birth or death that Jesus exists. The same is with mindfulness. Birth and death. This is our true nature and highest awakening. And Nirvana is the same. We can go back to ourselves and touch our true nature. If we have time to look deeply, we can see the connection between suffering and happiness. Jesus himself realized the role of suffering. As a practitioner of mindfulness we should know how to handle our suffering. Most of us are afraid of suffering. Through the energy of mindfulness, concentration, and insight we can be strong enough to touch and embrace our suffering. When we can do it for ourselves, we can help people around us do it as well. Joy and happiness are possible and transcend anxiety and fear. We don’t need to be afraid of suffering. If you understand the art of suffering, then you understand the art of happiness. If you understand the art of happiness, then you understand the art of suffering.
May 01, 2014
The Sound of Silence
1:30:49
The sangha has just completed the French Retreat and we return here to a regular day of mindfulness in Plum Village. This talk is from the New Hamlet and is dated Thursday, April 17, 2014. The talk is in English. 0:00 Chanting 9:22 Hearing the Call of Mother Earth 23:25 The Sound of Silence 35:48 Types of Sound in Lotus Sutra 50:00 Impermanence of Sound 1:02:56 Establishing Silence 1:15:43 Consumption of Sound The beauty of Mother Earth is a bell of mindfulness. It's spring now and we can easily see how beautiful the earth is. If we can see this then happiness will available right away. Is anything blocking you from seeing this? Is your mind full of things? Can you hear the call of Mother Earth? Are you being pulled away by the past or anxious, fearful about the future? Even in the present moment we can be distracted. But if we look, we can see that life is full of wonders. We can pay attention to our breathing to help stop the thinking of the past, the future, and the projects of the present. I am here. I am free. In Plum Village we have the practice of noble silence. Thay shares about the recent French Retreat where the community sat together in silence for a meal and after the sound of the bell. What is the benefits of silence? What is the sound of silence? In the 25th chapter of the Lotus Sutra there is the bodhisattva Avalokite?vara - the one who listens to the sound of the world. Five kinds of sound are mentioned in this chapter. Thay teaches on these sounds. Sound of wonder. The one observes the sound of the world. The brahma sound. Sound of the rising tide. The one that transcends all worldly sounds. In Buddhism we speak of two kinds of phenomenon. Conditioned and unconditioned. Sound is considered impermanent. It's nature is to be created; to be made. And anything that is created is impermanent. Another early Mahayana Sutra is mentioned (chapter 40) speaks about the voice of the Buddha. The word of the Buddha is something easy to understand. The sound of the Buddha is not to loud. Silent thunder. We can hear the voice of the Buddha anytime and anywhere. When we have been able to establish silence the we can hear what is inside ourselves. What our heart is saying. We are often concerned with our daily concerns. We worry about material comforts and affective concerns. But there is also the ultimate concern. Do we have the time to answer the ultimate concern? Hear the deepest call of your life. And that we are a continuation of our ancestors. Meditation can help cultivate the silence. Four Kinds of Nutriments and consumption. Consuming the sound. The sound of wonders. We don't have to run anymore. Note from the Editor Thay has offered us a vision of building an online monastery, or online temple, where practitioners may come not just to receive information, but to practice online: to follow their breathing, experience guided meditation, interact with monastics and lay practitioners, etc. This archive of Thay’s talks is a component of this vision. We are using a new service (Patreon) that allows for you to become an ongoing patron for this archive. Each patron can make a donation, as little as $1 per talk, to be donated automatically on a monthly basis. Payments are made by credit card or PayPal and patrons can be anywhere in the world. When you visit the site, you identify the amount you want to give for each talk, identify a maximum amount per month, and provide your mailing address. If you are in the United States you can have a tax deduction through the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation. Please visit our Patreon page: Thich Nhat Hanh is Creating Happiness.
Apr 21, 2014
The Way Out Is In
1:27:13
This talk from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Sunday, March 30, 2014. The talk on this day is in English. 0:00 Present Moment 14:05 The Feelings 29:04 The Body 37:20 Mindfulness of Compassion (Listening) 1:12:45 Story of Suicide and Transformation When you breath in, you bring your mind home to your body. A lot of time, your mind is not with your body. But when they are together, you are truly in the here and the now for your transformation and healing. It is wonderful be present and your breath becomes the object of your mind and you can become a free person. You can cultivate freedom. You don't need to be influenced by your fear and anger. We can make good decisions. The bell of mindfulness can call you back to the present moment. Walking can also bring us to the present moment. Every step. This is the basic practice to touch the wonders of life. At Plum Village, we should learn to breathe and to walk in the present moment. In the last talk, we learned the 7th and 8th exercises of mindful breathing. The 7th is being aware of the pain within myself. When we have a painful feeling, we know it! Do we know how to handle it or do we cover up the feelings with consumption? We can be stronger with the energy of mindfulness. The energy of mindfulness sees thee energy of pain. And the 8th exercise is to calm down the painful feeling. Holding the child of suffering - embracing tenderly. What is exercises five and six? Five is to generate a feeling a joy. And the sixth is to generate happiness. We can always bring about a feeling of joy and happiness whenever we want. How? The oneness of body and mind. The sixth exercise is the art of happiness where the seventh and eighth are the art of suffering. The first four exercises are about the body and the next four are about the feelings. The third is the awareness of body. When you go home to your body, you may notice pain and stress in your body. This makes you suffer. The fourth is to release the tension in your body. Calming your body. This takes care of our body. We them review the first two exercises. One week at Plum Village is enough time to learn the art. Last time we also spoke about listening. When we have the energy of mindfulness and concentration we can look deeply into the nature of our own suffering. Understanding our own suffering lets us understand the suffering of our parents and our ancestors. We need mindfulness and concentration so we are not overwhelmed by the suffering of ourselves and others. This is the practice. Understanding brings about compassion. Everyone should learn to cultivate compassion. The practice of deep listening and loving speech can always restore communication and bring about reconciliation. What is loving speech? We practice mindfulness of compassion. Thay shares the story of being the Israelis and Palestinians together at Plum Village. Thay then shares a story of a woman in America who wanted to commit suicide and how she was able to transform her suffering. The way out, is in.
Apr 15, 2014
The Breathing Room
1:17:28
This talk from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Thursday, March 27, 2014. The talk on this day is in English. 14:44 The Breathing Room 22:54 Inviting the Bell 33:10 Conditions of Happiness 43:30 Mindfulness of Suffering Thich Nhat Hanh begins with a recollection of a retreat for children. During walking meditation, we proposed they use "yes, yes" and "thanks, thanks" for each of their steps. We can say yes and feel thankful. There are so many things we can say yes to. We can appreciate these things - our body, our eyes, etc. With our eyes we can see the blue sky and the mountains. The practice is breathing in, I am aware of my eyes and am grateful they are in good condition. We do the same with other parts of our body. Like our heart. With this awareness, we can take better care of our body and allow it to be restored. In the "Sutra on the Contemplations of the Body" the Buddha taught us how to look at all the parts of the body. We use mindfulness to project light onto every part of our body. This can bring us happiness, love, and compassion. Thay provides more instruction on this practice. If you are a leader of a corporation, you may wish to incorporate and offer a session of total relaxation. This is not a loss of time. The same can be done by a school teacher for the students. Parents too, if they know the practice, can offer a session for the family. In a civilized society this can be very good. We can also create a tiny meditation hall in the home; a space where the bell can be located and we can practice in a safe space. Every time you feel restless or confused or irritated, we can walk to that place - the breathing room - and stop all the thinking and calm our body and mind. Thay recalls a story of how to open/close the door when he was a young novice that he then relayed to Thomas Merton. In our small breathing room, we should also have a bell. This is a territory of mindfulness. There are four lines to learn when inviting the bell after we breath in and out three times before Inviting the Bell. Thay teaches us how to invite the bell and why mindful breathing is so important. There are many conditions of happiness. In Buddhism, we have many versus to help us practice mindfulness. For example, for when turning on the water faucet. Are you aware of your conditions of happiness? Teaching continues on how this related to the breathing room and why it's important for the family. This is the art of happiness. This is part of the 7th & 8th mindfulness exercises in the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Mindful Breathing. We should not run away from our suffering. We can learn from our suffering. This ties right into the Four Noble Truths. We can learn to listen to our suffering without fear without running away through consumption. With mindfulness we have the energy to take care of our suffering. The practice of looking and listening deeply. Meditation is the time to look and listen to understand our suffering. This brings about understanding and compassion. If you know how to suffer, you suffer much less. You cannot take happiness out of suffering and cannot take suffering out of happiness.
Apr 04, 2014
The Realm of the Dharma
1:13:10
This talk from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Sunday, March 23, 2014. The talk on this day is in English. We begin with two chants from the monastics followed by a dharma talk on the wonders of life. Both the audio download and the video stream are available below. It is spring and many flowers are blooming. Don't be afraid to love and open your heart. A flower is a true wonder of life. When we walk, we encounter so many wonders of life. Where does it come from? Your body too is a wonder of life. Do we have time to be with a wonder? In the Buddhist tradition, we don't speak of creation. We have another answer. With meditation, we look at the true nature of things and see their nature is no birth and no death. Teaching on the cloud to illustrate this teaching. The scientists also see this teaching of no birth and no death. Getting in touch with the wonders of life. We can go outside and step away from our computer, our business, our worries. A day without a computer. How happy I am! We can using our breathing to go home to our body. When body and mind are together, you are home in the here and the now. Then we can touch the wonders of life. What is the "dharma" versus the "Dharma"? What is the realm of the dharma? The Dharma is the teaching. A practitioner had three bodies: physical body, dharma body (our practice), and our Sangha body. We need a community. You need a sangha body to nourish your dharma body. The dharmakaya is equivalent to the kingdom of God. Can we hear the dharma talk given by the flower, the creek, the cloud, the pebble, etc? This is the teaching on Mahayana tradition. If we listen to the body, we listen to the dharma. Impermanence. The kingdom is now or never.In the kingdom, there is sunshine and there is also rain. Every wonder is happening right here and now. We can stop and train ourselves how to live. Mindfulness is through our practice breathing and walking. Waking up in the morning, we smile. I have arrived. I am home. http://youtu.be/WP7NgI-UR8I
Apr 01, 2014
The Voice of the Buddha
1:24:32
This talk from the New Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Thursday, March 20, 2014. The talk on this day is in English. In this talk we learn about taking refuge and exercises 5-8 from the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing. Thay also teaches on inviting the bell (18-min) and the four qualities of happiness (13-min) - these two topics could be listened to independently from the other parts of the talk. Both the audio download and the video stream are available below. The time stamps listed here are for audio download. 0:00 Chanting 9:30 Inviting the Bell 27:02 Taking Refuge 37:27 Four Qualities of Happiness using Pebble Meditation 50:46 Practical Refuge 1:04:15 Mindful Breathing Exercises 5-8 When we hear the bell, we practice together listening to the bell. We invite the bell to sound. Before we invite, we breathe in and out to prepare three times. There is a verse to learn to be qualified as a bell master. We calm our body and calm our feelings. The sound of the bell is the voice of the Buddha inside calling us to come home to ourselves. If you are a bell master then please be generous. When we come home to ourselves, we can discover the island of self. The Buddha recommended, don't rely on anyone or anything, rely on the island within. Every time we hear the bell, we can practice going home to the island within. We are protected. This is the practice of taking refuge. There is also the practice of deep listening. Every cell of your body can recognize and get in touch with your ancestors within. They can join you in listening to the bell. With this, peace can penetrator every cell. We can feel calm and light. Many people have a bell of mindfulness on their computer. It allows us to stop and breath in and out three times to arrive home in ourselves. Last time we spoke of the mental formation called restlessness. The practice of mindful breathing and walking help us to calm down our feelings. In the Christian tradition, they call this resting in God. This is taking refuge. Taking refuge is an art. If you know how, you can have peace right away. The Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha are something solid. Very much the same idea as the Trinity for Christians. But resting does not mean doing nothing. Many people are looking for someone for refuge but many have chosen someone who is not stable. Rely on the island of yourself. Cultivate stability and solidity and also look for that in the other person. Learn how to breath and walk. We have the practice of pebble meditation to cultivate the four qualities of happiness. The first is freshness - fresh as a flower. The second is stability - solid as a mountain. The third is peace/tranquility - still water. And the fourth is freedom - space. These qualities bring a happy person. The more you can let go, the freer you become. I take refuge in the Buddha. What does that mean? Do we have an dea of the Buddha? Taking refuge in your in breath and out breath - this is much more concrete than an idea. With our breathing, we gain mindfulness, concentration, and insight. Buddha is mindfulness - this is taking refuge. This is the island within yourself. You can also take refuge in your steps. While making that step, you generate concentration and insight. I take refuge in my in breath. I take refuge in my steps. This is not abstract and it is our Buddhanature. Nirvana. No birth and no death. We are nirvana in the here and the now. Review of the first four exercises of mindful breathing. We continue with the next set of exercises. The fifth and sixth exercises are to generate a feeling of joy and happiness. This is the art of happiness. The seventh is to recognize a painful feeling. We should not run away from a painful feeling or emotion. We don't need to be afraid because we can also generate an energy of mindfulness. And the eighth is to calm our painful feeling or emotion. http://youtu.be/wIzIg6EYIZ4
Mar 30, 2014
Happiness is Possible Now
1:08:48
This talk from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Sunday, March 16, 2014. The talk on this day is in English and begins with Thay reflecting on the statement "How do you do?" followed by a teaching on the first four exercises of mindful breathing and the practices of total relaxation and walking meditation. 0:00 How do you do? 10:15 Restlessness 17:08 Third Exercise of Mindful Breathing 23:10 Fourth Exercise of Mindful Breathing 27:40 First Exercise of Mindful Breathing 35:15 Second Exercise of Mindful Breathing 37:00 Total Relaxation 47:10 Walking Mediation How do you do? What does this mean? How do you feel in your body, your feelings, and your perceptions. The human is made of five elements. The body. Are you tired? Are you stressed? The feelings. Do you have pleasant or unpleasant feelings? The perceptions. How do you see the world? Most of our perceptions are incorrect. Then we have mental formations. Anger, fear, despair, jealously, hope, etc. The final element is consciousness. Your mind. Are you light or overloaded? This is what I mean when asked how do you do? Not just business - this is only just a small part. To practice Buddhism and mindfulness is to take care of our five elements so that we'll being can become a reality. You can bring joy and peace. When anger is manifesting, so you know how to handle your anger? The Buddha taught us to handle our anger. The Buddha taught two things: How to bring peace and happiness. And secondly, how to handle the suffering when it comes up. Today, Thay will talk about one mental formation called restlessness. We don't feel peace and don't know what to do. Restlessness is the lack of peace. How do new deal with this mental formation? If parents and teachers know how to handle restlessness they can help our children. How do we learn? First, we start with our body. In Plum Village we have many ways to work with the body. For example, total relaxation. In the Sutra of Mindful Breathing the Buddha proposed sixteen exercises. These are concrete. The third exercise is "breathing in, I am aware of my body." You do not think of anything else. When the mind is not with the body you are not totally alive. This is called the oneness of body and mind. Your body is a wonder of life. Happiness can be found in your body. Aware of body. The Buddha then proposed the fourth exercise, "breathing in, I release the tension in my body." This is very important for us today to help us suffer less. When you heat the bell, you can stop your thing and breath in mindfully and bring your mind back to your body. Release the tension in body. The first exercise of mindful breathing is very simple and powerful. Breathing in, I know am breathing out. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. Awareness of breath. Very simple. We can touch the fact that you are alive and this is the greatest of all miracles. It is wonderful. This can make you a free person and can make good decisions. The second exercise is following your in breath all the way through. We become very concentrated on your breath. Our concentration becomes deeper. We stop our thinking and we enjoy. When we sit in the lotus position, we can allow ourselves to release the tension and this is one of the methods to work with restlessness. We have many practices to help us work with our breathing. Gathas and songs to release the tensions and enjoy our body. The practice of lying down and total relaxation of body is practical and relevant. In the Sutra of the Contemplations of the Body we learn how to identify different parts of the body. We can all learn and practice total relaxation. Another method to release the tension is walking meditation. The present moment. Happiness is possible now. We don't need to go into the future to find happiness. Walking meditation is a training to help us stop running. Life is only available in the here and the now. It is the practice of stopping.
Mar 26, 2014
Happiness for Young People
2:18:26
This talk from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Thursday, March 13, 2014 and the sangha has just finished a couple weeks of lazy days following the winter retreat. The talk on this day is in English and begins with a lesson on mindful breathing to release tension and painful emotions followed by a teaching on the Four Kinds of Nutriments. The second half of the talk includes a special ceremony and discussion with the vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong. 1:08 Chanting 8:00 Hearing the Bell 14:26 Mindful Breathing to Relieve Tension and Painful Emotions 21:54 Letter to Death Row 30:00 The Four Kinds of Nutriments 57:29 Ceremony to Confer Honorary Doctorate Degree to Thich Nhat Hanh from the University of Hong Kong 1:17:40 Thay Responds to Degree 1:30:40 Dialogue between Thay and Vice Chancellor on Topic of Today’s Youth When you hear the bell, you may want to stop you're thinking. Use your breathing to be aware that you have a body and smile to your body. It is a wonder. Practice mindful breathing we bring our mind home to our body. We are fully alive when we do this exercise. Our body is already a wonder of life. When you're mind is not with your body, it is not truly alive. We need an embodied mind. In the Sutra of Mindful Breathing, the Buddha proposed sixteen exercises. The third exercise is breathing in, I am aware of my body. You're body is your first true home. The next exercise is to release the tension in your body - the fourth exercise. We can also calm our painful emotions (the seventh exercise). We should not run away from our painful feelings. Many people in society consume min order to avoid thier painful feelings. With these exercises you can generate the energy of mindfulness. The pain is an energy and so is mindfulness. Mindfulness can embrace your pain (the eighth exercise). We can suffer much less. Yesterday Thay received a letter from a young man in America who is a pen pal of a man on death row. The person in prison is a practicing Buddhist who has found relief from the teachings. They have been reading The Heart of the Buddhist Teachings together. Thay responds to the letter by talking about fear, anger, and despair that people suffer from both within and without. We can practice compassion and then we can be free. There can be freedom in prison. Today we are going to have a discussion on the topic of youth. All of us need a good environment. Teachers and parents should come together to create a good environment for our young people in order to suffer less. The Buddha said that nothing can survive without food. There are several kinds of food. In the Sutra of the Four Nutriments can be helpful as a background to understand. In this sutra there is a story of a family crossing the desert and they have to make a very difficult decision to kill their child in order to survive. The first kind of nutriment is edible food. We have to eat in such a way to preserve compassion in us and not to eat the flesh of our own sons and daughters. The second kind of nutriment is sensory impressions. This comes from eye, ear, nose, ear, body, and mind. When we watch television, we consume. When we use the internet, we consume. Even conversation can be very toxic. Educators and parents should practice mindful consumption to set an example for our young people to preserve our well being. The third kind of nutriment is intention/volition. This is the deepest desire in us - our deepest desire may be good or it may be destructive. Helping young people to suffer less or to work for the environment or work for peace, these are good intentions. Last year at Google, they asked Thay to talk about intention. What do we want to do with our life? Our deepest desire? Is it to practice to help people to suffer less, then that is a good intention. And the fourth kind of nutriment is consciousness - consciousness as food. There is individual consciousness.
Mar 16, 2014
The Embodied Mind
1:24:02
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Sunday, February 9, 2014 and is the twenty fourth (and final) talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. This is an English translation, available below, by Sr. Tue Nghiem.  Following this talk the monastery will have lazy days followed by a monastic retreat. We will not have new talks again until early March. 0:00 Guided Meditation by Thay 10:58 Remembering Thay Phap Y 18:45 Exercises of Mindful Breathing 1:05:50 Study on 30-Verses A story of our older monastic Brother Phap Y who has recently died. Though he had been sick a long time, he died very quickly on February 6 and we are very happy. He came to Plum Village as a novice from the Tibetan tradition and has since been a trusted and loved dharma teacher. We are reminded that this body is not me and I am not limited by this body. I am life without boundaries. And I continue in the river. In Plum Village we see Thay Phap Y as an older brother who has lived with our sangha for 20-years and he was 75-years old when he died. We practice to have peace in our body. We recognize that we have a body. Breathing in I know I have a body. At that moment the body has a mind. The embodied mind. When the mind and the body are one then we truly have life. If we continue, we can release the tension in our body. Breathing in I release all the tensions in my body. I  These are the third and the fourth exercises from the sutra on the full awareness of breathing. Breathing in, I know I breath in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. This is the first exercise. It is to recognize the breath only. Breathing in, I follow my in breath all the way to the end. This is the second exercise. Following the breath. No thinking. Just breathing. We stop the mental discourse. These exercises bring us a lot of freedom. A practice of reconciliation between body and mind. When we have peace, then we can generate joy. It can also bring peace to our feelings. A practitioner is someone who knows how to practice this art. Can we generate peace, joy, and happiness in each step? We learn to cultivate good habit energies while we are here at Plum Village. When we have these energies, then we can nourish the people we love with these energies too. We can generate happiness right here and right now. With these four exercises we generate mindfulness, concentration, and insight. Happiness is connected to suffering. We can make use of the suffering to make happiness. This connection between happiness and suffering is of an organic nature. Managing our suffering is also an art just as generating happiness is an art. If you know how to suffer, then you suffer less. The fifth and sixth exercises are generating joy and generating happiness.  In the present moment, we can recognize the conditions of happiness. The three energies of mindfulness, concentration, and insight can be very powerful. The seventh exercise is recognizing our suffering. Maybe our suffering had roots in the body or roots in our perception. When suffering surfaces, the practitioner should be present to recognize. Simple recognition. How do we recognize our pain? The second aspect is to embrace the suffering/pain. We embrace it with mindfulness. The third aspect is to calm the suffering. This is the eighth exercise. Anybody can do these practices. You don't need to be Buddhist. We can transmit these exercises to parents and two children. We should share these exercises with teachers so that it can be included in our schools to help our young children. Returning to the study of the 30 verses for the remainder of the talk.
Feb 25, 2014
The Joy of the Dharma
1:50:14
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Thursday, February 6, 2014 and is the twenty third talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. This is an English translation, available below, by Sr. Tue Nghiem. In this teaching we have a great review of basic practices that bring joy and peace followed by a teaching on 3 verses from the 30-verses of Vasubandhu text. 0:00 Chanting 7:18 Vitality 27:50 The Three Energies 41:30 Walking Meditation 55:00 Eating Meditation 1:06:33 Thirty Verses Study There is a mental formation called vitality.  Life. In Theravada tradition there are two types of life. The name and the form (material aspect). Even with the fetus, there is already the form and the vitality of the fetus is intermingled with the vitality of the mother. They are not two separate things. The child and mother are one. We can see vitality even in an inanimate object, such as a grain of rice. Quantum physics see this now in the subatomic particles. In the grain of corn there is vitality and in the speck of dust. There are no borders between animate and inanimate objects. We learn this in the Diamond Sutra. We have to live our life deeply. Matter and energy - their nature is no birth and no death. We use our breathing to bring peace to our breath. We can become light like a cloud and let go of all our anxiety. We train to breathe like this. We can generate the energy of mindfulness. Concentration is one-pointed mind. At that moment, we are truly present. A free person. These are mindfulness and concentration. We can generate this with our breathing.  In this case the breathing is the object of our mindfulness. Then, with these two we generate the third energy - insight. This is a training. We are here at Plum Village to learn how to do this because it had the capacity to heal and to nourish. To feel the joy of breathing in and breathing out. The joy of the dharma. The joy of the practice is our daily food. We are consuming food that nourishes and heals us. We have to live deeply in our breathing to generate peace and joy. Then we let go of anxiety and tension. Walking with peace and joy. What is slow walking meditation? How and why do we practice walking? Legendary steps. While we sit, we need to calm our breathing. We allow our body to rest, sitting upright, to harmonize the body. This too can generate joy and happiness. The same can be done with eating. While we wait together, we can immediately begin generating joy and happiness. And we can practice this at home. In a meal, we pay attention to two things: to each morsel of food and our friends who are sitting around us. Mindfulness of food and mindfulness of sangha. This food is the gift of the whole universe. Learning how to stop our mental discourse. We are learning verse #5-7 from the 30 Verses we've been studying this week. These three verses talk about manas. We begin with manifestation. Store consciousness was the first manifestor and the second is manas. Manas relies on the store consciousness to manifest. It grasps onto store consciousness and relies on it and returns to it. Manas has a distorted perception. Inferiority, superiority, and equality complexes. Manas also goes along with the four kinds of afflictions. And the five universal mental formations. It is also undetermined - neither wholesome or unwholesome. The five views of manas. Wisdom of discrimination.
