November 17, 2013. 82-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh from Stillwater Meditation Hall, Upper Hamlet of Plum Village. This is the first talk of the 2013-2014 Winter Retreat. We begin with two chants from the monastics.
Rebuilding our health – mental and physical. Our society seems to be not very healthy. Some come to our retreat to heal and mindfulness can help you heal. If we are mindful, we may see that we are running. Running into the future. We have a habit of running. So our mindful breathing can help us to stop the running. Breathing is an art.
Mindfulness has to go with insight. Insight can get you out of your suffering. This winter we will look at the 51-mental formations. The first five are called universal.
Then we have five particulars.
Right now we are talking about mindfulness. Our consciousness has two parts – store and mind. Our mental formations can move from one part to the other. Each formation is known as a seed in the store consciousness. There are conditions that cause a seed to manifest in your mind. Mindfulness is the capacity to see what is going on in your feelings, your perceptions, and around you. We can also use the mindful waking to heal and stop the running. We can allow nature to heal us.
The earth is not just the environment, the earth is ourselves.
A good mental formation is ease. We need to practice to cultivate this kind of energy. This is one of the seven factors of enlightenment.
An opposite mental formation is called restlessness. Mental excitement. This prevents out mind from applying itself to good mental formations. Our society suffers from restlessness and that is why we run after the consumption, the internet, work, etc.
Mindfulness to release stress is good, but it is not enough. We need the insight in order to be able to truly release. Without the insight we will not stop running.
Time is more than money, time is life.
In this winter retreat, we will look with a critical eye at the manifestation-only.