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2018 11 29 UH EN Discourse on Being an Island unto myself br Phap Dung

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    Dear respected teacher,
    dear sangha,
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    today is November the 29th
    in the year 2018,
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    and we are in Upper Hamlet
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    in the Still Water
    sitting meditation hall.
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    And we are on our lay day.
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    A lay day is all our lay friends are here,
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    for long term, some are here
    for three months,
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    some are here for a year, two years.
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    So it is
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    a very beautiful rains retreat tradition.
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    Today is also a monastic day.
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    I think they are in Lower Hamlet.
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    When I first came into Plum Village,
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    we didn't have monastic day or lay day.
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    There are maybe 45 monks and nuns,
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    we can all fit in Thay's hut.
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    On Thay's deck.
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    That has grown bigger and Plum Village
    became more, how you call it,
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    more a place of refuge.
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    Somehow, the monastics,
    we were like very small.
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    So during the year,
    we hardly get to see each other
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    to practice together
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    and look at some of the things
    within the monastic community.
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    So slowly, there was that need.
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    And the same thing with lay friends.
    More and more came,
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    and they stay longer.
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    And many of them became OI members
    and Dharma teachers.
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    So we feel very grateful that
    the fourfold sangha grew together.
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    And we wouldn't be able to have
    a monastic day
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    without solid, stable, happy, harmonious,
    peaceful, lay friends,
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    our sisters and brothers who are -
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    We are very grateful here in Plum Village,
    that you dedicate your life to come here,
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    not just long-term, but some of you
    are thinking of moving here.
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    Some already have moved here.
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    Before coming in here, I saw a baby.
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    I think there is a family here
    that lives in Thénac, I think you know.
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    There are two babies in Plum Village.
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    I knew them when the mother
    was having the belly bulging,
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    the first baby.
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    So I always look at the couple and I say,
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    'What have I produced in these last
    three years? They produced two babies!
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    (Laughter)
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    So what do I do here?
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    What kind of love. It's from love
    that you - And your hope and your-
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    You have a kind of love for your child,
    and so on.
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    So this is a kind of mantra for me.
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    I when I see the farmers too,
    when they work on the farm,
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    like now, they are clipping
    the grape vines.
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    I used to, as a novice I came here
    many years ago, in my second year
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    I used to walk by them
    and I felt really
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    you know, they are doing a lot of work.
    All I do is walk around, eat, and sit, and
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    (Laughter)
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    maybe wash a few dishes.
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    But what do I do?
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    I mean, it's cold, their hands in the -
    It's very tough to be a farmer.
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    And so sometimes I feel very
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    like I live a very privileged life.
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    I left a lot of things, my bank account,
    my car,
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    my blood family, my sisters, my nieces,
    my nephew. I live here.
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    And once in a while,
    when I was a novice,
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    it would come up. I felt kind of guilty.
    I remember feeling, Gosh!
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    It is quite -
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    So it may encourage me to really look
    into, what do we do here?
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    What is it that we are
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    producing, or offering to the world?
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    I remember my university friend came
    and visited me.
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    She stayed for about five, or six days.
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    And she was a kind of practitioner too.
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    But I think we -
    She was not very happy with me,
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    because we were architects together.
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    And she felt that I was deserting our
    'save the world' aspiration.
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    As a young college student graduating
    after working a while,
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    you have very idealistic, you know,
    I'm going to save the climate!
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    Save the polar bears! Or something.
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    I wanted to save Los Angeles,
    make it a humane city,
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    with trees, and nature,
    and everyone sharing, and -
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    So you are very idealistic.
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    And she said, she felt,
    she didn't say it,
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    but I could feel that she felt I was
    deserting our commitment.
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    I think a few of us in college,
    we supported each other,
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    we knew we wanted to help the world
    be a better place.
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    And at a moment I said, 'You know,
    I'm doing my part, I'm still working here,
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    doing things'. And she said, 'Yes! Sure!
    It's easy for you to be in Plum Village!'
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    She felt like I was hiding here.
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    I haven't talked to here for a while.
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    I think in a few years we will come
    back together and we will do inventory.
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    How much have you helped the world?
    And how much have I done?
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    It's very - What do you call it?
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    You know, gross national happiness
    kind of thing.
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    What have you produced?
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    How have you been useful?
    This is a kind of a way of thinking
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    that I was trained in in America.
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    I just share with you how Plum Village
    has grown so much.
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    And I think now I am a few more at peace
    and at ease with what Plum Village is
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    and what is doing as I grew more into
    this community and into the practice,
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    and looked more deeply at ways
    we can help better the world.
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    Some of you who have been here
    at least one year, or two years,
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    you see so many kinds of people
    go through here,
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    and the kind of breakthroughs they have
    in their heart, in their mind.
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    The kind of reconciliation they have
    with their loved ones.
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    The happiness and peace
    they manage to generate.
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    As well as we do see anger,
    and irritation, and frustration,
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    these kind of daily things.
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    Their eyebrows become a little bit more -
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    That is already a great plus.
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    The monastics, we, sometimes
    after a retreat we come back to our room,
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    and our residence, we say, 'Did you see
    how his face changed?'
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    Just one week. After one retreat,
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    from the day a person comes,
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    and after seven days,
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    the face -
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    And I think some of you are feeling that.
    Maybe not in your face, but in the body,
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    maybe the way you chew.
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    So for me these little things,
    I began to look more deeply
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    as a kind of a -
    I don't want to say
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    it's what we do over here.
    It's not what we produce,
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    but it is a kind of
    what Plum Village is about.
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    A place for healing, transformation,
    as well as for nourishment, and
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    inspiration. You've been here
    for the Wake Up retreat,
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    five hundred young people, wow!
    They come here and their battery is -
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    Full capacity. And they go out there
    and save the world.
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    Good luck!
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    (Laughter)
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    But it is good. Young people
    need a place where they -
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    Because it's tough! We are living
    at a very tough period.
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    Not tougher than in the Middle Ages,
    or like -
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    Or the Barbaric times and so on.
    But it is a tough time,
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    because of the media, and the amount of
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    stimulation.
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    Every time I go back to the US
    and I visit my family,
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    I see that it's so hard to raise a family,
    to raise a child now.
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    So I feel a lot of inspiration
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    to create more conditions for families,
    supporting families, parents,
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    brothers and sisters.
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    So that is my reflection.
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    The fourfold sangha growing
    and making Plum Village be meaningful,
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    is Thay's greatest wish, to create
    many Plum Villages around the world.
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    Ways -
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    How we call it, places that are not good
    for their economy.
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    I have a list I'll share with you
    just to make to laugh.
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    I'm making a list, what Plum Village
    is not good for.
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    (Laughter)
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    And one of the first ones is,
    Plum Village is not good for the economy.
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    (Laughter)
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    Because people would come here,
    and over, and over again,
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    after we see them, they quit their job.
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    (Laughter)
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    That is the first thing.
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    They stay and, 'How come you're here
    for two weeks?' - 'I quit my job.'
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    (Laughter)
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    Before it was very hard for them
    to find one week.
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    And I see them again and I say,
    'You are here for two weeks, really?'
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    'Yes, I quit my job.'
    And it is classic.
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    If you see somebody
    hanging around here a long time,
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    it is probably not good for their economy.
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    (Laughter)
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    I thought you would laugh.
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    The other one is Plum Village
    is not good for your self-image.
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    You know, that one is hard, uh?
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    I came here and I was from L.A.
    and, you know,
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    I was very gangster and -
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    And people start to tell you
    a lot of things about yourself.
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    And you kind like, mmm, -
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    So your high identity and your,
    kind of your -
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    You know, in a Dharma discussion
    that happens, you know?
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    People start to break down their,
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    what do we call it, their veil and
    they get to really be who they are.
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    And it's such a liberation
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    to be who you are
    without fear of being judged.
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    You have to put something up
    for your parents,
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    for your mother, your father,
    your friends, society.
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    You don't have to do that here. Wow!
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    So it is really bad for your self-image,
    that is what I mean.
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    The other one,
    you are not going to like this one.
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    Plum Village is not good
    for your relationships.
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    (Laughter)
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    It is really - You thought
    you were doing well in your relationships
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    and then you come here and you realize,
    'Oh my God! I'm -'
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    (Laughter)
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    Yeah? So you have to really look again
    at your relationship.
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    You know, this may not apply to you,
    you may be fine in your relationship,
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    so, don't fix it if it is not broken.
    Okay?
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    I only say it from a few observations.
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    People really have to look at
    their relationships.
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    You know, they are attached,
    they are projecting, so on.
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    Or maybe their partner is projecting
    and attached.
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    So these are kind of -
    And then, something happens.
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    Some of the couples become
    monks and nuns, so -
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    (Laughter)
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    It's like, 'I don't like
    this double relationship.
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    I want a monk type relationship.'
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    Anyway, I just share a little few things.
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    Anyway, let get serious, because I was
    asked to share with you about a sutra.
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    So let be a little Buddhist about it.
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    So I was asked to share about
    the Discourse on Taking Refuge in Oneself.
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    And I think some of you have been around.
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    I won't go through this sutra,
    but this is the topic today.
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    How to take refuge in oneself.
    And what that means.
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    And that is very -
    For me,
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    it is one of the essence
    of Buddhist practice. It is a -
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    You know, the Buddha at that time,
    when he was forming,
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    there was a lot of, I guess, religions?
    A lot of devotional practices,
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    a lot of rituals, a lot of things.
    There must have been a lot of suffering.
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    People looking outward,
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    looking for magicians, and ritual people
    that can help relieve their suffering.
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    So this is the time that he was
    formulating most of his teachings.
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    So people like looked for
    things
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    that may help them connect to a God
    or something, a Savior,
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    something would help them bring peace.
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    And also to, also to look for teachers.
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    Even the Buddha did that himself.
    He went around looking for teachers
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    to help him find a way
    so he can liberate himself.
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    So you need to know the context.
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    How the Buddha formulated the practice.
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    In that way, you can copy him, in a way.
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    Maybe understand deeply his life.
    This is a young man, 29 years old,
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    looking for, like you are looking for
    when you come to Plum Village,
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    or you find Thay's books.