Feb 18, 2014
Tale of Kieu
1:33:36
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Thursday, January 30, 2014 and is the twenty second talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. We are on the eve on Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. This is an English translation, available below, by Sr. Tue Nghiem. The time is 3:00pm on Vietnamese New Year's Eve (Tet) and it is an occasion to connect with our ancestors. Without our roots then we cannot survive. In Asian culture we try to connect with the other realms. The world of nine sources. In Vietnam we have a tradition of worshiping our ancestors. Every family has an altar in their home. Every day people offer a stick of incense to their ancestors to help connect to their heritage. It only takes a minute and it is a sacred and scientific act. Connect with our roots. It is good mental health. It is a way to express our love and loyalty. Thay shares a little about the Rose Ceremony. Here in Plum Village, as we study Buddhist teachings, we can see these two realms are one. It is a stream. Scientists are also on this path. Matter and energy are not two deprecate things. There are no boundaries between heaven and earth. At 25-minutes into the talk, Thay shares about Tale of Kieu Oracle reading, a Plum Village Tet tradition. We learn the story and background of this classical Vietnamese poem.
Feb 12, 2014
What is the Fabric of Reality?
1:36:58
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Sunday, January 26, 2014 and is the twenty first talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem. The first 45-minutes of the talk focus on connecting our body and mind through our practice of returning. The second half returns to the sutra study and the characteristics of seeds. Every time we have difficulties with another person, what can we do? Why do we have these difficulties? Why can we not communicate? Do we blame the other person or are we able to see that both sides have difficulties? We have to look at ourselves. The most basic difficulty is that we can’t communicate or understand ourselves. It’s so easy to just run away from ourselves through reading novels, watching television, go on the internet, etc. But, there may be loneliness, grief, sadness, anger, and emptiness that we cannot bear. We are not at peace with ourselves. Therefore, we cannot easily communicate with the other person because we cannot communicate with ourselves. We can’t blame the other person or ourselves but we try to understand ourselves. This is a courageous act. We can use a friend, a co-practitioner, a sangha to support us to come back to ourselves and recognize our suffering and despair. Our breathing can help us bring our mind back to our body. This is the practice of returning. The method and practice are really simple. With concentration we can cultivate an inner strength. The third exercise from the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing is bringing our full attention to our body and let go of the tension in our body. Mindfulness of the body. Breathing can be the object of our mind to help us return to our body. How is our breathing? We can use the gatha “In. Out. Deep. Slow.” This is the practice of peace. When Thay taught at university, another professor asked Thay what do we do to sit in meditation? The most basic practice is to harmonize our breathing. When we sit down, the first thing we do is calm down and harmonize the breathing. The second is to harmonize the body with our posture. These two go together - the breathing and the body. This may take a few minutes and then we can go deeper into contemplation. Being aware that we have body and our breathing, this is life. We can see the miracle if our energy and practice is strong. The Mother Earth is present in our body. We carry in our body the presence of all our ancestors. They continue to live in us. If we are peaceful and joyful then our ancestors are also peaceful and joyful. And so this gatha of practice can be a very deep practice. This is awakening and can come today and can come continuously. Freedom of in breath and out breath. If the breathing is peaceful then our body is peaceful. We calm our breathing, our body, and then our feelings. What is that that prevents you from having joy? What is it's true name? How do we let it entangle us? Plum Village practice is very simple. The energy of mindfulness let us see miracles in every moment. Mindful breathing and mindful steps. To calm down. We can have help From fellow practitioners. The characteristics of seeds is Momentary impermance. Moons and stars are the objects of our consciousness. Everything has a mark or sign. It can be either collective or individual. All these phenomenon are from seeds. There are three kinds of conciousmess in manifestation-only teaching. Store consciousness, Manas, and Perception of Reality along with five sense consciousness plus mind. Store consciousness maintains three things: seeds, our body, and our environment. And the seeds manifests as signs or marks. What is the fabric of reality? The fourth characteristic of seeds. And this teaching is a different from the traditional interpretation. The seeds in the store consciousness are neither also door unwholesome because store consciousness is undetermine...
Feb 05, 2014
Stars, Moon and Consciousness
1:54:42
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Thursday, January 23, 2014 and is the twentieth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem. A great teaching today that includes a story of Mara and the Buddha followed by the tradition of earth cake making in Vietnam. The second half returns to our sutra study on subject/object and store consciousness. 0:00-9:30 Chanting 9:30-46:18 Mara and the Buddha 46:18-1:02:05 Tet and Earth Cakes 1:03:00-1:18:38 Subject and Object 1:18:38-1:28:40 Christian Theology and Ultimate Reality 1:28:40-end Characteristics of Seeds After the Buddha became enlightened, he continued to practice. Sitting. Walking. Solo retreats. Why did he continue to practice after he became enlightened? If we don't continue to nourish, then we can lose our happiness. Everything is impermanent. It's called conditioning. There is a priest in New York, Father Daniel Berrigan. Thay has been friends with him since 1965 and they have enjoyed practicing together many times. We here a story of their friendship, walking meditation, and dualistic thinking. We learn a story of Buddha and Mara to illustrate our dualistic thinking. The story is then linked to a practice during the lunar new year. We need to remind ourselves to practice to turn this place into the territory of the Buddha. Today, in Vietnam, people put up a pole with a piece of the sangati robe to remind themselves to practice happiness. Today we have a Flower market and a ceremony for putting up the pole. The beauties of Mother Earth invite us to come back to ourselves and the flowers are an expression of this beauty. A few words on earth cake tradition in Vietnam - what do the earth cakes represent? The lunar new year is an occasion to be in touch with our ancestors and be grateful. After lunch today, we will make earth cakes together. This is how we begin to celebrate Tet. We return to the sutra study of the 30-verses. Stars and moon are an object of consciousness. They are in store consciousness. In the world of the oyster, they have no-eye consciousness and no-ear consciousness. The things that we see, the oyster cannot see. So, sense organs are one condition to give birth to consciousness. The object gives rise to consciousness. And these are manifested from seeds. And store consciousness holds all the seeds. The sense organ and the object rely on each other to create consciousness. Object and subject. They are divided into two parts but this isn't exactly correct. We cannot take one out of the other. This is called Interbeing. Some say there is a world that is objective whether we look at it or not. There is also consciousness and it is also there. This is a dualistic view and called double-grasping. The stars and moon are not independent of our consciousness. Just like the left and right. This is the most important teaching of manifestation-only teaching. When we look at the object we have to see the subject and vice-versa. We are learning store consciousness. Store consciousness cannot be described with ideas of wholesome/unwholesome, being/nonbeing, pure/impure, etc. And the seeds that store consciousness hold are the same. How does this apply in Christian theology? Right View and Right Thinking. Transcends the idea of being and non-being. Our Five Skandhas also have this nature. So, when we look at the characteristics of the seeds, we have to see they have the same nature as store. Two kinds of impermance.
Jan 30, 2014
Perception and Reality
1:49:46
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village is dated Sunday, January 19, 2014 and is the nineteenth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem. We begin with a teaching on the art of happiness and the art of suffering and how the body and mind work together. The second half of the talk returns to our sutra study by looking at perception and reality. 0:00-9:07 Chanting 9:28-29:36 Art of Generating Happiness 29:36-37:54 Art of Suffering 37:55- 50:25 Mindfulness of Body 50:25-1:07:11 Direct Perception 1:07:11-1:20:25 Representative Perception - Manas 1:20:25-1:32:52 Mind consciousness in Dispersion 1:32:52-end Reality as Form If we know how to use our time, we can learn a lot in only a week at Plum Village and when we return home we can continue our practice. Mindfulness helps us generate peace, joy, and happiness. This can realized in every breath and step. We can use mindfulness, concentration, and insight. Mindfulness is happening in our body, feeling, and perception. It helps us know what is happening right now. We all have mindfulness energy. A second meaning for mindfulness is to remember, to recall. Our experiences of the past. With our mindfulness we can have insight. Do we know how to make use of our insight? Concentration is focusing on something. We can dwell stably in the present moment. An experienced practitioner who can generate joy, peace, and happiness in every step and every breath. While we are here at Plum Village we can practice so that we can also do it when we return home. This is the art of generating happiness. How are we not caught by things worthy of pursuit? Our attachments prevent us from being happy. We can be happy when we let go. Mindfulness can also help us manage our suffering, our painful feelings and emotions. In doing so, we can suffer less. This is the art of suffering. We can use our suffering to generate our happiness. Love and understanding bloom from the mud of our suffering. In only one week we can generate and learn this practice. First, there is mindfulness of the body. When we breath-in, we bring our mind back to the body. This is the first fruit of the practice. We have some exercises to become more aware of our body. How do we practice with mindfulness of our body. The other day we began to learn the three objects and we continue here. Direct perception - things in themselves. Suchness. Reality as it is is a direct and correct and right perception. Subject and object of perception that always go together. What does science and Buddhism have to say about this? True direct perception sees the unity of subject and object. This includes consciousness of a object. Our practice is to break through ideas and the more we can do this then the more we can be happy. We can take away the discrimination of things. Store conciousness has this true and right perception but manas does not. Manas is the desire to live coming from sttore conciousness but considers the body as a self. It is obstructed. This is an erroneous direct perception. The object of manas is only a representation of reality. Mind consciousness in dispersion. When in this condition, there is no mindfulness and can be easily be influenced by manas to look for pleasure and avoid suffering. If we have mind conciousness, then we can see the Four Kinds of Nutriments. We have to know to inhibit and shine light manas so the amount of "mud" is in moderation so we can grow the lotus. We need some amount of mud. Direct perception. Erroneous perception. Wrong perception. In the 30-verses, we see the three natures. The tendency of conciousness to cut reality into pieces. Interdependent co-determination. Memory and mere image.
Jan 28, 2014
What is Emptiness?
1:34:12
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from Plum Village is dated Thursday, January 16, 2014 and is the eighteenth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem.  In this talk we learn about emptiness along with the continued theme of the winter retreat on consciousness, perception, and manas. 0:00-19:56 What is Emptiness? 19:56-30:40 Science and Consciousness 30:40-42:30 Suffering and Happiness 42:32-56:58 Mode of Perception 56:58-1:13:50 Manas 1:13:50-1:25:10 Subject and Object of Consciousness Today we chanted the heart sutra. The most important word in this chant is emptiness; sometimes mistaken for nothingness. Emptiness is Sunyata in Sanskrit. Being as the opposite of non-being. Emptiness has no opposite. Right View is one of the elements of the noble eightfold path. The highest view of right view is to transcend the idea of being and non-being. These are two extremes and just notions that don't describe reality. Right view helps us conserve a lot of energy. A practitioners we should practice slowly to transcend these notions. And this is called emptiness. Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Matter and energy. Cloud is snow but it is also rain and water. The sun is matter but it is also energy. Matter is energy and energy is matter. Science is getting closer to the nature of phenomenon. String theory. Everything has manifested from seeds. Manifestation only. There is also the law of thermodynamics. Store consciousness is all the seeds. When they manifest, they are a formation. We can use the eyes of a scientist. Research of phenomenon. All phenomenon have the nature of no birth and no death. Consciousness and the object of consciousness cannot be separated. There still exists some duality in science between consciousness and phenomena. In manifestation-only teaching we are learning to erase that boundary. The two rely on one another to manifest. They are waiting for each other to manifest as a pair of opposites. Co-arising. In the original teachings of the Buddha, they used very simple terms to explain. This is because that is. The conclusion is we should not wish for happiness without suffering but that suffering can be transformed. This is the art of suffering. If we know how to suffer then we suffer much less. In this winter retreat we shouldn’t think there is a realm where there is only happiness - there is no place like that. If we want happiness then we must also have suffering. Reciprocal by way of mutuality. Reciprocity. When we learn the Four Noble Truths, we have to see under  this light. The second noble truth talks of the path that leads to ill-being. It is because we live unmindfully. The presence of the second truth brings along the presence of all four which in turn brings along the noble eightfold path. When we learn of alaya consciousness, we know that it holds all the seeds and energies and it can manifest the wondrous universe. Store consciousness can reach reality as it is. Things in themselves. This is a mode of perception and it is the nature of phenomena. A manifestation of the seeds from store consciousness. Direct and true perception of ultimate reality. All objects of store consciousness and store consciousness itself. Some examples drawn from Christianity and God are explained. The nature of all phenomena is no birth and no death. Neither pure nor impure. A direct and true perception of reality. Manas cannot come in touch with reality as it is; it only grasps to part of store consciousness. In the sutras, there is an insight view of the body. Manas sees this body as itself. In the body, there is the five skandhas (form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness). In store consciousness, these are a wonder. But according to manas, the five skandhas are me - they are attachment. Where alaya is the beloved and manas is the lover.
Jan 22, 2014
The Body and the Environment
1:51:09
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from Lower Hamlet, Plum Village is dated Sunday, January 12, 2014 and is the seventeenth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem. Our talk today continues looking at the morning chant and evening chant in addition to a deeper look at store consciousness, the body, and manas. 0:00-8:04 Two Chants from Monastics 8:04-28:40 Walking and Breathing 28:40-1:06:46 Store Consciousness 1:06:46-1:27:25 The Body and the Environment 1:27:25-end Manas and Freud Continuing on the morning chant verse from the last dharma talk.  The dharma body is our practice. The second line of the verse is sitting still my mind is at peace and I smile. The mind is the second action of karma and the smile is part of our speech. These three karma - body, mind, speech - must calm down. The night is divided into five parts - the fifth part is the early morning and the door of the dharma has opened. In the evening verse, the first part of the night has arrived. In the morning we can penetrate the three vehicles and embrace the two kinds of truth. We vow to go through the day being awake and not as sleepwalkers. Thay teaches on how the text of Chinese, Vietnamese, and English vary. Walking and breathing. If we can walk with peace and joy, it doesn't matter how we walk. If we can do it at Plum Village then we can do it anywhere. Walk as a free person. If there is no freedom there is no happiness. Not carried away by the past or future. Every step can condition us to peace, joy, and happiness. We can use our breathing to bring our mind back to our body. This is the energy of concentration. Freedom only takes a few seconds. The Cyprus in the yard. The dharma body is the miracle of the universe. In manifestation only teachings, the store conciousness contains all the wonders of life. The object of mind. There are three objects of mind. Things as they are themselves. Store conciousness has a direct perception - no speculation and analysis. If it does this then it has mental construction. Being and non-being. Goodness and evil. Store consciousness is neither and has a direct perception and can touch the ultimate reality. It has access to the objects in themselves. Seeds, Body and Environment. Manas. Subject and object. Store consciousness is the first to come and the lass to leave. Store consciousness controls and collaborates with the nervous system to create balance in the body. Manas is undetermined, but it is covered up. It belongs to the subconscious. Perception, feeling, mental formation, consciousness. Manas thinks these things are itself but it is not. It doesn't see the environment comes from the store consciousness too. That is it's weakness. Manas seeks to avoid suffering, seeks pleasure, it does not know seeking pleasure is suffering, and does not to see the goodness of suffering. Finally, it does not know the law of moderation. Freud called manas the id. Without manas, the five skandhas are the dharma body. A wonder. According to Freud, apart from id there is the ego. This is the self. This becomes something that is tangible. The ego inhibits id from manifesting. The super-ego looks for ways to free the id by using wholesome means.  More discussion and comparison of Freud psychology and manifestation-only teaching.
Jan 17, 2014
The Dharma Body
1:22:30
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from Upper Hamlet, Plum Village is dated Thursday, January 9, 2014 and is the sixteenth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem.  Today we learn about the dharma body and the practices of letting go, concentration, and insight. 0:00-10:00 Two Chants from Monastics 10:18-20:40 What is Dharma Body? 20:40-34:40 Nourishing our Dharma Body 34:40-56:25 Joy and Happiness - Letting Go 56:25-1:06:36 Joy and Happiness - Concentration 1:06:36-1:19:25 Joy and Happiness - Insight 1:19:25-1:22:30 Walking Meditation The dharma body is bringing morning light - this is part of the morning chant offered each day. What is this "dharma body" that shines brilliantly in the morning light? It is the teaching body. There are two kinds: the living dharma and the dharma that is written or recorded. Whenever we breathe peacefully, walk in meditation then this is the living dharma. Another meaning is our own practice - each one of us has a physical body and if we are a disciple of the Buddha then we also have a dharma body. The practice body. As students of the Buddha, we have the capacity to generate joy and happiness. So, in the morning when we go to meditation we want to allow our dharma body to shine brilliantly. The morning is a good time to study and our practice strong and solid. Everyday we have to nourish our personal living dharma body. In the winter, the trees grow very slowly and in spring they grow very fast. Like the trees, we have to allow our dharma body to grow even in the winter time. When we walk, breathe, eat, and work then our dharma body is growing. If we don’t nourish it then it weakens. What are the conditions for the dharma body to grow? We have to be active in making it grow. For example, what is our reflex when we hear the sound of the bell. Create conditioning and reinforcement to allow our dharma body to be strong. This can also help us when we are away from the sangha even when nobody is around us - operant conditioning. The wonders of the universe is the second type of dharma body. The clouds, autumn leaves, a rose, the birds, etc. They are all giving talks on impermanence, four noble truths, non-self, and eightfold path. We may see the written dharma and then our personal dharma body then we may be able to see these wonders of the universe. How do we generate joy, happiness, and peace? If we have a sangha then it can make it easier to generate these conditions. We can then offer this practice to our families, to our work, and the larger society. This practice can help us to manage our suffering - feelings of suffering and strong emotions. When we come to Plum Village we can learn these things in just one day by doing our practice. Each step. Each breath. If we cannot generate these three elements then we don’t have a dharma body yet. The first step is the practice of letting go and gives birth to joy and happiness. What is this letting go? What are the things that we can let go? What is preventing us from being happy and joyful? Perhaps they are ideas and notions of happiness. This is the main obstacle to our happiness. Practice is bringing a piece of paper out and writing down all our ideas of happiness. In the sutras it also states that concentration also gives rise to joy, happiness, and peace. This is the art of meditation. In Zen tradition, they say that concentration is food - the joy of meditation. We nourish this every day and not by power, fame, position, or sex. While we sit, while we walk, while we chant … it is not to “get” to happiness but it doing these activities in themselves. If you have mindfulness, then you can have joy and happiness throughout the day. It’s up to you. Our friends in the practice can help remind us. Letting go gives rise to happiness. Mindfulness and concentration also gives rise to happiness. Then we have insight.
Jan 13, 2014
The Value of Being Together
1:38:55
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from Upper Hamlet, Plum Village is dated Sunday, January 5, 2014 and is the fifteenth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem. After a brief sharing on the value of being together, the majority of the talk looks deeply at liberation, brotherhood and sisterhood, and happiness as illustrated through the Five Contemplations read before a meal. The last 35-minutes of the talk return to our winter retreat theme on alaya consciousness. 0:00-10:30 Monastics Chanting 10:54-19:55 The Value of Being Together 19:55-49:15 The Five Contemplations 49:05-1:03:25 Collective Energy of the Sangha 1:02:15-1:38:56 Alaya Consciousness Where is the year 2013 now? Every day we created action in our thinking and our speech. Karma. In the coming year we will harvest the fruit of last year. We should practice this year with the flavor of right thinking to plant good seeds. Will our speech carry the language of love and compassion. We should only use loving speech. Harvest the fruit of right speech. Our bodily action should also have loving action to sow good action. In Plum Village, we have the opportunity to sit together, eat together, and be less busy than we have in our regular culture. Eating together as a family is important but we don't take the time. How can organize the family to sit together? Can we treasure the presence of one another? In Plum Village we use the Five Contemplations before a meal to remind ourselves of our freedom, our busylessness. Leisure for watching the moon. In Buddhism, we have the word liberation so we are not be entangled. Entangled by what? When we're tied up by our busyness, anger, jealousy, fear, complexes, anxiety then we are not free. Thay shares the story of the king in Vietnam who handed over his throne so he could be a monk and discover freedom. Freedom is looking for practices and teachings that can help untangle ourselves. But the king continued as a spiritual teacher to his son. Engaged action. Liberation is a very important dharma. We need to recognize the knots that bind us so we can untie them. Do we have the capacity to be happy? If we cannot, it is because we have ties that bind us. What ties are entangling us? How do we practice for freedom?  How can we nourish brotherhood and sisterhood, the second aspect of the contemplation? Creating a career of helping other people. The third component of our contemplation is happiness. In Plum Village we eat as slow as we can so we can enjoy our freedom. We can listen to the taste in our mouth.  If we don't have these things then we don't have something to offer another person. Before we chant, the monastic reads that we should breath as one body. We make our body and mind calm. When we do this as a community then we can really see our brotherhood and sisterhood. We create a collective energy of peace. We nourish one another as a community with our mindfulness, concentration, and insight. We go as a river in harmony and our suffering is being embraced by the sangha. We have to take refuge in the sangha and it's collective energy of practice. We have other reminders and opportunities for practice such as the chant before sitting meditation. We also sing before walking in order to remind ourselves of our practice of walking. There is something from the non-beginning. In alaya (store) consciousness there is a reality with no beginning. This is the foundation of all things. The cosmos. Alaya creates life. It's nature is unobstructed and equivalent to the ultimate dimension of a suchness. It is not covered by notions of beginning/ending, good/evil, pure/impure, etc. In the teachings we learn our manifestation is both our body and the environment. We have an influence on the environment and the environment influences us. Alaya is a foundation of everything. Neuroscience says something similar and have discovered a little par...
