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Daffodil Festival Dharma Talk — Sun 10 Mar 2013

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    Good morning, Dear Sangha. Today we speak English.
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    Today is March the 10th, 2013,
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    and we are in the Still-water Meditation Hall,
    Upper Hamlet, Plum Village.
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    How many will listen to Thay directly in English?
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    The majority.
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    There will be about 600 people
    coming for the French Retreat in a few days.
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    And Sr. Hai Nghiem has proposed
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    some subjects, themes, of teaching and practice.
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    First is
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    "Le bonheur est possible", "Happiness is Possible".
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    The second is "La guèrison c'est possible",
    "Healing is Possible".
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    Because many people need healing.
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    Most of the people who come here need healing.
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    And then, "Vivre en profondeur",
    "How to Live More Deeply our Life".
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    Then another idea is
    "Revenir à la maison", "Coming Home".
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    Do not wander anymore. Go home.
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    That is also an important issue.
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    Practice.
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    And then,
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    "La rivière de la sangha", "Go as a River".
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    Not as a drop of water.
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    This is very important for the practice.
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    We cannot practice unless we have a Sangha.
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    And with a Sangha we have to go as a river.
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    So not only the people
    who come for the retreat need that,
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    but we also, who stay permanently in Plum Village,
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    we also need this practice.
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    And the friends who are going to come,
    who are coming,
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    they will also participate in arranging the retreat.
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    They will help with the cooking,
    the washing, the cleaning, and everything.
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    So, many people love to
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    share the work of the Sangha during the retreat.
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    So, we should be able to show them
    how to cook, to clean, to wash, peacefully, happily,
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    because that is a part of the practice, of the learning.
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    And we should set an example,
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    because we are
    permanent residents in a practice center.
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    Thay will give three Dharma talks in French.
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    And maybe one of them will be Questions & Answers.
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    So there will be three times
    when we gather altogether in one hamlet.
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    And, on the other days, we stay in our own hamlets
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    with our separate Dharma talks
    and discussions and so on.
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    And after the French Retreat,
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    Thay and a number of monastics
    will have to fly to Asia.
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    We have a tight schedule
    in South Korea, in Hong Kong.
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    And in Thailand.
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    Because people over there
    they want to make the most of the visit.
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    We know that the practice of Plum Village
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    can be seen in two points.
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    The first point is how to recognize the suffering,
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    and embrace it
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    and transform it. And that is an art.
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    Because life involves suffering, and happiness.
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    We cannot avoid suffering.
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    So we have to accept suffering.
    We have to learn how to suffer.
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    If we know how to suffer, we will suffer less, much less.
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    And we will learn a lot from our suffering.
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    And we know how to make use,
    make good use of the suffering
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    in order to create happiness.
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    Like the way we grow lotus flowers.
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    In order to grow lotus flowers we need mud.
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    So suffering is a kind of mud that we need
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    in order to generate the feeling of joy and happiness.
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    So the first point, the first aspect of the practice is
    how to recognize suffering
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    and to embrace it,
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    and to transform it.
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    And we speak of the art of suffering.
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    It seems that his Holiness the Dalai Lama
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    has written a book with the title,
    "The Art of Happiness".
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    We need a book, "The Art of Suffering".
    We need, we have to learn how to suffer
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    because we know that
    if we know how to suffer, we suffer much less.
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    And we can learn from that suffering.
    And make good use of our suffering.
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    As true practitioners, we know that,
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    and we have our own experiences as how to suffer.
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    We have to learn how to suffer. That is an art.
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    We have to be able to smile to our suffering
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    with peace,
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    like we smile to the mud
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    when we know that
    we have to make good use of the mud to
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    grow lotus flowers.
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    There are big blocks of suffering,
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    "la souffrance masse".
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    But there are what we call "les petites misères"
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    the little sufferings.
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    How to handle the little sufferings.
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    And if we know how to handle the little sufferings
    we don't have to suffer.
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    They are daily things,
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    "les petites misères de la vie quotidienne".
