1. Talk of Thay from the final Mindfulness Day of the Winter Retreat 2010-11, offered on Thursday February 17th, 2011 in the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village, France.

    Note that, as in most of the talks from this retreat, Thay speaks in Vietnamese. The English translation is on the right channel; if you have trouble hearing the translator, turn the balance on your computer to the right, or listen only to the right earphone.

    """
    Seeing the Earth in that way he felt a deep compassion for all the people who live on the Earth. They are trying to do something to protect our environment. Only from very far away do you look back and see the fragility of our planet, and you feel compassion.

    One astronaut said that when he left the Earth and looked back, then he became a humanitarian, because I feel that I have to take care of the people on that planet. The vision is so important from far away. If you are a schoolteacher, or parents, you try to help your students to get in touch with this.

    The universe is elegant. And there is a harmony in it. We see that the Earth is beautiful, that the beings in it are beautiful. In the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Buddha described the universe to be like one single flower. The cosmos is like a bank of flowers. We we see the planet as a beautiful flower, and each of us is also a beautiful flower. No matter what age we are we are very beautiful. That is the insight of the Buddha in the Avatamsaka sutra. The cosmos is a kind of treasure. Each being on the planet is a flower.

    We have learned four verses already. We know that the flower is present now. That is the first insight. Flower means beauty. But we also learn that there is a true flower and a fake flower. Flowers are beautiful. Flowers are good.

    Untruthful garland of flowers that Mara tried to use to trick us. We have to be careful not to be carried away by despair. There are many flowers that are appealing, that are organized by Mara.

    So these are verses about flowers that we should learn. So there are true flowers and false flowers. The fifth verse talks about the impermanence of the flower. We need to know that this flower is impermanent and we should cherish it. We glide like a flower that falls.

    Verse 4
    ==========

    見身如沫
    幻法自然
    斷魔華敷
    不靚生死

    Verse 5
    ==========

    身病則萎
    若華零落
    死命來至
    如水湍驟

    We are no longer caught by these little things. Thanks to that because you stand so far away you can see clearer. You can see the little girl from the story Thay mentioned last time. All the children are fighting to go into the exhibition. The little girl had no button to give to enter into the funeral exhibition. So from up high the children feel funny for the little girl. We too, we can see from far away. Everything must start with us. When you have that vision you will see things more simply; it's easier to let things go. We are all astronauts. One day when we go back to see that person, maybe we will have more love. Sometimes in your word is hidden aggressivity, but you don't realize that.

    Verse 6
    ====================

    貪欲無厭
    消散人念
    那致之財
    為自侵欺

    貪欲無厭
    ^^^^^^^^
    貪 is greed. 欲 is desire. 無厭 is to be without satisfaction, do not weary of. Sensual desire is without satisfaction.

    消散人念
    ^^^^^^^^
    消 is to melt, disperse, expend, digest. 散 is viprakrI: scatter, disperse, dismiss. 人 is a person. 念 is mindfulness.

    Verse 7
    ====================

    如蜂集華
    不嬈色香
    但取昧去
    仁入聚然

    不務觀彼
    作與不作
    常自省身
    知正不正

    Verse 8
    ====================

    如可意華
    色好無香
    工語如是
    不行無得

    We still have a few days before we start our Great Ordination Ceremony of Deep Listening. When we listen deeply to yourself then you can accept yourself and be compassionate to yourself. When you can listen and understand you need to understand our weakness. Often we think that our suffering comes from the other person. We need to look deeply in order to be compassionate to ourselves and to others. Master Lin Chi taught that we have to master our situation. You have to be in control of the situation. Don't behave passively and pretend that you are a victim of the situation. We stored from many generations before us.

    So we have to listen deeply to ourselves. Why do I have to be afraid? Maybe that is a habit that has been transmitted to you through many generations of ancestors. We can use that as an opportunity to learn why we behave like that. Then you have more compassion for yourself. We need you to transform the negative habits. Make a big determination to change right now for yourself. To try touch the flowerness in the other person, and change your negative habits. Your complex, your low self-esteem, makes your flower wither. But you have no ability to resist. That other person could be the last drop of your habit energy that you received from your ancestors.

    There are a number of politicians. Normally politicians have to sit there and listen to the suffering of those who vote for them. When those who vote for you have the impression that you are listening to them, even if you cannot do 100% of what they want. There are those who suffer because nobody listens to them. You may be the first person to listen to that person.

    During the training in the schools, or therapy, or psychology, do we learn the training to listen with empathy, or do you only speak? We know very well that we listen totally with your true presence. We listen to the suffering of others. You have to have some compassion in yourself before you are able to listen to them.

    A number of you have had private consultations with psychotherapists. You need to look to see if these psychotherapists are present or not. If they don't listen to their own suffering, how can they help you? When we have a retreat for psychotherapists, we have to remember that all the therapists need to be trained to be attentive to their own suffering, in order to help their clients.

    You are a big brother or sister in the Sangha. If you want to help your young brother or sister, or a lay friend that comes to Plum Village, you have to listen to your own suffering as well as the suffering of others in your own community. You must see the block of self in us. That can be a big obstacle for you to transform your difficulties. You must see that your suffering comes from this block. That helps you to liberate yourself quite a bit already. And so, when you see like that you know that you can help.

    So the tendency to reproach will be gone. We complain that others don't understand you, they are unfair to you. But do you understand them? Do you see his suffering? We can understand him or her from what point of view? Can you behave in a very compassionate way? Are you a true flower?

