This talk was offered by Thay in the New Hamlet of Plum Village, France, on Sunday, January 23rd, 2011, and it is the thirteenth in a series of talks offered during the Winter Retreat of 2010-11 on translations of the Dharmapada and Udanavarga from the Chinese Canon.
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.
"Sitting in this meditation hall, we perceive that the clouds are floating high in the sky. But in reality we are surrounded by clouds; there is water vapor all around us. When we have fog we see this clearly. We also have vapor in our body in the form of water. So we interare with the cloud. Science shows us this; Buddhism can also show us this."
"According to our practice, mindfulness, concentration and insight are a source of happiness. And we as practitioners need to generate this energy. Breathing in mindfulness you generate the energy of mindfulness; we get in touch with the wonders of life that are all around us."
"The tour this year will have the theme, 'Now is the time: this is it.'"
English translation of today's verses:
28. There is existence because of the conditions offered by food
Sadness and joy also come from food.
If you want to uproot suffering,
you must stop its sources of nutriment.
29. Nothing can survive without food.
What can last without nourishment?
There must be food first,
after that there is the path.
30. If earth, water, fire are not,
then how does the wind blow?
If the light doesn't shine
then it would be impossible to see the source of light.
31. Without the moon there is no light.
Without the sun there is no sunshine.
Study this noble teaching and contemplate this object,
then you will see Nirvana as a reality.