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    And we know how to handle
    these little moments of suffering.
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    And we should be able
    to share our practice with the people who come
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    to us.
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    So we are not afraid of these little miseries, little sufferings, because we know how to handle them.
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    They are part of our daily life.
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    And then when suffering has become a block,
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    we should know how to recognize it, how to embrace it.
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    And especially how to make good use
    of the collective energy of the Sangha
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    in order to embrace it.
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    As a new practitioner,
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    as a new person in the practice
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    we may not be able to embrace our suffering,
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    because our mindfulness is not yet
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    vigorous enough, powerful enough.
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    So with the Sangha we can borrow
    the collective energy of mindfulness
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    of the Sangha
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    in order to recognize and embrace
    the block of suffering in us.
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    That suffering
    may have been transmitted to us by our father
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    our mother, our ancestors.
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    And, if we know how to recognize,
    embrace and transform it,
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    we do it for our father, our mother, our ancestors.
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    It's very kind of us to be able to do that
    for our parents, for our ancestors,
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    and not to transmit it to our children, and their children.
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    The end of samsara.
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    Many people who have read
    about the practice of Plum Village
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    and hear about the peace,
    the energy of brotherhood, sisterhood,
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    and when they come to Plum Village
    and at least sit with us and walk with us
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    they feel that that energy, the collective energy,
    is something very real
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    and not just something people talk about.
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    When you allow yourself to be embraced
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    by that collective energy of mindfulness and peace,
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    you feel much better.
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    You feel that your suffering
    is beginning to transform.
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    So, taking refuge in the Sangha
    is a very crucial practice.
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    Monks, nuns, lay practitioners, sitting together
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    they come in peace,
    and their energy of mindfulness can be powerful.
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    If we know how to sit among them,
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    how to allow the collective energy of mindfulness
    to embrace our suffering
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    then we are like a drop of water flowing in a river,
    and we feel much better.
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    We may not have to do anything,
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    we just allow ourselves to be embraced.
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    Allowed our suffering to be embraced
    by the collective energy of the Sangha.
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    And that is the greatest gift that the Sangha can make
    to the people who come.
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    Of course, we have to prepare many things
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    for a retreat.
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    We can do many things.
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    We can clean, we can wash,
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    we can cook, we can do many things for the retreat.
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    We can serve the people.
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    We can help them.
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    But the best thing we can give them,
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    the most precious thing we can give them,
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    is not our labor,
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    our hard work.
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    The best thing we can provide them
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    is our collective energy of mindfulness and peace.
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    That is why during sitting meditation,
    walking meditation,
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    we should try our best to be present.
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    Because that collective energy
    will help calm them down,
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    help embrace their suffering
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    so that they can walk, they can sit,
    they can breathe also.
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    Because many of them just cannot breathe,
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    just cannot walk, just cannot sit.
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    And with that collective energy
    of mindfulness and peace
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    that we have as a Sangha,
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    we can give them a chance
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    so that they can breathe,
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    they can walk and they can sit.
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    This is the best thing we can offer them as a Sangha.
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    So it is not hard labor
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    that is the best thing we can provide,
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    but that energy of peace and joy and brotherhood.
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    The people who are coming they are lucky,
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    because they are capable of arranging so
    that they have a week
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    to spend with us.
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    Many other people they like it, they want it,
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    but they cannot arrange,
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    they do not have time, they do not have money.
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    So those who can come this time,
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    they are lucky enough
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    to have seven days to be with the Sangha.
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    We should be aware of that.
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    We should try our best in order to
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    give them a chance for transformation and healing.
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    Thay is going to tell them
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    in the first retreat (day),
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    that healing is possible
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    right in the retreat.
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    Not after the retreat but right during the retreat.
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    Because if they follow the instructions
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    to breathe, to sit and to walk,
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    and healing is possible with every step,
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    healing is possible with every breath.
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    And this is the truth.
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    There is no way to healing, healing is the way.