Jan 10, 2014
The Practice of Mindfulness is the Practice of Happiness
1:35:13
This talk by Thich Nhat Hanh is from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 on the occasion of New Years Eve. It is the fourteenth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. This talk is in English. The talk begins with a lovely guided meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh followed by a teaching on compassion to help us listen to the monastics chanting. The second half of the talk focuses on love and healing our suffering. 00:00-10:15 Guided Meditation 10:15-24:45 Generating Compassion to Relieve Suffering 25:23-44:45 Chanting the Name of Avalokite?vara 46:00-51:40 Standing and Breathing 51:40-1:12:30 Self Love and the New Year 1:12:30-1:29:50 The Second Arrow 1:29:50-end Three Energies A few months ago we visited Stanford University on the topic of compassion. Many of us do not know how to take the mud to make the lotus. Compassion can be used to embrace and understand suffering. Without suffering, no compassion is possible. We shouldn't run away from our own suffering. How do we do that? We can use mindful waking, mindful breathing, then we can generate the energy of mindfulness and we won't feel overwhelmed. We can take care of the suffering inside. In mah?y?na Buddhism we have a great being capable of overcoming great suffering and to help other people. This is the bodhisattva of compassionate listening. Avalokite?vara.  The monastics will chant her name today to help us all generate the energy of compassion. We can stop the thinking and just listen to the chant. Thay gives us instructions on how to best listen to the chant - we practice as a drop of water in a river and allow it to embrace us. We have been discussing about home and the new year. And the first element is our body. Learning how to breath, to walk, and to build our home. The second element is our feelings and emotions. We have to learn to take care of this as well in order to have a true home.  The third element is our perceptions. We should always be asking, are you sure of your perceptions? Do we know how to love ourselves? To take care of ourselves. If we can love and take care if ourselves then we'll know how to take care of someone else. Self love is the foundation. We have been discussing about the new year. The year is made of time, speech, and action. The year 2013 will continue from our action. The fruit of our action will stay. Nothing is lost. This is retribution. This coming year we have the sentence "New Year. New Me." To liberate us. We should to renew ourselves. To create a feeling of joy, happiness, and compassion. This is the practice of mindfulness. Have you been able to enjoy the Kingdom of God, the Pure Land? The new year is your chance to enjoy it and practice. In Plum Village we have the time to walk together. We can challenge ourselves to walk in mindfulness. Every step. Happiness is possible. Mindfulness is being aware...aware of our steps. The practice of mindfulness is the practice of happiness. Suffering is part of life. The Buddha spoke about the second arrow. It is a teaching to help us suffer much less. If we allow fear and anger to grow then we are allowing the second arrow. But don't be afraid of suffering, especially if we know how to practice. Being aware of the painful feeling and calming the painful feeling. The first step is to suffer less. The second is to make good use of our suffering.  Our true home is in every step and in every breath. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4wzibGi7MA
Jan 02, 2014
Where is the Year 2014 Right Now?
1:25:31
This talk by Thich Nhat Hanh is from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village on Sunday, December 29, 2013. It is the thirteenth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. This talk is in English and is available below as an audio download or online video. In this talk we are preparing for the end of the year 2013 and the teaching is on no birth, no death, and coming home to our island of self. 00:00-14:35 The Year Ending and the Year Coming 14:35-25:09 No Birth. No Death. 25:09-49:10 Coming Home and the Island of Self 49:10-56:30 Sangha 56:30-1:06:10 The Practice in an Organization or Company 1:10:30-1:23:15 Taking Refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha When we focus on our breathing, we can really be there. Breathing mindfully we can know that we are alive and that we have a body. Just breath in and out and we can touch the wonders of life. With mindfulness we can be in touch and that can help nourish and heal us. This comes from walking, sitting, breathing, doing everyday things. Is the year 2013 going to die and go away? Can we speak of a birth or death of a year? The notion of month, day, hours, etc. are invented by us and are conventional designations. What does it mean to die? From being to non-being? Where is the year 2014 right now? The answers really depend on us. What have I done in the year 2013? Have I learned to produce a feeling a joy, a feeling of happiness? We can produce a moment of joy, a moment of happiness at any time, for us and for the people we love. Have we been able to take care of the painful feeling and emotions during the year 2013? If we do not learn these things then we will end up repeating this in the next year. This is why we have our practice phrase for next year: “New Year New Me” and “Joy Within, Joy all Around.” The new year is time and it is linked to space and action. If we know how to deal with our pain and sorrow then we can improve the quality of our days, months, and years. Right now it is winter and when we do walking meditation, we do not see butterflies. But that does not mean the butterflies are not there already. In spring they will manifest; they are only hidden waiting for conditions. The same is true with the year 2014. Has the little boy or the little girl you once were died? No, it is still there. This teaching corresponds with the first law of thermodynamics. Nothing is born. Nothing dies. We can transfer energy and matter but we cannot produce or destroy anything. In Buddhism we say no birth and no death. Where are our ancestors? They are in every cell of our bodies and we carry them into the future. To meditate is to have the time to look deeply and see the nature of no birth and no death. The story of the cloud and Mother Earth. Society today is running away from itself and we don’t know how to handle a feeling of pain, sorrow, loneliness. We are running away from ourselves. And electronic devices that we buy and use help us run away but the practice of mindfulness is helping us take care of our feelings. Mindfulness can restore peace and harmony in our body and our feelings. That is the practice of coming home. We can establish understanding. We can transform our anger into understanding and compassion. It is impermanent. Last week we started to speak about true home. True home is available anytime and we have to build for ourselves. The Buddha told us that everyone has an island within ourselves where we can feel calm, safe, and happy. We should take refuge in that island. Our body is the first element of our true home. The third exercise of mindful breathing suggested by the Buddha. Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body. The fifth and sixth exercises of mindful breathing help us cultivate a feeling of joy and happiness. This is the art of happiness. And the seventh and eighth help us to handle the painful feelings and emotions. We can generate the energy of understanding and compassion. This is the third element of coming to our true home.
Dec 30, 2013
Volition and Functions of Alaya Consciousness
1:15:50
This talk is taken out of order as there was a little difficulty in getting the English translation to share with you. In this talk, Thich Nhat Hanh focuses on the theme of volition as it relates to our relationships and to being a monastic followed by a teaching on the functions of alaya consciousness. It was originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai,  the talk from New Hamlet, Plum Village is dated Thursday, December 19, 2013 and is the tenth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Chan Duc. 00:00-10:30 Volition Food 10:30- 14:40 The Mind of Love - Bodhicitta 14:40-21:00 Volition and Marriage 21:00-28:48 The Path and Realizing the Dream 28:48-57:47 The Functions of Alaya 57:47-end Ripening and Impermanence Last time we learned the alaya consciousness are tied to the five universal mental formations. What does alaya want to realize? In the teachings we talk of the four nutriments and the third is volition. Alaya wants to live  the good of volition should always be there - not temporary. Volition can be a positive nutrient and give us a lot of energy but it can also be unwholesome. What is my deepest desire? What do I want to do with my life? What is the source of volition food? The Buddha had a desire to end suffering, worries, fears - to find a path. He had a desire to become a monk. The mind of love - bodhicitta. We must have this commitment to be a monk or a nun. This is our volition food as a monastic in the sangha. People in the world may do something similar when they get married - what is the volition food of my partner? Do we share the same direction and the same ideal?  What do I want to realize in my life? We can also look at our parents and see their dreams and aspiration. Have they realized their dreams? There is a path to realize our dream. The path is not different from the end. Every step has the dream for it to be reality in every moment of daily life. Don't wait. We look to see our source of energy - our volition food - and we nourish it every day. We have learned the self nature of alaya and that it is unobstructed, indeterminate, not good or bad, neutral. The 11 nature of seeds are the characteristics of the store. Now we talk about the function. First, the main function of alaya is to maintain and preserve - it is all the seeds. Second, alaya learns and manage the information it stores. Third, it has the capacity to make/ripen things. Fourth, it has the capacity to nourish and heal. Alaya is self directing and can behave in an automatic way. It has the capacity to sustain life. The body and mind rely on each other and the basis are the seeds in alaya. Matter and spirit arise together because of alaya. From the 30 Verses of Vasubandhu, we look at the 19th verse. Consciousness is the totality of the seeds. Transformation takes place in the way it does because of a reciprocal influence; out of this, the different constructions arise. The alaya consciousness is also impermanent and birth/death is always taking place. Impermanent in every instant. There is also cyclical impermanence - we are born here and we die here. Maturation is cyclical. You can support this site by donating to the Plum Village Online Monastery Team.
Dec 29, 2013
Have I Got a True Home?
1:03:13
This talk by Thich Nhat Hanh is from the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village on the occasion of Christmas Eve (Tuesday, December 24, 2013). It is the twelfth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. In this talk we learning about our True Home and Sangha. Christmas is always an opportunity to meditate on our true home. The Buddha  did not have a home when he was young; he was unhappy even with all the material conditions. And Jesus Christ was born a refugee and was also trying to find a home. But both the Buddha and the Christ practiced and they found a True Home. Have I got a true home? A place of comfort and ease. When you come to Plum Village you are offered a practice to help you find a home. And home is not located in space and time. Our first fruit of the practice is "I have arrived. I am home." Our true home is in the here and the now in every breath and every step. The practice of mindful breathing brings our mind in touch with our body. Our body may be our first home. Are you in conflict with your body? Do you hate your body? We are all flowers in the garden of humanity. Do we know how to take care of our flowerness? Getting in touch with our body is the first step. We may notice tension in our body and the Buddha offered us exercises to reduce the tension. An act of reconciliation. Very practical. We can smile to ourselves and release the tension. Why, in some instances, have we abandoned our body? Do you have a feeling of loneliness?are we covering up suffering in our life? We don't know how to handle the suffering inside of us and we cover it up with consumption. The practice of mindfulness can help you reverse this to take care of your body and your feelings. If you can, then you are creating a true home for yourself. 24-m Consumption and Loneliness 27-m The Art of Happiness (Exercises 5 & 6) 31-m The Art of Suffering (Exercises 7 & 8) 37-m Practicing with a Sangha 43-m Building a Sangha 47-m The Plum Village Sangha 50-m What do I want to do with my life? The year is ending and it is a good time to ask what we want to do with our life. If you are a couple, you may wish to sit down and discuss your dream and see how to support each other. Jesus had a dream. Buddha had a dream. Can we look at our other relationships and see how they might be improved? Wherever we go, the sangha is with us. Sangha is our home. We can practice in such a way that our family is our sangha. We should devote our time and energy to building our true home so that we can realize our dream. Merry Christmas. You can support this site by donating to the Plum Village Online Monastery Team http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQpz5ulMgGw
Dec 28, 2013
Being #1 and/or Being Happy
1:31:58
This talk by Thich Nhat Hanh is from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village and is dated Sunday, December 22, 2013. It is the eleventh talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. In this talk we use the practice of walking meditation to explore themes of enlightenment, secularization of mindfulness, technology, schools, and the corporation. Both the audio recording and the video are available in this post. 02:22-12:18 Chanting 16:38-28:50 The practice of walking meditation 28:50-32:30 Enlightenment 32:30-40:01 Reflection on our Life in 2013 40:01-53:50 Coming Home to Ourselves and the Corporation 53:50-61:01 Secularization of Mindfulness and Being #1 1:01-1:06 Making Good Use of Technology 1:07-1:15 Intentions for Year 2014 - Walking Meditation 1:15-1:19 Mindfulness and a Sangha 1:19-1:32 UNESCO, Wake Up Schools, and Politics Today during our Touching the Earth practice, we promised to the Buddha that we would enjoy the practice of walking meditation in our daily life. Every breath and step can generate a feeling of joy and a feeling of peace. Our body is a wonder. We don’t need to be in a hurry, looking for something. In Plum Village we practice walking mediation. Why do we practice walking meditation? The same question is asked of sitting meditation. How does Thay practice mindful movements? Why does Thay practice mindful movements? It is not only for better health. It tells Thay that he is alive and strong enough to do the movements. Thay shares about those astronauts who return to the earth and walk again - how long do they maintain this awareness? Mindfulness of being alive and walking on the earth is a wonderful thing. To enjoy walking meditation is not difficult. Everyone can have mindfulness of breathing. Enlightenment can arise in a few seconds with awareness of our breath and that we are alive and we have a body. Buddhism is not exactly a religion but it is a way of living. You don’t need to be a Buddhist to practice mindfulness. We can even generate this while we brush our teeth. Many of us have searched for material comforts and many of us do have many material comforts but we may still not be happy. Time is something we should treasure. When we wake up in the morning, we can breathe and be aware that we have 24-hours to live. Thay teaches the waking up gatha. With the end of the year, it may help us to think about the way we live our life. How did we spend 2013? What have we done with our life? Can we live with more joy? This year we had the opportunity to visit Google and spend a whole day practicing with the employees. We noticed the people there practiced whole-heartedly - they did walking, sitting, and eating mediation. A company like that wants to succeed and be #1 but there is also so much suffering. They do not have the time to take care of their body, feelings, emotions, families, etc. They see a need for a spiritual practice so they can suffer less. Time is no longer money. Time is peace. Time is life. Thay shares further about the visit to Google and how we can suffer less through our practice. Going home to ourselves. We are running away from ourselves and we do not take the time to take care of ourselves. If we cannot take care of ourselves, how can we take care of the person we love? Is technology helping us run away from ourselves? Thay sees a struggle within corporate culture - they have stress, guilt, etc. They want to learn ways to deal with these issues. Is it possible to be #1 and be happy? This is the dilemma. There are people who are victims of their success, but there is nobody is a victim of their happiness. Which is #1 priority? The bottom line in the corporation is still thinking of being #1 in their area. And some practice mindfulness to become #1 and not to become happy. Are they using mindfulness to do the things to be more successful in business? Can you use mindfulness to make money? It is the same question/issue of those who teach mindfulness but don’t practice mind...
Dec 23, 2013
Foundation for All Phenomena is Store Consciousness
1:32:14
Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from Upper Hamlet, Plum Village is dated Sunday, December 15, 2013 and is the ninth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem. 00:00-10:00 Chanting 10:35-25:42 UNESCO and Violence in Schools 25:42-44:30 The Seed on the Inside and the Seed on the Outside 44:30-55:40 The Seed of Pure/Impure 55:40-end Different Schools of Thought on Store Consciousness In 2006, Thay gave at a talk at UNESCO in Paris where he suggested that UNESCO organize retreats for teachers from across the globe so that teachers can bring the practice of nonviolence into their classrooms. At the time, the manager at UNESCO was very supportive because in that year there had been 88,000 acts of violence in classrooms in France in 2006. The energy of violence is there is our young people and many parents and children don’t have methods for dealing with the anger in themselves. In our practice, we begin with generating peace in our body and mind to better manage our energy of anger and violence. We want to share these practices with others. If teachers can learn this practice, they will know how to help their students. Plum Village agreed to create documents and materials to support this effort of reducing violence. Two books - Anger and Cultivating True Peace - both teach on this theme. We have led retreats to Wake Up Schools. We have reached out to UNESCO again to see how can we better support UNESCO again to help train teachers? We have also drafted the Manifesto 2000 (which are based on the Five Mindfulness Trainings) with them, but it seems to have been forgotten. The United Nations have accepted some of our practices for nonviolence with the young people. In Spain, there has been an effort to bring this practice to schools. One characteristic of seeds that we need to discuss is no-inside/no-outside - this is the tenth characteristic of seeds. There is a distinction between inside and outside - inside our mind and outside in the environment. This is a dualistic view and is double-grasping. In the four establishments of mindfulness there are four domains: body, feelings, mind, and objects of mind. In our mind is the phenomena. There are also teachings on karma and retribution in Buddhism. Our actions lead to retribution. The environment is where the body lives. The environment is ourselves also. These two things cannot be separated. This is the best teaching of manifestation-only teachings. The eleventh characteristic of seeds is pure/impure - this is a teaching of Mahayana Buddhism. In manifestation-only teachings, different sutras explore this theme. The Five Skandhas and the Twelve Localities (Six Sense Organs and Six Sense Objects). The domains of existence - 18 realms. Thay is teaching on a specific verse where all phenomena are in store consciousness. There are six different pathways but there is also a seed of nirvana. The wholesome seeds are there too in the store consciousness. Nirvana is not outside of birth and death. This characteristics leads us to the teaching of the Heart Sutra where there is no defilement and no immaculate. Neither wholesome/unwholesome, pure/impure. It is indeterminate. You can choose one of the six paths or you can choose nirvana. What do different teachings say about the different mental formations? The Five Particular Mental Formations. More teachings on store consciousness. Donate to the Plum Village Online Monastery Team
Dec 18, 2013
Is our nature goodness?
1:48:14
In this talk we take a deep look at dualistic thinking, the theology and challenges of seeing the world as pure and impure, and more about the seeds. Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from Upper Hamlet, Plum Village is dated Thursday, December 12, 2013 and is the eighth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem. 00:00-09:50 Chanting 09:50-30:50 Synchronization of Breathing 30:50-48:00 Dualistic Thinking 48:00-1:02 Theology 1:03-1:23 Seeds 1:23-1:48 Pure and Impure Hearing the sound of the bell, we stop thinking. We breath gently and pay attention our breathing. Simple and easy. An important habit energy. If we do this together, we are a collective and not a separate individuals. This is synchronization. It's like when water becomes ice - the molecules come together.  Like the photons of a laser beam. The bell is the stimulation to help us stop thinking. In our body there are cells - all the cells work together in synchronization. We have the habit of dividing reality into wholesome and not wholesome. Well being and ill-being. Right and wrong. Beauty and ugliness. Permanence and impermanence.  Happiness and suffering. Purity and impurity. This is dualistic thinking. If god is goodness them who will take care of the other side? Is our nature goodness? Manifestation only teaching and this dualistic thinking. Our nature is indeterminate - neither wholesome nor unwholesome. Reality is indeterminate. Discussion on theology and suffering and natural disasters in the world. And I Ching too. In Buddhism we still say nature is neither pure nor impure. Good seeds, bad seeds, and neutral. And they've been there since the beginning. This is a big issue in manifestation only teachings because some see the seeds are determinate. It has a nature that is organic - even love is organic and so is hate. More on the characteristics of seeds (a review). Seeds that are pure and impure.  The 22 organs referred to in the Shastra.
Dec 18, 2013
Mother Earth Has All the Seeds
1:41:24
The sangha held a monastic ordination ceremony on this day and so Thich Nhat Hanh spent some time talking about being a monastic. The second part of his talk is fantastic and touches deeply on his revolutionary nature and how Buddhism must be progressive and change. We conclude the talk with the winter retreat by learning more about the characteristics of the seeds. Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from Upper Hamlet, Plum Village is dated Sunday, December 8, 2013 and is the seventh talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem. 00:00-06:40 Chanting 06:40-13:45 New Monastics Introduced 13:45-34:30 Being a Monastic 34:30-54:28 Renewing Buddhism 54:28-1:06 Poetry and Walking 1:06-1:41 Sutra Study Thay introduces the verses for the new year. New year, new me. Joy within, joy all around. Being a Monastic Purpose of the new monastic family. A new life. When we become a monastic, we let go of everything. The accomplishments and difficulties belong to the sangha. There is no individual future. We must take care of the entire family. How is this different from lay dharma teacher? The needs are great and we need more monastics and dharma teachers. Importance of organizing and leading retreats. We are a practical community; not theoretical. We also have the Five-Year Program as a dharma door for young people. Renewing Buddhism Buddhism is an art and must be progressive otherwise it stands still. We can modify the teachings so it's applicable to society. New sutras, training,  precepts. New findings and new research. If we don't renew then Buddhism stands still and we don't honor the ancestors. It must be appropriate for the people and era otherwise it is not true Buddhism. See how the Five Trainings or Ten Novice Precepts of Plum Village are very different from traditional and much better. We must have courage to renew. Can we reduce the number of monastic precepts? A new Buddhism. Poetry and Walking Thay shares a poem he uses for walking meditation down and back from Son Ha.  Nourishing the sangha with mindful breathing and mindful walking. Can we be a cell of the sangha and if the Buddha? Sutra Study Review of the first ten characteristics of the seeds. Are the seeds innate? We need to sow and water the seeds. To cultivate the seeds. If we don't have happiness then we need to plant it so it's possible. Mother Earth contains all the seeds and we must protect the environment. The insight of manifestation only is non-duality. No double grasping. Subject and object are not different.
Dec 11, 2013
What is the Purpose of this Human Life?
2:00:53
In this 2-hour dharma talk, Thich Nhat Hanh teaches how and why we can live our lives deeply and provides methods such as gatha practice. We also continue the theme of the winter retreat by learning more about the characteristics of the seeds. Originally given in Vietnamese, available from Lang Mai, the talk from New Hamlet, Plum Village is dated Thursday, December 5, 2013 and is the sixth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. English translation, available below, is by Sr. Tue Nghiem. 00:00-14:30 What is the purpose of human life? 14:30-23:00 Practice gathas 23:00-41:35 Spirituality and Plum Village practice 41:35-end Store consciousness and characteristics of seeds Some trees live thousands of years and certain turtles can live hundreds of years. A human span is about a 100-years. What is the purpose of this human life? We should live deeply so the time here doesn't go to waste. We should not wait to answer this question. The quality of life; not just living it to pass the days. The quality depends on how deeply we live each moment and not the emotional and material comforts. Money, power, prestige may not provide this quality or happiness. In Vietnam we had king who had given his throne to his son in order to become a monk. This gave him more time to live more deeply. He wore the color brown, the color for monastics. In Vietnam, it represents simplicity and humility. It's the color of those who work in the fields. When we become monastics, we learn the gathas to practice mindfulness. This Sunday we will ordain seven aspirants in Plum Village. There are about 60 Gathas to memorize and the first gatha to memorize is the walking up gatha. Waking up this morning, I smile.  Twenty-four brand new hours.  I vow to live deeply each moment And look at all beings with the eyes of compassion and love.  Every breath and every step is legendary. The quality of life is awareness and our capacity to live deeply. Science and philosophy both study our humanity. There is also Tao - spirituality. It is also a branch of research to understand our own suffering and happiness. Spirituality is not to run away from life and it is not religion. It is a path to understanding and love to live deeply our lives. We can use the discoveries of science and philosophy. We come to Plum Village to learn how to live life. We look for elder brothers and sisters to guide us. We don't practice for merit in the future but to live deeply in this moment. For example, walking meditation is not a mean to an end. It's a daily practice. It is the path of happiness. The same with sitting meditation  First we need calmness and stillness in our body and mind. The sixteen exercises of mindful breathing can help us calm and still our body and mind. If we don't know how, we ask a dharma teacher for help. These practices liberate us. We're learning the 8th consciousness - Store. We begin with a review of The first three verses of 30 Verses of Vasubandhu  What is a self? There are also dharmas and phenomena. All this manifests from the same route - store consciousness. Store both receives and maintains the seeds. It also holds the body and the environment in which we live in. What goes into our store consciousness? There are three different kinds of seeds that go into store: the image of the objects of phenomena, the names of the objects, and the last is discrimination (habit of discriminating). That was the review of previous weeks. Characteristics of the Seeds The first characteristic of a seed is that it changes every millisecond. They are changing all the time. Another characteristic is that it's also continuous, like a steam. It maintains the nature of the seed over time. Every seed is waiting for the conditions to manifest. Manifestation only teachings. Individual and collective manifestation
Dec 08, 2013
What has Buddha-Nature?
1:33:16
December 1, 2013. 93-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet of Plum Village. This is the fifth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. We begin with two chants from the monastics. The talk was given in Vietnamese and this is an English translation by Sr. Tue Nghiem. An issue in Christianity has been the question whether God a human or not a human. Theologians have said, though God is not a person but God is not less than a person.  In Buddhism, there is the idea of sentient beings that suffer and Buddha's who have enlightenment. But when we become a Buddha, we continue to be a sentient being. I'm Mahayana Buddhism, these two are not separate. Sentient beings and Buddha's are not different but two pairs of opposite. One cannot be without the other. Humans are composed of non-human elements. This is a non-dualistic insight. Interdependent co-arising. Everything is impermanent, including enlightenment and Buddha. We must continue to cultivate happiness and insight. Can the Buddha be recognized in another form than a human? Consider what is written in the Diamond Sutra. We also need to remove the dualistic thinking regarding inanimate objects. Even a rock has Buddha-nature. We have to transcend the idea that Buddha must be a human. Applying this teaching using sitting and breathing. Thay provides instructions. At 58-minutes, we continue with the winter retreat teachings from the 30-verses of Vasubandhu with the 3rd verse. Its appropriations and its manifestation of locality cannot be known intellectually. It is always associated with contact, mental attention, feeling, perception, and volition. Seeds. Form. Signs. Consciousness. Names.