    Fortunately in our Sangha there are many compassionate flowers, that have the capacity to listen, to understand, to love. Are you one of these rare flowers in the Sangha? That is the way to restore the flowerness in you? Breathing in, I see that I am a flower. Breathing out, I feel fresh as a flower. That is very important. We must be an example of a fresh flower, and the helper of other flowers in the Sangha. We need a lot of flowers in the Sangha. We have various people in different councils, different nations. We need to have people who can listen.

    The Great Ordination is an opportunity for you to look back to see: have you protected the flower in you? And you have to respect all the fine manners, even very small fine manners. We want to be a good flower in the Sangha. You must have a big vow. If we want to receive the bhikshu precepts and you think you are too weak. My advice is contrary, you must take the precepts, but you need to make a big determination. It is not an honor, it is a kind of instrument to make you better. All this Dharma act is not an honor. Don't say I will not receive the lamp this time because I'm not worthy. No, it is a good occasion for you to make a determination to keep the fine manners exactly. No one is perfect, no one can keep these precepts 100%. But you want to go in that direction. The freedom here is you are not caught by attachment. Attachment to the past, attachment to the future, craving for fame, money etc. Take care of yourself and you will see liberty differently. When you see someone who holds the precepts there is the capacity to protect.

    For instance, the precept not to drink alcohol. If you are caught in alcoholism, then you lose your freedom.

    """

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  2. Dharma Talk from Thursday February 10th, 2011 in the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village, France.

    Verses 33-36 of The Most Peaceful Dwelling Sutra:

    33. If you want to completely liberate yourself from fear
    and end all internal formations and doubts,
    You must know that if you haven't pulled out the arrow of desire,
    then you haven't understood yet that this body is suffering.

    34. Among the highest things that people call the most divine
    Nirvana is the highest.
    You must cut off all ideas and attachments
    and do not be deceived by words.

    35. Knowing how to refrain or not to refrain
    that is the highest practice of letting go.
    If in our heart there are thoughts of practice
    the shell will be cracked.

    36. Of all offerings, that of the Dharma is the most precious.
    Of all kinds of happiness, that happiness based on the Dharma is the greatest.
    Of all strengths, patience is the most powerful
    because it can put an end to attachment
    and bring the happiness of Nirvana.

    Today Thay is speaking in Vietnamese. To listen only in English, listen only to your right earphone, or adjust the balance on your speakers to the right.

    Hôm nay Thầy nói tiếng Việt, với bản dịch tiếng Anh trên kênh phải. Để chỉ nghe tiếng Việt, xin điều chỉnh sự cân bằng trên loa của bạn sang trái.

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  3. Dharma Talk from Thursday February 10th, 2011 in the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village, France.

    Verses 33-36 of The Most Peaceful Dwelling Sutra:

    33. If you want to completely liberate yourself from fear
    and end all internal formations and doubts,
    You must know that if you haven't pulled out the arrow of desire,
    then you haven't understood yet that this body is suffering.

    34. Among the highest things that people call the most divine
    Nirvana is the highest.
    You must cut off all ideas and attachments
    and do not be deceived by words.

    35. Knowing how to refrain or not to refrain
    that is the highest practice of letting go.
    If in our heart there are thoughts of practice
    the shell will be cracked.

    36. Of all offerings, that of the Dharma is the most precious.
    Of all kinds of happiness, that happiness based on the Dharma is the greatest.
    Of all strengths, patience is the most powerful
    because it can put an end to attachment
    and bring the happiness of Nirvana.

    Today Thay is speaking in Vietnamese. To listen only in English, listen only to your right earphone, or adjust the balance on your speakers to the right.

    Hôm nay Thầy nói tiếng Việt, với bản dịch tiếng Anh trên kênh phải. Để chỉ nghe tiếng Việt, xin điều chỉnh sự cân bằng trên loa của bạn sang trái.

    # vimeo.com/19783290 Uploaded 1,865 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  4. This talk was offered by Thay on Wednesday, February 2, 2011, on the Eve of the Lunar New Year of the Cat, in the New Hamlet of Plum Village. He reads poetry of Xuân Diệu and talks of the beauty of fidelity in a relationship.

    Self-love is the foundational of love for another.

    We should see something very simple and basic: understanding is the basis of love. The understanding of our suffering we can accept and understand the others. We have communication. The practice helps us to a develop our love and understanding to remove the feeling of loneliness inside.

    120 live stream listeners.

    Thay speaks in Vietnamese. To listen only in English, listen only to your right earphone, or adjust the balance on your speakers to the right.

    Hôm nay Thầy nói tiếng Việt, với bản dịch tiếng Anh trên kênh phải. Để chỉ nghe tiếng Việt, xin điều chỉnh sự cân bằng trên loa của bạn sang trái.

    # vimeo.com/19483518 Uploaded 4,946 Plays / / 2 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  5. Dharma Talk from Thay given on Sunday, January 30th 2011 from the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village, France. Thay reads some Vietnamese Poetry and a love story that takes place during the Lunar New Year.

    # vimeo.com/19348244 Uploaded 2,422 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode

Plum Village Winter Retreat 2010-11

Plum Village Online Monastery

These are the talks from the Winter Retreat in Plum Village offered by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh from November 2010 to February 2011. The talks are recorded with the original Vietnamese on the left stereo channel and the English translation on the right


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These are the talks from the Winter Retreat in Plum Village offered by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh from November 2010 to February 2011. The talks are recorded with the original Vietnamese on the left stereo channel and the English translation on the right stereo channel.

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