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    We should tell them
    that in order to heal, they have to stop.
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    Il faut relâcher pour pouvoir guérir.
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    If they don't stop, there is no hope to heal.
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    They have not healed because they have not stopped.
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    So the five mindfulness trainings
    is a very important teaching.
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    The five mindfulness trainings is to stop
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    the kind of action, the kind of thinking, that can create
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    ill-being,
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    sickness.
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    The five mindfulness trainings
    are also the kind of thinking and acting
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    that have the power to heal.
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    So without the five mindfulness trainings
    healing is not possible.
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    Stopping is very important.
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    Stop and heal.
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    That is also the theme that we offer,
    the teaching, in South Korea.
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    If we know how to stop,
    healing can take place right away.
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    With every step.
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    Every breath, and so on.
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    So we should be able to convince them
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    to stop.
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    To stop whatever they are doing
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    that can lead
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    to suffering,
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    to anger, to despair.
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    They will know what to stop
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    in order to heal.
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    We will tell them
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    how have we been able to stop
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    and to start healing.
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    We have to share our experience with us.
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    The moment when you decide to stop
    you feel very light.
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    You feel the healing taking place right away.
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    That is a great moment.
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    The determination to stop.
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    And then, we will tell them
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    that it is possible
    to create moments of happiness in our daily life.
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    There are
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    small
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    happinesses
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    that we can create at any moment of our daily life.
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    That is an art, also.
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    The art
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    of happiness.
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    Whether you drink a cup of tea,
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    or take a walk, or just sit down and look,
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    you can create happiness during that time.
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    A little bit, the ingredients that you need
    in order to create a moment of happiness
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    can be recognized.
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    We know that mindfulness
    is a source of joy, a source of happiness.
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    People complain that
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    they do not have happiness.
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    We should be able to tell them
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    that they have conditions to be happy.
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    And help them to recognize
    this conditions of happiness that they do have.
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    The cherry blossoms are there,
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    but they are not capable of
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    contemplating, enjoying the cherry blossoms.
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    The sunshine is there,
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    spring is coming, all this things
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    are wonders of life.
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    And yet, they are caught in something.
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    They are not capable of
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    recognizing this
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    conditions of happiness.
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    They have a body.
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    And yet they do not have access to their body.
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    It's funny. You have a body,
    but you don't have access to your body.
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    You cannot go home to your body.
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    You cannot touch your body and say:
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    this is my body.
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    Because they don't have mindfulness.
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    When they spend three hours with their computer,
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    they completely forget that they have a body.
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    They stay in a
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    world of
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    unreal world.
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    And that is why in Plum Village
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    our brothers and sisters
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    like to program a bell of mindfulness in the computer,
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    so that from time to time we are reminded
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    to stop and go back to our body
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    and breathe in
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    using the mindfulness of breathing in order to
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    recognize our body and get in touch with it.
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    Maybe our body is calling us
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    but we don't hear.
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    Our body need us, but we don't hear.
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    If we can get in touch with our body
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    we can get in touch with our feelings also.
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    There are many feelings calling us.
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    Suffering is like a child calling us,
    a suffering child is calling us.
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    But we ignore the voice of the child within.
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    Because every feeling is a child.
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    So mindfulness help us to get in touch
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    not only only with the suffering,
    in order for us to embrace and transform,
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    mindfulness also help us to
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    to touch the wonders of life, including our body.
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    Breathing in can be
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    can be a delight.
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    Breathing out can be a delight.
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    You enjoy your breathing.
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    Just visualize a monk sitting on the grass.
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    He does not do anything.
    He just breath in and enjoy his in-breath. He is free.
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    He is free from worries,
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    from anger,
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    from craving.
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    He is capable of getting in touch with his body
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    and the blue sky,
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    the green color, with the spring coming.
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    So we should be able to do that
    in order to remind the people who are coming
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    that they can also create moments of happiness.
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    Les petits bonheurs de chaque jour.
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    Learn how to enjoy.
