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PV Summer Retreat 2014-07-06

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    Good morning, dear Sangha.
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    Welcome to the Summer Opening in Plum Village.
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    Today is the 6th of July, 2014
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    and we are in the Assembly of Stars meditation hall
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    in the Lower Hamlet, Plum Village.
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    Mindfulness is a kind of energy
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    that we can generate.
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    Everyone has the capacity to generate
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    the energy of mindfulness.
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    That energy allows us to be aware of what is going on.
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    Going on in our body,
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    going on in our feelings,
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    going on in our perceptions, in our mind,
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    and going on around us, in the world.
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    So mindfulness, you can define it as the kind of energy
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    that allows us to be aware of what is
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    happening in the here and the now.
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    In our body, in our feelings, in our mind,
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    and in the world, which is the object of our mind.
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    In the Buddhist tradition
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    we always try to remember that the world
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    is the object of our mind.
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    Our mind and the world form perception,
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    subject of perception and object of perception.
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    And mindfulness is the kind of energy
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    that allows us to be in the here and the now.
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    If you are not in the here and the now
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    you cannot know what is happening in the here and the now.
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    So mindfulness is also the capacity to help us
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    to be established in the here and the now.
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    And we know that life and all the wonders of life
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    are available only in the here and the now.
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    And mindfulness helps us to go home to the here and the now
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    and get in touch with life, with the wonders of life
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    that are available in the here and the now.
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    It's so simple.
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    So we have an appointment with life.
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    J'avais un rendez-vous avec la vie.
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    And that appointment takes place in the present moment.
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    And if you miss the present moment,
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    you miss your appointment with life,
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    which is very serious.
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    So next time when someone asks you whether you have time,
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    you may say I have an appointment,
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    and with whom? With life.
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    I don't want to miss that appointment with life,
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    that is why I always try to be home
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    in the here and the now.
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    In the here and the now I get in touch with nature,
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    with the refreshing and healing elements
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    of nature that are in me and around me.
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    Because I need nourishment and healing.
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    So I have to go home to the
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    here and the now in order to get the
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    nourishment and healing that I need,
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    because I have been running all my life
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    looking for something in the future,
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    elsewhere, and I have missed my appointment with life.
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    Because of that I have become sick.
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    I suffer, that is why I have to learn to
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    go home to the here and the now and get in
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    touch with the elements of life that can be
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    healing and nourishing. And mindfulness
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    helps me to go home to the here and the now
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    and get in touch with the wonders of life.
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    Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something.
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    When you drink you tea, and if you are
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    aware that you are alive and you are drinking
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    your tea, that is mindfulness of drinking.
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    And you might choose to drink your tea
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    always in mindfulness, if you want.
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    Because drinking like that, you are very alive.
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    You are living deeply that moment of life
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    given to you to live.
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    So I like to make a commitment to drink my tea mindfully.
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    And when I drink my tea mindfully, I am concentrated in my tea.
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    So the energy of mindfulness carries
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    within itself the energy of concentration.
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    When you are very aware of something,
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    you are concentrated on it.
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    And if you are concentrated you begin to see things deeply.
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    Suppose I hold my cup mindfully. And because
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    I am holding my cup mindfully I am truly here
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    and established in the present moment.
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    And suppose I pour the hot water
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    in my pot
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    In my teapot
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    mindfully
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    I have concentration,
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    and that concentration allows me to see many things.
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    I see that this water has come from deep
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    up in the mountain, deep in the earth.
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    It has come to me
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    in this bottle
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    And as I pour the tea mindfully,
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    with concentration,
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    I can see many things that people who are not mindful cannot see.
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    I can see that there is a cloud in my tea.
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    Yesterday it was a cloud floating in the sky.
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    Now it is the tea.
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    And that is why when I drink my tea,
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    I see that I am drinking my cloud,
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    and the cloud has not died, even if it is
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    no longer in the sky, but it has not died,
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    because it is here, in it's new form of manifestation.
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    I can listen to my tea, to my cloud.