Dec 04, 2013
A Sense of Contact
2:20:21
November 28, 2013. 140-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet of Plum Village. This is the fourth talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. We begin with two chants from the monastics. The talk was given in Vietnamese and this is an English translation by Sr. Tue Nghiem. Today we continue studying the Five Universal Mental Formations - they happen in a split of a second. It is everywhere, anytime. This is why they are universal. The first is contact - we spend most of the teaching on this mental formation. It's a vibration in our sense organs. It's a modification of the organ when it comes together with the object and consciousness and prepares for the arrival of feeling. This is the traditional definition. Contact is the base for feeling or impression. How can consciousness occur without organs? The second universal is attention. There is appropriate and inappropriate attention. This is followed by feeling, perception. What is the function of perception? What are the options in terms of volition? Grasp, chase after, run away, fight, or to punish. The example in traditional texts is the magnet. What is appropriate attention? How does this relate to contact? We can bring in mindfulness - this is one of the five particular mental formations. Mindfulness is the third of the five particular. Stephen Levine defined it as memory; to recall a past experience. Mindfulness is not forgetting. Definitions of mindfulness. Where there is mindfulness, we can recognize the five universals and not go down the path of suffering. How do we react when we have a feeling or a perception? We can interfere, by pausing and creating a new pathway, with mindfulness and this is a very important practice. A teaching on the eight consciousnesses, in particular mind and manas and how they are different than the first five sense consciousnesses. Seeds. Characteristics of a seed. We cannot separate the cause and the effect. There are two, but they are really one. Subject and object cannot be separated.  
Dec 02, 2013
Discovering Non-Discriminative Wisdom
1:56:32
November 24, 2013. 116-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet of Plum Village. This is the third talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. We begin with two chants (17-minutes) from the monastics. The talk was given in Vietnamese and this is an English translation by Sr. Tue Nghiem. Shares a little about the chant in Vietnamese; it's about love. The purpose of the practice is to generate joy/happiness and to take care of our suffering. How do we do this? We do tis with mindfulness, concentration, and insight. The foundations of the Four Noble Truths in Plum Village. Walking and sitting meditation should be viewed as a privilege. Freedom can be found in our busyness. Every action can bring happiness, it is a path of happiness. A mental formation such as contact is present when three things are present. The organ, object, and consciousness. All three must be present. Mind and consciousness. When is consciousness active? The mind still works when there is no consciousness. This is the store consciousness. The eighth consciousness that comprise the store consciousness. The store consciousness can learn good things and bad things; it is neutral. Door consciousness can be both individual and collective. Interdependent co-arising; Interdependent nature of phenomenon. One thing gives birth or arising to another thing. Suchness. Transcending the idea of being and non-being. Inter arising of suchness. Inter arising of all phenomenon. Where is store consciousness? Example of H2O to illustrate. The characteristics of manas. Manas. The lover. The seventh consciousness. What are the dangers of manas? Manas does not know the goodness of suffering. The sixth consciousness is the gardener and can bring Mindfulness to the seventh consciousness. No self, so no complex of inferiority for superiority or quality.
Nov 27, 2013
Individual and Collective Manifestation
1:33:22
November 21, 2013. 93-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet of Plum Village. This is the second talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. We begin with two chants from the monastics. The talk was given in Vietnamese and this is an English translation by Sr. Tue Nghiem.  Story of a poet Thay met in the 1940s in Saigon. Shares a poem called the Dalia. Another poem from the 60s called  Song of April. A flower in the poem is used to teach on manifestation-only and the dharma body. This is the work of Mahayana Buddhism. We can hear the dharma in everything. The Buddha is the flower. Where does the flower come from in manifestation-only?  We can apply this same teaching to our own seeds, such as anger. We don't always see our anger until it manifests, but to say that it is not there is incorrect. It's just hidden.  Text of the 30 Verses of Vasubandhu.  Consciousness has two parts. The subject and object. The two parts rely upon one another to manifest.  Can our mind see the object of reality? The object and the subject rely upon one another order to manifest. Cognition.  Understanding this alcan free us from the idea of birth and death, being and non-being.  The mental formation contact. The relationship between subject and object and the mental formation of contact. We also look at the second mental formation of attention. This teaching is illustrated by the sound of the bell and other distractions that may be occurring at the same time. Appropriate attention. As a practitioner, we can choose the object of our Mindfulness. With practice this can become automatic. No effort. The cells of the body and the collective energy of a group of people. Can we sit peacefully? Individual manifestation and collective manifestation. The collective is comprised of the individual. Our practice can affect other people.  http://youtu.be/hWH_LdnQSxk
Nov 24, 2013
Our Spiritual Ancestors in Vietnam
1:33:48
November 7, 2013. 93-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet of Plum Village. We begin with two chants, one French and one Vietnamese, from the monastics. The talk is originally given in Vietnamese and this is an English translation by Sr. Chan Khong.  Just let the dharma talk simply go into our store consciousness. No effort needed. You can be surprised later when the seeds of the dharma sprout.  Noble path. Suffering and happiness are deeply linked.  Waking up this morning, I smile. No judgement. Compassion. Gatha practice. Every second, every minute, every action. Insight can arise from simple practice. Walking. Sitting. Eating.  But it doesn't mean we ignore our suffering.  Story of Vietnamese patriarch - One Concentration. A history lesson on our spiritual ancestors in Vietnam. 
Nov 23, 2013
Rebuilding our Health
1:22:37
November 17, 2013. 82-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Stillwater Meditation Hall, Upper Hamlet of Plum Village. This is the first talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. We begin with two chants from the monastics. Rebuilding our health - mental and physical. Our society seems to be not very healthy. Some come to our retreat to heal and mindfulness can help you heal. If we are mindful, we may see that we are running. Running into the future. We have a habit of running.  So our mindful breathing can help us to stop the running. Breathing is an art. Mindfulness has to go with insight. Insight can get you out of your suffering. This winter we will look at the 51-mental formations. The first five are called universal. Contact Attention Feeling Perception Volition Then we have five particulars. Intention Determination Mindfulness Concentration Insight Right now we are talking about mindfulness. Our consciousness has two parts - store and mind. Our mental formations can move from one part to the other. Each formation is known as a seed in the store consciousness. There are conditions that cause a seed to manifest in your mind. Mindfulness is the capacity to see what is going on in your feelings, your perceptions, and around you. We can also use the mindful waking to heal and stop the running. We can allow nature to heal us. The earth is not just the environment, the earth is ourselves. A good mental formation is ease. We need to practice to cultivate this kind of energy. This is one of the seven factors of enlightenment. An opposite mental formation is called restlessness. Mental excitement. This prevents out mind from applying itself to good mental formations. Our society suffers from restlessness and that is why we run after the consumption, the internet, work, etc. Mindfulness to release stress is good, but it is not enough. We need the insight in order to be able to truly release. Without the insight we will not stop running. Time is more than money, time is life. In this winter retreat, we will look with a critical eye at the manifestation-only. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT9Ez-Emtgg&feature=share
Nov 20, 2013
The Practice of Compassion
1:41:54
November 3, 2013. 101-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Stillwater Meditation Hall, Upper Hamlet of Plum Village. We begin with two chants from the monastics followed by a talk on the theme of compassion. Thay begins with a follow-up on the visit to Stanford University where we had the topic of compassion. Sr. True Dedication is asked by Thay to begin the sharing. The talk at Stanford was sponsored by the organization CCARE, The Center for Compassion And Altruism Research And Education Empathy. Research of the human mind. Compassion, empathy, and altruism are innate in us. The nature of compassion is like thunder, according to the lotus sutra. First lesson: There is a relationship between suffering and compassion. Interbeing is the ground of meta-ethics. Compassion is born from understanding. Understanding what? Suffering. And if you know how to suffer then you suffer much less. Second lesson: Compassion should be directed to yourself first. Our civilization has a tendency to want to run away from ourselves. But we can go home to ourselves without fear. Third lesson: As a community, you can generate energy of compassion. This power can help others much more quickly. There were a number of unanswered questions from the event that Thay spends time on now. Here's a few of the questions: Research has shown that compassion has extraordinary Health benefits, including a longer and have your life. From your perspective as a teacher, have you noticed this benefit of compassion? Research suggests that the desire for compassion to help someone behavior is seen in primates and children. On the other hand we hear of adult capable of atrocious crimes. If compassion is innate, why do we not always display our compassion as we become adults? Scientists have observed when compassion is more likely to manifest. The more similar then the more compassionate we may be. Why are we able to feel more compassion when one person is in need of help versus a whole group of people in need of help? What are the hindrances to compassion? Is there such a thing as too much compassion, for example empathy fatigue? http://youtu.be/7IwzbzXNWvA
Nov 19, 2013
The Horse is Technology
1:34:41
November 10, 2013. 94-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Stillwater Meditation Hall, Upper Hamlet of Plum Village. The sangha is preparing for the upcoming 90-day winter retreat. We begin with two chants from the monastics followed by a powerful teaching on technology with very specific instructions to those participating in the 90-day retreat. Both the audio and video are linked below. It is five days before the winter retreat begins at Plum Village. The great ordination ceremony this coming year will take place beginning May 23, 2014 and the 21-Day retreat, starting on June 1, 2014, will have the theme What happens when you die? For the monastics, during the winter retreat we will stay within the boundaries of Plum Village and this includes not going out on the Internet. There will be no individual email communication and all emails can be sent to one address only and be delivered to you. There is no need to check email. There is absolutely no Facebook too. Facebook is neither good nor evil but we will not use it during the winter retreat. Making good use of technology. Thay relayed the story of visiting Google this last month and some of the questions they wanted to hear answers.  How can we innovate in order to take good care of ourselves? What is the interplay between intention, insight and innovation? How can technology be a force for integration rather than destruction? How can we detach from our work? Thay shares about what he heard and observed at Google. What is the emotional health of Googlers? They want to use technology to solve what appears to be a technological disease. Technology is taking away our time. We need to look for the path to transform our ill being. Image Source: socialunderground.com We begin with intention, by asking, what do we want? If technology can help us create happy and joyful feelings then we can make good use of technology. Can we reduce the amount of stress within ourselves? Thay offers ideas for corporate and technology leaders. Good methods to use and apply technology. As part of the teaching, we look at two specific Mental Formations - contact and volition. Four aspects of monastic life include learning to study, learning to practice, working, and playing. And yet these all interare. For the practitioner, if we are doing it exactly like the people in the world then we may not be able to help the people in the world. No email and no Internet and no Facebook can be attractive and to allow us to become a real practitioner. It can be an awakening.   https://youtu.be/a9GG4JtX8t4
Nov 16, 2013
Tour Reflections
1:09:51
October 31, 2013. 70-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Stillwater Meditation Hall, Upper Hamlet of Plum Village. The sangha has recently returned from the North American tour. The talk was given in Vietnamese and this is the English translation by Sr. Chan Khong. We begin with a summary of the 3-month teaching tour of North America that has just ended. Thay shares about the dry earth at the centers in North America and yet the rain came to each during the tour. Because we travel in so many buses and cars, Thay reminds us to be aware of our trip. Walk with the Buddha. Drive with the Buddha. Sit with the Buddha. Be aware of the Buddha with every breath and every moment. How can we have the Buddha in our lives? Example of the bell master, even on the bus, and if that person is the only one with mindfulness and then that person and the energy of the bell can help carry into the sangha. There are many who are thirsty for the practice is large and all our events sold out. We were able to stream the talk in Oakland with the support of Sounds True [video] and 35k listened online. We don't have the capacity to meet all the needs but we are able allow for many to listen online, even with our retreats. We need more monastic and lay dharma teachers. Suffering and happiness are two sides of one reality - like two sides of a piece of paper. If we know how to suffer, then we suffer very little and can enjoy our happiness. Just because we become a Buddha does not mean we do not suffer; it is because suffering and happiness Interare. For example, because we have a body then we will have disease. If we know how to suffer, we don't let the second arrow cause us to suffer more. We all have to practice something - to find a spiritual dimension for our lives. We must find time for this in our lives. Shares about the 2-day visit to the World Bank for their employees. Some thought it strange to have this monk and his students come to the World Bank but people discovered the value and were appreciative. The four nutriments, especially for the business person; how to make money without being evil. Of particular importance is the fourth nutriment: volition. But don't run away from your body and your mind. We were also invited by Harvard University and Stanford University [video] to offer a teaching on mindfulness and compassion. Why is compassion important?  
Nov 16, 2013
Nutriments for Healing
2:09:30
September 25, 2013. 130-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the first dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Healing Ourselves, Healing the World. We begin with two chants from the monastics. Try the BetterListen Version of this entire retreat - click the image below We bring our mind and body together and come back to ourselves in order to be truly there and be able to stop our thinking. We can get lost in our thinking. When we are mindful and concentrated of our in breath them our mind only has one object. Just breathing in mindfully we can get freedom from the past l, the future, and our projects. Freedom is possible and the healing can start. Topics: Conditions of happiness Habit of running after fame, power, wealth, sensual pleasures Deep looking - insight can release the tension and bring healing Mindfulness is a method to insight using our in breath and out breath Inviting our ancestors to listen to the bell and practice walking meditation with you. Our presence is the most precious gift for those we love - to be there is a practice. Freshness, beauty Mountain, solid Space, free Sutra on Full Awareness of Breathing Four domains - body, feelings, mind, objects of mind First 8 exercise Sangha - collective energy You are not one emotion The art of happiness and the art of suffering Happiness and suffering interare Happiness is made of non-happiness elements The Four Noble Truths The Four Kinds of Nutriments  
Nov 08, 2013
Introduction and Chanting in Mississippi
2:00:14
September 24, 2013. 120-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Magnolia Grove Monastery in Batesville, Mississippi during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the orientation for the 6-day retreat with the theme Healing Ourselves, Healing the World. Try the BetterListen Version of this entire retreat - click the image below Creating a healing environment in our physical and spiritual spaces. How do we produce a thought that is filled with understanding and compassion? Building a sangha or a practice center is one method. In our tradition, we begin by looking at our suffering. We can then recognize the suffering in the other person. This is the first and second noble truth. With this, the energy if compassion arises because you have touched and understood suffering. Tonight, the monks and nuns will chant the name of Avalokitesvara in order to get in touch with suffering and help relieve the pain and suffering of others. As we listen, we should stop our thinking and be concentrated on our breathing. The chant begins at 19:44. The talk resumes at 48:30 with an orientation to the practice with Br. Phap Dung and Sr. Dang Nghiem.
Nov 05, 2013
Can There be Peace without War?
1:51:47
October 16, 2013. 111-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the fourth and final dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Finding Our True Home. A lesson for the children for when they return to school and how to deal with aggression without being angry or violent. If we do that, then we win. After about 10-minutes we continue with just the adults. We begin with a few unanswered questions from the previous session of questions and answers: I can be mindful of my breath when I sitting or walking but how do I keep mindful of my breath when speaking? Political discourse is deeply toxic and intolerant; how do we consume without the negativity? How can we still be engaged? Please talk to us about grief.  What can you share with teachers and youth so they can walk away and take care of their fears and stress? Can there be peace without war? The topic of our talk today is birth and death. These two happen at the same time; even a scientist can see this through the continuous birth and death of the cells of our body. Where there is death, there is birth. In our tradition, we speak of two kinds of truth: conventional truth and ultimate truth. The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the path of transformation and healing. A path of happiness. The Noble Path has eight elements. The first is Right View. It is the insight that transcends all discrimination. If you think war and peace as two deprecate entities, that is not right view. There is Interbeing. There are four pairs of opposites that can represent all kinds of opposites. Birth and death Being and nonbeing Coming and going Sameness and otherness Right view transcends all these opposites. From there, you can practice Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, Right livelihood, Right Diligence, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. We continue now with the exercises of mindful breathing where we left off in a prior dharma talk. With the ninth through twelfth exercise, we come to the realm of the mind. The last four (13-16) are about the objects of mind with impermanence, non-craving, nirvana, and letting go. We resume the teaching on the four pairs of opposites fooled by the Three Doors of Liberation. Emptiness. Signlessness. Aimlessness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1hQ2d_RcHM&feature=share
Oct 29, 2013
Finding Our True Home Questions and Answers
1:43:44
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? How can I behave in a way so to not be a victim? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TECt3JgMrk&feature=share
Oct 17, 2013
True Love and the Four Noble Truths
1:20:39
October 14, 2013. 80-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the third dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Finding Our True Home. The Four Noble Truths. The first is ill being. What is so noble about ill being? We can find a way out through the source of ill being. From the source, you can see the making of ill being. This is the second noble truth. When you see the path that leads to ill being then you can see the path out of ill being. It is a path of joy and happiness. The path of well being. Therefore, according the teaching of interbeing we have both ill being and well being. Ill being The Making of ill being (ignoble path) Well being Path of well being (noble path) Right View. A deep insight. What exactly is Right View? It is when we are not caught by the notion of ill being and well being. Interbeing. If we look at the Diamond Sutra, we are urged to transcend the four notion. The first notion is self - in order to do so, we have to see that self is only made of non-self elements. The Four Elements of True Love. Loving Kindness. Equanimity - Non-discrimination. Joy. Compassion. How do we offer our true presence to our beloved ones? To love means to be there. Thay shares the practice of Pebble Meditation and how it relates to true love as well as the Five Mantras we can use in our relationships. Darling, I am here for you. Darling, I know you are there and it makes me happy. Darling, I know you suffer and I am here for you. Darling, I am suffering and I need your help. Darling, this is a happy moment. http://youtu.be/pkCVDE8H_WQ
Oct 15, 2013
The Noblest Aspiration is to Help People Suffer Less
1:44:42
October 13, 2013. 105-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the second dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Finding Our True Home. We begin with two chants from the monastics. Brief overview of the Four Kinds of Nutriments from yesterday's talk followed by further explanation on volition followed by consciousness. What is the ultimate concern with our lives? It is important to sit with our partner, our loved ones, to discover what this might be. How can we help each other realize our dream? Suffering is the first awareness…the first noble truth. Many don't know how to handle the pain in ourselves. We have the tendency to run away from ourselves and seek forgetfulness. In doing so, we become alienated from those around us. If we can't take care of ourselves, we cannot take care of our loved ones. Further teaching on how this might apply to a corporate leader. Maybe a new kind of volition can be born. We are losing ourselves in consumptions and the corporation is helping people run away from themselves when they could take it as their aim to help people come home to themselves. Plum Village operates without any personal telephone, personal bank account and yet happiness is possible with simple living. We don't have to consume a lot if we have enough brotherhood, sisterhood, and mutual understanding and compassion. A corporation, like Plum Village, can become a happy community. The business leader should come home to herself - that is the first step. When you take care of yourself, then you can take care of others. Deep and compassionate listening. First, we have to listen to ourselves and take care of the wounded child inside. Then we can take care of our family. Loving speech - the object of the fourth mindfulness training - can become natural if we learn how to use this type of speech. We can experience the miracle of reconciliation. Going back to ourselves, recognizing our suffering, and when we are lighter we can more easily understand the suffering in the other person, and then it is very easy to use loving speech. We provide this type of teaching at our Institute of Applied Buddhism in Europe and Hong Kong. The role of a sangha in applying these teachings. We need a sangha is very important. We can transform our corporation into a sangha as well. The employees may not only be working to get a good salary. The volition of the leader can be shared with all the members of the corporation. The noblest aspiration is to help people to suffer less. As a good corporate leader, you have to listen to the many thousands of people in your corporation. You can start small and train a small group who can learn the art of deep listening and loving speech. The political leader can do the same. Story of talking with Martin Luther King. We use the word sangha, but he used beloved community. It is the same concept. Without a sangha, the Buddha could not do too much. The same is true with a corporate leader, a school teacher, or a political leader. Civilization is going in the wrong direction because we are running away from ourselves, our families, our society, and our planet. We can help humanity to come home to themselves and move in the right direction. The fourth kind of nutriment is consciousness - individual and collection consciousness. In Buddhism we talk about store consciousness and mind consciousness - the two parts. The seeds of our store consciousness that become a mental formation in our mind consciousness. For example, the seed of compassion. The art of suffering and the transformation of suffering. The practice of selective watering - determine to only water the good seeds in yourself. We practice not to give a negative seed a chance to manifest - don't water the negative seed. If they do manifest, we try to help them return to store consciousness as quickly as pos...