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    Learn how to savor the little happinesses
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    in our daily life.
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    And that is possible.
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    There are many talented people.
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    They can get a diploma.
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    They can get invent a new machine.
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    They can do many things.
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    We will ask them:
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    Can you create a moment of happiness?
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    Can you make use of your body,
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    can you make use of your in-breath,
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    can you make use of your mindfulness
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    in order to create a moment of happiness?
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    A feeling of happiness?
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    The way we
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    make a soup.
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    In order to make a soup we need some water,
    some vegetables, some tofu and so on.
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    Most of us are able to make a good soup.
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    Un petit bonheur, a little happiness
    is like that, is like a soup.
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    And with some ingredients
    we are capable of making
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    a moment of happiness for us and for the other person.
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    You can offer some of your soup to the other person.
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    If you know how to invent,
    to create a moment of happiness
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    you can enjoy that happiness
    and you can offer that to the other person.
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    So that is an art.
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    The art of happiness.
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    You have to learn to enjoy.
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    And to fabricate
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    this feelings of joy and happiness in our daily life.
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    Il faut apprendre à savourer les petits bonheurs.
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    To learn how to savor
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    the little happinesses in our daily life.
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    And to create them.
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    And we know
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    how to stop
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    the Non Stop Thinking radio, NST,
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    in order to do so.
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    If you allow the radio inside to continue,
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    then you cannot do anything.
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    Because there is always that mental discourse
    going on day and night in your head.
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    You think of the past, you invoke the past,
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    you are afraid of the future,
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    and the thinking goes on.
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    And it takes away all space in you.
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    You have no time to live your life.
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    It is very important
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    to stop the radio inside,
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    the non stop NST, Non Stop Thinking.
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    Because that is the practice of
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    rumination.
  • 32:24 - 32:29
    We eat and we chew again and again
  • 32:30 - 32:32
    our suffering,
  • 32:32 - 32:36
    our worries, and that is not good for your health.
  • 32:37 - 32:39
    So we should be able to help them
  • 32:42 - 32:47
    not to continue to eat their own consciousness.
  • 32:48 - 32:49
    That is about
  • 32:51 - 32:53
    the fourth nutriment.
  • 32:54 - 32:56
    Consciousness as food.
  • 32:56 - 32:59
    In our consciousness there are suffering,
  • 33:01 - 33:03
    regret, sorrow.
  • 33:06 - 33:11
    We have the habit of bringing them up again
  • 33:11 - 33:16
    from the depth of our consciousness
    and chew and eat them again and again and again.
  • 33:16 - 33:18
    That is not healthy,
  • 33:19 - 33:21
    a healthy kind of food.
  • 33:22 - 33:24
    So stopping
  • 33:25 - 33:28
    the mental discourse is very important in the practice.
  • 33:33 - 33:35
    It's funny that
  • 33:35 - 33:41
    in Plum Village not only we don't drink alcohol,
  • 33:43 - 33:47
    eat meat, but we advice not to talk and not to think.
  • 33:49 - 33:54
    Because while walking if we talk or think,
  • 33:55 - 33:58
    we allow that radio to continue
  • 33:59 - 34:00
    and you are victim,
  • 34:02 - 34:06
    you are victim of the past, of the future, of worries.
  • 34:06 - 34:08
    We are not living our life.
  • 34:08 - 34:12
    In order to be able to live our life
    we have to stop the radio inside.
  • 34:16 - 34:18
    Le discours intérieur.
  • 34:20 - 34:26
    And then, how can you enjoy your steps
  • 34:26 - 34:29
    if you allow the radio to continue?
  • 34:30 - 34:33
    That is why it is very important to stop the radio inside.
  • 34:35 - 34:37
    To feel,
  • 34:38 - 34:40
    rather than to think.
  • 34:41 - 34:45
    When we touch the ground with our foot
  • 34:47 - 34:48
    we should be able to feel.
  • 34:49 - 34:51
    And the feeling can bring insight.
