Photos / Transmitting the Dharma Lamp

We share photos and words from a recent ceremony to ordain five new Dharma teachers in the Plum Village tradition.

Sister Chân Không transmitting the Dharma Lamp to Sister Trăng Tin Yêu

This lamp of wisdom has been preserved for many centuries by the practice of precepts, concentration, and insight. Bring it with you to your country, to people of many spiritual backgrounds.

Sister Chân Không

On November 13 in the Dharma Cloud Temple (Upper Hamlet), Brother Pháp Ứng and Sister Chân Không represented the sangha to transmit the Dharma Lamp to five new Dharma teachers.

Each new Dharma teacher offers an “insight gāthā” that captures a moment of awakening on their path. They then receive a “transmission gāthā” to encourage their continued deepening in and sharing of the Dharma.


Sister Trăng Tin Yêu’s Insight gāthā:

The full moon in a clear sky is a perfect transmission.
As I walk on the path of non-seeking, 
the north star smiles.
Arriving in every step I claim my true heritage.

Transmission Gāthā:
The moon over my country shines brightly.
My aspiration is still very alive.
My faith has not lost its lustre
And brings true love to all places.

Sister Trăng Tin Yêu on her insight gāthā:

“I was reflecting on transmission and suddenly saw the moon from my window. It looked like the yellow flower held by the Buddha and transmitted to Kasyapa. When the mind is clear, we can see that transmission.

I feel very lucky that I found everything – the right teacher, the right Dharma, the right community. I don’t feel like I am looking for anything anymore.

And the last line appeared while I was in walking meditation. I really like Thay’s poem ‘Our True Heritage’. At one point, I touched on what Thay means by not being a destitute child.”


Bar Zecharya’s Insight Gāthā

As the last ray of violet entrusts itself to the night,
a mind at peace receives the acacia flowers’ gift.
A tawny owl calls in the darkness, the cosmos responds with its very existence.

Transmission Gāthā:
Understanding is the clear light
That dispels all hatred and fear
It adorns the untended garden
Where all beings can enjoy the fruit.

Brother Pháp Ứng’s encouraging words to Bar:

“With the mind of peace we can touch the wonders of life in the here and now. We see the nature of interbeing of all things and that is our true home. There is peace and there is understanding that happiness and suffering are not individual matters. We are on the same Mother Earth.

Understanding the nature of interbeing, we dispel all hatred and fear. There is no need to fight, to run.

In the Zen circle, the image of the unintended garden means that there is no separate self entity taking care of this garden. All beings are contributing to this beautiful earth. The all in the one and the one in the all. We can enjoy our home because we are this home.”


Hélène Prost’s Insight Gāthā (trans. from French)

Life, which I received,
I have lived it for a long time without recognizing it.
Life, which I thought I was passing on,

and held in my arms,
I thought I would see it disappear.
But life, always there, has held out its arms to me.
Taking care of this cry – “these arms, these arms!”,
in my utmost depth,
I open my arms to life.

Transmission Gāthā:
With a heart full of love and virtues,
I vow to follow the light of my ancestors
No mud, no lotus,
The white clouds in the blue sky,

the way home is free.


Maya Brandl’s Insight Gāthā

Palm leaves wave to the sky above,
which the sun and moon fill with light
Right in the mud the lotus flower rises
Its beauty offers all beings joy, compassion and insight.
The sunflowers bow deeply

before the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Transmission Gāthā:
By listening to the cries of the world
Drops of compassion well up at the source
By transforming mud into lotuses
Faith in the three precious jewels deepens.


Hélène Nardot’s Insight Gāthā (trans. from French)

The darkness of doubt becomes luminous petals
under the sun of mindfulness.
Liberated, the mind mingles with the joyful wave
That glides peacefully to the other shore.

Transmission Gāthā:
The practice of mindful breathing breaks all doubts
Listening deeply, you see the deep and wonderful path
With a determined heart and solid steps
you enter the realm of Avalokita
Surfing the large waves is like sailing in freedom.


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Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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