Oct 14, 2013
Our Ultimate Concern
1:40:18
October 12, 2013. 100-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the first dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Finding Our True Home. We begin with two chants from the monastics. This morning we heard the Sutra on Knowing a Better Way to Live Alone. What does this mean? Is this a practice of solitude? To live alone means not to have a second person in you. Maybe an object of desire or craving. To live alone is to be completely satisfied with the here and now. There is no need to run anymore. This is the practice of aimlessness. I have arrived. Enlightenment. Happiness. Joy. They are all right here and right now. Walking meditation. What prevents us from arriving? Recognizing habit energy and why is this important. We all have habit energy that push is to do or say something. We can name it and not have to push it away using our mindfulness. We can create a new habit of mindfulness. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something - the object of our mindfulness. As we are mindful, concentration is born. Where there is mindfulness there is the beginning of concentration. And with these two energies, we can have insight. We touch our true home in every moment. Touching the present moment. We can use walking meditation to learn more about touching the present moment. The Buddha taught about four kinds of food (Nutriments) and that nothing can survive without food. Edible food is the first. We eat I'm a way to retain compassion in our heart. We can practice mindful eating to reduce the suffering in the world. The second kind is sense impressions. It's what we "eat" with our eyes, ears, nose, and mind. We have to careful what we consume in ourselves and in our society. The third is volition - the will to act. Our deepest kind of desire and can give us a lot of energy. More of an ultimate concern for our life, something meaningful. What is our volition? This can be a good nutriment or a negative nutriment. This is a topic Thay will offer to Google and other corporate leaders next week. Mindful Breathing. The first exercise of mindful breathing is awareness of our breathing, and the second is following our breathing. This brings concentration. The third is being aware of my body and the fourth we calm our body. With the fifth and sixth we get to the domain of feelings - joy and happiness. What are the conditions of happiness. The seventh is recognizing our suffering and the eighth is calming our suffering. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqXoAvZFcFo&feature=share
Oct 13, 2013
Mindfulness in Our Everyday Lives
1:58:09
September 1, 2013. 118-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 public Day of Mindfulness when approximately 1400 people came to Blue Cliff to learn about the practice. What is a dharma talk? How to listen? What is walking meditation? Our True Nature What is mindful eating? Healing our suffering Chanting (from 33-minutes to 49-minutes) Conditions of happiness Art of Suffering Understanding and compassion Effortlessness Practice of mindful breathing Joy and happiness Deep listening and loving speech Wake Up Schools What is mindfulness? Four Mantras http://youtu.be/qOK8IjP6MQ4
Sep 08, 2013
Creating Loving Relationships
1:31:21
August 30, 2013. 91-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 the final dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Transformation and Healing – The Art of Suffering. Topics How to love - Four Elements of True Love (also known as Unlimited Mind or the Four Brahma Viharas) Maitri (loving kindness) - capacity to offer well being and happiness. Karuna (compassion) - capable of removing the pain Mudita (joy) Upeksha (equanimity or inclusiveness) Continue instructiom on the exercises of mindful breathing (#9-#16) 9: Recognize every mental formations 10: make the landscape of the mind beautiful - gladdening the mind. Watering good seeds. True Diligence (four aspects) 11: concentrate our mind on the mental formation 12: liberating the mind 13: contemplating impermanence 14: contemplating non-craving 15: nirvana 16: letting go Three Doors of Liberation (emptiness, signlessness, aimlessness) http://youtu.be/lY6MfxIbtKw
Sep 01, 2013
The Art of Suffering Retreat – Question and Answer Session
1:57:17
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. Children 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? Teens 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? Adults 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? A question on depression and anxiety. http://youtu.be/WcddKkjJG9g
Aug 31, 2013
Let Freedom Ring
1:45:13
August 28, 2013. 105-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 the third dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Transformation and Healing – The Art of Suffering. Topics Today President Obama invites us to "Let Freedom Ring" on the 50th anniversary of the MLK speech at the Lincoln Memorial. How do we realize the dream of King? Thay's dream of being a student Being a bell master Establishing a meditation hall in the home Thay's dream is to build a sangha. Harmony. Sisterhood. Brotherhood. Nonviolent action and war in Vietnam MLK, Thay, and Vietnam Why self- immolation is non-violent Beloved Community = Sangha Building Building sangha in France. In exile. Mindfulness today The Four Kinds of Nutriments http://youtu.be/xqyi0hpiZrM
Aug 30, 2013
Looking Deeper into our Minds
1:41:35
August 27, 2013. 101-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 the second dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Transformation and Healing – The Art of Suffering. Topics Tea meditation - a cloud in my tea A cloud in the calligraphy Working with strong emotions Smile to our anger Mindfulness is to embrace and calm Happiness and suffering Four Noble Truths Ill being and well being Second and Fourth as Path and Nutriments Interbeing of pairs of opposites Right View Right Thinking The notion of self (Diamond Sutra) Right Mindfulness Right Concentration Right Speech Right Action http://youtu.be/bAbTMS-WEgM
Aug 29, 2013
Beginning Our Practice of Mindfulness
1:27:27
August 26, 2013. 87-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 the first dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Transformation and Healing – The Art of Suffering. We begin with two chants from the monastics. Topics Why do we want to practice breathing-in and breathing-out? We don't have to suffer and we can produce the energy of joy. First exercise of mindful breathing Walking in the kingdom is an end in itself Three Energies: Mindfulness, Concentration, Insight Second exercise of mindful breathing Third exercise of mindfulbreathing - aware of body Fourth exercise of mindful breathing - relax body Fifth exercise of mindful breathing - producing joy Sixth exercise of mindful breathing - producing happiness Seventh exercise of mindful breathing - aware of painful feeling Eighth exercise of mindful breathing - embrace painful feeling Store and mind consciousness with mental formations Teaching of The Second Arrow Five Universal Mental Formatioms (Contact, Attention , Feeling , Perception, Volition) Five Particular Mental Formations (intention, resolution, mindfulness, concentration, and insight) http://youtu.be/RVYnN8mBejY
Aug 28, 2013
Orientation to the Practice
1:48:56
August 25, 2013. 108-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 the orientation talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Transformation and Healing – The Art of Suffering. Peace, happiness, and love are skills we can learn. The art of happiness and the art of suffering. We suffer less if we learn how to suffer. With this start, we are reminded to take care of our happiness and our suffering. Following the introduction, the monastics chant the name of Avalokiteshvara. Following the chant, Thay turns the orientation over to two senior monastics who orientate the retreatants on the practice. http://youtu.be/Yo_El5mr1tY
Aug 26, 2013
True Love and the Three Doors of Liberation
1:22:38
August 16, 2013. 82 -minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the fifth dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Happy Teachers will Change the World. Topics Third Mindfulness Training - True Love Four Elements of True Love The Kingdom of God is Here and Now Nirvana is the true nature Three Doors of Liberation (Concentrations) Man is made of non-man elements - Deep Ecology Ancestors are alive Birth and death The Three Jewels Sangha http://youtu.be/Og4w_KzAdqU
Aug 25, 2013
Will Thay Sing us a Song?
1:42:59
August 15, 2013. 102-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the fourth dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Happy Teachers will Change the World. We begin with two chants from the monastics followed by a session of questions and answers. Children Will you tell us of a struggle you've had and how meditation and the bell helped you to overcome it? Recalling the dream in an earlier talk this week, how did it make you feel when the secretary said yes to you and not to the other person? Will Thay sing us a song? What made you want to become a zen master? Teens What is the difference between joy and happiness? My father causes much suffering and doesn't practice right view. I have lots of resentment I am fearful. How do I transform my suffering to peace and joy when he has hurt me so much? How did mindfulness help you in your life? How can I bring the practice to life for the ones I love without forcing it on them, especially those who have sexual misconduct or doing drugs? Adults A question about engaged Buddhism. In the list of 51 mental formations, shame is identified as a wholesome formation. Can you explain this? A question about hope. Fear and anger in society and future of human race and the planet. Another question on the future. With favorable climatic conditions ending, how do we balance kindness/mindfulness for future generations and with present people? A question about ending a relationship. What do you do when there isn't an ability to leave a toxic relationship? How do we transform if we're not strong enough in our practice? Also concerns about financial stability beyond the relationship. A question from a person who can't overcome her suffering. The pain seems insurmountable. The question comes with some question on how to continue living. http://youtu.be/sJbxMVfXr1o
Aug 25, 2013
The Tea Inside the Calligraphy
1:56:40
August 14, 2013. 118-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the third dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Happy Teachers will Change the World. We begin with two chants from the monastics. Topics The cloud in the tea Teaching on no birth, no death The tea inside the calligraphy The Four NobleTruths Interbeing - ill being and well being Nothing can survive without food The noble (eightfold) path that leads to well-being The Four Kinds of Nutriments Sutra of the Sons Flesh Right View Mental Formations - the Five particulars Being and non-being No birth and no death Right Thinking Right Speech Right Action http://youtu.be/CDGBJYenn34
Aug 23, 2013
Introducing the Four Objects of Mindfulness
1:30:54
August 13, 2013. 91-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the second dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Happy Teachers will Change the World. We begin with two chants from the monastics. Talk for children Story of a dream Thay had 20-years ago. A dream of being a young university student with a famous teacher. A music class. This is followed by a teaching on how to be a good bell master. Main Talk Topics Practicing mindfulness in a meeting Establishing space in the home for practice Slow walking to arrive Mental formations Four Objects of Mindfulness (body, feelings, mind, objects of mind) Selective watering (True Diligence) Eating meditation http://youtu.be/Fr0VxPVIy7k
Aug 22, 2013
The Way Out is In
1:16:15
August 12, 2013. 76-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the first dharma talk for the 6-day retreat with the theme Happy Teachers will Change the World. Topics Listening to the bell Releasing tension in our body with mindfulness at any time Generating joy and happiness Being aware of our conditions of happiness in the present moment The practice of mindfulness can also help us handle a painful feeling or emotion There is a deep connection between suffering and happiness Compassionate listening - mindfulness of compassion Global ethics - how to release tension, reduce pain Sixteen exercises on mindful breathing (briefly mentioned) Store and mind consciousness - seeds 51-mental formations, such as anger and mindfulness The suffering inside the school teacher and inside the student The way out is in - we must take care of ourselves first then for the other person Supporting our young people and teaching them how to love http://youtu.be/8PKbMf4FgPk
Aug 21, 2013
Opening Mindfulness Retreat for Educators
55:15
August 11, 2013. 55-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario during the 2013 Nourishing Great Togetherness teaching tour. This is the opening session of the 6-day retreat. In this short talk, the focus is on the Art of Suffering and how chanting the name of Avalokiteshvara can help open us up to our suffering. In the last segment of the talk we have a teaching on walking meditation. http://youtu.be/5VnWjHZ3lSw
Aug 20, 2013
Closing Summer Opening 2013 – You Are, Therefore I Am
1:26:25
August 2, 2013. 86-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the sixteenth talk of the summer and this is the final talk for the summer. Thay begins a 17-minute teaching for the children on no coming, no going and no sameness, no otherness. He uses a picture of himself as a teenager to illustrate sameness and otherness. Is it the same person as a picture of him today? Thay also uses the flame of a match to illustrate. Is it the same? This is the nature of things and we can see this if we meditate. The teaching of the middle way is a very deep teaching. Thay continues with the adults. The third pair of opposites is no birth, no death and the fourth is no being, no non-being. We can live with no fear if we remove these four pairs of opposites and have Right View. Removes discrimination and produces understanding and compassion.This is enlightenment. Awakening. Interbeing. You Are, Therefore I Am With Right View, we have understanding and we generate Right Speech. Speech that is filled with understanding and compassion and restore communication. Right Action - thought, speech, and behavior. With Right View we can also have Right Livelihood, Right Dligence, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration. A brief teaching on the Doors of Liberation - emptiness, signlessmees, and aimlessness. These too can help remove fear, anger, and despair. http://youtu.be/oFK8nVkfwvE
Aug 08, 2013
Staying Mindful in a Connected World
1:36:38
August 1, 2013. 96-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the fifteenth talk of the summer and it is a session of questions and answers. Children What can I do so my brother and I don't argue anymore? What can I do to not be stressed in school about time? Why did you choose to make Plum Village? How can get myself to sleep quickly when I have to get up early? If there is an to the world, is there an end to everything? Teens and Adults How do you feel when you are deep in meditation? Have you developed theories of the universe? What does it mean to be a more mindful student and what are their responsibilities to the teacher? A Japanese priest asks a question related to smiling and Japanese culture and Rinzai School. How do I combine smiling and austere Japanese culture? How can the teachings help the people of Spain where unemployment is very high and we have a political crisis? Can a person be mindful and still be "connected" to smartphones and social media? http://youtu.be/cGLAFmXFofI
Aug 07, 2013
The Buddha Has Suffered
1:58:58
July 29, 2013. 119-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the thirteenth talk of the summer. Even the Buddha was a human and suffered. In just one week we can know the art if suffering in order to generate joy and happiness. There is a usefulness to the suffering. We are always trying to run away from suffering. We use consumption to run away fr our suffering. The Buddha teaches us to do the opposite. Do you have time to look deeply at your suffering and the suffering of the other person? Can we listen to the suffering in the world and inside yourself? The chant calling the name of Avalokiteshvara is about listening to the suffering. t's energy can also heal your suffering. The monastics begin the chant at 36-minutes into recording. The main talk begins at 59-minutes. Teaching on signlessmees. We do not have a separate self. We have the practice of hearing the bell to let all our cells and ancestors to listen with us. This is deep listening. We listen as a stream and we practice for everyone. How do we practice mindfulness in our every day activities? How do we use our breath as a tool for mindfulness. How do we do walking meditation using "I have arrived. I am home." The Kingdom of God is available everyday by the practice of mindful breathing and mindful walking. Why is walking meditation important? http://youtu.be/DTgv4iPgQ2o
Aug 07, 2013
Insight of No-Self
1:30:03
July 26, 2013. 90-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the twelfth talk of the summer. The bell of mindfulness. In a short talk for children, this is something Thay wants us to bring home with us when you leave Plum Village. This can help to bring peace to the family. He then tells the story of Henry who was a math teacher in Toronto, Canada. How to be a bell master - Thay provides concise instructions for inviting the bell. The main talk begins at 31-minutes. Karma, retribution, reincarnation teachings have been around a very long time. Before the Buddha. But this is not at the heart of Buddhist teaching. It is the insight of no-self. Teaching on the actor. Impermanence. Sameness and otherness. To illustrate, we hear the story of a serial killer at the time of the Buddha who then joined the sangha. Transformation. The self is only made of non-self elements. We don't need to be dogmatic and caught by words - er can say "self" too. If you are not open then you are not Buddhist. Buddhism too is only made of non-Buddhist elements. Non-self is Interbeing. Right thinking is the element that goes along with this teaching. It has a lot of understanding and compassion. We continue with an explanation in several other aspects of the noble eightfold path. http://youtu.be/qFrQqA8XuV8
Aug 05, 2013
What is God?
1:17:33
July 25, 2013. 77-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the eleventh talk of the summer and it is a session of questions and answers. Children How can I stop worrying? When I'm angry, how do I let my anger out? What is God? Why do I suffer? What can I do to not have friends exclude me? Adults How can Buddhism help in serious illnesses? What is your teaching on reincarnation? How can you treat ... Question on love? http://youtu.be/_YFO0JufBt4
Aug 04, 2013
Third Week of Summer Opening
1:27:54
July 22, 2013. 73-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the ninth talk of the summer. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. It could be breathing, walking, or washing the dishes. It allows us to know what is happening. In our body, feelings, emotions, and perceptions. It is the energy of mindfulness is holy. Mindfulness can being you insight and enlightenment. Today we explore mindfulness of suffering and compassion. Beginning at 28-minutes, we listen to the monastics invoke the name of Avalokiteshvara to help relieve the suffering in ourselves and in the world. Editor's Note: there is some skipping during the chant, but it's still lovely to listen to. Following the chant, Thay leads the sangha through a few mindful movements. The main talk continues at 49-minutes into the recording. How to listen to the bell. The bell helps us return to our true home. Our true home is not located in space or time but it is in the present moment. How to practice walking meditation and eating meditation. Note: some skipping occurs in this talk but the essence of the teaching is available. If I can get a better recording copy, I will post again. http://youtu.be/6w-n7b4K984 http://youtu.be/sAfr0Al06dA
Jul 25, 2013
Be Yourself. Be Beautiful.
1:34:57
July 18, 2013. 95-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the seventh talk of the summer and this is a session of questions and answers. Children Why are there bad days and why are there good days? Where does the spirit go when it leaves the body? How did Thay become a monk? What is the difference between the soul and the spirit? How old do you have to be to become a monk? How can I make my mother happy when she is angry with me? Adults Do we have to forgive everything and how can we do that? A question about students and masters. If Buddhism supports the love of nature then why doesn't it support romantic love? How can I help people who have sadness and loneliness in their hearts? Question about the "be yourself. Be beautiful" verse And Mother Earth http://youtu.be/PLBYSYux6Kg
Jul 24, 2013
Meditation on the Corn Seed
1:21:19
July 16, 2013. 81-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the sixth talk of the summer and this is an English translation from the French. The recording begins with a talk for the children and then the main talk begins (at 18-minutes). Meditation on the corn seed. Meditation is having the time to look and to listen. There is knowledge in this seed and it is alive. Does the plant remember when it was a little seed? Has the corn seed died? Meditation can help us see things that other people cannot see. Looking into the corn plant we can see the seed. A teaching from the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing. The exercises of breathing are simple yet can be very profound on us. The first is recognizing. Bringing our attention to our in-breath. We can let go of our past, of our projects, etc. and we can immediately be free. Buddhism is made of three kinds of energy: mindfulness, concentration, insight. The second exercise is to follow the breath. We focus entirely on the in-breath and the out-breath. The third is awareness if body and then fourth we calm our body. The next two are giving rise to a feeling of joy and happiness. We can do this anytime. The seventh exercise is recognizing a painful feeling. Then we calm the feeling in the eighth. The art of happiness. The art of suffering. http://youtu.be/IhFARfxOFVo
Jul 22, 2013
Meditation on the Flame
1:50:12
July 19, 2013. 110-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the eighth talk of the summer. Editor's Note: This talk coming slightly out of order as I catch up on the recordings. The sixth (July 16) and seventh (July 18) talk of summer will be posted soon.  Teaching using the meditation on the flame. The flame is there but it is hidden. Maybe in the box? It is hidden by the conditions, and there are conditions that help the flame manifest. Where does the flame go? Her nature is no coming and no going. We know this with mindfulness, concentration, and insight. When conditions are no longer sufficient, the manifestation ceases to continue. The same is true for those we love. This is a very deep teaching. We continue the teaching on the Four Noble Truths. The first is dukkha, translated as ill-being/suffering. The second is the making of ill-being; how suffering is made. This is seeing the cause of our suffering. With the third, we have the cessation of ill-being. The path, or the way, leading to well-being is the the fourth. The Five Mindfulness Trainings contain this path and is called the Noble Eightfold Path that leads to healing and out of suffering. Right View Right Thinking Right Speech Right Action Right Livelihood Right Diligence Right Mindfulness Right Concentration The Noble Truths in the context of mindful consumption and the fifth mindfulness training. Nothing can survive without food. In Buddhism, we speak of Four Kinds of Nutriments. Edible Food Sense impression Volition Consciousness We've been taking mostly about the second and fourth noble truth so far. The talk continues here with looking more closely at Right View and the other elements if the path. http://youtu.be/kfRegRl6Y6M
Jul 22, 2013
Listening to the Bell and Walking Meditation
1:36:06
July 15, 2013. 96-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the fifth talk of the summer and the beginning of the second week of the retreat. Understanding suffering and listening to the chant. Invoking the name of Avalokiteshvara. The energy of compassion. Chant begins at 22-minutes followed by about 10-minutes of mindful movements. The main talk starts at 55-minutes into the recording. We begin with a 20-minute instruction on listening to the bell. How do we use the bell to practice mindfulness?. No talking and no thinking and we go back to our breathing. The bell is the voice of the Buddha. The voice of the Buddha inside. One in breath is enough to be free. One mindful breath. The bell is here to help call us back to our true home. Walking mediation  (1:17) is another foundational mediation practice. Every step is there to help you arrive in the here and the now. How can we walk on Mother Earth? Using a gatha to help us focus our concentration on walking. http://youtu.be/4fmi9J1-8E0
Jul 19, 2013
Five Fingers Living in Harmony
1:40:32
July 12, 2013. 100-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the fourth talk of the summer and this is an English translation from the French. The recording begins with four chants followed by a talk for the children (at 16-minutes) and then the main talk begins (at 28-minutes). You should plant this question in our heart. A question is a seed. It's a lesson from when Thay was a boy. In my hand are five fingers and each finger has it's name. They live in harmony. How are they a able to do that? We continue from a few day ago (July 9) when we learned about the Sutra on the Full Awareness if Breathing.  The last time we covered the first eight exercises. First we review briefly with mind and store consciousness and the role of seeds. The practitioner had to be present I recognize the mental formation. Recognize each mental formation Beautify/Gladden the mind Watering the good seeds, especially in our relationships. Maybe sign a peace and happiness treaty. How do we work with our mental formations to have a happy and healthy life? First, we try not to water the seeds of suffering.  Second, if a seed if suffering exists then we can invite a wholesome seed to manifest. Third, when a good seed is manifesting, we try to maintain the positive energy. Fourth, we try to keep the good seeds alive. This is the practice if right diligence. The art of happiness. The first aspect of the noble eightfold path is right view. The insight of interbeing acquired through meditation. This is followed by right thinking. Free of all notions. No discrimination. The third is right speech. With these we can practice loving speech and deep listening.  The Five Mindfulness Trainings are an expression of the Noble Eightfold Path.
Jul 17, 2013
Offering Beauty and Freshness
1:43:30
July 9, 2013. 103-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet of Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the second talk of the summer and this is an English translation from the French. The recording begins with two chants followed by a talk for the children (ends at 12-minutes) and then the main talk begins (begins at 33:40-minutes). What does it mean to say I love you? What is the most precious gift? We can offer beauty and freshness. Meditation can help; the meditation on flower/fresh. How do we cultivate stability? Peace in the body. Peace in the feelings. Peace in the perceptions. This is possible. Joy and happiness too. The practitioner should know how to generate these. What does it mean to cultivate? We need energy, and the first is mindfulness. The next energy, and linked to mindfulness, is concentration. And if these two are strong enough, we can bring about insight. There are 16-exercises of mindful breathing that can help is cultivate these three energies. Recognizing breath is the first exercise. Following breath is the second exercise.  The third is recognizing your body.  Calming the body is the fourth.  With the next set of exercises we move from body to the realm of feelings. Generating joy Generating happiness  Recognizing a painful feeling Calm the painful feeling Discussion and explanation of habit energy. We now move to the realm of perceptions. The five universal mental formations: contact, attention, feeling, perception, volition. What are mental formations? Mind and store consciousness along with the manifestation of seeds. Buddhist psychology. Along with five universals are the five particulars: intention, determination, mindfulness, concentration, insight.
Jul 16, 2013
Children and their Experience of Divorce
1:22:16
July 11, 2013. 82-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet in Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the third talk of the summer and it is a session of questions and answers. Children Why does the world exist? I don't understand about love because my parents got divorced and they yelled at each other. What does God look like to you? How long are you/I going to live? Teens and Adults When parents get divorced, why do they fight in front of the children and also say they love the children? I have a friend who is always unkind to me and then later he is concerned about me. Why does he do that? How can have stillness and joy? How can transform the guilt inside for my parents getting divorced? I don't know how to deal with my anger, especially when I am angry. What can I do? How do I practice with my parents/grandparents when I haven't met or seen him? A friend is on drugs. How can I deal with being overwhelmed by this person? French Television What is the meaning of prayer in Buddhism? What are the different kinds of prayer in Buddhism? What can prayer offer to humanity? http://youtu.be/3mlCgq3kpK4
Jul 12, 2013
Why do we practice walking meditation?
1:39:57
July 8, 2013. 100-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet in Plum Village during the 2013 Summer Opening. This is the first talk of the summer. Note: the brief segment at the beginning is missing. We begin with a 25-minute introduction on listening to the chant. The art of suffering. If we know how to suffer then we suffer much less. It's like an organic gardener who knows it is useful to keep the garbage in order to nourish the flowers and vegetables. Understanding suffering is very important and we can use the energy of mindfulness to take care of our suffering. This is the heart of the Buddhist teaching. The first noble truth is there is suffering. The monks and the nuns will practice chanting this morning saying the name of Avalokiteshvara. They are getting in touch with the suffering. The monks and nuns begin chanting the name Namo Avalokiteshvara from 25-minutes to 48-minutes. The main talk begins at 53-minutes into the recording. As meditation practitioners, we should know how to generate peace, happiness, and joy. We can do this while walking, sitting, eating, drinking, etc. We can train ourselves. Listening to the bell is a reminder. Being alive in the present moment. It only takes 2-3 seconds to being mind and body together. We have a 30-minute explanation of how and why we do walking meditation. If you know how to handle the present moment then we are taking care of the future. I have arrived. I am home. http://youtu.be/RNWv9biEGKY
Jul 10, 2013
Domains of Mindfulness Practice
1:52:01
June 16, 2013. 112-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. This is the final dharma talk of the German Retreat on the theme Are You Sure? We start with the three kinds of energies -- mindfulness, concentration, insight -- and they can produced anytime while doing any activity. We can see things more deeply and remove wrong perceptions. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. Concentration is the same. Four Foundations of Mindfulness - the four domains or objects of mindfulness. The first domain is body. The second domain are the feelings. The mind is the third object. The final domain is objects of mind - in Buddhist psychology there are 51 mental formations. What is object of mind? The Five Skandhas (also known as the five aggregates). We discuss store consciousness and mind consciousness. Science and Buddhism. Conventional truth and ultimate truth. Transmitter and receiver. What is emptiness? Birth and death. Being and non-being. These are just notions and can lead to wrong views. Right View, part of the noble eightfold path, is the insight that is free from all wrong views. Right Thinking is the kind of thinking that is also free of notions of birth and death, being and non-being. http://youtu.be/A6BDxkApSq0
Jul 06, 2013
Fear, Anger, and Suspicion
1:16:40
June 13, 2013. 76-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. This is the second dharma talk of the German Retreat on the theme Are You Sure? We begin with a story of being in the womb and then our birth. A moment of fear may have arrived at the moment of our first breath after being taken care if the 9-months in the womb. A second emotion arose at that moment too. Desire. Many of our other emotions were also transmitted to us by our ancestors. Obama said that "peace is possible" between Palestine and Israel. But how? Last month Thay also spoke about peace in Korea. The main issue is the amount of fear we have. With no fear, no anger, and no suspicion then we wouldn't need to use nuclear weapons. It's not the weapons. We need to remove the fear, the anger, the suspicion. This is how peace is possible. Right now, both sides are suspicious and fearfully but it has to be removed from both sides. Obama could do this in Korea but making nuclear weapons a condition of negotiation is not going to help in reducing fear. It's not that people don't want to reconcile but there is so much anger and fear. We have to reduce this fear. The American nation is also suffering and experiencing anger, fear, and despair. In 2001, Thay suggested a session of deep listening for the American people and invite those who have compassion and understanding to be present to support the listening seasons. We have to understand our own suffering. This is the same recommendation Thay have to South Korea last month. One solution is to train our leaders to reduce fear, anger, and suspicion. To call on those who know how to do these things. A retreat can be organized so people can come express their fear, their anger, their suspicion. We can practice compassionate listening and look at our block of suffering. When these emotions of anger and fear have a collective energy, it can be so dangerous and there could be a war. Compassionate listening and loving speech. Thay gives a few more examples, such as the work done by Plum Village with Israelis and Palestinians, of how to do this in our lives. Today.
