This is the sharing offered by Sister Hoi Nghiem and Thay Phap Dung during the Teachers and Applied Ethics Retreat in the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village, on Tuesday January 3rd, 2012. Sister Hoi Nghiem shares about her experience as a teacher in Vietnam, and Thay Phap Dung shares about his experience dealing with his relationships with his parents and friends as a young man growing up in Los Angeles.
"Our intention for this retreat is to get the teachers here to learn to take care of yourself. Hopefully you will remain a teacher, because we need more happy teachers. Do what ever you need to do to trick the school. Don't say mindfulness, don't say meditation. Be happy. Happiness is contagious. Know how to be happy and know how to tend to your suffering. It sounds complicated. I didn't become a monk to become a Buddhist--sorry, brothers and sisters!. I came because Thay taught me how to deal with my emotions. That's all we do here. It's nothing very complicated. If you stay here long you'll see. You'll see we have suffering, we have difficulties. We have brothers and sisters that want to leave here--can you believe that? And you all want to come here and stay here a long time!"
"Know your mind, know your history, as a farmer knows the season and the earth. This is what is constantly on my mind in the community. We need to sit, stop, and look at it. We all have that one person we're avoiding--it may even be ourself."
This is the Dharma talk of Thay from the Applied Ethics and Teachers Retreat, offered on Wednesday, January 4th, 2012, in the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village. Thay begins sharing about the first eight steps of the Sutra on Mindful Breathing, then continues to share about the practices of loving speech and deep listening. He also shares the practice of how to die happily.