    We are on a search,
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    spiritual search, a search for relieving
    our anger, our frustration, our suffering.
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    And finding peace.
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    We all have this kind of innate search
    to look for peace, happiness.
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    As well as to relieve, and even sometimes
    to avoid suffering,
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    or get rid of suffering.
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    So we look for a teacher.
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    So people did that.
    And the Buddha did that.
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    And many disciples did that.
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    Many of the teachers of other students
    found the Buddha and so on.
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    And their students also
    turned to the Buddha.
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    So there is this tradition
    throughout the ages, I think,
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    for us to learn from our teachers,
    to learn from those who
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    went before us.
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    And I think,
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    in this sutra the Buddha is very strong.
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    In this sutra, two other monks,
    Shariputra and Maudgalyayana,
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    the two eldest monks in the community.
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    This is already the sangha has grown full,
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    and many monks
    already following the Buddha.
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    And these two monks have been teaching
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    and are very well loved
    by the other young monks.
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    And they have passed away.
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    So this is -
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    And the Buddha saw that
    a few of the monks were affected.
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    His attendant, Thay Ananda, was affected.
    I think he even fainted, Thay shared.
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    He lost balance, as ,'Now what will I do?
    They are gone! Oh!'
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    So this is the context of the teaching
    of why the Buddha gave this teaching.
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    Because there is a kind of
    attachment to the teacher.
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    So in the sutra Taking Refuge in Oneself,
    the Buddha is pointing
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    at you letting - You know that there is
    only one place that is the true security,
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    that you will have refuge and safety,
    solidity and so on.
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    And that is the island within,
    the island
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    within oneself.
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    This is beautiful!
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    When I first learned of this teaching,
    it just blew my mind.
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    The island of self.
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    You know, I mean self is a loaded word
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    in our education growing up.
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    Selfie, and so on.
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    But the island of self here
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    is a kind of quality that we -
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    All the qualities that we think
    we don't have, and we are looking for,
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    out there, or in a book,
    in a self-help books.
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    When you are suffering,
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    the self-help books keep going.
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    One reference, and then you go
    to the next one, and the next author.
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    So we have this tendency to look outward
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    for the answer.
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    This for me was a revolution.
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    Thay and the Buddha told me,
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    the way out is in.
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    So the island of self here
    is to look inward.
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    And more specifically, in the sutra
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    is recommended that you look inward
    and to meditate.
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    There is a phrase that says,
    "Meditate on the body in the body,
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    nourishing Right Understanding
    and mindfulness
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    to master and transform
    your cravings and anxieties."
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    That is
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    the best instruction that you will get
    in terms of what the Buddhist path is.
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    It is go back, look inside your body.
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    And here the body is not,
    is just one word 'body',
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    but it means the five skandhas.
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    It means also the four foundations
    of your practice of meditation.
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    The four foundations,
    the body, the feelings,
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    the mind and the objects of mind,
    or the world.
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    So those are the four foundations
    the Buddha has taught.
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    So that when you say, 'Look in the body',
    the body means also the feelings,
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    the perceptions, the mental formations
    and our mind.
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    So the body here is also the body
    and how the mind works.
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    So to be a good meditator
    you need to know about that,
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    you need to know how this body works,
    you need to know
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    how the mind, and how you perceive
    and work in the world.
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    And this is very important.
    If we don't understand
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    how your mind works,
    you will just keep
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    entangling yourself.
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    And there is a method
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    to slowly begin to see the subtle ways and
    the more gross ways that our mind works.
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    The gross way is, you know, when you sit
    and meditate, it is hard to tell, right?
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    It is very subtle.
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    Whether that person, how they are feeling
    or if they are really meditating.
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    If they are doing the work.
    It's hard to tell.
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    They look very peaceful, but as soon as
    they stand up, and go to the door,
  • 23:16 - 23:20
    and open the door and close it,
    you can see their mind.
  • 23:20 - 23:23
    You see? That is very -
    That is the gross level.
  • 23:24 - 23:26
    Do you understand?
  • 23:26 - 23:30
    When you see someone rushing
    to the tea house, it's very obvious.
  • 23:30 - 23:34
    So the body can reveal the mind.
  • 23:35 - 23:39
    When you see someone take hot water,
  • 23:41 - 23:44
    he pulls the lever down,
  • 23:45 - 23:50
    and how they take the hot water
    tells you something. It's energetic.
  • 23:51 - 23:53
    It is more subtle.
  • 23:53 - 23:58
    So, slowly, with meditation, you can see,
    you train in gross,
  • 23:58 - 24:00
    and slowly in more subtle.
  • 24:01 - 24:03
    And how the body works
    as well as the mind.
  • 24:04 - 24:09
    So we do separate it, but actually
    it's one thing. Body and mind go together.
  • 24:10 - 24:17
    But it is helpful to train, so
    the body sometimes can help the mind.
  • 24:19 - 24:22
    Like opening the door.
  • 24:22 - 24:25
    If you train to open the door
    in a certain way,
  • 24:25 - 24:29
    and you do it every time
    you open this door,
  • 24:31 - 24:35
    then, what is the mind doing?
    So you are not just training your body,
  • 24:35 - 24:38
    you are training your mind.
  • 24:39 - 24:44
    That is why as novices, for three years
    we are very -
  • 24:45 - 24:49
    The brothers look at how we move.
  • 24:50 - 24:52
    How we flip our robe,
  • 24:52 - 24:56
    how we find ways to
    put on our robe quickly, you know?
  • 24:56 - 24:59
    Because we are not used to it.
  • 24:59 - 25:04
    So as novice, for three years
    we have to train to master our steps,
  • 25:04 - 25:08
    how we cook, how we sit,
    how we make tea, how we get out of bed.
  • 25:09 - 25:14
    How our bed looks.
    The area where we put our things.
  • 25:14 - 25:17
    How the room looks.
  • 25:17 - 25:20
    We call them mindful manners.
  • 25:20 - 25:23
    The first three years is very, very -
  • 25:24 - 25:29
    So the training in the body
    is quite helpful at the beginning.
  • 25:29 - 25:32
    Because the mind part,
  • 25:32 - 25:34
    tougher.
  • 25:34 - 25:38
    It is more subtle,
    because we are quite cerebral animals,
  • 25:38 - 25:43
    we are very proud, we are Homo sapiens,
    Homo conscious.
  • 25:43 - 25:48
    We are very smart.
    So as meditators, sometimes
  • 25:49 - 25:52
    we are too smarts for ourselves.
  • 25:52 - 25:55
    So the body helps us.
  • 25:55 - 25:59
    So here, when we say,
    "Look at the body in the body",
  • 26:00 - 26:04
    is to come back and use this
  • 26:08 - 26:13
    vehicle, this body as a meditation.
  • 26:14 - 26:19
    In another sutra, The Sixteen Exercises
    on Full Awareness of Breathing,
  • 26:20 - 26:23
    the Buddha gave very clear instructions.
  • 26:25 - 26:29
    And he uses the breath
    to observe the mind.
  • 26:30 - 26:33
    Here in Plum Village,
  • 26:34 - 26:36
    you have experienced
    some of the guided meditations.
  • 26:37 - 26:40
    They all go with the breath.
    In-breath, like this
  • 26:41 - 26:45
    we managed before the Dharma talk,
    we heard a guided meditation.
  • 26:45 - 26:50
    Breathing in, I see myself as space.
  • 26:51 - 26:55
    Breathing out, I feel free.
  • 26:56 - 26:59
    Imagine your body as space.
  • 27:01 - 27:04
    And you feel free.
  • 27:05 - 27:10
    So with the breath we can actually
    learn a lot about our body.
  • 27:11 - 27:15
    So the following the breath,
    don't underestimate that.
  • 27:16 - 27:21
    Maybe you've done it a couple of times,
    maybe follow your breath a few meditations
  • 27:21 - 27:25
    and you, 'Huh! This is like beginners!'
  • 27:26 - 27:28
    But be careful.
  • 27:28 - 27:32
    Following the breath
    is a whole life's work.
  • 27:32 - 27:37
    So every time you sit, establish yourself
    right away to the breath.
  • 27:38 - 27:44
    You breathe in, you recognize
    it is an in-breath, and find out
  • 27:45 - 27:49
    where is it that spot
    that is most helpful for you.
  • 27:49 - 27:52
    Sometimes it's near the nose.
  • 27:52 - 27:55
    Sometimes it's the back of your head.
  • 27:56 - 27:58
    Sometimes it's around here.
  • 27:58 - 28:00
    So, it changes.
  • 28:02 - 28:05
    So we take the breath
    and we recognize
  • 28:07 - 28:09
    it is an in-breath.
  • 28:12 - 28:14
    You can out-breath.
  • 28:14 - 28:17
    You recognize the out-breath.
  • 28:17 - 28:20
    It sound like,
    'Why it has to do anything?'
  • 28:21 - 28:24
    But it is the secret.
  • 28:25 - 28:29
    Sometimes - There is a poem in Zen.
  • 28:31 - 28:37
    You take the silk of the lotus stem,
    you know, when you break the lotus stem
  • 28:37 - 28:42
    and you pull the stem.
    And there is a very thin silk.
  • 28:42 - 28:45
    Have you ever seen it?
    It's very thin.
  • 28:45 - 28:48
    It's very light.
  • 28:48 - 28:52
    And there is a poem where you say,
    "You can take one of those silks
  • 28:52 - 28:57
    and you can tame an angry tiger."
  • 28:58 - 29:00
    It's beautiful.
  • 29:00 - 29:03
    You don't need a whip,
    you don't need a chain,
  • 29:03 - 29:08
    you just need a thin silk
    from the lotus leaf.
  • 29:10 - 29:13
    And you can hold the tiger. Wow!
  • 29:13 - 29:17
    I loved that image
    when Thay first taught it.
  • 29:17 - 29:19
    So you don't need -
  • 29:19 - 29:23
    And what that silk thread is,
    is your breath.
  • 29:25 - 29:29
    Don't underestimate your breath.
    If you train your breathing,
  • 29:29 - 29:31
    it can actually,
  • 29:32 - 29:36
    it can really hold
    and bring back your mind.