Jul 05, 2013
Questions and Answers – German Retreat
1:25:09
June 15, 2013. 85-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. This is the fourth dharma talk, a session of questions and answers, of the German Retreat on the theme Are You Sure? Questions Who are we if we are not our feelings, body, perceptions, or consciousness? What is left? Is it okay to suffer and feel for my son who was paralyzed in an accident? What makes a man a man and what makes a woman a woman? Is it important to know the distinction? What should we teach our children? If there is no thinker then how can there be a doer? How do work with feelings of pain, guilt, and shame? I want to reconcile, how can I call my father if he's dead? How can you help someone who is suffering from violent emotions, especially if they can't see it themselves? http://youtu.be/Niw6Aq_L-Dg
Jul 05, 2013
Teaching on Consumption and the Fifth Training
1:27:42
June 14, 2013. 87-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. This is the third dharma talk of the German Retreat on the theme Are You Sure? Following two chants by the monastics, the talk begins at 16-minutes into the recording. One thing we can be sure of is that there is suffering in yourself and the world. From here, the Buddha built his practice and teaching. Nothing can be by itself alone, it must inter-be with something else. Suffering is the First Noble Truth. Dukkha is ill-being, but we must confirm its opposite as well. This is the Third Noble Truth - the existence of well-being. This way of thinking is the opposite of dualist of thinking and based on Interbeing. How do we explain interbeing? A further explanation of the Four Noble Truths along with a teaching on consumption in relationship to these Truths. In our community, it is the Fifth Mindfulness Training that shows a way out. Everything requires food. What are we feeding ourselves? According to the Buddha, there are Four Kinds of Nutriments. Edible food Sensory impressions Volition Consciousness http://youtu.be/Yyx42tsn0cM
Jul 03, 2013
What is Right Thinking
1:42:48
June 12, 2013. 102-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. This is the first dharma talk of the German Retreat on the theme Are You Sure? Following two chants by the monastics, the talk begins at 12-minutes into the recording.  We begin immediately with the concept of dualist thinking and Right Thinking. How do we see the interconnection between things? For example, between happiness and suffering or all the elements of a lotus flower. The lotus is made of non-lotus elements. A good gardener knows how to make good use of the mud just as a good mindfulness practitioner knows how to make good use of her suffering. The goodness of suffering. When you understand suffering then understanding and compassion arises - the foundation of happiness. From the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing, we have exercises handed down by the Buddha to help our practice with suffering. Generate a feeling of joy Generate a feeling of happiness  Recognize painful feelings  Calm down the painful feeling  Mindfulness is an energy that helps us know what is going on in our body and our feelings. How do we bring relief to our painful feelings and emotions? Three kinds of energies we should try to generate: mindfulness, concentration, and insight. Four elements of True Love and being present for those we love. Taking care of our suffering and our live we can learn to take care of the world. In the last 10-minutes, we get walking meditation instructions. http://youtu.be/3ghtXf5Djg0
Jul 02, 2013
Using our Breath brings Mindfulness
1:40:20
June 9, 2013. 100-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Dutch. This is the fifth dharma talk of the Dutch Retreat on the theme Understanding Our Emotions. We do not need to call ourselves a Buddhist to practice Buddhism. We can use practice verses, little poems, to help us with our practice. Thay shares a number of these verses for us to memorize. Mindfulness is an energy that lets us do at least two things. The first is to be there - to be truly here in the present moment. The second is to be aware of what is going on - such as your in breath. We can use mindfulness to take care of the body. In the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing, the Buddha gave a set of exercises on mindfulness of the body. Aware of my breath Follow your in breath all the way to the end To beware of your body Release the tension in the body These are simple exercises and anyone can practice. After we take care of our body, we can move on to our feelings. Generate a feeling of joy Generate a feeling of happiness Awareness of the painful feeling Calm the painful emotions After the body and the feelings, we move to taking care of the mind. In particular, working with mental formations. What is a mental formation? Thay also shares a little about the Shining Light Ceremony and how we can use this with our practice. gladdening the mind aware of mental formations concentrating the mind liberating your mind The last four exercises of the sutra have to do with the objects of mind. We conclude with teachings on birth and death, being and non-being. http://youtu.be/vo7tI2LN0TU
Jun 30, 2013
Working with our Relationships
1:31:31
June 8, 2013. 91-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Dutch. This is the fourth dharma talk, a session of questions and answers, of the Dutch Retreat on the theme Understanding Our Emotions. Following two chants by the monastics, the questions begin at 15-minutes into the recording.  Question about the Third Mindfulness Training as it relates to sexual behavior and consumption. How can we integrate and explore our sexual behavior as true love or as consumption? Another question on true love. Can true love exist between every person I meet and in every relationship even after a relationship ends? Is there something else or can I cultivate true love for every person? One of the four elements of true love is inclusiveness. How do I combine love and career choices? In my relationships, I've always had a difficult time committing and my partner doesn't feel I am there for her. What can I do? I like the statement of being able to always generate a feeling of joy. This hasn't been my experience and so I need help knowing more about generating joy. Question about the First Mindfulness Training especially in regards to compassion and relieving the suffering of animals, especially for those who are dependent on us. Is it okay to end the suffering of an animal? http://youtu.be/U-v0KGh-Q2A
Jun 29, 2013
Cultivating Brotherhood and Sisterhood
1:46:32
June 7, 2013. 106-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Dutch. This is the third dharma talk of the Dutch Retreat on the theme Understanding Our Emotions. This talk begins a few minutes into the recording and we listen to two chants from the monastic sangha. The main talk begins at 16:49 on the recording. We begin with some history on the Plum Village monastic community. Though most monastics ordain for life, we also hear about the 5-year monastic program. What is the process for becoming a monastic? There are four aspects to monastic life: to study, to practice, to work, and to play. The monastics seek to find joy in all these aspects. We cultivate brotherhood and sisterhood. If you're under forty, you may want to try monastic life in our 5-year program. So far in this retreat we have only spoken of negative and destructive emotions. But there are also constructive emotions such as lovingkindness and compassion. They are very powerful emotions that have the power to heal and transform. True love is made of four elements: Lovingkindness (maitri) - friendship. Compassion (karuna) Joy (mudita) Equanimity or inclusiveness (upeksha) On the other side we have emotions such as fear, anger, despair, and discrimination. This is the kind mud that can help grow the lotus of the four kinds of love. We can come to understand the nature of our own suffering. The Buddha has also spoken on nourishment - "Nothing can survive without food." - your love also needs to be fed or it will die. The Buddha taught on the Four Nutriments. Edible Food Sensory impressions Volition Consciousness http://youtu.be/_RePe_M02QU
Jun 28, 2013
Working with Fear
59:36
June 6, 2013. 59-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Dutch. This is the second dharma talk of the Dutch Retreat on the theme Understanding Our Emotions. Thay begins with a story of when he first came to the west to teach and shares his ideas of what he thought he would do in the west. Thay shares about when he began to ordain students and why. When we create a connection with our teacher or our sangha we can use that energy to support us. During this retreat you are invited to master your method of walking so that you can arrive in the here and the now. If you can accomplish this, you can bring this back home with you. The Kingdom of God is available in the here and now. Suffering has a role and an importance in our kingdom. Thay teaches of the goodness of suffering, just like a lotus needs the mud. We need to know how to use our suffering. A good practitioner never tries to run away from suffering. We use the energy of mindfulness to recognize and to hold our suffering. We can ask our friends to help us with this practice. This is why it's so important to have a sangha in your practice. One of the most noble things we can do is build a sangha. The sangha create a powerful energy that can heal and transform. Thay shares the story of his teaching tour at the time of 9/11 and how much fear was present in America. How do we calm down our fear? In the Buddhist tradition, there is a practice called compassionate listening. This can help people suffer less. We also have the practice of loving speech. http://youtu.be/3jQ2LvU5Je8
Jun 26, 2013
Retreat on Understanding Our Emotions
53:01
June 5, 2013. 53-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Dutch. This is the first dharma talk of the Dutch Retreat on the theme Understanding Our Emotions. Editor's Note: We had a number of technical difficulties with the recording for this talk and so portion of it are missing.  Handling emotions. Using mindfulness. Recognizing fear and anger. Using our breath and step to practice mindfulness. In Buddhist psychology, we speak of seeds. Seeds in our consciousness. What are they? Store consciousness and mental formations.
Jun 26, 2013
Healing through Reconciliation
1:07:32
June 2, 2013. 67-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbrol, Germany. The sangha has just returned from a couple of months in Asia and will be at the EIAB for a month offering retreats. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into German. This is a Day of Mindfulness. The dharma talk is rain that can penetrate into the soul of our mind. Our mind is a garden with many good seeds within it. Seeds of happiness and compassion. The dharma talk is not a set of ideas to get and keep but is a rain that can let the good seeds sprout. To allow these seeds to spring up. With mindfulness, we can create a feeling of joy and happiness. It is simple and easy. We just need to pay attention to our breath. We just need to pay attention to every step we take. It only takes 2-3 seconds to see that you are alive. The first enlightenment is that you are alive! You can become a free person. How do we become aware of our body? How do we become aware of our feelings? Mindfulness functions to recognize and embrace. And the energy of mindfulness carries with it the energy of concentration and insight. How does this work with love an reconciliation? Mindfulness of compassion, especially in regards to listening. Thay gives instruction and application of walking meditation and eating meditation http://youtu.be/njotrAyqxGE
Jun 20, 2013
Happiness is the Way
1:09:45
May 27, 2013. 69-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Hong Kong Coliseum. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Chinese. This is the Public Talk. Thay has a few questions to ask the audience and the questions might touch something very deep in you and provide you with insight to see the way to go. Allow the question to penetrate into your heart. Are you in love?  Are you still in love?  Do you want to reconnect with the person you used to love?  Do you think that he or she is happier than you are now?  Do you have the time for each other or are you both to busy?  Have you been able to preserve your freshness and beauty for yourself and for the other person?  Are you capable to offer him or her freshness and beauty everyday?  Do you know how to handle the suffering within yourself?  Are you able to help handle the suffering in the other person?  Do you understand your own suffering and the roots of that suffering?  Are you able to understand the suffering in the other person?  Do you have the capacity to help the other person suffer less?  Have you learned the way to calm down your painful feelings and emotions?  Do you have the time to listen to yourself, your suffering, your difficulties, and your deepest desire?  Do you have the time to listen to him or her and help him or her to suffer less?  Do you know the Buddhist way of restoring communication and bringing about reconciliation?  Are you capable of creating a feeling of joy and happiness for yourself?  Are you capable of helping the other person to create a feeling of joy and happiness?  Do you really think you have a clear spiritual path to go?  Do you have the feeling of peace and contentment within yourself?  Do you know to nourish your love everyday?  Have you ever met a person who is truly happy?  During the most recent retreat at the YMCA camp in Hong Kong, we learned about walking meditation. How can we arrive with every step in the here and the now. We also learned how to breatha and sit in order to transform our suffering. In order to understand and recognize the suffering in ourselves and the other person. We only need a short time of practice to gain understanding. What is compassionate listening and loving speech? How can we create reconciliation? Making the Five Precepts relevant to our time. The precepts and noble eightfold path are based on the insight of Right View and allow you to transcend all discrimination. The first training is protecting life. The second is about true happiness. Next we have true love. We've already touched on deep listening and loving speech, the subject of the fourth. The last training is about consumption. We cover the Four Kinds of Nutriments. http://youtu.be/VUFlhkcUdgg
Jun 19, 2013
To Connect
1:26:26
May 26, 2013. 86-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Hong Kong. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Chinese. The theme of the retreat is Happiness is the Way. How do we connect with the Buddha? How do we bow to the Buddha? Emptiness. Right View is the ultimate aim of practice. To gain insight into Interbeing and emptiness. What is emptiness? How does this help us remove anger and discrimination? Concentration allows us to discover this insight. These three practices (samadhi) to Right View are available in all Buddhist traditions. Emptiness. Signlessness. Aimlessness. These are the Three Doors of Liberation. Mindfulness. Concentration. Insight. A good practitioner can generate these three kinds of energy. If we practice, we can produce Right Thinking and the Noble Eightfold Path. We are free of the notions of being and non-being. We hear the story of Anapindika when he was dying and how Sariputra helped him understand no birth and no death. http://youtu.be/qXObHuighQ8
Jun 18, 2013
To Meditate is to Look Deeply
1:27:02
May 25, 2013. 87-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Hong Kong. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Chinese. The theme of the retreat is Happiness is the Way. To meditate is having the time is to look deeply. We first take the body. This is the object of our meditation. Mindfulness of body. We review briefly the realms of  the exercises on breathing: Breath, Feelings, and Mind. The focus of the talk is on the mind. We start with the concept of mental formations. How do we work with and identify our mental formations. To meditate also means we sit at the river of mental formations and recognize each as they go by. What is store consciousness and mind consciousness? We can water the good seeds in our consciousness. Let us vow to water the good seeds in ourselves and in the other person. The practice of selective watering. The practice of Right Diligence. This brings us through the for ten exercises from the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Mindful Breathing. There are six more but we'll continue another day. The talk shifts to the Fifth Mindfulness Training (35-m) on consumption. The Sutra on the Flesh of the Son illustrates consumption. It speaks on four kinds of Nutriments. The first is edible food. The second is sensory impressions. How do we consume media, products, etc. The third is volition. What is your deepest desire? The fourth food is consciousness. The teaching of Interbeing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pz2TG6SnAE
Jun 16, 2013
The Other Person
1:24:18
May 24, 2013. 84-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Hong Kong. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Chinese. The theme of the retreat is Happiness is the Way. Thay has a few questions to ask the audience and the questions might touch something very deep in you. It is about the "the other person" in your life. Are you in love? Are you still in love? Do you want to reconnect with the person you used to love? Do you think that he or she is happier than you are now? Do you have the time for each other or are you both to busy? Have you been able to preserve your freshness and beauty for yourself and for the other person? Are you capable to offer him or her freshness and beauty everyday? Do you know how to handle the suffering in yourself? Are you able to help handle the suffering in the other person? Do you understand your own suffering and the roots of that suffering? Are you able to understand the suffering in the other person? Do you have the capacity to help the other person suffer less? Have you learned the way to calm down the painful feelings and emotions? Do you have the time to listen to yourself, your suffering, your difficulties, and your deepest desire? Do you have the time to listen to him or her and help him or her to suffer less? Do you know the Buddhist way of restoring communication and bringing reconciliation? Are you capable of creating a feeling of joy and happiness for yourself? Are you capable of helping the other person to create a feeling of joy and happiness? Do you really think you have a clear spiritual path to go? Do you have the feeling of peace and contentment within yourself? Do you know to nourish your love everyday? It is possible to create a meditation hall on a bus or train and then use the time to nourish and heal yourself. You can use the exercises from the Anapanasati Sutta. The first exercise is to become aware of your in-breath and your out-breath. We can cultivate energy to help heal and nourish. The first energy is mindfulness. This energy can be cultivated with just one in-breath. The second energy we can generate during breathing is concentration. The third energy is insight. This is a kind of vision/wisdom that will help liberate you from suffering. This is enlightenment itself - it can come in just a few seconds! To be alive is a true wonder, a true miracle. I am alive. Stop the thinking. Enjoy breathing. The second exercise is to follow your in-breath and your out-breath all the way through. With the third exercise, you become aware that you have a body. Next we calm our body and release the tension and restore peace. Even if we only have a few minutes, we can use these exercises to restore ourselves. Generating joy is the fifth exercise. Next we become aware of the painful emotion that in us - we don't try to run away from our pain. From here we calm down the pain. Understanding suffering always bring compassion. We can restore communication with the other person and end suffering. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj5nXgJXnpg
Jun 12, 2013
Vesak Talk in Hong Kong
32:20
May 19, 2013. 32-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the Lotus Pond Temple in Hong Kong. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Chinese. This is a Day of Mindfulness celebrating vesak. Birth story of Siddhartha and the relationships in the family that effected his birth. Siddhartha left shortly after the birth of Rahula, his own son, in her to search for the way. He was doing that for all of us - his father, his mother, his country. When you become a monk or a nun, you do so for more than just yourself. He found a way to reduce tension in his body, to calm down his feelings,  to see the deep roots of suffering in himself and other people, found a way to restore communication, and most importantly the nature of no-birth and no-death. Today we celebrate Siddhartha's birth. The Buddha saw that happiness is possible and it's made of understanding and love. It only takes a short time to learn this path. We can learn to release the tension in our body, to calm our painful feeling and emotions, to learn how to generate a feeling of joy and happiness, and to understand the suffering in oneself and in the other person. We can use the Sutra on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing. Shakyamuni is a Teacher and not a God. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ46T_OvmLw
Jun 10, 2013
Cultivating Peace and Happiness in School
1:02:11
May 18, 2013. 62-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from the Hong Kong Institute of Education. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Chinese. This is a Day of Mindfulness for educators and students. There are a few practices a teacher can use in order to bring happiness to herself and the classroom. Mindful breathing and the energy of mindfulness. The pure land is here and now … you don't have to wait until you die. Joy and happiness are possible in the present moment. A good teacher knows how to take care of himself. Harmony is possible in herself. If we practice mindful breathing and mindful walking then we can create joy and happiness whenever you want. The language of loving speech. The story of Henry who was a mathematics school teacher in Toronto who transformed himself and his classroom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlLUfytQ2YY
Jun 10, 2013
Public Talk in Bangkok
1:56:36
April 9, 2013. 116-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Paragon in Bangkok, Thailand. The sangha is on the spring Asian Tour and this talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Thai. We begin with an introduction to listening to the chant by Thich Nhat Hanh. How do we have the capacity to listen that can lead to understanding? How can we get in touch with the suffering of the other person? We hear the monastics chant the name of Avalokiteshvara at 18-minutes. The main talk begins at 38-minutes. When we hear the bell, we stop thinking and allow our body to relax. The theme for the talk is how to suffer less, how to create happiness in our daily lives. What is happiness? Do we have time to love and take care of our beloved ones? Do I have the capacity to love? What can we offer those who we love? To love is to be there. Using the Sutra on the Full Awarness of Mindful Breathing to cultivate love. Walking to arrive in the present. How should we walk? What other daily activities can we do with mindfulness? Can you see the many conditions of happiness? Editor's Note: the very end of the talk is cutoff in the recording. We apologize for this error. 
Apr 18, 2013
Thoughts of Compassion
1:56:20
April 8, 2013. 116-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Mahachulalungkornrajavidyalaya University in Bangkok, Thailand. The sangha is in the 5-Day Applied Ethics Retreat as part of the spring Asian Tour. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Thai. This is the final talk of the retreat. How do we apply the dharma into our daily lives? What is Applied Buddhism? In the last five years we have been trying to offer the teachings in non-Buddhist circles through classes in Europe and Hong Kong. We have now started to use the term Applied Ethics. This means translating Buddhism into a secular language. Today we will spend time on the teachings of Applied Ethics. Thay reads a question from one of the attendees about deep listening. The story of family in deep sadness and exists in silence but lives in the same house. Teaching on the Four Noble Truths. What is suffering? How can we live simply and build brotherhood and sisterhood? Practicing with Right View can relieve the suffering. What do we mean by right view? Birth and death. What are our ideas about birth and death? What is being and non-being? Illustrations of a cloud and a flower. Interbeing allows us to transcend these notions. Applied ethics is to apply more beauty, more solidity. Nirvana. Karma. Sangha. Every time you have a thought of compassion or understanding, you should write it down.
Apr 14, 2013
How Do We Practice?
1:26:59
April 7, 2013. 86-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Mahachulalungkornrajavidyalaya University in Bangkok, Thailand. The sangha is in the 5-Day Applied Ethics Retreat as part of the spring Asian Tour. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Thai. Today is a session of questions and answers. The questions When practicing deep listening and the other person uses words that hurt themselves and others then what should we do? How do I use skillful means and loving speech when the other person uses derogatory  speech in regards to women and people of color. With the hill tribes, they need to kill animals and cut the trees in order to survive. How to help transform their way of life that isn't so harmful? How to work with schools that have rules and don't allow applying mindfulness into the school environment? How do I practice when there is suffering in my life, in my students lives, and in my parents lives? When I practice, something happens for transformation but it doesn't always stay and I feel discouraged. How can I keep the transformation? Living in a busy city it's challenging to apply the mindfulness practices we learn here. Can you help? How do we practice reconciliation for children who have been abused by their parents? The session concludes with an explanation of the Five Mindfulness Trainings.
Apr 09, 2013
Ambassador of the Buddha
1:32:58
April 6, 2013. 92-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Mahachulalungkornrajavidyalaya University in Bangkok, Thailand. The sangha is in the 5-Day Applied Ethics Retreat as part of the spring Asian Tour. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Thai. This is the second talk. Inviting the bell. The bell is the ambassador of the buddha to our home. How do we use the bell in our home? How do we listen to the bell? We can use the sound to calm our feelings. Using a breathing room along with the bell in your home environment. Listening and using the bell has been of great help to many families. The story of Henry and his transformation of using mindfulness in the classroom. How he enjoys his class and his students. The whole school benefited from his incorporation of mindfulness. He wrote a book and became a dharma teacher. How do we help the students suffer less? Compassionate listening and loving speech. Transform our classroom into a family, into a sangha. No Buddhist terms are needed. Then you can build a sangha of teachers. Using loving speech is a tool for teachers. How do we listen?
Apr 09, 2013
Happy Teachers will Change the World
1:59:06
April 5, 2013. 120-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Mahachulalungkornrajavidyalaya University in Bangkok, Thailand. The sangha is in the 5-Day Applied Ethics Retreat as part of the spring Asian Tour. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Thai. This is the first talk. The Buddha was a happy teacher and that's how he was able to help others. If we are not happy teachers then it will be difficult to help out students. How can we offer happiness? Do you have happiness to offer? Do you have happiness and love in yourself? What is the best thing we can offer a person we love? The first mantra is "Darling, I am here for you." That shares about people meditation and how the sangha has used it for teaching children about the practice. Flower | Fresh. Mountain | Solid. Water | Reflecting. Space | Freedom. The practice of Buddhism can be seen in two aspects. First, we learn how to suffer. If you know how to suffer then you suffer much less by making good use of your suffering. Happiness is made of non-happiness elements. Suffering is a non-happiness element.  The second aspect of the practice is learning how to create moments of happiness. With this we can transform our anger and fear. A good school teacher should know how to take care of themselves. Teachers taking care of themselves and is comprised of five elements (Skandhas): Body. Feelings. Perceptions. Mental formations. Consciousness.  We can learn to improve the quality of these five elements. How do we do this?  We begin with the body and the feelings. A school teacher can then create a moment of happiness for her students. How we can identify and cultivate moments of happiness for our students? How can we help the young person who is suffering?