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    And if my concentration is very strong
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    I can discover the nature of no birth and no death
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    of my cloud. I know that it is impossible
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    for a cloud to die, because to die means
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    from someone you suddenly become noone,
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    from something you suddenly become nothing,
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    and that is what we mean by dying.
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    But if I am mindful, concentrated, I'd be full of insight.
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    I can see that my cloud can never die.
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    It can become snow or rain or ice, but it
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    can never become nothing.
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    So I touch the nature of no birth and no death of the cloud.
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    And if I continue, I can see myself having
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    that nature of no birth and no death.
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    If the true nature of the cloud is no birth and no death,
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    then my own nature is the nature of no birth and no death
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    And if I can touch deeply the nature of
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    no birth and no death in me, I am free from fear.
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    Fear of dying, fear of becoming nothing.
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    So mindfulness carries within itself that
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    energy of concentration, and it carries
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    within itself also the energy of insight.
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    Mindfulness, concentration, insight,
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    that are three kinds of energies that we
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    can generate. And these three kinds of
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    energies have the power to help us suffer less,
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    and help us to generate feelings of joy and happiness.
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    And all of us are capable of generating these
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    three kinds of energies.
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    And to practice meditation, Buddhist meditation,
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    is to generate these three kinds of energies.
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    And everyone can do, and right in the beginning of the practice.
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    You can learn to drink your tea mindfully.
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    You can learn how to walk mindfully.
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    You can learn how to breathe mindfully.
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    And when mindfulness is there,
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    concentration is there, and insight will be there.
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    And with mindfulness, concentration, and insight,
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    I can live very deeply every moment
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    of my daily life. I do not waste my life.
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    I feel alive in every moment.
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    And I will not regret later on that I have
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    wasted my life running after fame, power,
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    wealth, sensual pleasure. Because I feel
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    joy, happiness every moment of my daily life.
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    That is thanks to the power of mindfulness,
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    the power of concentration and insight.
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    So the first energy is mindfulness.
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    It's written in Chinese like this.
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    The upper part of the word, the character
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    it means now. Now, the present moment.
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    And the later, the lower part is "tâm"
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    and it means mind. When you bring your mind home
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    to the present moment, you are mindful.
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    So mindfulness is to bring your mind back
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    to the present moment. When you begin to
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    breathe in mindfully, you bring your mind
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    home to your body.
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    The opposite of mindfulness is dispersion,
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    forgetfulness. 'Thất niệm."
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    And there are those of us who drink our tea
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    and do not know that we are drinking our tea.
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    There are those of us who walk but do not know that they are walking.
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    Those of us who have a body,
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    all of us have a body,
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    but we forget that we have a body.
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    When you spend two hours with your computer
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    you might forget completely that you have a body.
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    Your mind is caught in the computer,
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    and you leave your body alone.
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    In that moment body and mind are not together.
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    And if body and mind are not together you are truly not alive.
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    You are truly alive only when your mind is with your body.
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    Usually in our daily life our body is there
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    but our mind is elsewhere.
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    Our mind is caught in the suffering concerning the past,
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    or the worries concerning the future, in our projects.
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    And therefore, body one place and mind in another place.
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    In that case there is no mindfulness.
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    And you are not truly alive.
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    You are not truly there in the here and the now.
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    So if you know the practice of mindful breathing
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    you begin to breathe in mindfully.
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    Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
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    And it may take two or three seconds for
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    you to breathe in mindfully. And by
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    breathing in mindfully you bring your mind
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    home to your body. And when mind and body
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    are together, you are established in the
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    here and the now. You are fully alive.
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    You are fully present, and that makes true life possible.
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    And sitting, walking, eating, washing,
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    live deeply every moment of your daily life,
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    and you do not waste your life.
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    So mindfulness is the energy that helps
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    us to bring our mind home to our body
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    so that we can be established well in the here and the now
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    and get in touch with the wonders of life
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    that help us to heal and to nourish,
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    to be nourished. "Chánh niệm."
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    Smrti.
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    And when you are mindful you are concentrated.
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    "Định" means concentration. Samadhi.
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    They are not two separate energies.