  • 29:37 - 29:40
    So with each breath,
    even a small little breath,
  • 29:41 - 29:43
    you can bring your mind back.
  • 29:44 - 29:46
    It is drifting somewhere.
  • 29:46 - 29:49
    So these exercises
    it is what we do.
  • 29:50 - 29:53
    We don't clip vine, you know.
  • 29:53 - 29:57
    The grape vines. We don't build walls
    with bricks.
  • 29:58 - 30:02
    Monastics here, what we do,
    what practitioners do here,
  • 30:02 - 30:08
    is you train to have more concentration,
    more mindfulness, and more insight,
  • 30:08 - 30:10
    more understanding.
  • 30:11 - 30:13
    So with each breath,
  • 30:15 - 30:17
    our mindfulness energy
  • 30:18 - 30:20
    is generated, right?
  • 30:21 - 30:23
    This is all we do!
  • 30:23 - 30:28
    And the more we become consistent,
    the more strength it has.
  • 30:28 - 30:31
    Even though it is still very subtle,
  • 30:31 - 30:35
    this little silk thread
    can really hold you.
  • 30:35 - 30:39
    And some of you maybe
    have already experienced it.
  • 30:39 - 30:44
    You may have this wrong idea about
    something and it makes you very angry.
  • 30:47 - 30:49
    Just one breath,
  • 30:50 - 30:52
    wow!
  • 30:52 - 30:57
    Second breath, you are like,
    oh! I'm so glad I didn't open my mouth!
  • 30:58 - 31:01
    You already felt that?
  • 31:01 - 31:04
    By the second breath
    you are already feeling gratitude.
  • 31:05 - 31:08
    'Oh! I'm so glad
    I didn't react to that one!'
  • 31:09 - 31:10
    (Laughter)
  • 31:11 - 31:13
    That is the tiger, you see?
  • 31:13 - 31:17
    The tiger now turns around and smiles.
  • 31:17 - 31:21
    Ah! You know? Wow! I got out of that one!
  • 31:21 - 31:26
    Those of you who have been angry,
    like I have been in the past,
  • 31:26 - 31:28
    I can destroy many things.
  • 31:29 - 31:34
    All the kitchen cupboards, all the doors,
    the table, all the knives.
  • 31:36 - 31:40
    So you know what that tiger can do, right?
  • 31:41 - 31:45
    But to master the tiger, wow!
  • 31:45 - 31:47
    Now, that
  • 31:48 - 31:51
    is the greatest gift.
  • 31:52 - 31:57
    You know, you to be the CEO,
    and have a good company,
  • 31:57 - 32:02
    and you got 500 employees,
    that's great!
  • 32:02 - 32:05
    But it's incomparable
  • 32:06 - 32:11
    to the CEO of your anger, eh?
  • 32:11 - 32:13
    That is a great happiness.
  • 32:14 - 32:16
    When I was first able to do that,
  • 32:17 - 32:22
    I knew this is something very,
    very precious.
  • 32:23 - 32:27
    And I dedicate my life
    to finding out more.
  • 32:27 - 32:32
    So this is what the power of
    the breathing, the exercise.
  • 32:32 - 32:37
    The Buddha didn't just give
    a whole teaching on the breath.
  • 32:37 - 32:43
    Because, it's what he does
    and what he sees can help.
  • 32:44 - 32:51
    So don't underestimate the conscious
    breathing exercise training, Okay?
  • 32:52 - 32:56
    This is how you train to look at
    the body within the body.
  • 32:56 - 33:02
    You sit, find the time, sit down.
    And be with your body.
  • 33:04 - 33:08
    Most of the time in our society
    we are not taught that.
  • 33:08 - 33:11
    Our body sometimes is in the way.
  • 33:11 - 33:14
    It gets hungry? Why it has to get hungry!
  • 33:14 - 33:18
    You just fill it up and then
    continue to work.
  • 33:18 - 33:20
    So we've never,
  • 33:20 - 33:23
    in the society we don't really
  • 33:23 - 33:28
    value the miracle of having a body,
    that your parents gave birth to you.
  • 33:30 - 33:35
    So there is a whole miracle, a cosmos
    in our body that we can actually
  • 33:36 - 33:38
    come back to.
  • 33:38 - 33:41
    I remember the first total relaxation,
  • 33:41 - 33:44
    Sister Chan Khong, in a retreat
    in Santa Barbara, I laid down,
  • 33:45 - 33:49
    she asked to put our hand on our heart.
    My first time!
  • 33:49 - 33:54
    Valuing my heart. Do you believe that?
    29 years old.
  • 33:54 - 33:58
    And the first time going,
    'Oh! Thank you, heart'
  • 33:58 - 34:00
    I never forget it.
  • 34:00 - 34:05
    I was a very emotional moment
    of actually, 'Gosh!
  • 34:05 - 34:09
    I know what have I done to my body!'
  • 34:10 - 34:15
    So with mindfulness we come to cherish,
    and to value, and to protect
  • 34:16 - 34:19
    our body and its energy.
  • 34:19 - 34:26
    So we waste a lot of energy, and
    we hold in a lot of stress and anxiety
  • 34:26 - 34:28
    in our body.
  • 34:29 - 34:32
    So we learn to release, to relax.
    That is fundamental.
  • 34:33 - 34:35
    First gross step.
  • 34:36 - 34:39
    But it is nothing less than
    taking care of the mind as well.
  • 34:40 - 34:43
    Because, you see it, it is the same.
  • 34:45 - 34:47
    When you feel sad,
  • 34:48 - 34:52
    your body feels heavy, and your breath
  • 34:53 - 34:55
    tight,
  • 34:55 - 34:59
    find some place in the forest,
    find a quite place.
  • 35:00 - 35:03
    And be with that.
  • 35:07 - 35:12
    So, learning to feel your body
    in the heavy state,
  • 35:12 - 35:14
    and not to go look for
  • 35:16 - 35:20
    you know, a friend to listen to me.
    Those are needed too,
  • 35:21 - 35:25
    but learn to be with your sadness.
  • 35:26 - 35:29
    Take care of your sadness.
  • 35:30 - 35:33
    There is a bamboo forest out here,
    a grove here.
  • 35:35 - 35:39
    You can sit in the middle of the bamboos.
  • 35:40 - 35:45
    It is very tight, you let it wrap you.
  • 35:45 - 35:51
    And the bamboo grove here it is like
    it has mother energy.
  • 35:51 - 35:55
    Find a place down there, in the oak grove.
  • 35:59 - 36:04
    Be with whatever that is discomfort.
  • 36:04 - 36:08
    This is coming back to oneself.
  • 36:08 - 36:11
    We don't go looking for, 'Oh! -'
  • 36:12 - 36:15
    Not all the time.
  • 36:15 - 36:18
    Sometimes we do need a friend.
  • 36:18 - 36:22
    But we need to become our best friend.
  • 36:23 - 36:25
    So that is the feelings, eh?
  • 36:26 - 36:28
    The body, the feelings.
  • 36:29 - 36:34
    And feelings is both
    in the 4 foundations as in the 5 skandhas,
  • 36:35 - 36:39
    feeling is separated out.
    It is also the mind.
  • 36:39 - 36:42
    It is also consciousness,
    but the Buddha takes it out.
  • 36:43 - 36:47
    And I always wondered why
    he takes perception and feeling out,
  • 36:48 - 36:50
    and makes 5.
  • 36:52 - 36:56
    Because you look at the way we work
    as human beings,
  • 36:56 - 36:59
    feelings is huge, right?
  • 37:00 - 37:04
    Everything is emotional, everything is
    either you like, you don't like,
  • 37:05 - 37:07
    it's pleasant, not pleasant.
  • 37:07 - 37:11
    At lunch today, you see your feelings.
  • 37:12 - 37:14
    You know,
  • 37:15 - 37:21
    you feel you are not making contact
    with people, or you know,
  • 37:22 - 37:24
    another feeling comes up.
  • 37:24 - 37:27
    Then somebody comes and says Hi! to you,
    and you, 'Oh!'
  • 37:28 - 37:32
    And then another feeling comes up.
    So we are feeling animals,
  • 37:32 - 37:34
    we are emotional animals, right?
  • 37:35 - 37:37
    If you don't know how that works -
  • 37:38 - 37:41
    It is like the weather, you know?
  • 37:41 - 37:46
    The people, actually, some of my brothers,
    they follow the weather a lot!
  • 37:46 - 37:49
    They say, 'Oh! Tomorrow
    is going to be a great day!'
  • 37:49 - 37:53
    Or, 'The next day is going to be sunny,
    it's going to be rain, it's going -'
  • 37:53 - 37:56
    But you really never know, you know?
  • 37:56 - 38:00
    When the day comes, it is like half rain,
    and then it is half sunny.
  • 38:01 - 38:03
    But there is so much energy!
  • 38:04 - 38:08
    It is like, whatever! Okay! It's going
    to rain, Okay, it's going to rain!
  • 38:08 - 38:10
    (Laughter)
  • 38:10 - 38:13
    Your feelings, sorry to say,
    it's kind of like that.
  • 38:13 - 38:18
    So don't get attached to it. You are
    feeling, Oh! Everybody is going so well!
  • 38:19 - 38:22
    But then, tomorrow, ummm.
  • 38:23 - 38:24
    Right?
  • 38:25 - 38:27
    (Laughter)
  • 38:27 - 38:31
    I don't mean - If you are going through
    a bad time right now, please, you know -
  • 38:32 - 38:34
    It's cool.
  • 38:35 - 38:38
    But it is not the only place
    we need to be, eh?
  • 38:38 - 38:43
    Just don't always base yourself
    on the thermometer of your feelings.
  • 38:43 - 38:46
    That is terrible!
    There is more things going on!
  • 38:47 - 38:50
    So feeling is just one, Okay?
  • 38:50 - 38:52
    The food is not good, but like,
  • 38:53 - 38:58
    it's wonderful to be hanging out here,
    and the sun is coming out.
  • 38:58 - 39:01
    So there are other things
    going on besides.
