Dharma Talks / Bodhicitta in Action

Sr Chân Đức

Talk in English given on September 22nd, 2019, in the Lower Hamlet of Plum Village.

Sr Chan Duc (Sr True Virtue/Sr Annabel) gives a Dharma talk on bodhicitta (the mind of love and awakening), and taking care of Mother Earth. We have to cultivate the insight that Mother Earth and ourselves are not separate entities. Whatever happens to earth happens to us, and each time we take care of ourselves, we also take care of the earth. A Bodhisattva is a being that is waking up with the aspiration of helping others wake up as well. Every generation of humans has had something that it needed to wake up to. Currently we have to wake up to our relationship with Mother Earth and each other.

Sr Chan Duc talks about her personal relationship with food, how eating with awareness can help us to stay connected with the present moment and how mindful eating influences how we care for the earth. She teaches about living with an awareness of impermanence in our lives so that we can love better. The ability to let go of anger with the insight of impermanence, allows us to take better care of what we have in the present moment.

With bodhicitta, we learn to take action with the ‘mind of love’. When we are activists, we have to engage in protests with the mind of love, even if we are getting arrested. If we lose the mind of love, our actions become less than the best thing that we can do for the world. If we find that we have lost the mind of love, we should withdraw to nourish ourselves. With the mind of love in the present moment, we ensure that it will be there in the future. There is already enough suffering in the world, there is no need to create more. This teaching is present in the Kesaputtiya sutra.

She then teaches on wrong view, from the Diamond sutra (the wrong perceptions concerning the self, human being, living species and life span). We need to take time to stop and look deeply into these aspects and not get caught up in our projects or the routine of daily life. We need to be creative in our daily life, to continue to open our minds. This way, we can have little enlightenments everyday that will inspire us to continue on the spiritual path.

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