  • 34:55 - 34:58
    We are concentrated on that feeling.
  • 34:58 - 35:00
    I am touching mother Earth
  • 35:01 - 35:03
    with my left foot.
  • 35:06 - 35:10
    And in no time at all
    you touch all the wonders of life
  • 35:10 - 35:12
    that are available
  • 35:13 - 35:17
    during the time you touch the ground with your left foot.
  • 35:18 - 35:19
    And you have the feeling,
  • 35:20 - 35:22
    a wonderful feeling of joy,
  • 35:22 - 35:24
    of well-being.
  • 35:27 - 35:29
    And by doing so, you can stop the thinking.
  • 35:31 - 35:35
    Stop the thinking in order to do that,
    to do that in order to stop the thinking.
  • 35:39 - 35:43
    So to feel rather than to think is our practice.
  • 35:45 - 35:46
    To feel your body.
  • 35:48 - 35:50
    To be aware of each feeling.
  • 35:53 - 35:54
    To embrace them.
  • 35:56 - 35:58
    That is our practice.
  • 35:58 - 36:01
    And the healing is possible.
  • 36:04 - 36:08
    And we provide ourselves with a kind of healthy food.
  • 36:11 - 36:16
    We do not chew again and again
    our sorrow, our fear, our anger,
  • 36:16 - 36:18
    which is not good for our health.
  • 36:19 - 36:25
    But we begin to get
    the kind of healthy, sane food that we deserve.
  • 36:26 - 36:28
    And the Sangha around us
  • 36:29 - 36:32
    is there to remind us of our practice.
  • 36:38 - 36:39
    So we learn
  • 36:42 - 36:46
    how to walk joyfully and happily.
  • 36:47 - 36:51
    Walking meditation is not a hard labor.
  • 36:55 - 36:57
    Is not a duty that we have to perform.
  • 36:58 - 37:00
    That is an opportunity
  • 37:00 - 37:03
    to create moments of happiness.
  • 37:04 - 37:09
    That is a good opportunity
    to create moments of happiness
  • 37:10 - 37:12
    and to heal.
  • 37:13 - 37:15
    Walking meditation.
  • 37:15 - 37:19
    Whether you walk with a Sangha or you walk alone.
  • 37:22 - 37:25
    Walking with a Sangha you inherit,
  • 37:26 - 37:29
    you profit from the collective energy of the Sangha.
  • 37:31 - 37:32
    And walking alone
  • 37:33 - 37:36
    you radiate the energy of peace and mindfulness
  • 37:37 - 37:39
    and you remind people
  • 37:40 - 37:42
    to walk like you.
  • 37:46 - 37:47
    Any moment of practice
  • 37:49 - 37:52
    can heal and help heal other people.
  • 37:53 - 37:57
    Not only you yourself, but to help heal other people.
  • 37:57 - 38:02
    It's very pleasant to see a brother or a sister
    walking mindfully and happily
  • 38:03 - 38:04
    on a campus.
  • 38:05 - 38:07
    That is very nourishing and healing.
  • 38:09 - 38:13
    So whether you walk with a Sangha or you walk alone
  • 38:14 - 38:17
    your steps are very important for us.
  • 38:21 - 38:25
    And the people who come to us,
    when they see us walking like that
  • 38:25 - 38:28
    they have faith in the practice, in the Dharma.
  • 38:38 - 38:41
    When we have lunch, when we eat,
  • 38:44 - 38:46
    there must be a way of eating
  • 38:47 - 38:53
    in order for every moment of the meal
    can be healing, can be nourishing.
  • 38:54 - 38:59
    We do not only get the nutriment from the food,
  • 38:59 - 39:02
    but from the Sangha.
  • 39:03 - 39:06
    Because together, sitting together and eating
  • 39:06 - 39:11
    we generate energy of mindfulness,
    collective energy of mindfulness and brotherhood.
  • 39:12 - 39:15
    And that is very healthy, that is very healing.
  • 39:17 - 39:19
    So eating like that you stop the thinking.