  • 39:02 - 39:04
    So feelings -
  • 39:05 - 39:09
    But know how they work,
    know how they work.
  • 39:13 - 39:16
    Sometimes I read the newspaper,
  • 39:17 - 39:22
    and I look at what kind of emotions,
    I look for emotions in the newspaper.
  • 39:23 - 39:27
    I don't read it for the news,
    because it's all fake anyway.
  • 39:27 - 39:29
    (Laughter)
  • 39:29 - 39:33
    No, no fake. But like, you know,
    perspective, opinions.
  • 39:34 - 39:38
    So I don't get caught at their facts
    or what really happened,
  • 39:38 - 39:42
    because next week you have another article
    that says something else, right?
  • 39:42 - 39:46
    So something you look at the newspaper,
    as looking for feelings!
  • 39:46 - 39:50
    That one is greed,
    and that one is anger,
  • 39:50 - 39:52
    that one is jealousy, that one is -
  • 39:53 - 39:57
    It is a very good exercise.
    You see the human drama.
  • 39:59 - 40:01
    And that helps you,
  • 40:02 - 40:04
    it helps me
  • 40:04 - 40:06
    become a little bit,
  • 40:07 - 40:11
    I don't want to say a little bit more
    even, I don't want to say detached,
  • 40:11 - 40:16
    but like just careful.
    Not to let it be overwhelming.
  • 40:16 - 40:19
    I'm having a good day?
    I'm having a good day.
  • 40:19 - 40:22
    I'm not, 'I'm having a good day!'
    I'm having a good day.
  • 40:23 - 40:27
    It's a great day.
    It is a good day.
  • 40:27 - 40:31
    It's a nice day to be alive.
  • 40:31 - 40:34
    So I had to train that.
  • 40:34 - 40:37
    I came from a culture where
    everything is superlative.
  • 40:37 - 40:40
    'Wow! It's so nice to see you!!!'
  • 40:41 - 40:42
    You know?
  • 40:43 - 40:44
    (Laughter)
  • 40:44 - 40:47
    Sorry, I'm making fun of myself.
  • 40:47 - 40:55
    Everything is super, you know,
    is superb! Everything is grand!
  • 40:55 - 41:01
    Nothing can just be like,
    'Yes! It's a beautiful day. It is.'
  • 41:03 - 41:05
    It truly is.
  • 41:06 - 41:11
    So these feelings, you explore and find
  • 41:12 - 41:16
    that place where the feeling
    doesn't move you.
  • 41:17 - 41:20
    That is taking refuge in oneself.
  • 41:21 - 41:24
    You know how to take care
    of your feelings.
  • 41:24 - 41:27
    If I ask you, 'Do you know how to
    take care of our emotions?'
  • 41:27 - 41:29
    You have to say, 'Yes.'
  • 41:29 - 41:34
    If you are a practitioner,
    you cannot be beat up by your feelings.
  • 41:34 - 41:37
    You have to know. It is not to say,
    don't have feelings.
  • 41:37 - 41:42
    Yes, be sad, be angry, be irritated,
    be judgmental, be whatever.
  • 41:43 - 41:46
    There is many, many.
  • 41:48 - 41:51
    And you know how to take care of it.
  • 41:51 - 41:57
    Wow! That is the island of self.
    Taking care of oneself.
  • 41:59 - 42:03
    So the body in the body,
    the feeling in the feeling.
  • 42:03 - 42:06
    So don't deny yourself,
  • 42:07 - 42:12
    just don't deny yourself
    from feeling the unpleasant feeling.
  • 42:14 - 42:18
    Eat something that you don't normally
    would like to eat.
  • 42:23 - 42:25
    Right?
  • 42:25 - 42:29
    Why is it you just go after feelings
    that make you feel pleasant and you like,
  • 42:29 - 42:32
    and why you just choose
    things that you like?
  • 42:32 - 42:35
    Why don't choose something that
    you wouldn't normally like,
  • 42:37 - 42:40
    and feel how that feels?
  • 42:40 - 42:44
    Anyway, I'm sharing with you my kind of
    weird way of training, eh?
  • 42:44 - 42:47
    Only do this if it works with you, Okay?
  • 42:47 - 42:50
    I am a very, how we call it,
    I'm a very tricky person.
  • 42:51 - 42:53
    So I have to trick myself.
  • 42:53 - 42:56
    So if you are that kind of person,
  • 42:56 - 42:59
    then this probably makes sense.
  • 43:01 - 43:06
    So you know, I do this so I become
    more resilient. I have choices.
  • 43:07 - 43:11
    It means that. When you only choose
    things that make you feel good,
  • 43:11 - 43:13
    you don't have so much choices.
  • 43:14 - 43:17
    Because sometime
    they are not going to be there.
  • 43:17 - 43:20
    And we are going to have nothing!
  • 43:21 - 43:22
    So,
  • 43:23 - 43:29
    explore pleasant feelings,
    unpleasant feelings, neutral feelings.
  • 43:30 - 43:35
    Neutral feelings, Thay has an interesting
    thing about neutral feelings.
  • 43:38 - 43:43
    We can look at something neutral,
    like brushing our teeth.
  • 43:44 - 43:47
    What is so pleasant about
    brushing our teeth?
  • 43:48 - 43:52
    I remember first coming across
    Thay teaching us about this.
  • 43:53 - 43:57
    And it was really hard to -
    I had to really do it!
  • 43:57 - 44:00
    I mean, you never think
    brushing your teeth
  • 44:00 - 44:02
    is something that you can enjoy, right?
  • 44:03 - 44:06
    Who ever had that?
  • 44:07 - 44:09
    Some of you, I'm sure.
  • 44:09 - 44:13
    But most people, brushing your teeth
    is hygiene, you know? You just -
  • 44:14 - 44:18
    Or even going to urinate.
  • 44:19 - 44:23
    Strange, eh? I never thought of it
    as something to enjoy,
  • 44:23 - 44:27
    until Thay told me one time,
    he walked into the forest,
  • 44:27 - 44:29
    toilet has this tendency to get away.
  • 44:30 - 44:38
    And Thay looked into the maples outside
    the Omega practice center, in the US.
  • 44:39 - 44:42
    And Thay enjoyed urinating.
  • 44:42 - 44:46
    And I remember the first time
    I heard that from Thay at a retreat,
  • 44:46 - 44:48
    and I, 'Wow!'
  • 44:51 - 44:53
    You see? It used to be neutral for me.
  • 44:53 - 44:57
    It was like, you know, Who ever thinks
    about enjoying peeing?
  • 44:59 - 45:01
    But you see the difference?
  • 45:02 - 45:08
    We think, 'Oh! Only when we eat or we
    drink our favorite drink it is pleasant.'
  • 45:09 - 45:15
    But actually, the releasing we think
    is unpleasant. 'Oh, we have to go pee!
  • 45:15 - 45:18
    Oh, we have to go defecate! Or we -'
  • 45:18 - 45:24
    It's just something - But it's amazing
    what Thay is revealing to us.
  • 45:24 - 45:28
    For me, it was mind-boggling,
    it was like, wow!
  • 45:29 - 45:31
    And I remember the first trying.
  • 45:33 - 45:37
    It was quite amazing, you know?
    The birds -
  • 45:39 - 45:44
    It's not something you have to get rid of
    and do it quickly, and you have to hide.
  • 45:48 - 45:53
    So this is taking something neutral,
    what you think is neutral,
  • 45:54 - 45:59
    and turning it a little bit. You see?
  • 46:00 - 46:04
    So whatever you think - I used to think
    folding clothes is neutral.
  • 46:05 - 46:07
    I get it done.
  • 46:07 - 46:11
    So I began to apply it to all aspects
    of my life where I can of like -
  • 46:11 - 46:16
    you know, it's just gray. You just do it,
    you fold your clothes.
  • 46:17 - 46:19
    But then I remember,
  • 46:19 - 46:24
    'OK, I'm going to
    enjoy folding my clothes.'
  • 46:24 - 46:28
    Because we don't have irons,
    I don't use an iron.
  • 46:30 - 46:36
    So I make it - If you fold it correctly,
    and you pack in, and you stack it tight,
  • 46:37 - 46:38
    it irons itself.
  • 46:38 - 46:40
    (Laughter)
  • 46:40 - 46:42
    I know, it is -
  • 46:42 - 46:45
    It's not good for the electricity,
    you know?
  • 46:45 - 46:48
    The company, the electricity company.
  • 46:48 - 46:53
    But you - Now, when I do my clothing,
    I fold my clothing,
  • 46:55 - 47:00
    at least 30 minutes, maybe.
    I don't count, but it takes a while.
  • 47:01 - 47:05
    Because I get everything lined up,
    the seams, and - It's a little bit -
  • 47:07 - 47:11
    What is it? Obsessive? OCD, or something?
  • 47:12 - 47:13
    (Laughter)
  • 47:13 - 47:16
    Something like that.
    It's borderline, kind of.
  • 47:16 - 47:18
    But I'm smiling
    and I'm really enjoying it.
  • 47:19 - 47:22
    And my brother, my room-mate,
    he knows not to bother me.
  • 47:22 - 47:26
    So it is also the time for meditation.
    You breathe -
  • 47:27 - 47:32
    And I've found ways to fold it
    where I can get it pretty, pretty
  • 47:35 - 47:37
    smooth.
  • 47:37 - 47:39
    So that is a kind of another one, eh?
  • 47:39 - 47:43
    Folding clothes. It used to be neutral,
    it's not neutral anymore.
  • 47:43 - 47:47
    It's actually - But it's not like,
    'Oh! It's the time to fold clothes!'
  • 47:47 - 47:49
    (Laughter)
  • 47:49 - 47:54
    It's more like, 'Ah! I have clothes!'
    So I use that time to be grateful.
  • 47:55 - 48:00
    You know, I have a rip in my pants,
    and I see, 'Oh!'. And I try to value it,
  • 48:00 - 48:03
    and keep using it as long as I can.
  • 48:03 - 48:06
    So it's a gratitude too to my clothes.
    It's not just -
  • 48:08 - 48:15
    Anyway. You see, I have a few more like,
    cutting my nails. I share this with you.