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    If you are mindful, there is some concentration already in here.
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    So we can say that concentration is already there in mindfulness.
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    And when concentration and mindfulness are powerful enough
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    then you can see manifested insight.
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    "Tuệ."
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    Prajna.
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    So in mindfulness you have concentration and insight.
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    In concentration you have mindfulness and insight.
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    If you look into one you can recognize the
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    two other energies. And Buddhist practitioners they know
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    how to generate these three kinds of energies
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    so that they can be alive. They can be fully alive,
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    fully present in order to live their life deeply.
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    And if you practice
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    for a week
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    the practice of mindful breathing,
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    mindful walking,
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    mindful eating,
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    and then you can notice that the amount of
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    mindfulness, concentration, and insight in you
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    have grown much more stronger.
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    And it is these three kinds of energies
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    that can help us suffer less and help us
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    generate more joy and happiness.
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    With these three kinds of energies
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    we can do many things.
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    With mindfulness, concentration and insight
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    we can generate a feeling of joy
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    and generate a feeling of happiness
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    "Hỷ"
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    and "Lạc"
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    So the practitioner of Buddhist meditation
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    is capable of generating a feeling of joy
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    or a feeling of happiness whenever she wants to.
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    And with the energy of mindfulness, concentration and insight,
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    a practitioner of Buddhist meditation
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    should be able to bring in a feeling of joy
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    a feeling of happiness whenever we want.
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    And that is done with the energy of mindfulness
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    concentration and insight that we generate
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    with the breathing, with the walking, and so on.
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    And the principle, the mechanism is very simple.
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    How to create a feeling of joy for ourselves,
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    and to be nourished by that feeling of joy.
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    Mindfulness.
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    Mindfulness is born from,
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    ah, joy is born from mindfulness.
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    This is a sentence well known in the Buddhist literature.
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    "Niệm sinh hỷ"
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    Joy born from mindfulness.
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    And joy born from mindfulness, and joy
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    can be born also from concentration, "định"
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    and from insight, "tuệ"
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    The mechanism is simple. When you breathe in mindfully,
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    breathing in I know I am breathing in.
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    I focus my attention on my in-breath.
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    I stop the thinking. I just become aware
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    of my in-breath. My in-breath is the only
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    object of my mind. I focus all my attention
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    on my in-breath. I am concentrated.
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    I allow mindfulness and concentration to be present.
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    And suddenly I discover I'm alive.
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    That is insight. It's very clear.
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    When you breathe in mindfully you know that you are alive
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    because someone who is already dead does not breathe in anymore.
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    So just breathing in mindfully you get the
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    insight that you are alive. And you know something?
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    To be alive is the most wonderful thing.
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    To be alive. To be still alive is the most
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    wonderful thing. That is the miracle.
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    So breathing in I know I am alive.
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    That is insight born from mindfulness of breathing.
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    I feel I am alive. I have a body and I can
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    get in touch with the many wonders of life
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    like the sunshine, the rain, the vegetation,
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    the flowers, the river, the people.
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    So that kind of awareness, that kind of insight
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    can help you to generate a feeling of joy right away.
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    Joy is born from mindfulness, concentration and insight.
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    When you come home to the here and the now
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    you recognize the fact that there are
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    so many conditions of happiness that are
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    already available. More than enough for
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    you to be joyful and happy.
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    If you take a piece, a sheet of paper, and
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    try to write down the conditions of happiness that you already have.
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    That is an exercise.
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    Sitting at the foot of the plum tree
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    you write down all the conditions of happiness that you already have.
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    I don't think that one page is enough.
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    I don't think that two pages are enough.
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    Three pages are not enough either.
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    You have more conditions to be happy,
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    more than enough conditions in order to be
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    joyful and happy. And mindfulness helps
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    you to recognize these conditions.
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    And happiness can be born right away, joy also.
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    And that is the mechanism of joy and happiness.
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    Mindfulness, awareness of the conditions
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    of happiness that are already available.
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    It's very clear. Suppose you say you practice,
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    breathing in I am aware of my eyes.
