In this Dharma Talk at the start of the second week of our Summer Retreat, Brother Phap Huu begins by asking us a simple question: Have we really arrived in Plum Village? Or are we still running in the past, future, or even getting lost in the present?
The first Dharma Seal of Plum Village is the practice of learning to be at home: I have arrived, I am home.
The present moment contains the past and the future. By taking care of the present moment, we build a beautiful past as well as a future. We need to explore and develop the seed of mindfulness in us in order to strengthen our capacity to dwell in the here and now. We taste life and feel our aliveness.
The habit energy of running has been transmitted to us by our ancestors and our society. By coming back to our breath and our steps in daily life, we can transform this habit. Our breath becomes a refuge against our habit energies, and helps make our presence more solid. We need to learn to stop, rest, and become sustainable for ourselves.
Presence is also possible in painful moments, as Thay’s life shows with beauty and strength. By learning to live a painful moment deeply, we develop the capacity to embrace unpleasant sensations.
The Art of Happiness is also a very important part of the practice. In our daily life, we learn to identify and treasure the conditions of happiness that are already there. By nourishing our happiness, we are already transforming our suffering.
In our times, it is crucial that we learn to love Mother Earth again. We need to see that she is inside of us and not outside. We are part of the environment. We need to create a culture of healing, stopping, and having enough.
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