  • 48:16 - 48:20
    It used to be neutral. Cutting your nails.
    And your toenail.
  • 48:20 - 48:24
    Now, when it's time to cut my nails -
  • 48:25 - 48:27
    Enjoy it!
  • 48:27 - 48:30
    Specially your last toe.
  • 48:30 - 48:32
    (Laughter)
  • 48:33 - 48:37
    We really underestimate our last toe.
    'You are good for nothing!
  • 48:37 - 48:40
    What are you doing down there?'
  • 48:40 - 48:42
    (Laughter)
  • 48:42 - 48:44
    There is little excuse for a toe, right?
  • 48:44 - 48:47
    Did you ever look at the nail
    of your small toe?
  • 48:47 - 48:50
    Ah! It's so cute!
  • 48:50 - 48:52
    (Laughter)
  • 48:52 - 48:55
    Anyway, it's really enjoyable.
  • 48:55 - 48:57
    Because I had my toe infected.
  • 48:58 - 49:02
    And you know when you have
    infection on your toe.
  • 49:03 - 49:09
    So when I cut my toe, I am very careful
    and I appreciate and I am so grateful,
  • 49:10 - 49:12
    to every toe.
  • 49:12 - 49:18
    So it sounds funny, but for me,
    it is these little things, right?
  • 49:18 - 49:22
    Of how you take care of yourself.
    Don't underestimate those little things.
  • 49:22 - 49:25
    Something that you love to do,
  • 49:26 - 49:30
    don't deprive yourself of it.
  • 49:30 - 49:33
    Right now, when I am in big trouble,
    when I start to,
  • 49:33 - 49:36
    'I don't have time for it right now.'
    Do you know that one?
  • 49:36 - 49:39
    'OK. Maybe not this week. No, no no.'
  • 49:40 - 49:44
    It's kind of like I don't deserve it,
    or I don't have time for it,
  • 49:44 - 49:46
    or this is more important.
  • 49:46 - 49:49
    So be careful with that.
    You do it this week,
  • 49:49 - 49:53
    you do it more next week,
    and so on.
  • 49:53 - 49:58
    This is a way of
    slowly not taking care of yourself.
  • 49:59 - 50:02
    So these are feelings.
  • 50:04 - 50:08
    And we move into the area of mind.
  • 50:08 - 50:13
    Mental formations and objects of mind.
  • 50:13 - 50:18
    So it is the way we think,
    the way we perceive,
  • 50:19 - 50:22
    and what we have ideas about the world.
  • 50:23 - 50:25
    So remember this, Okay?
  • 50:25 - 50:29
    So, the mind is also mental formations,
    the mind is what happens,
  • 50:30 - 50:33
    the ideas, the thinking,
    everything in your mind.
  • 50:34 - 50:39
    And the way you perceive the world,
    the dharmas, how you see things.
  • 50:40 - 50:44
    And this is the fun stuff.
  • 50:45 - 50:50
    You have a lot of ideas about yourself.
    You have a lot of ideas about the world,
  • 50:50 - 50:54
    about the people, and your place in it.
  • 50:54 - 51:00
    Those are ideas, notions. And you need
    to know that those are notions.
  • 51:01 - 51:05
    They are not truth, they are not real,
    they are not -
  • 51:08 - 51:11
    You made them up.
    Sorry.
  • 51:13 - 51:17
    That's the part for me that was like,
    wow! I did make it up!
  • 51:18 - 51:25
    And if you are on the path, this is
    a very cool thing to watch,
  • 51:25 - 51:29
    how your mind works,
    and how the world works.
  • 51:31 - 51:34
    And this is how we are
    in the world, right?
  • 51:34 - 51:39
    So a person who knows and becomes aware
    of how her mind works,
  • 51:40 - 51:43
    is a little closer to being free.
  • 51:45 - 51:49
    So here the objective is to be free.
  • 51:51 - 51:54
    So this is, you have to ask yourself,
  • 51:55 - 52:00
    what are some notions, some ideas
    that keep us tied.
  • 52:03 - 52:08
    So in the five skandhas, we have feelings,
    and we have perceptions, right?
  • 52:09 - 52:12
    And then mental formations,
    and then consciousness.
  • 52:12 - 52:16
    The area of perceptions that
    Thay the Buddha also takes out.
  • 52:17 - 52:21
    It is also part of mental formations,
    or of mind, right?
  • 52:21 - 52:25
    So why did the Buddha
    take out perceptions?
  • 52:26 - 52:31
    That was always a question of mine
    that helped me begin to see more,
  • 52:33 - 52:35
    and understand more.
  • 52:35 - 52:39
    When we talk about perceptions,
    we usually think
  • 52:40 - 52:42
    that there is something out there.
  • 52:42 - 52:46
    But in the Buddhist teachings,
    and what he found,
  • 52:46 - 52:53
    is that actually the one who is perceiving
    and what is out there come together.
  • 52:53 - 52:57
    They cannot be separated.
  • 52:59 - 53:05
    This for me was a good exercise,
    a good way of contemplating
  • 53:06 - 53:11
    how we perceive things
    and we think it's real, it's out there.
  • 53:12 - 53:14
    But it is actually -
  • 53:16 - 53:21
    The famous example is
    someone sees a snake, right?
  • 53:22 - 53:24
    And runs away.
  • 53:24 - 53:28
    And then, when there is light
    or a flashlight, he comes back, and looks,
  • 53:28 - 53:31
    and he sees it is not a snake.
  • 53:31 - 53:34
    It is just a stick on the ground.
  • 53:35 - 53:41
    So there is a lot of that happening, but
    there is a strong tendency in us as humans
  • 53:41 - 53:45
    to think that's really how reality is.
  • 53:49 - 53:55
    And one way of observing this is
    sometime you feel sad,
  • 53:56 - 54:00
    and the way you will look at the world
    is a little bit different,
  • 54:00 - 54:03
    the way you look at the day,
    Plum Village is still Plum Village,
  • 54:03 - 54:06
    bit if you are handling some kind of
  • 54:07 - 54:10
    strong feeling, a resentment,
    or sadness, or anger,
  • 54:11 - 54:15
    how you experience Plum Village
    is very different from someone else.
  • 54:16 - 54:21
    So it is the same environment,
    but everyone in this room
  • 54:22 - 54:25
    is perceiving it differently.
  • 54:27 - 54:31
    This is a good thing to be aware of.
  • 54:33 - 54:38
    Because the calligraphy that Thay wrote,
    'Are you sure?'
  • 54:39 - 54:42
    that is what it is referring to,
    referring to your perceptions.
  • 54:43 - 54:45
    Don't be too sure
  • 54:46 - 54:49
    that that is all that is happening.
  • 54:50 - 54:54
    This is something that helped me
    in my practice to observe,
  • 54:55 - 55:00
    and to begin to see,
    it depends on my attitude,
  • 55:00 - 55:03
    my way of perceiving.
  • 55:09 - 55:11
    And when we,
  • 55:15 - 55:18
    when we are very sure about something,
    it's usually,
  • 55:19 - 55:22
    there is a lot of suffering
    involved with that.
  • 55:22 - 55:24
    Did you notice that?
  • 55:24 - 55:26
    Sometimes it's very easy,
  • 55:26 - 55:30
    you notice when two people
    are having difficulties with each other.
  • 55:30 - 55:35
    If you share room with 4 or 5 people,
    sometimes there is two people,
  • 55:36 - 55:38
    in that room maybe there is ten people,
  • 55:38 - 55:42
    there is two people having
    a lot of difficulties with each other.
  • 55:45 - 55:49
    And it is related to
    how they are perceiving something.
  • 55:49 - 55:53
    But you are the lucky one,
    you are the tenth person in the room,
  • 55:53 - 55:56
    and you are like, 'Wow! That is
    an interesting way of looking at it.'
  • 55:57 - 55:59
    And then you go to the other person,
  • 55:59 - 56:02
    and it is like, 'Oh! Yeah?
    I can see your point too.'
  • 56:02 - 56:05
    And then you are the other point,
    the tenth perspective,
  • 56:05 - 56:08
    and you are not suffering.
    You are not angry,
  • 56:09 - 56:12
    and you are not angry at them.
    But why are they angry at each other?
  • 56:13 - 56:15
    Have that ever happened?
  • 56:15 - 56:18
    In families is kind of like that.
    If you have siblings,
  • 56:18 - 56:23
    it's very interesting. One of the ways
    that I began to see more of this,
  • 56:23 - 56:26
    is when I'm not involved in it.
    It's like, 'Gosh!
  • 56:26 - 56:29
    Why they just drop that idea,
    and drop that idea,
  • 56:29 - 56:31
    and everything will be Okay.
  • 56:31 - 56:33
    No. No.
  • 56:34 - 56:37
    You see? Are you sure?
    'I am sure. This is what happened.'
  • 56:37 - 56:41
    I say, 'Okay.'
    'No, I'm sure this is what happened.'
  • 56:42 - 56:44
    And you begin to, wow!
  • 56:45 - 56:50
    This is the gist of it.
    And you can see it happening
  • 56:51 - 56:54
    when you are not involved.
  • 56:54 - 56:57
    And the more you see that,
  • 56:57 - 57:01
    the more you are very unsure
    when you are sure.
  • 57:02 - 57:05
    So when you are really sure,
    you better be careful,
  • 57:05 - 57:10
    because there is probably going to be
    some suffering involved.
  • 57:11 - 57:13
    So this is in the area of ideas, right?
  • 57:13 - 57:16
    You may have a lot of notions,
    and usually,
  • 57:16 - 57:19
    'There's a way of doing this,
    how come are you not doing it like this?'
  • 57:19 - 57:22
    I like it to be done like this.
  • 57:22 - 57:27
    Usually it doesn't go outside of that.
    Humans are so habitual animals.
  • 57:28 - 57:31
    So anything outside of your usual,
  • 57:32 - 57:34
    and you suffer.
  • 57:35 - 57:40
    The perceptions also are created
    by the way we were raised,
  • 57:40 - 57:42
    another aspect, Okay?