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    So the object of your mind, your mindfulness is your eyes.
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    Breathing in, you focus your attention on your eyes
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    and you discover that your eyes are still in good condition.
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    There are those of us who have lost our eyesight
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    and they cannot see anything anymore.
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    And you are, you still have eyes in good condition.
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    That is a big condition of happiness.
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    Because you have eyes still in good condition
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    you need only to open your eyes and then
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    a paradise of forms and colors become available.
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    Nature is so beautiful. The stars, the galaxies are so beautiful.
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    Imagine you are an oyster living in the depth of the ocean.
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    You never have a chance to see the stars in the sky
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    and the beautiful waves on the surface of the ocean.
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    Because you have eyes still in good condition,
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    you only need to open them and then
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    the beautiful cosmos is available to you.
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    There is a paradise of forms and colors
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    available in the here and the now.
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    And you can get in touch because you have
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    eyes still in good condition.
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    And your eyes is only one of these conditions of happiness.
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    You will discover
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    thousands and thousands
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    of conditions like that, in your body and around you.
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    The French have a song about this.
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    Qu'es qu'on attend pour etre heureux.
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    Why do you have to wait in order to be happy?
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    You can be happy right now.
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    Qu'es qu'on attend pour faire la fete.
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    There is a lot of wisdom in that song.
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    We can celebrate life.
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    We can make happiness possible right now because
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    the conditions of happiness
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    are more than enough for you to enjoy.
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    You do not have to run into the future
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    and look for some more conditions of happiness.
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    So that is the mechanism of the practice of joy and happiness.
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    Going home to the here and the now.
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    Recognize the presence of the wonders of life available.
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    Recognize the fact that the Kingdome of God
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    is available in the here and the now.
  • 30:13 - 30:18
    And suddenly joy and happiness are born.
  • 30:18 - 30:22
    That is the art of happiness. You can create
  • 30:22 - 30:25
    joy and happiness using the energy of
  • 30:25 - 30:30
    mindfulness, concentration and insight.
  • 30:30 - 30:35
    You can do it. It takes some training.
  • 30:35 - 30:38
    And that you can learn the habit of being happy,
  • 30:40 - 30:42
    of being joyful.
  • 30:45 - 30:46
    You are so lucky.
  • 30:47 - 30:51
    You are so wealthy and you think that you are poor.
  • 30:53 - 30:59
    You have to go and beg for some happiness
  • 30:59 - 31:02
    elsewhere in the future.
  • 31:03 - 31:08
    Buit in fact, you are very wealthy.
  • 31:10 - 31:13
    You are a treasure of happiness available in the here and the now.
  • 31:14 - 31:16
    Even the Kingdom of God is available to you
  • 31:16 - 31:18
    in the here and the now.
  • 31:19 - 31:22
    For those of us who practice mindfulness,
  • 31:22 - 31:24
    the Kingdom is available,
  • 31:28 - 31:32
    And if you do not enjoy the Kingdom of
  • 31:32 - 31:34
    God in the here and the now,
  • 31:34 - 31:38
    because you have not made yourself available to the Kingdom.
  • 31:40 - 31:43
    And to make yourself available to the Kingdom,
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    it's not so difficult. Just breathe in
  • 31:46 - 31:50
    mindfully and bring your mind home to your body
  • 31:51 - 31:54
    and you can recognize the Kingdom of God in every pebble,
  • 31:54 - 31:59
    in every flower, in every child.
  • 31:59 - 32:01
    With mindfulness, concentration and insight,
  • 32:01 - 32:08
    you can touch the Kingdom of God in every moment.
  • 32:08 - 32:12
    And that is the art of happiness using
  • 32:12 - 32:16
    mindfulness, concentration and insight.
  • 32:16 - 32:23
    The other side of the practice is with
  • 32:23 - 32:27
    mindfulness, concentration and insight you can handle suffering.
  • 32:28 - 32:32
    There is anger, fear, despair in you,
  • 32:32 - 32:34
    and if you know how to make good use
  • 32:34 - 32:36
    of mindfulness, concentration and insight
  • 32:38 - 32:43
    you can recognize the pain, the suffering.