Apr 08, 2013
Orientation for Applied Ethics Retreat
1:56:09
April 4, 2013. 116-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh, Brother Phap Dung, and Sr. Tue Nghiem from Mahachulalungkornrajavidyalaya University in Bangkok, Thailand. The sangha is in the 5-Day Applied Ethics Retreat as part of the spring Asian Tour. The talk is given in English with consecutive translation into Thai. We begin with an introduction to listening to the chant by Thich Nhat Hanh. How do we move from mindfulness of suffering to mindfulness of compassion leading to our transformation and healing? We hear the monastics chant the name of Avalokiteshvara at 14-minutes. The main talk by Thich Nhat Hanh begins at 36-minutes. Happy teachers will change the world. What to do when we hear the bell? How will it help our breathing? Being established on the present moment. Gives us the power to heal. What is walking meditation? Why do we practice walking? Beginning at 60-minutes two monastics, Brother Phap Dung and Sister Tue Nghiem, teach about the breathing practice, sitting practice, eating practice, and noble silence practice.
Apr 06, 2013
Create a Moment of Happiness
45:13
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.
Mar 11, 2013
Keeping the Essential Teaching of Buddhism
1:31:04
February 3, 2013. 91-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-sixth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. It is the final talk of the winter retreat. Are we the soulmate of the Buddha? We are asking if we are making any mistakes about the teaching. Are we misunderstanding the Buddha? We've learned about dualistic thinking. And we've learned about the unnecessary questions. How do we practice with the Dharma body? The teaching? Everyone can practice like the Buddha. Everyone can be enlightened. It is not a religion. The teaching of the Buddha non-dualistic. Even right from the beginning Buddhism split into two schools. The misperception started right from the beginning. Again, what is being the soulmate of the Buddha? How do we keep the essential teaching and also the delusion? What happens if we diefy the Buddha, then what happens? We can get lost in the idea of self. Discovering the middle way. Sometimes we need to dilute Buddhism a little without forgetting the essential teaching. Signlessness. Seeing the Buddha in others and other things. The Buddha is next to you. Open your eyes. The Buddha is still there if we practice signlessness. Your self is transforming every day.
Feb 21, 2013
Universal Monarch
1:23:57
January 31, 2013. 83-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-fifth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. We begin with an outline of the next few weeks at Plum Village. Following the winter retreat, the sangha will celebrate the lunar new year for four days. After the lunar new year, there will be a monastic retreat which concludes with a monastic lamp transmission ceremony in which our lay friends are welcome to attend. During the monastic retreat, all monastics will stay at Upper Hamlet and our lay friends will stay at other hamlets. We are fortunate to have the monastics from Germany and Paris join us for the monastic retreat. The lamp transmission ceremony will take place on February 21. Last week we learned the sutra on the white clad disciple. We should practice the five trainings and the four recollection To be on the path of enlightenment. There is also something called the five powers. This is very helpful for the businessman or the politician. The first power is faith. The others are diligence, mindfulness, concentration, and Generosity. Thay talks about sutra called the Universal Ruler or Monarch and the seven treasures. Ruling with the Dharma. The story of a couple of kings is shared. King Ashoka. King Milanda. Kanishka. We also listen to the transition from tribal society to Monarch society to democracy. Polytheism and monotheism. We conclude with the story from the Sutra Agama #2.
Feb 14, 2013
Nirvana Walking
1:16:29
January 27, 2013. 76-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-fourth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. In first 17-minutes, we arr reminded how to be in touch with yourself. Through walking meditation and no thinking. When we walk, we walk relaxingly and solidly. Every step is solid and every step is freedom. And with Freedom you can arrive in Nirvana. Nirvana is extinction of all the affliction. Walking meditation can be very profound. Three Dharma Seals. Impermanence. No self. Nirvana. The island of self. There is no way to Nirvana,  nirvana is the way. At 45-minutes, we look at the Four Noble truths and noble eight fold path. The five mindfulness trainings are a concrete manifestation of this path to Nirvana. What are the five mindfulness Trainings? Includes a discussion of the four Kinds of nutriments.
Feb 11, 2013
The White Clad Disciple
1:07:41
January 24, 2013. 67-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-third dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. We continue the teaching from the sutra on the white clad disciple - Upasaka Sutra, Madhyama Agama 128. The second Sutra we are learning is he teaching for those who are sick or those who are dying - Ekottara Agama 1.1, 8 (in consultation with Majjhima Nikaya 143 and Madhyama Agama 26). Both these texts are available in the Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book. The laypeople only need to learn two teachings and they will be happy living in this very moment. The first is the five mindfulness training. And the second is the four recollections. How do we skillfully practice? Dwelling happily in the present.
Feb 05, 2013
A Story of Anathapindika
1:31:22
January 20, 2013. 91-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-second dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. We begin with Thay's experience being interviewed by a journalist from The Guardian. The topic is about taking care of the environment and the role of business people. We also learn about happiness and how to write something for the reader to support this intention of happiness. To help the business person to breathe and discover happiness. Maybe we can even have the business leader to lead total relaxation. You can read the article here. In the time of the Buddha, a number of businessmen came to see the Buddha. One is Anathapindika. The Buddha started to give teachings specifically for the lay practitioner compared to the teachings he gave to the monastics. Back to the line of Zorro. The line at the top is the historical dimension and the bottom line is the ultimate dimension. We travel from historical to ultimate. You can reach the ultimate dimension in this life. We can see the Four Noble Truths, quantum physics. Subject and object of perceptions. What is in your mind may be different from person to person. Each person has a different consciousness about what we see and what we experience. More on the friendship of Anathapindika and Shariputra. Sutra on the White Clad Disciple. We can teach lay people. How to be happy in the present moment and be the holy disciple. Another sutra we discuss is one the guide for those who are dying. It's about Sariputra helping Anathapindika to die happily.
Jan 31, 2013
The Story of King Ajatashatru
1:27:31
January 17, 2013. 87-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twenty-first dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. Thay shares that he has written a document with all the teachings from the winter retreat. At the end of Winter Retreat we can distribute. The focus has been mistakes that have been made about Buddhism. We hear story of Siddhartha from before he was enlightened. King Bimbisara was impressed with him and wanted him to be the Teacher for the whole nation. Siddhartha said no because he wasn't enlightened yet. Later, when he was enlightened, he want back to the King at the time when King Bimbisara's son was trying to take away his power. There was some mental sickness in his son, and later King, Ajatashatru. This is the story we hear that is found in the Samaññaphala Sutta, The Fruit of Contemplative Life Discourse. What is the life of a monastic? What is the freedom of a monastic. At 43-minutes we continue with sutra study that has been the focus of the winter retreat. What happens when we pass away? Everyone always wants to know and there are lots of theories. Nihilism versus enternalism. The truth must be beyond these mental categories. What is no birth and no death? Impermanence and the middle way. The one who acts and the one who receives are not the same, but not different either. This is the deep looking at impermanence and see the pairs of opposites. We also hear about the time of Lê Dynasty in Vietnam. Even some scientists have discovered this teaching of no birth and no death. We can transcend these mental categories of placing everything into boxes. When you see that, you can live free and happy in your daily life.
Jan 22, 2013
Unanswered Questions
1:57:19
January 13, 2013. 117-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twentieth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. Here in Plum Village, when we walk, we don't talk and we stop thinking. We bring our breathing and our step into the present moment. Concentrate in a relaxing manner. We can use walking as a bell of mindfulness. How can we practice eating meditation? We turn off the TV, including the TV in your mind. We can use the Five Contemplations to help practice. Thay reviews the traditional contemplation and compares to the modern version. Four Kinds of Nutriments. How do we help outr mind? What to do with negative thought? What is volition? At 70-minutes, we turn to our ongoing sutra study. My teaching is to touch your suffering and transform your suffering. It is not an intellectual exercise. The Buddha only shared a few practical ideas to heal. There are some questions refused to answer. What are they? The Buddha taught two things on many sutras. Non-self. Impermanence.
Jan 17, 2013
The Self is Ever Changing
1:46:08
January 10, 2013. 106-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the nineteenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. In our practice of Touching the Earth today, we practiced with the Three Jewels. There is the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. What does this mean? Comparison with the Trinity in Christianity. Do you know how to love? Do you know how to understand? What is the guideline for looking deeply so we can love and understand? What are the elements of a sangha? What can you do to start a sangha? Why is a sangha important? At 40-minutes we begin the sutra study. What is a seperate self? The self is ever changing. We have the illusion that it's the same. No sameness. No otherness. It's the middle way. What is conventional designation? Formation and samskara. You Are, So I Am. Discusses sutra in light of Spinoza, a Dutch philosopher. In the relative world there is birth, becoming, action, and formation. The teaching of interacting is the teaching of no-self. Thay explores this within the context of early Buddhism and the development of the teaching.
Jan 14, 2013
Joy in Resting and Sitting
1:28:16
January 6, 2013. 88-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the eighteenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in Vietnamese and this is a translation provided by Sr. Chan Không. Editorial Note: the recording is currently missing the first part of the talk (not much); if I am able to secure a complete file then I will repost.  The joy of sitting and resting. When you sit down and you know how to harmonize your body and breath, you can have nirvana. Walking for ourselves, our ancestors, our nation. Every step is healing. Every step is nourishing. Taking care of the earth. Thay tells a few stories of astronauts. Earth gazing and seeing that the earth is alive. We learn a walking gatha. At about 48-minutes, we transition to sutra study. Upadi means caught or grasping. It means here grasping an object of your observation. Your Five Skandhas. Set them free. It's not the five Skandhas that are wrong, but it is the grasping.
Jan 09, 2013
Many Pairs of Opposites
1:50:24
January 3, 2013. 110-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the seventeenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk is given in English and we begin with a chant. There ia a sutra on the contemplation of the body and the body is a big subject of meditation. There is much suffering and misery in this world and some people want to get out of this world. Is there a way to get out of the world of suffering and misery by looking into your body? We can see the four elements - water, air, earth, and heat - in our body. There are six sense organs that can produce the six consciousnesses. When you look into the body deeply, you can see it is a community. Can you see all our ancestors by looking into the body? Is there a self? If we heal ourselves, we can heal our ancestors. We don't just practice for ourselves, we practice for all our ancestors. Our body is a treasure and we should take care of our body. There is a Buddha in the body. How do we practice? The dharma and the sangha. We organize a "resistance" to keep our practice alive. At about 30-minutes into the recording, we continue with the subject matter for the Winter Retreat. Pairs of opposites. We hear a teaching on the concepts of birth and death, being and non-being, ultimate and conventional truth, sameness and otherness. Interbeing and the path leading us to the ultimate truth. Everything is a formation, a conditioned dharma. Samsara and nirvana. You may wish to review the video, Thay wrote on the board quite a bit for this segment of the talk. There is a way a path to this wisdom of adaptation.
Jan 05, 2013
Home is the Way
2:00:52
December 31, 2012. 120-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village in English. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat) and this is the special New Years Eve dharma talk (and the sixteenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha?). Dear friends, please smile. You are online. How do we go home? Home is in the hear and the now. It is the practice of healing. Every step is healing. Every breath is healing. Nirvana is available in the here and now. Nirvana is cooling down. Cooling the fire of fear, afflictions, and wrong views. This is the Third Noble Truth. We do not need to die in order to touch nirvana. Nirvana is a state of no heat. We use the noble eightfold path. How do see the path? We need our six sense organs and our mind to experience nirvana. The Five Mindfulness Trainings help us experience the path. Right View. Notions of being and non-being. Notions of birth and death. Right Mindfulness. This allows you to be fully alive. It is an art of living.
Jan 04, 2013
Nirvana and Samsara
1:25:45
December 27, 2012. Dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat) and this is the the fifteenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in French and this is the English translation. What does it mean to have a spiritual dimension in our life? Why is it important for daily life? The Four Noble Truths and the path in the second versus the path in the fourth. Two paths to choose. To well being or to ill being. We in Plum Village look at these two paths with the eyes of Interbeing. What creates suffering? How do we take care of our suffering? The path leading to awakening. How and how much time does it take to reach enlightenment? Enlightenment is available in every moment. There is no way to enlightenment, enlightenment is the way. This is the teaching of Interbeing. Love and reconciliation. What is nirvana? Is nirvana possible? What is the relationship to samsara? The Buddha taught the Three Dharma Seals. All formations are impermanent. All things are without self. Nirvana
Jan 02, 2013
Just Walk and Heal
1:58:52
December 24, 2012. 118-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat) and this is the special Christmas Eve dharma talk (and the fourteenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha?) Begin with a teaching on listening to the chant. Learning to recognize our own suffering and the suffering of the other person. We can then generate compassion. The monastics then chant the name Namo 'valokiteshvaraya. The practice of going home is a very deep practice. We need the energy of mindfulness. We don't need a plane or train ticket to go home. There is a station - Radio NST - (non-stop thinking) and this doesn't help us arrive home. Walking and breathing allow us to arrive. The more you are mindful and concentratesd the more pleasant. Help you stop the thinking and the worrying. Just walk and heal. "I have arrived. I am home." This is the best dharma talk we have in Plum Village. We do not have to force ourselves to breathe or to walk. It can be really pleasant. There is no way home, home is the way. The Buddha taught about the island of self. Loneliness is an illusion. It is a wrong perception. Every breath and every step can help us see this. The teaching on "going home" is very strong. Thay explores the living Christ. We reflect of the birth of Jesus into this world as the son of man. Did he exist before this time? What do we mean by birth? Science and Buddhism. Matter and energy. Nothing is born. Nothing dies. Our true nature is of no birth and no death. This is the ultimate truth. There is no being, no non-being, only Interbeing. When we celebrate the birth of Christ, we can look deeply into this teaching of no birth and no death.
Dec 28, 2012
Four Questions for the Tathágata
1:35:02
December 20, 2012. 95-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the thirteenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. Dhyana is a concentration and it is a practice. Touching the Earth practice - when your five body parts the earth, we also touch with the many lineages and steams of life from before us. We do not have a separate self; not an individual self. We can bring all these lineages to make a great vow. There are four main questions the Buddha didn't answer because he said it was not necessary. The Tathágata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does and does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death? Next we have a teaching from the sutra Anuradha. No birth. No existing. No becoming. No formation. What dies this mean to us as practitioners? In Buddhism there is the teaching of samsara and karma. We have also learned about retribution. But these three existed before the Buddha and he used them anyway and expanded upon these teachings to talk about no self. Right view doesn't allow an answer about eternalism and nihilism. The wisdom of adaptation. A review of the twelve links teaching.
Dec 24, 2012
Arriving Home is Truly Enough
1:28:40
December 16, 2012. 88-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the twelfth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. Go home and heal yourself. Where is your home? Only there any heal yourself. To some extent, we all have a sickness. We need to totally bring ourselves into the present moment with everything that we are doing. It is a training And we do it together with our community and our ancestors. We can touch the ultimate dimension. Arriving home is truly enough. At 23-minutes we resume the sutra study and commentary. Dharma seal. The criterion for the teachings of the Buddha. Impermanence. No self. Nirvana. What is the road from relative truth to ultimate truth? There are a number of Buddhists who are obsessed by the idea that impermanence is suffering. Life is suffering. So many have used "suffering" as the third dharma seal. But we need to remember also that if there is suffering, there must also be happiness. See the Chanda Sutra, #262 that clearly says nirvana is the third dharma seal. Why is impermanence important? This too is related with the 12 links. Thay highlights a few errors from the sutras and provides a new teaching that better reflects the true teaching. We also cover Agama #293.
Dec 21, 2012
The Act of Sitting Down is a Revolution
1:35:58
December 13, 2012. 95-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the eleventh dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? After chanting, the dharma begins at 9-minutes into the recording. Loneliness is the ill being of our time. How can we return home? We have all these technology devices that help us stay connected and yet we still feel lonely. We have tried to use technology to dissipate our feelings of loneliness. But it has not worked. How can we connect with ourselves? How can we heal ourselves and heal society? Technology devices are not the answer. You don't need an iPhone. The way out is the way in. Be an island unto yourself. The practice of going home is especially important during the Christmas season to heal ourselves and to heal the world. We now resume the sutra commentary at 29-minutes. Formation is a technical Buddhist term to describe everything. Everything is a formation. Sometimes also called dharma. Do formations have their own nature; something that is permanent? No being and no nonbeing. No actor and no receiver. No formation. This teaching can be found in multiple sutras. From From this we can have the base of the nidanas. Co-arising. Is there Samsara? Thay gives a full teaching on the 12 nidanas. Download
Dec 17, 2012
Two Hands Clapping
1:50:07
December 9, 2012. 110-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the tenth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. In the first 40-minutes of the dharma talk, the focus is arriving in your True Home. What is our true home? What are the instructions to arrive? What is the island of self? Following the instruction on coming home, we turn to a series of sutra commentaries. We begins with Agama #273 and another sutra (didn't get the name) chapter Two, Sutra #17-19. Topics include the six bases, eighteen realms, and the twelve links of co-arising. Download
Dec 16, 2012
What is dualism and nirvana?
1:45:08
December 6, 2012. 105-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the ninth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. When we speak of spirituality, people often think I the east. And when speaking of science, people think of the west. Today these two ideas can come together. Even Christianity is from the east and has non-dualistic elements. In the first half of the dharma talk today, Thay answers the following questions: What is dualistic/non-dualistic thinking? What is nirvana? About an hour into the recording, the teaching shifts into the sutra commentary as it relates to the twelve links of co-arising, the ultimate dimension, teaching on non-action, and the prajnaparamitas. Download
Dec 11, 2012
Enjoying the Space Outer Space
1:22:05
December 2, 2012. 82-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the eighth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. Walking. Using the power and concentration of walking meditation. Not thinking. Entrust your problems to your store conciousness. There is a lot of wisdom there from all the generations before you. What is collective consciousness? Store conciousness? How so you feed your conciousness? At 23-minutes, we begin the sutra commentary. Enjoying the Space Outer Space. Touching the freedom in the present moment, this is the outer space. Also, it is sometimes called the sutra of Nirvana. Gatha #13. Formation is conditioned things. Condition and conditioned. The act and actor. According to the wisdom of the Buddha, you can see that you can't have the action without the actor. What is the view that transcends all notions? This isn't nihilism. Download 20121202 from Plum Village Online Monastery on Vimeo.
Dec 07, 2012
A New Teaching on the Twelve Nidanas
1:55:13
November 29, 2012. 115-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the seventh dharma talk of the retreat with the theme  Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? We begin with chanting. The Buddha has spoken about Mother Earth as patience and equanimity. The two great virtues of the planet earth. Our society is very sick and many of us need healing. Our body and mind have lots of poisons. We don't know how to consume. But Mother Earth has the capacity to heal herself and can help us if we know how to take refuge in her.  She is not in a hurry. When we walk, we can be aware that the earth is holding our steps. Mother Earth is also inside of us. Walking meditation is one of the ways to heal and allow the earth to be in us and around us. We are the earth. Allow it to happen by itself; we don't make the breathing in/out happen. We just enjoy the in/out breath. Mother Earth is a great bodhisattva.The healing begins when you are not trying anything. The practice of non-practice. Thay summarizes the November 25 talk into English due to challenges with the translation in that talk. There is a dimension of reality called the historical dimension. In the historical dimension we see things as separate - father is outside of the son. This is classical science as applied by Newton. But now we have  another kind of science that goes deeper; it has discovered a new kind of truth. This is represented by quantum physics. It seems to contradict the truth found in historical dimension. In meditation there are also two kinds of truth: the conventional truth and the ultimate truth. There is path that can lead us from historical to ultimate. The Buddha taught, "This is because that is." This is the teaching of "genesis" in Buddhism. In Plum Village we use a sheet of paper to illustrate this teaching. So simple. Everything can be looked at in this way. It is the best practice of meditation because it can connect us with the ultimate truth.The Buddha used the notions of historical dimension to lead us to the ultimate. This was skillful means to helps us to release notions and concepts. The teaching of co-arising / inter-arising. In the ultimate dimension, we use words like Emptiness. This is the equivalent to God. It is the ultimate. It is the absence of notions and concepts. The teaching of interbeing - nothing by itself can be alone. Helps you to be connected to emptiness. This is because that is. Rebirth is possible without a self. Karma is possible without a self. Retribution is possible without a self. Many Buddhists still believe you need a "self" but this is a deluded belief. This is because of influences from pre-Buddhist teachings. Even for many people in the west, the first thing they think of in Buddhism is reincarnation. This is not the "cream" of Buddhism. The deep teaching is interbeing. No-self.  The wisdom of adaptation. To connect with emptiness. The teachings of the twelve links seem more at explain samsara rather than the ultimate truth. Twelve Nidanas Avidya (delusion) Sanskara (impulses, actions, dispositions) Vijñana (consciousness) Namarapa (body and mind) Sadayatana (six sense organs and object) Sparsa (contact) Vedana (feelings) Trsna (craving, attachment) Upadana (grasping) Bhava (existence) Jati (birth) Jara-marana (old age and death) This is the classical way of presenting the Nidanas. The first two links belong to the past. The next eight links belong to this life - the present. Then after this body disintegrates, the last two are the future. As a young student, Thay learned the three times past, present, and the future are represented in these twelve links. Thay also learned there are two layers of cause and effect within these twelve links. The teaching of three times and two layers of cause and effect. As a student, I just believed my teacher.
Dec 02, 2012
Twelve Links of Co-Arising
November 25, 2012. 99-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is in the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the sixth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. Editor's Note: Thay repeats this talk in English on November 29 because of challenges with translation in this talk. Thay teaches from the Chandra Sutra. Sutra #262 from the Chinese canon. Analysis. What is the third seal (sometimes call signature)? Nirvana or suffering. People in the world are normally caught in one of two extremes: the view of being and the view of non-being. Since worldly people are caught in the objects of perception, their minds are bound. If someone does not accept, does not grasp, does not stand firm in these ideas, does not compare and measure a separate self that he is then caught in, then he will see that when the causes are sufficient for suffering to arise, suffering arises, and when the causes are no longer sufficient, suffering ceases (and in that there is no need for a self, and the ideas of being and non-being cannot be applied). With right view, we don't need self. We don't need a thinker. Nirvana is the cessation of all views. We have to be skillful when teaching the Dharma, and also skillful when listening to the Dharma. We then continue with Samyukta Agama #293 (Discourse on the Adaptation of Conditioned Genesis that Connects with Emptiness) on the 12 Links of Co-Arising. Download 20121125 from Plum Village Online Monastery on Vimeo.