  • 57:43 - 57:46
    So the more we begin
    to understand ourselves,
  • 57:46 - 57:49
    our parents, our society,
  • 57:50 - 57:55
    then we can begin to recognize
    that this is how we perceive things
  • 57:55 - 57:58
    and it is only one way of perceiving it.
  • 57:58 - 58:01
    It doesn't mean you go around
    don't perceiving,
  • 58:01 - 58:06
    like, 'Um, I'd better not look at that.
    Not judgment there.' No, go ahead,
  • 58:06 - 58:08
    but be aware
  • 58:08 - 58:12
    that this is not the only way
    of looking at it.
  • 58:12 - 58:16
    Like, you know, the food.
    You like this kind of food, it's good!
  • 58:16 - 58:19
    Enjoy it, you know?
    Don't say, 'Oh! I don't have an opinion.
  • 58:19 - 58:22
    Um, it's Okay.'
  • 58:22 - 58:25
    It means, do it but not be caught by it,
  • 58:26 - 58:29
    by, 'That is the only way
    of perceiving it.'
  • 58:31 - 58:34
    So I see sometimes people
    misunderstand this,
  • 58:35 - 58:37
    and they are very afraid of perceiving.
  • 58:38 - 58:40
    They are very protective, you know?
  • 58:41 - 58:42
    But it's Okay.
  • 58:42 - 58:48
    But the world of perceptions, the world
    of perceiving is also wonderful.
  • 58:49 - 58:52
    So we also have to train how to look.
  • 58:52 - 58:55
    How to have the right view.
  • 58:55 - 58:59
    So when you perceive something,
    and you want to hold on to it,
  • 58:59 - 59:02
    but it is impermanent, then you suffer.
  • 59:02 - 59:05
    So this is the area of mind, eh?
  • 59:05 - 59:10
    That is in the exercises,
    the sixteen exercises,
  • 59:11 - 59:14
    the Buddha also recommends us
    to look at it.
  • 59:14 - 59:18
    To look at things, to perceive things,
    as impermanent.
  • 59:22 - 59:27
    The hardest part is seeing your loved ones
    and seeing your friends as impermanent.
  • 59:28 - 59:30
    That is the toughest one.
  • 59:30 - 59:36
    Thay one time shared that his practice
    is to wake up for the new day
  • 59:36 - 59:40
    and look at his students
    as if it is the first time.
  • 59:42 - 59:45
    And he shared that it is difficult.
  • 59:45 - 59:48
    But it is a practice.
  • 59:48 - 59:52
    You know, maybe in five years
    I will believe that,
  • 59:53 - 59:59
    but like moment to moment,
    yesterday, I look at you and,
  • 60:00 - 60:03
    mmm, yes you are different, but -
  • 60:03 - 60:06
    And so on.
  • 60:06 - 60:08
    Ourselves as well.
  • 60:08 - 60:12
    We might have been something yesterday,
  • 60:12 - 60:16
    then we don't allow ourselves
    to be impermanent today.
  • 60:18 - 60:20
    That is the hard one.
  • 60:21 - 60:24
    Because, we all know, I'm like this.
  • 60:24 - 60:27
    I'm only like this.
  • 60:29 - 60:34
    I come from this culture.
    I'm like that.
  • 60:34 - 60:41
    I am PhD, OCD, ADD, I, what?
    all those -
  • 60:41 - 60:45
    It is about the D's around,
    disorders, right?
  • 60:45 - 60:49
    You know, you go to a therapist
    and they tell a certain thing.
  • 60:49 - 60:52
    You're A, you're type A,
    you're type B, you're -
  • 60:52 - 60:54
    There is so many categories!
  • 60:55 - 60:59
    You are Scorpio, you're Cancer,
    or something.
  • 61:01 - 61:05
    So these things, if we are not careful,
    we box ourselves.
  • 61:07 - 61:12
    So maybe we have some of that,
    but that is not all of us.
  • 61:13 - 61:17
    We are a continuation of our parents,
  • 61:17 - 61:24
    but we are also a living, organic,
    growing, evolving being, right?
  • 61:25 - 61:32
    That for me is what impermanence helps me
    to see that we are part of a process.
  • 61:33 - 61:36
    Human beings are not just -
  • 61:36 - 61:37
    You know, like
  • 61:39 - 61:41
    a figure that you move.
  • 61:43 - 61:48
    And reflecting on ourselves
    when we were 18 years old is very helpful.
  • 61:49 - 61:53
    Reflect on oneself when we were
    35 years old.
  • 61:53 - 61:57
    And some of us can reflect on
    when we were 50 years old.
  • 61:59 - 62:01
    When we were 5 years old.
  • 62:02 - 62:08
    So this meditation builds in us
    a way of looking at the world.
  • 62:10 - 62:13
    This is a way of taking refuge in oneself.
  • 62:13 - 62:19
    You train yourself so that you have
    a way of looking at the world.
  • 62:20 - 62:23
    You see, that is the refuge.
  • 62:23 - 62:27
    The refuge is not this body,
    or this world, or this teacher.
  • 62:27 - 62:32
    That is what it means when you
    take refuge in the island of the Dharma.
  • 62:33 - 62:37
    Some people say that Dharma here
    is the truth, the law,
  • 62:37 - 62:40
    but here it is the practice.
  • 62:41 - 62:45
    Or more specifically here
    is a way of looking.
  • 62:46 - 62:52
    The Dharma is also a practice of
    looking at things in a certain way.
  • 62:53 - 62:55
    You see, the refuge?
  • 62:55 - 62:59
    That is strange as a refuge,
    you think like an island is a refuge,
  • 62:59 - 63:05
    or a person is a refuge, or -
    Like a figure, you know.
  • 63:05 - 63:08
    The president is a refuge,
    sometimes, yeah.
  • 63:08 - 63:10
    (Laughter)
  • 63:11 - 63:13
    Oh! I get in trouble.
  • 63:14 - 63:17
    Your parents is a refuge.
  • 63:17 - 63:20
    We have these ideas, right?
  • 63:20 - 63:22
    But they are changing, impermanent,
    and so on.
  • 63:22 - 63:25
    They are not very so reliable.
  • 63:26 - 63:28
    What is reliable?
  • 63:32 - 63:34
    That is a good question.
  • 63:34 - 63:38
    If you are here, you should be asking
    that question, what can I rely on?
  • 63:38 - 63:42
    Thay? The monks and nuns?
    My Dharma friends?
  • 63:43 - 63:45
    Plum Village?
  • 63:46 - 63:48
    It will be here forever.
  • 63:48 - 63:50
    The sun will shine.
  • 63:51 - 63:53
    You have these notions, you know?
  • 63:53 - 63:57
    But what is it when they say,
    'Rely on the Dharma'?
  • 63:58 - 64:00
    What is it?
  • 64:00 - 64:03
    It is a way of looking at the world.
  • 64:03 - 64:07
    It is a way of viewing the world,
    the Right View.
  • 64:07 - 64:10
    This is what you are training
    to take refuge in.
  • 64:10 - 64:13
    That way, whatever situation
    you're put into,
  • 64:14 - 64:16
    the way you look at it,
  • 64:16 - 64:19
    you will suffer or not suffer.
  • 64:19 - 64:23
    You will be at peace,
    or you will be disturb.
  • 64:23 - 64:26
    That is what it means
    to have craving and anxiety
  • 64:28 - 64:30
    alleviated.
  • 64:30 - 64:33
    There are things we crave for,
  • 64:33 - 64:35
    and we want to hang on to,
  • 64:36 - 64:40
    that disturb us. Because
    we don't know how to look at it.
  • 64:42 - 64:45
    So Right View is
  • 64:46 - 64:51
    an ongoing process.
    Our views can always improve.
  • 64:52 - 64:54
    And the best,
  • 64:55 - 64:57
    like the person,
    the tenth person in the room,
  • 64:58 - 65:01
    you don't have a point of view.
    That is amazing!
  • 65:02 - 65:04
    You don't have a view.
  • 65:05 - 65:07
    That is the greatest view.
  • 65:07 - 65:10
    And you know that.
    And with the example I gave you,
  • 65:11 - 65:14
    the ten roommates,
    two, three or more arguing,
  • 65:14 - 65:16
    and you are the tenth roommate,
  • 65:16 - 65:20
    and you are like, 'I don't have
    a point of view. Sorry guys!'
  • 65:21 - 65:23
    Who is the -
  • 65:23 - 65:26
    Of course you are suffering,
    because your roommates are suffering.
  • 65:27 - 65:29
    But you see what having no view is?
  • 65:29 - 65:32
    That is just a gross example.
  • 65:33 - 65:36
    But in politics, you are left,
    you are right.
  • 65:39 - 65:41
    Both sides have a point.
  • 65:42 - 65:46
    So you try - Anyway, I don't want to
    get into views here, get in trouble.
  • 65:49 - 65:51
    So, we will -
  • 65:53 - 65:56
    So the area of mind.
    Know how the mind works.
  • 65:57 - 66:00
    There are ways to study
    I won't go through here,
  • 66:01 - 66:04
    but Thay has taught in detail
    about the mind.
  • 66:05 - 66:08
    You can look at it in the book
    Understanding Our Mind,
  • 66:09 - 66:12
    or The Teaching on Manifestation Only.
  • 66:12 - 66:15
    So there is a whole teaching
    on Buddhist psychology
  • 66:15 - 66:17
    that you can go through.
  • 66:17 - 66:22
    Thay has spent a lot of his years
    clarifying for us
  • 66:24 - 66:28
    the teaching on how our mind works.
    And we need to know how our mind works
  • 66:28 - 66:31
    if we are wanting
  • 66:32 - 66:36
    to alleviate and to be helpful.
  • 66:38 - 66:41
    Because this is what we use to -
  • 66:42 - 66:44
    If we look at a certain -
  • 66:45 - 66:49
    It is the instrument which we are working
    with when we work in the world, right?
  • 66:50 - 66:52
    When we work with other people.
  • 66:52 - 66:56
    So you need to know how your mind works,
    and the mind outside the mind.