  • 32:43 - 32:49
    You can embrace it tenderly.
  • 32:51 - 32:53
    You can allow compassion to be born.
  • 32:53 - 32:56
    And then you suffer less.
  • 32:56 - 32:59
    Right away.
  • 33:03 - 33:06
    There is a way to suffer.
  • 33:07 - 33:10
    The Buddha knows how to suffer.
  • 33:10 - 33:14
    That is why he suffers very little.
  • 33:17 - 33:20
    And we can learn his art of suffering.
  • 33:20 - 33:25
    If you know how to suffer, you suffer much less.
  • 33:25 - 33:30
    How? With the energy of mindfulness,
  • 33:30 - 33:36
    concentration and insight, you suffer much less than other people.
  • 33:36 - 33:39
    Learn the art of going home to yourself.
  • 33:39 - 33:42
    Recognize the suffering. Embrace it tenderly
  • 33:42 - 33:45
    with mindfulness and concentration and insight
  • 33:45 - 33:48
    and you suffer much less.
  • 33:48 - 33:50
    Especially when you know how to make good use
  • 33:50 - 33:58
    of the collective energy of compassion generated by the sangha.
  • 34:01 - 34:04
    With mindfulness, concentration and insight
  • 34:05 - 34:07
    you suffer less. Much less.
  • 34:08 - 34:11
    And you can even go further.
  • 34:13 - 34:16
    You can make good use of suffering
  • 34:16 - 34:20
    because suffering is useful.
  • 34:20 - 34:26
    It's like when you grow lotus flowers you need the mud.
  • 34:28 - 34:32
    Without the mud you cannot grow lotus flowers.
  • 34:35 - 34:38
    If you know how to handle suffering.
  • 34:38 - 34:46
    If you can handle fear, anger, despair.
  • 34:46 - 34:49
    If you know how to make good use of the suffering
  • 34:49 - 34:58
    then you can produce many beautiful lotus of happiness.
  • 34:58 - 35:01
    So a good practitioner is someone who knows
  • 35:01 - 35:04
    how to make good use of suffering in order
  • 35:04 - 35:11
    to create understanding, compassion, and happiness.
  • 35:11 - 35:15
    And that is why we can speak of the goodness of suffering.
  • 35:15 - 35:19
    The usefulness of suffering.
  • 35:19 - 35:26
    It's like the mud. You should not be afraid of the mud.
  • 35:26 - 35:28
    You know how to make good use of the mud
  • 35:28 - 35:33
    in order to produce beautiful lotuses.
  • 35:33 - 35:36
    So the practictioner does the same.
  • 35:36 - 35:38
    The good practitioner does the same.
  • 35:38 - 35:40
    He knows how to make good use of suffering
  • 35:40 - 35:44
    and create understanding, compassion,
  • 35:44 - 35:51
    transformation, healing, happiness.
  • 35:51 - 35:55
    So on the one hand there is the art of happiness.
  • 35:55 - 35:57
    How to be happy.
  • 35:57 - 36:01
    On the other hand there is the art of suffering.
  • 36:01 - 36:06
    And we learn that if we know how to suffer we suffer much less.
  • 36:06 - 36:07
    And you can make good use of suffering
  • 36:07 - 36:16
    in order to create compassion, understanding, and happiness.
  • 36:16 - 36:20
    And practicing with brothers and sisters in the community
  • 36:20 - 36:25
    you learn from their experience how to do these things.
  • 36:25 - 36:32
    On one hand, you learn how to produce
  • 36:32 - 36:36
    a feeling of joy and happiness to nourish
  • 36:36 - 36:39
    yourself and help nourish the other person.
  • 36:39 - 36:43
    On the other hand, you learn how to suffer
  • 36:43 - 36:45
    so that you suffer less, and you can
  • 36:45 - 36:50
    create happiness out of your suffering.
  • 36:50 - 36:55
    We continue tomorrow in French.
Title:
PV Summer Retreat 2014-07-06
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
37:17

English subtitles

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