Dec 02, 2012
Move Toward the Absolute Truth
1:32:28
November 18, 2012. 92-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha had just begun the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the fourth dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. Everyone already knows that the heart of the Buddha's teaching is the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. People seem to remember reincarnation, retribution, and karma but these three are not the core of his teachings. These three teachings existed before the time of the Buddha. If you believe in samsara then you believe in the immortal soul, but this is not the true teaching of the Buddha. The Buddha did not deny samsara, but he did teach that we do not have a separate self. He also accepted karma, but that too is also relative. Buddhism is made with many elements, including non-Buddhist elements. Thay continues explaining the influences on Buddhism and the similarities and differences among the different traditions present in India at that time. You don't need any spiritual beliefs to follow the Noble Eightfold Path and you can live happily and free. It all begins with Right View. We continue with The Four Noble Truths, Absolute truth and conventional truth, suffering and happiness. At 1:01 into the recording, we continue with the sutra commentary. We start with the third Chinese line of the gatha. The sutra has been translated into French and English and will be distributed soon. It is unreasonable to think that the self nature lies in the conditions. The self nature that is born from conditions would be something that is made. Without self nature and other nature, how can we have a phenomena. Only with self and other nature can dharma be possible. When there is no possibility of being, how can non-being be possible. Only when there is being can it end and become non-being.  When something is made, it is not self nature. What is self nature? A flower has no self-nature. A baby has no self-nature. Everything has no self-nature. Transcend all the notions of being and non-being. We need to transcend them. Slowly move toward the absolute truth. Download or watch below.
Nov 23, 2012
Embrace the Whole Cosmos
1:36:58
November 15, 2012. 97-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha had just begun the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the third dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. Reviewed the four (psychic) powers from the last talk (11/11/12). We also review mindfulness, concentration, and insight. How do we practice these? Practicing Right View. Right Speech. Right Action. These things are preparing our karma. Karma doesn't mean bad. Practicing generosity. Dana. Enlarge your heart and accept yourself and others. A bodhissatva has the capacity to enlarge their heart. Embrace the whole cosmos. But this depends on your Right View obtained from mindfulness, concentration, and insight. Interbeing. The most important teaching from the Buddha is Right View and it comes from your practice. It isn't about reincarnation, retribution, etc. Today we now discuss a sutra with commentaries on the middle path. Chapter 15, the first two Gathas. All the dharma has no self. Nothing has a seperate self. Everything is a notion. The Dharma Seal is the true teaching of the Buddha and contains impermance, no self, and nirvana. Is there a permanent soul? Thay continues further with these teachings of the dharma seal. Download or watch below.
Nov 20, 2012
Early Buddhism, Four Powers, and Two Truths
1:39:17
November 11, 2012. 99-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha had just begun the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the second dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. At the time of the Buddha, he accepted many of the existing teachings such as reincarnation and karma. The gods were Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The Buddha took the teachings deeper. Thay makes the observation that at this time in history, the highest caste was the spiritual teacher and the business person less. It is the opposite today. Thay then teaches about the expansion and history of Vedantism and Jainism. The states of meditation in Jainism. Thanks to concentration, the practitioner can have joy and happiness. More inner peace. No suffering. No joy. Purification. The Four Brahma Viharas (Immeasurable Minds). The Buddha accepted their teaching but also created his own way. The Four Powers. Deep Desire/Aspiration Mind Diligence Looking deeply We've been learning the methodologies of Buddhism (last time it was the Four Criterion). Today we talk about the Two Truths: Relative Truth and Absolute Truth. Download or watch below.  
Nov 16, 2012
Your Freedom is a Practice
November 8, 2012. 92-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha had just begun the 90-day Rains Retreat (Winter Retreat). This is the first dharma talk of the retreat with the theme Are You The Soulmate of the Buddha? The talk was originally given in Vietnamese and this English translation is provided by Sister Chan Khong. About 60-years ago, Herbert Spencer was the patriarch that transmitted the ten mindful movements to Thay. Acting instead of speaking. Thay talks about how he took and modified. We do it to be healthy in the present. Non Buddhist elements. Walking meditation. We do it 100%. Focus on the in breath and the out breath. And our steps. No thinking. Then we can see clearly. Freedom. Touching the present moment. Friends in the sangha can help us wake up. Cut the suffering with the sword of understanding. You can have peace and happiness right now. This winter, let's practice walking. Every step gives you more freedom. Your Freedom is a Practice. Even if you have been a scholar learning and teaching Buddhism, you can still be caught by some construct of our mind and not the deep teaching the Buddha taught. We can use practice methods to see whether we really understand the Buddha. We can use The Four Criterion on the Truth We have to speak the language of the world - the worldly view. We may speak differently for each person to reflect how they think and their ability to receive the teaching. We prescribe the right medicine for the right teaching. Absolute truth teaching. When you read a sutra text, you will not be confused. Download or watch below. [vimeo http://vimeo.com/53451130]
Nov 14, 2012
Be Free From Fear
1:16:29
November 1, 2012. 76-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. This is the 8th, and final, dharma talk of the fall retreat. Thay begins with a short review of what's been covered in the last four weeks. Today we will look more deeply into the nature of our birth and our death. We begin with an analysis of a cloud. What is a cloud and when does it exist? We have to look at the cloud with eyes of signlessness. The rain is the new form of the cloud. How do we appy this to our own being? Is there really birth and death? There is only continuation. Collective action. In Buddhism, the notion of action is very important. It is called karma. Triple action: thought, speech, and action. With mindfulness we can recognize our thoughts and make a decision that they produce healing and reconciliation. In order to so, we need Right View and Right Understanding. What is the connection between birth, death, and karma? We need mindfulness and concentration to gain the insight if Right View. Birth and death inter-are with each other. Thay teaches briefly on each of the other elements of the Noble Eightfold Path.
Nov 13, 2012
Training and Sangha Building
1:23:15
October 28, 2012. 82-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. Last week we spoke about the nutriment of volition. An intention. A deep desire. We have learned that joy and suffering inter-are - we should recognize the suffering within ourselves. This leads to transformation and healing.  The energy of mindfulness will help use with the transformation. The Practice. Bhavana. To cultivate. Establishing yourself in the here and the now is enough to be free. How do you practice? Everything we do in a practice center is to learn how to practice. To learn how to breathe. How to release the stress and the tension. Coming to a Day of Mindfulness or a Retreat can teach us the practice. Get a practice. Secondly, we need a group of people at home to help us maintain the practice. A sangha. Gather friends together from your local community. We learn the practice, we gain the support in out community, and third, we can bring the practice to your work place in order to help people suffer less. If we are a school teacher, we can bring the practice to our students. To help the students to suffer less. Understanding is love and compassion. When you have understood your own suffering, you begin to love yourself. Download
Nov 12, 2012
The Uncultivated Mind Brings Suffering
October 25, 2012. 105-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. Last week we learned about the Four Kinds of Nutriments and having to do with the Fifth Mindfulness Training. Power. Some people think if they have power, they will be happy. It takes a great deal of understanding. The mind of love; of enlightenment. Bodhicitta. This comes from the practice of mindfulness and concentration. Understanding your own suffering helps you understand the suffering of others around you. I'm the family and in the nation. Love and understanding. Understanding is the foundation of love. The mind left uncultivated will bring lots of suffering. We need a spiritual dimension in our daily life. This is our practice. Bodhicitta is a tremendous source of energy. Mental formations. There are mental formations that make us suffer, but they can be transformed. Samadhi. Maintaining awareness. Meditation on impermance. We have to keep this alive in us. Treasure the moments we have. Impermanance is a characteristic of life. The Three Doors of Liberation. Concentrations. Emptiness. Signlessness. Aimlessness. This teaching includes an exploration of birth and death. Being and non-being. Impermanance. Non-craving. Nirvana. Download
Nov 07, 2012
Mindfulness is There to Recognize
October 21, 2012. 57-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. Thay continues teaching on working with our suffering. The practice of mindfulness has four objects of practice: Body Feelings Mind Mental formations Taught in the context of Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing. Download
Nov 05, 2012
Daily Life in Terms of Consumption
1:24:50
October 18, 2012. 84-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Upper Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. What is the Winter Retreat? Why do we practice together for 90-days? The theme this winter will be are we soul mates of the Buddha?  Do we understand the Buddha? There are many misunderstandings and we'll focus on this problem. That's why we have the Sutra on a Better Way to Catch a Snake. We continue a teaching on relationships and working with suffering. How do we feed our relationship? The source of nutriments? This teaching is found in the first and second Noble Truths. Why do we need to start with suffering? Nothing can survive without food, including your love. In a relationship, we should know how to nourish each other.  How can we nourish our relationship? Right Speech, Right Action, and the remaining Noble Eightfold Path. In addition, we have the Five Mindfulness Trainings to help us practice. Download
Oct 30, 2012
What is the Fourth Mindfulness Training?
1:07:12
October 14, 2012. 67-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from New Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. We begin with the chant May the Day Be Well followed by a brief guided meditation by Thay. What is a bodhissatva? Mother Earth is a great bodhissatva. Mind and matter are not two separate entities. What is Interbeing? The mind of non-discrimination. What is suffering an how do we respond? If you understand suffering, then already have a kind of enlightenment. A bodhissatva for yourself. The practice if the fourth mindfulness training - loving speech. This is the work of a bodhissatva. This also includes compassionate listening. Restore communication and bring about reconciliation. Thay tells the story of a catholic woman who suffers greatly in her marriage and wants to commit suicide except for the help of a Vietnamese Buddhist friend who helps her learn about the fourth mindfulness training and reconciliation. Download
Oct 26, 2012
Buddhism is not a Philosophy
October 11, 2012. 118-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Lower Hamlet at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day Teaching of suffering and the transformation of suffering. We don't speculate on philosophical questions. We don't only use our intellect. Buddhism is practical. How to handle a painful feeling? A strong emotion? There is an insight on Interbeing. Non-self. Emptiness. What is true happiness? What is understanding and love? Practical application of the Four Noble Truths. When we are able to see our own suffering, we are better able to see the suffering of others. Thay shares a few more stories from the time of the Vietnam war in terms of hope and despair. Generating joy and happiness through the exercises on mindful breathing. Download
Oct 18, 2012
Sitting is an Art
1:45:47
October 7, 2012. 105-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village. The sangha is enjoying the Autumn Retreat and this is a Day of Mindfulness. Thay begins his talk today with reminiscences from Vietnam in the 60s. Forty-six years ago, Thay was invited by Cornell University to give a series of lectures on the conditions in Vietnam. The Vietnamese were fighting each other with foreign ideologies and foreign weapons. We were not allowed to use our voices for peace, but there was a peace movement in Vietnam. Thay wrote a book of poems and a book, Lotus in the Sea of Fire, that needed to be published and distributed underground. We also trained many social workers to help orphans and children. Those supporting peace were often threatened and murdered. We need a spiritual dimension in our life so we don't lose ourselves to despair and to help sustain us. What do you do when you're practicing sitting meditation? Sitting isn't "doing" but it's more about "being" - harmony, joy, and healing are possible. Sitting is an art. There is no need to do anything. Mind and body must be together to live in the preset moment. One mindful in-breathe may be enough to come home. We don't need to worry about the future. Teaching on mindfulness of body - it is a wonder, a mystery. The Kingdom of God. Dharmachaya. The body of the cosmos. Suchness. Reality as it is. We cannot use our notions to describe God. This is available in the here and the now. Exercises on mindful breathing. Enlightenment is not far away; it can be immediate with mindfulness. Breathing in you can have enlightenment. No thinking. No planning. No fear. Then your concentration becomes stronger. Brings insight to transform our suffering and bring happiness. This is not prayer, this is practice. Happiness does not depend on the outside, it depends on our way of looking at things. Walking on Mother Earth. Samskara. Formation. We calm down the body formation. Download
Oct 16, 2012
“Oh my happiness”
1:51:57
September 6, 2012. 111-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Italian, with Thich Nhat Hanh at a public talk in Rome, Italy. Listening to the chant to generate powerful energy of mindfulness and peace. Mindfulness of compassion. Everyone needs a spiritual dimension in their life. Spirituality can be with or without religion. Mindfulness is an energy that can be cultivated with awareness of our body, feelings, perceptions, and environment. Bring our body and mind together. The other energies are concentration and insight. How can we get int touch with the wonders of life? Happiness in an intimate relationship. Finding happiness despite obstacles in our lives. A spiritual dimension can help us. How can we cultivate civic happiness in Rome? Practicing reconciliation. Applying mindfulness to civic discourse.
Oct 06, 2012
The Principle of Identity
1:47:01
September 3, 2012. 107-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Italian, with Thich Nhat Hanh at the Italian Retreat with the theme Peace in Action. The retreat took place at Fraterna Domus in Rome, Italy. Using the pebble in our work and in school, practicing love for others, and the first two mantras of Plum Village. Darling I am here for you. Darling, I know you are there and it makes me happy.  In the Buddhist tradition, we speak of two kinds of truth: conventional and ultimate. There is a connection between these, just like between happiness and suffering. In seeing this, we can move away from the principle of identity. Our mind wants to see things in a dualistic way. Right View. Which is Interbeing. We can create thought that is understanding and has compassion. Thay teaches the noble eightfold path. Recognizing our mental formations. Right Diligence. Selective watering.
Sep 28, 2012
Basic Teachings in Italian and English
1:24:07
September 2, 2012. 84-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Italian, with Thich Nhat Hanh at the Italian Retreat with the theme Peace in Action. The retreat took place at Fraterna Domus in Rome, Italy. How do we let freshness and beauty arise? The teaching on the seed of corn. Listening to the bell to get in touch with every cell in our body. The noble truths and noble eightfold path. Right View is the foundation of the othe seven. The topic of no-birth and no-death are examined. The wisdom of non-discrimination.
Sep 28, 2012
Body and Mind Are One
1:39:59
August 24, 2012. 100-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into German, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the fifth Dharma talk offered by Thay on in the German Retreat, theme of Body and Mind Are One, at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. Can the body be without the mind? Can the mind be without the body? By looking deeply, we see this is not possible. Without the body, we cannot take care of the mind. And vice versa. The sixteen exercises on the full awareness of mindful breathing. Teachings on impermanence and nirvana (story of the wave). Three doors of liberation.
Sep 22, 2012
Can you take the father out of the son?
August 22, 2012. 75-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into German, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the third Dharma talk offered by Thay on in the German Retreat, theme of Body and Mind Are One, at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. For the children, Thay teaches how we be more peaceful and less violent and angry. Remember to breathe and keep your freshness and beauty. Yesterday we learned the noble path our of suffering. We have learned that we are not this body, but the actions we take every day. Nothing is born and nothing dies. The first law of thermodynamics. The teaching on Interbeing. Can you take the father out of the son? We are not only this body. Can we see our continuation right now? We continue with the noble eightfold path. True Diligence. In Buddhist psychology, we see conciousness has at least two levels. How do we use the energy of mindfulness? What are the practices of True Diligence? How do we practice Right Speech? Restoring communication.
Sep 19, 2012
It begins with Right View
1:42:23
August 21, 2012. 102-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into German, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second Dharma talk offered by Thay in the German Retreat at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. In a talk for the children, Thay talks about being a seed of corn and how we too began as a tiny seed. What is the connection between happiness and suffering? If suffering exists, something else exists at the same time. It is like the left and the right. If suffering is there, there must be a cause. We can see this teaching in the Four Noble Truths. The Buddha taught a path from the cessation of suffering to happiness. It's called the Noble Eightfold Path and it begins with Right View. With Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, we can have breakthrough to Right View. Conventional truth and Ultimate truth.
Sep 16, 2012
Aware of your Breath, Following your Breath
1:43:08
August 20, 2012. 103-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into German, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the first Dharma talk offered by Thay in the German Retreat at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. In a talk for the children, Thay talks about how to be fresh, not be angry, and how to love. We can use meditation to be fresh, beautiful, and loving. We can use Pepple meditation. Listening to the bell to be in touch with our breathing, connect with our ancestors, and release tensions and worries. This can be a very deep practice. Freedom can be attained with mindful breathing and the Buddha has provided an outline for practicing mindful breathing. Teaching in living happily in the present moment.
Sep 16, 2012
Mindfulness and Inner Peace
2:10:45
August 28, 2012. 130-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is a public talk given at World Forum Theatre in The Hague, The Netherlands spoknsored by the Mindful Living Foundation. Inner peace is possible and mindfulness helps us take care of our body, feelings, and perceptions. There is a practice called mindfulness of suffering. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. Our suffering has often been ignored and the energy of mindfulness can help touch our suffering. The chanting of the name of the bodhissatva of compassion and deep listening - Avalokiteshvara. The monastics chant at 28m into recording. How do we listen to the bell? How do we take care of our body and our feelings? The exercises of mindful breathing as outlined in the sutra in the Full Awareness of Mindful Breathing. A short teaching on the noble truths and Right View. The talk concludes with a song from Sr. Chan Khong.
Sep 04, 2012
Healing Our Relationship
2:17:44
August 26, 2012. 137-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into German, with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is a Day of Mindfulness at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. A day of mindfulness is a day of practice so that we can live each moment of our life very deeply. Anyone can generate the energy of mindfulness, bringing our mind home to our body. There are many wonders of life. And mindfulness is always mindfulness of something - drinking your tea. This can bring freedom and joy and happiness. A couple of sweet moments when a local church bell is ringing and then a rain downpour. Every moment can be a pleasant moment. A miracle happens when you breathe in mindfully. On a day of mindfulness we have time to sit and breathe together. We can stop our thinking every time we hear the sound of the bell. Enjoying the here and the now is the address for the pure land of the Buddha. Instruction on listening to the bell. Walking meditation and the country of the present moment. Instruction on walking meditation. This is followed by true communion and eating meditation. Mindful listening and mindfulness of suffering. Many of the things we do in life are to cover up out suffering. How we help each other to suffer less? The chant of Avalokiteshvara can help touch suffering with mindfulness. When we listen to the chant, we should sit and listen and try to stop our thinking. Allow our body to relax. Chant begins at 1:20m into recording and the talk resumes again at 1:41m. If a relationship had become difficult, there is always a way to transform it. In order to heal a relationship, you must heal yourself. We have Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing to help us heal ourselves.
Sep 02, 2012
Foundations of Mindfulness
1:30:55
August 16, 2012. 91-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the fifth (and final) Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. An object. The first object of mindfulness is our body. Our body includes our in-breath and out-breath. There is a sutra on the contemplation of the body. The second object of our mindfulness is our feelings. Pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings. The third object is our mind. It is comprised of mental formations. The fourth is the objects of our mind. After a brief review of the first 8 exercises on the Full Awareness of Mindful Breathing, Thay moves ahead with the remaining exercises. Also, a teaching on impermanence, non-self, and Interbeing. Contemplating a cloud. The three concentrations. Emptiness. Aimlessness. Signlessness. Also known as the Three Doors of Liberation. Dwelling happily in the present moment.
Aug 30, 2012
Does A Dog Have Buddha Nature?
1:43:48
August 15, 2012. 103-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the fourth Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. This is a session of questions and answers. The recording isn't perfect, but it can be improved by switching the balance at different points during the recording. Children How can you prevent arguments? Why do I have bad dreams? Teens and young people Can I give you a hug? How do you love someone who is very different than myself? Is it sometimes difficult to be so wise? Adults a dilemma on when to confront someone How to transform knowledge to wisdom? But I am confused by the words of the Heart Sutra. A question about "no action" and  when to act. Several questions on watering good seeds. And, how do I feel love? Question on deep suffering related to the holocaust, family, EIAB, etc.
Aug 27, 2012
Creating Freshness and Beauty
1:40:17
August 14, 2012. 100-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the third Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. Freshness and beauty are in you. If you know how to breath and how to walk then freshness and beauty can come out. we can also help others do the same because we all have it, but we don't always know how to help it manifest. We all have a Buddha inside. That teaches what it means to bow to someone in a greeting. It's not just a ritual, it is a practice. How to use a mantra in your practice? The first is "Darling, I am here for you." This one is to offer the other person your presence. The second mantra is to recognize the other person is something important to you. "Darling, I know you are there and I am very happy." Reconciliation. Mindfulness of compassion. Listening. Thay uses the story of Palestinians and Israelis coming to Plum Village on how to practice deep listening and loving speech. Teaching on no birth and no death, being and non-being, coming and going, sameness and otherness. These are all notions. They are the ground of our suffering and our fear. These pairs of opposites can be the objects of our meditation.
Aug 18, 2012
The Palace of the Child
2:02:06
August 13, 2012. 122-minute dharma talk given in English, with consecutive translation into Dutch (though the Dutch is muted in this recording), with Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the second Dharma talk offered by Thay in the Dutch Retreat on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. Teaching on the seed of corn and teaches the children about being a seed in the womb of your mother. We can use pebble meditation to learn how to breath again. To be fresh and beautiful. The children are excused about 42-minutes into the recording. Thay begins with a story of a French journalist who wanted to write an article on the practice in Plum Village. Her article was titled "In the Country of the Present Moment." She started with  walking meditation. I have arrived. How can we arrive 100% in each step? How do we train? Right Diligence (Effort). In Buddhist psychology we talk about store consciousness and seeds (bija). Seeds for the soil of the mind. Seeds manifest as mental formations in the mind consciousness. Mindfulness is a seed that we can cultivate. How do we help  water the positive seeds in ourselves and others? What do we cultivate for right diligence? (1:28) Right Speech and deep listening should go together. Thay shares the story of a soldier in the Vietnam war that poisoned children because he was so angry after his unit was ambushed, who then later came to Plum Village for a retreat.
Aug 16, 2012
The Body and Mind are One
1:30:41
August 12, 2012. 90-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 on the theme Body and Mind Are One at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany. Can the body be without the mind? Can you take the body out of the mind? And the mind out of the body? If we meditate on the question, we can discover the answer. The same inquiry can be applied to father and son, mother and daughter. Are they the same? Again, with meditation we can also see continuation. Interbeing. This was a very clear and gentle teaching for the children on a very deep topic. The country of the present moment. Those who are in the present moment have body and mind together. Mindfulness helps this to happen. We can release the past, release our projects, and discover freedom. It only takes a few seconds. The conditions for happiness are present right here. Can we see the conditions for happiness? The first eight exercises of mindful breathing and the three kinds of energy generated by meditation: mindfulness, concentration, and insight. The last segment is a teaching on the Four Noble Truths and the noble eightfold path.
Aug 15, 2012
Can nothing become something?
1:32:09
August 2, 2012. 92-minute recording given at New Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the twentieth dharma talk of the Summer Opening. The talk was originally given in French and this is an English translation. We begin with a  meditation on the birth of the flame. Does "nothing" exist?  What is the existence of nothing? What is our nature? Are we caught in the notions of birth, death, being, and non-being? These are the foundation of our fear and anxiety. In Buddhism, Right Thinking is being free of these notions.  There is only continuation and manifestation. Thinking is already an action. We continue with a teaching on Right View, Right Speech. This concludes the 2012 Summer Opening. 
Aug 14, 2012
Is it ever okay to tell a lie?
1:27:07
August 1, 2012. 87-minute recording given at Lower Hamlet, Plum Village by Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the nineteenth dharma talk of the Summer Opening and this is a session of questions and answers. Editor's note, we have skipped the talks from July 29 & 31 here on this site; it may appear later. Children Why is my brother always so nasty to me? Why does Thay do hand symbols (mudra) during chanting? Why do Buddhist shave their head? What should we do if we begin to hate someone we love? Adults Is it correct to tell a lie if the truth would hurt the person you love? How can I be stable? How can I live with a person who doesn't believe in spirituality? Why is it that monastics sisters have more precepts than monastic brothers? If it is because they have special problems, shouldn't the brothers at least have the same number of precepts? How can you help a child recognize their father of they've never had te opportunity to know him? For example, artificial insemination. What was the biggest notion in your life that you've overcome? How do I practice this teaching with suicide? When you have arrived on the other shore. Do you still think? Do you still suffer? How do we build and organize a practice center?
Aug 12, 2012
Beginning of Fourth Week of Summer Opening
1:33:16