  • 66:56 - 66:59
    So the second phrase is the,
  • 67:00 - 67:04
    "To look at the elements
    outside the body, and in -"
  • 67:04 - 67:10
    "To meditate on the elements outside the
    the body in the elements outside the body"
  • 67:11 - 67:16
    That is your world,
    and how the society works.
  • 67:17 - 67:19
    You need to know how that works.
  • 67:21 - 67:26
    And the more you know,
    the more you have a choice
  • 67:27 - 67:29
    not to participate.
  • 67:30 - 67:33
    So this is something -
  • 67:33 - 67:36
    A very clear example of -
  • 67:40 - 67:43
    Recently they had a Thanks Giving,
  • 67:44 - 67:49
    after Thanks Giving
    a Black Friday shopping, yeah?
  • 67:50 - 67:54
    I heard a few thing about it.
    It's hilarious.
  • 67:56 - 68:01
    So that is how society works, you know?
    They want you to buy things, right?
  • 68:01 - 68:05
    And there is - this month? December?
  • 68:08 - 68:13
    It's going to be very hard to resist,
    spending, uh!
  • 68:14 - 68:17
    I recently shared with my brother,
    'If I receive a gift
  • 68:17 - 68:21
    that is handmade
    from the recycle department,
  • 68:22 - 68:27
    I open it, and it's wrapped in like,
    you know, recycled wrapping paper,
  • 68:28 - 68:33
    and it's made by hand
    from bottles and cups, and glued together,
  • 68:34 - 68:38
    and I pull it and it moves.
    I appreciate it,
  • 68:39 - 68:43
    but there is a part of me that says, 'Man!
    Why didn't you buy me something?'
  • 68:43 - 68:45
    (Laughter)
  • 68:48 - 68:51
    Yeah, something that is like, you know,
    it has a tag, and is wrapped,
  • 68:51 - 68:53
    and it 's like, you know,
  • 68:53 - 68:56
    it's like produced! Mass-produced.
  • 68:56 - 68:58
    Plastic wrapping.
  • 68:58 - 69:02
    The tendency that we have,
    the way we view things, you know?
  • 69:02 - 69:06
    This is really ingrained in me,
    from childhood all the way up
  • 69:06 - 69:10
    growing up in America, you know?
    You get a present, it is not bought,
  • 69:10 - 69:12
    it is like, 'Ah, that is cheap!'
  • 69:12 - 69:14
    (Laughter)
  • 69:14 - 69:19
    But look at the state of the world now.
    It changes the way you look.
  • 69:20 - 69:23
    To appreciate something
    that is found in the trash,
  • 69:23 - 69:28
    glued together and made out of love.
    So you have
  • 69:30 - 69:32
    to move, pull it around, and -
  • 69:33 - 69:37
    Wow! He spent time on this!
    It just took a lot of time!
  • 69:38 - 69:43
    It is easy to go buy something on Amazon,
    and order it.
  • 69:43 - 69:48
    All the packaging involved with it,
    it comes to your door, and then so on.
  • 69:49 - 69:52
    That is so convenient! Gosh!
  • 69:52 - 69:55
    Anyway, I'm just sharing with you
    how to look at things.
  • 69:55 - 69:58
    It is a little bit brainwashing,
    you know.
  • 69:58 - 70:02
    But it is my liberation,
    and it is my happiness.
  • 70:04 - 70:08
    And it is a North Star.
    We cannot be perfect on it.
  • 70:10 - 70:14
    So don't be judgmental of others
    who do buy things.
  • 70:14 - 70:18
    But I share with you is a clear example
    of how long it took me to resist
  • 70:18 - 70:22
    and to change my way of looking
    and valuing things
  • 70:23 - 70:26
    that are in the recycled area,
    or lost-and-found,
  • 70:26 - 70:32
    or it is a leftover from my brothers,
    or I go to a storage and find a sweater.
  • 70:33 - 70:38
    I had to resist getting something new.
    It's a tough practice.
  • 70:40 - 70:44
    But it is a - Anyway, something
    if you've been here around,
  • 70:44 - 70:50
    the urge to buy something is so easy.
    Get online, click! And it comes in a box
  • 70:51 - 70:53
    in front of the office.
  • 70:55 - 71:01
    So that is a kind of changing a view
    of how we relate to the world.
  • 71:05 - 71:09
    And it is very important.
    I share that kind of humorously,
  • 71:09 - 71:12
    but it is huge
  • 71:12 - 71:16
    in terms of how it is
    affecting other countries
  • 71:16 - 71:18
    that make these products,
  • 71:19 - 71:24
    as well as the plastics, and the wrapping,
    and things going back to the environment.
  • 71:24 - 71:27
    So nothing is, you know,
  • 71:31 - 71:33
    how we call it -
  • 71:33 - 71:35
    There is a cost to it.
  • 71:36 - 71:40
    And so I think that is something
    in our generation, in our time now,
  • 71:40 - 71:43
    we need to really, really look again.
  • 71:44 - 71:47
    And so we have been taking refuge in that,
  • 71:47 - 71:49
    the consumers -
  • 71:50 - 71:55
    That was in the last hundred years,
    it has been our main refuge, right?
  • 71:56 - 72:00
    To buy, and to gain,
    and to accumulate material things.
  • 72:01 - 72:03
    I think it is time now to find
  • 72:04 - 72:06
    a different way.
  • 72:10 - 72:15
    We kind of look down at societies,
    or even certain drives now,
  • 72:15 - 72:18
    like they are kind of backwards,
    they don't have electricity,
  • 72:19 - 72:23
    they don't know - We thought that
    they don't know how to () the land.
  • 72:25 - 72:29
    But actually
    they are very humble about it.
  • 72:29 - 72:32
    So we are finding new ways.
    It's beautiful!
  • 72:32 - 72:36
    We are slowly changing our viewpoints
    about past societies,
  • 72:36 - 72:39
    we thought they were backwards,
    buy actually
  • 72:39 - 72:44
    they produce less harm to the environment
    than, you know?
  • 72:45 - 72:48
    So it's another way of looking.
  • 72:48 - 72:50
    So this is a training.
  • 72:53 - 72:57
    That relates to cravings, anxieties.
  • 72:57 - 73:02
    Anxiety about the future,
    the way we look at the future.
  • 73:04 - 73:06
    And there is something also
  • 73:07 - 73:09
    I found liberating here is,
  • 73:10 - 73:13
    the future is not something there
    that is going to come.
  • 73:14 - 73:17
    The future is what I make of it right now.
  • 73:18 - 73:21
    That is very liberating.
  • 73:22 - 73:25
    So other causes,
    and other aspirations stuff
  • 73:25 - 73:27
    we think we are going to go somewhere
  • 73:27 - 73:30
    or that it is something
    that is going to come to us.
  • 73:31 - 73:34
    But what I learned from Thay
    and the Buddhist teachings
  • 73:34 - 73:38
    is, 'I will make the future.'
    What I do and choose to do today,
  • 73:38 - 73:40
    and how I look at it.
  • 73:41 - 73:44
    So your mind will affect the future.
  • 73:44 - 73:47
    Because you don't let it,
    you don't let it get in.
  • 73:48 - 73:52
    You don't let the way they describe
    the world and the future
  • 73:52 - 73:56
    be your only reality.
    Do you understand?
  • 73:58 - 74:04
    It is all a stuff made-up anyway.
    Let's make up a different story.
  • 74:05 - 74:08
    It is very liberating.
    This is what we need.
  • 74:09 - 74:14
    So our anxiety comes because we believe
    what they are telling us.
  • 74:18 - 74:25
    So we need to recorrect and choose
    a course for ourselves.
  • 74:25 - 74:27
    And that includes
  • 74:28 - 74:34
    our having less impact on the environment,
    on our society, on other people,
  • 74:35 - 74:39
    other animals and plants
    and so on.
  • 74:39 - 74:42
    We have to look and see what,
  • 74:42 - 74:46
    how we are impacting and reduce that.
  • 74:51 - 74:54
    So I just end here.
  • 74:55 - 74:58
    I'll talk about
  • 74:59 - 75:03
    a beautiful image
    that Thay shared with me
  • 75:06 - 75:09
    as part of his teaching.
  • 75:09 - 75:11
    He talked about a hut.
  • 75:12 - 75:14
    After the wind, the storm,
  • 75:15 - 75:17
    a window blew open,
  • 75:19 - 75:21
    and the storm went in,
  • 75:21 - 75:24
    and disturbs all the papers
    and everything is a mess.
  • 75:26 - 75:31
    The person will come back to the hut,
    and slowly close the window,
  • 75:32 - 75:34
    close the door.
  • 75:35 - 75:37
    It is still windy and everything outside.
  • 75:37 - 75:40
    And once he has closed
    the window and the doors,
  • 75:40 - 75:43
    the papers start to settle.
  • 75:43 - 75:46
    And this person begins to light a fire,
  • 75:48 - 75:51
    in the fireplace in the hut.
  • 75:51 - 75:54
    And outside it is still stormy.
  • 75:54 - 75:57
    Slowly the fire warms the hut,
  • 75:58 - 76:02
    and this person begins to
    pick up the papers,
  • 76:02 - 76:05
    put up the table again,
  • 76:05 - 76:07
    put the chair back,
  • 76:07 - 76:09
    stack the paper,
  • 76:09 - 76:12
    wipe the water that got through.
  • 76:13 - 76:15
    It's a beautiful image, eh?
  • 76:15 - 76:18
    This never left me, and still,
  • 76:18 - 76:21
    I can still conjure it up.
  • 76:21 - 76:24
    And it is an exercise, a visual exercise
  • 76:24 - 76:28
    that I go through
    when I have a difficult moment,
  • 76:28 - 76:31
    or I'm feeling kind of bluesy,
  • 76:31 - 76:34
    feeling a little bit irritated,
  • 76:34 - 76:37
    feeling a little bit lonely.
  • 76:37 - 76:41
    How come no brothers are visiting me?
  • 76:41 - 76:45
    Or why do I feel like I should go
    visit somebody, you know
  • 76:45 - 76:49
    It's just one of those days.
  • 76:50 - 76:52
    And I go back,
  • 76:52 - 76:56
    and I sit and watch the sun
    go down over there.