  • 39:21 - 39:25
    And you became aware of
    the members of the Sangha around you.
  • 39:26 - 39:31
    Everyone is generating
    the energy of peace, brotherhood.
  • 39:31 - 39:35
    That is healing, that is good food.
  • 39:37 - 39:40
    So eating together is a practice.
  • 39:41 - 39:45
    Is not hard labor, is not a duty to perform.
  • 39:47 - 39:48
    Also,
  • 39:49 - 39:51
    sitting meditation.
  • 39:52 - 39:54
    Sitting meditation is
  • 39:55 - 39:57
    an opportunity to heal,
  • 39:59 - 40:01
    to create moments of joy also.
  • 40:02 - 40:06
    And not a moment when you have to be there
  • 40:08 - 40:14
    waiting for the bell to sound
    announcing the end of the sitting.
  • 40:15 - 40:17
    No. That would be a waste.
  • 40:18 - 40:21
    C'est du gaspillage.
  • 40:24 - 40:25
    It is very
  • 40:26 - 40:30
    very rare, very precious moments.
  • 40:31 - 40:36
    People in the world, they don't have
    the time to sit and do nothing like that.
  • 40:38 - 40:41
    They consider it to be uneconomic.
  • 40:44 - 40:45
    A luxury.
  • 40:47 - 40:48
    Time is money.
  • 40:49 - 40:51
    But we know that sitting
  • 40:53 - 40:55
    can be very healing.
  • 40:56 - 41:00
    So we have to learn how to enjoy
    every moment of our sitting.
  • 41:01 - 41:04
    How to breath, how to sit,
    so that every moment of sitting
  • 41:05 - 41:07
    can be nourishing and healing.
  • 41:11 - 41:13
    And if we know that
  • 41:16 - 41:19
    that schedule is made by ourselves
  • 41:20 - 41:23
    and not imposed on us by a political party,
  • 41:25 - 41:27
    or by the King.
  • 41:30 - 41:35
    It is the Sangha who has created the schedule
  • 41:36 - 41:39
    so that we can make good use of the schedule
  • 41:40 - 41:43
    for our transformation and healing.
  • 41:45 - 41:49
    The schedule is not imposed on us
    by anyone, including Thay.
  • 41:51 - 41:54
    The schedule has been designed by the whole Sangha
  • 41:55 - 41:58
    so that everyone has equal chance
  • 41:59 - 42:01
    to transform and to heal.
  • 42:02 - 42:04
    So we should not complain
  • 42:05 - 42:07
    that the schedule is too tight.
  • 42:07 - 42:10
    Only beginners need a tight schedule.
  • 42:14 - 42:16
    That is the raison-d'être
  • 42:17 - 42:21
    of a practitioner, to have a schedule.
  • 42:22 - 42:25
    And we know that doing with a Sangha,
  • 42:25 - 42:27
    doing together with a Sangha,
  • 42:28 - 42:32
    is better, is easier, is more pleasant.
  • 42:33 - 42:37
    So the bell and the Sangha coming to the sitting
  • 42:37 - 42:38
    is helping us.
  • 42:42 - 42:46
    Is a great help that everyone is going to the sitting
  • 42:47 - 42:51
    so we are going to the sitting.
    That is something very natural.
  • 42:52 - 42:54
    We don't have to make any effort.
  • 43:02 - 43:04
    It is said in many sutras
  • 43:04 - 43:06
    that the Dharma
  • 43:06 - 43:09
    is lovely, is pleasant,
  • 43:10 - 43:13
    in the beginning, in the middle, at the end.
  • 43:14 - 43:17
    So every minute of the practice
    should be pleasant, should be healing
  • 43:19 - 43:21
    and transforming.
Title:
Daffodil Festival Dharma Talk — Sun 10 Mar 2013
Description:

This is the talk of Thay given on the Daffodil Festival Day of Mindfulness in the Dharma Cloud Temple of Plum Village, France.

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
45:13

English subtitles

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