  • 76:58 - 77:01
    And I do this exercise.
  • 77:01 - 77:06
    It is a visual exercise, and I offer it
    to you for those who have not heard it.
  • 77:06 - 77:10
    And it is something you do visually,
    I'm a visual person.
  • 77:11 - 77:14
    And when I'm lying down
    or I'm sitting on a chair,
  • 77:15 - 77:19
    and I see the hut,
    the rain, the wind.
  • 77:20 - 77:24
    And I see myself going in the hut.
  • 77:24 - 77:28
    And I do exactly as
    Thay had shared with me.
  • 77:30 - 77:33
    Thay didn't share it as an exercise.
    He told the story about a monk,
  • 77:33 - 77:36
    I think it might be him.
  • 77:36 - 77:40
    But I turned it into an exercise.
    And it has helped me a lot
  • 77:41 - 77:44
    in getting out of strong emotions.
  • 77:45 - 77:48
    Or kind of depress emotions.
  • 77:48 - 77:50
    Or any kind of
  • 77:51 - 77:54
    you know, something you don't
    even know what it is, you know?
  • 77:54 - 77:56
    It just feels -
  • 77:56 - 77:59
    But it makes you restless. Whatever.
  • 77:59 - 78:04
    Or you feel disconnected to your blood
    family in America, or something.
  • 78:04 - 78:06
    It is just unpleasant.
  • 78:07 - 78:10
    So I go through the whole exercise.
    I go in,
  • 78:11 - 78:14
    and I make myself look mindful
    while I'm doing all that.
  • 78:15 - 78:16
    (Laughter)
  • 78:16 - 78:18
    I'm probably rushing.
  • 78:18 - 78:21
    But I'm very mindful in my mind, you know?
  • 78:21 - 78:24
    I close the door gently,
  • 78:24 - 78:26
    I'm not running,
  • 78:26 - 78:30
    around trying to get everything tidy,
    but I'm doing it very slowly.
  • 78:31 - 78:37
    It's very pleasant, if you ever
    get a chance to do it.
  • 78:37 - 78:42
    Kind of something that you can always,
    you can always turn on and do.
  • 78:44 - 78:46
    So this is the island of self.
  • 78:47 - 78:51
    You make a place inside yourself
    where you can rely on.
  • 78:53 - 78:56
    And this is very important.
  • 78:56 - 78:59
    Because there are many,
    many other journeys
  • 78:59 - 79:01
    that you cross, right?
  • 79:01 - 79:04
    Life is impermanent,
    and we will learn more.
  • 79:04 - 79:07
    Wherever state you are in now,
  • 79:07 - 79:12
    is not permanent. You will have
    challenges, you will have new things.
  • 79:12 - 79:14
    It's beautiful!
  • 79:14 - 79:17
    And some of that might be testing.
  • 79:18 - 79:21
    But your are Okay,
    now you have a practice.
  • 79:21 - 79:23
    And you have to train,
  • 79:23 - 79:25
    and to build this hut.
  • 79:26 - 79:28
    There is a poem here
  • 79:29 - 79:33
    written by a poet (), a beautiful poem.
  • 79:34 - 79:36
    And one of my brothers made it into music.
  • 79:37 - 79:39
    It is in Vietnamese, yeah?
  • 79:40 - 79:41
    But is says,
  • 79:42 - 79:44
    (Vietnamese)
  • 79:44 - 79:49
    It is like, 'Please, make yourself
    some clouds and some sunshine.
  • 79:51 - 79:53
    January, make it!
  • 79:54 - 79:58
    And don't just borrow
    from the Earth and the Heavens.
  • 80:01 - 80:03
    Because one day,
  • 80:05 - 80:10
    when the Moon is blocked,
    and it is far away,
  • 80:12 - 80:15
    that in front of you
  • 80:16 - 80:21
    the light of the Moon is still shining.'
  • 80:21 - 80:26
    It's beautiful. And it reflects
    the Buddhist teaching
  • 80:27 - 80:30
    that we need to learn
    how to create the sunshine,
  • 80:31 - 80:35
    and the white clouds,
    and the moonlight
  • 80:36 - 80:38
    in ourselves.
  • 80:38 - 80:42
    So anytime, when you do
    walking meditation, when you walk outside,
  • 80:43 - 80:48
    when you eat, you can create this island
  • 80:49 - 80:55
    that has the flowers, the water,
    the clear lake, the mountain solid.
  • 80:55 - 80:59
    These elements are not out there.
  • 81:01 - 81:05
    This is a way of practicing
    so that we become
  • 81:07 - 81:12
    a more solid practitioner for ourselves,
    we become our refuge
  • 81:13 - 81:16
    as well as we can provide
    refuge for others.
  • 81:17 - 81:22
    Unfortunately, the world needs more
  • 81:24 - 81:28
    how we call it, solid refuge.
  • 81:30 - 81:34
    And don't make them attach to you though.
    You got to teach them also
  • 81:35 - 81:38
    to make their own island.
  • 81:38 - 81:44
    That is the task. So don't get them,
    'Always come to me! Call me anytime!'
  • 81:45 - 81:48
    Because you will be burnout
    as well, you know?
  • 81:48 - 81:53
    So our task, as we learn this,
    is to transmit it,
  • 81:54 - 81:57
    to share to other people how to do it.
  • 81:57 - 82:00
    The breathing, the body,
    the feelings, you see?
  • 82:00 - 82:05
    It's not complicated. You don't need
    to read anymore self-help books.
  • 82:05 - 82:08
    It's in those steps.
  • 82:09 - 82:12
    But you need to do it, that's all.
  • 82:13 - 82:15
    You need to train to -
  • 82:16 - 82:20
    And when something unpleasant happens,
    it is an opportunity.
  • 82:21 - 82:24
    That is one thing
    you always need to remember.
  • 82:24 - 82:28
    I was lucky, my mother
    grew me up like that,
  • 82:28 - 82:31
    always to see challenges as opportunities.
  • 82:31 - 82:36
    She had to escape Vietnam because of
    the war, so it's kind of easy, you know?
  • 82:36 - 82:38
    To do that.
  • 82:38 - 82:41
    To see everything.
    You are out in the Pacific Ocean,
  • 82:41 - 82:45
    on a boat with 200 people.
    Keep going!
  • 82:46 - 82:48
    Don't give up!
  • 82:48 - 82:52
    I also have that contemplation.
    I am a refugee,
  • 82:54 - 82:57
    and the only place now
    I can take refuge,
  • 82:57 - 83:00
    not in America, not in France,
    not in any country,
  • 83:00 - 83:03
    not in any president or CEO.
  • 83:05 - 83:08
    So remember, we are all refugees.
  • 83:10 - 83:14
    And the island is within here.
    That would be
  • 83:16 - 83:20
    a very strong gift, a great gift
  • 83:20 - 83:24
    that we will have for the holidays
    that are coming up.
  • 83:24 - 83:27
    Holidays is a very trying time
    for a lot of people,
  • 83:28 - 83:31
    because they don't have a place of refuge.
  • 83:32 - 83:34
    And the marketing, and the companies,
    and the -
  • 83:36 - 83:38
    Amazon, they know this.
  • 83:39 - 83:43
    They know you are unstable,
    most unstable in December.
  • 83:45 - 83:47
    Marketing, simple!
  • 83:49 - 83:52
    The music makes you feel good,
    and you -
  • 83:55 - 84:00
    So please be a refuge for the loved ones.
    And they need a different kind of present.
  • 84:02 - 84:04
    And this is what you can offer
    to you loved ones.
  • 84:04 - 84:10
    'Mum, dad, I have something so precious
    I want to give you. It's my presence.
  • 84:12 - 84:16
    I cannot wrap it up.
    But I want to let you know
  • 84:17 - 84:19
    before it's too late.'
  • 84:20 - 84:23
    That is what you can give them.
    Just a phone call!
  • 84:24 - 84:27
    And it will change everything.
  • 84:27 - 84:30
    Your siblings, your brothers and sisters,
  • 84:30 - 84:34
    apologize, 'Sorry.
    I was not there for you.
  • 84:36 - 84:39
    But I don't want to hold this resentment.'
  • 84:41 - 84:45
    So this coming month, December,
  • 84:46 - 84:50
    please, give yourself a present,
  • 84:50 - 84:53
    and allow yourself to be a refuge
  • 84:54 - 84:56
    for those who might need it.
  • 84:56 - 85:01
    This is a gift that
    we can offer to the world.
  • 85:03 - 85:05
    Thank you for being here,
  • 85:06 - 85:09
    and for, you know, not giving -
  • 85:10 - 85:13
    Going, staying on the boat, eh?
  • 85:14 - 85:16
    Another talk I think you all know you here
  • 85:17 - 85:19
    is the island,
    I think Thay developed that,
  • 85:19 - 85:21
    the island of the sangha, right?
  • 85:22 - 85:25
    the island of the Dharma, and then
    the island of Sangha.
  • 85:25 - 85:27
    And Thay has spent his whole life,
  • 85:28 - 85:31
    and this is here. So you don't need
    to have a teaching on that.
  • 85:31 - 85:35
    So today, you can
    take refuge in the sangha.
  • 85:36 - 85:40
    Just be with your friends here.
    Everyone here we have the same aspiration.
  • 85:41 - 85:44
    We want to help better the world,
  • 85:44 - 85:48
    we want to bring more peace,
    less anger and hate,
  • 85:48 - 85:51
    less prejudice, less -
  • 85:53 - 85:57
    So please, take refuge in your sangha,
    in your friends here.
  • 85:57 - 86:00
    It's also beautiful.
  • 86:00 - 86:02
    But don't get attached.
  • 86:02 - 86:04
    Yeah?
  • 86:04 - 86:08
    We are all flowing together.
    Thank you.
  • 86:10 - 86:12
    (Bell)
  • 86:16 - 86:22
    (Bell)
  • 86:34 - 86:40
    (Bell)
  • 86:54 - 87:00
    (Bell)
  • 87:34 - 87:36
    (Small bell)
Title:
2018 11 29 UH EN Discourse on Being an Island unto myself br Phap Dung
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
01:27:42

English subtitles

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