Dharma Talks / Cultivating Harmony in Families

Sr Hội Nghiêm

[gong sound] [gong sound] [gong sound] Dear respected Thay, dear brothers and sisters and dear friends, today is the 22nd of July in the year 2018. We are in the Assembly Star Meditation Hall of the Dharma Nectar Temple, Lower Hamlet. We are on the first day of the third week of the Summer Retreat so welcome to Lower Hamlet, for the first day of the third week of the Summer. I hope that you slept well last night, Did you sleep well last night? So, so! Did you smile when you woke up? Yes A bit yes, so you can hug yourself with a smile and if not, you can smile to yourself now.

Don't wait until tomorrow to wake up and to smile. you can smile to yourself now, and you can maintain a smile as long as you can and during the day, you can smile to yourself. in any moment, and anywhere, with any person, with any trees, with anything around us. Thay, our teacher, used to say that when you come to Plum Village, we have to learn at least three things: smile, breath and step. So, if you come to Plum Village and you don't learn how to smile, you don't learn how to walk mindfully, you don't learn how to breath mindfully, then you can't say you've come to Plum Village already. So at least three things we have to learn when we are in Plum Village. Some people say, 'it's really difficult for me to smile; how can I smile when I have a lot of suffering? when I don't feel joy, I don't feel happy at all. Where can I smile?' I'd like to invite you to go back to when we were a child. I hope that everyone here knows how to bike and we enjoy to bike and we remember the first time when we practised to bike we were not balanced at all. It was so difficult to keep ourselves balanced on the bike and sometimes we fell down. Sometimes we hurt ourselves. and sometimes our .... were splitting but still, we kept practising until we could bike happily. and we can bike everywhere. Some people can bike from this country to another country and they can bike all over the world. It is the same with the practise of smile At the beginning, maybe some of you have difficult moment to smile, but just keep practising. and slowly, slowly you can smile to yourself when you wake up, when you look at yourself in the mirror when you are happy, when you are joyful, and even when we are suffering we can smile to ourselves. When we are angry, we can smile to our anger. As a monastic, when we wake up in the morning, we smile to ourselves, it's the first thing we do, before we step on the floor, we smile to ourselves. and we say, "Waking up this morning, I smile, there are 24 brand new hours before me. I vow to live deeply in each moment and look at all beings with compassionate eyes." So, tomorrow when you wake up, the first thing you do is to smile at yourself. you don't need to rush, you don't need to hurry to go to the bathroom Here at Plum Village, we are very luxurious. We take a lot of time to wake up and we have at least thirty minutes before we do Sitting Meditation, so we don't need to rush, we don't need to hurry we take time to smile to ourselves. If tomorrow when you wake up and you forget to smile to yourself and you go to the bathroom and suddenly you remember that you forgot to smile to yourself when you woke up then I suggest that you go to your bed again and pretend that you just wake up and smile to yourself and we train ourselves. Don't be afraid that the people smile at you because everyone comes here to practise so we train ourselves and if we train ourselves and we have happy energy then we can smile to ourselves when we wake up It is a way of training ourselves I remember that the first day, I really wanted to smile when I woke up, but I forgot it and I said to myself, tomorrow I will smile to myself But the next day I also forgot it and the next day I also forgot it So I committed to myself that if I couldn't smile to myself, I had to go back to bed again, to smile and I did exactly like that, go back to my bed, pretend that I wake up, and smile to myself. And suddenly, the day after, I remembered right away. When I woke up, I smiled to myself. And slowly, slowly, you can smile to yourself when you suffer, when you are angry, in any situation, whatever happens to yourself, you can smile and you can smile to your children you can smile to your partner, to your husband, your wife even when you have a difficult moment Our body very wonderful, we can go back to our body to take good care of our body to relax our whole body to enjoy our breathing. One day, I discovered, I felt that we can breathe at our whole body I was so happy. The moment we feel, the moment we experience, not the moment we hear. We may hear a lot, but we don't experience. But the moment when we experience, we are very happy. Because the air goes through our body not only by the nostrils to the lungs, but the air can go through every air pore in our body. and go deep into every muscle, every cell in our body go deep into our blood, go deep into our bones go deep into our marrow and make our whole body relaxed. And we feel, we experience that we breathe as a whole body. Very simple, like that, but after ten years of practise I just experience that, so now, if you can breathe as a whole body you can save ten years. And one day I discovered that our whole body can smile we say that we smile to our whole body, but our whole body can smile. And also the day when I experienced that our whole body can smile, I was so happy. I just sat there to enjoy my happiness, just sit there to enjoy our whole body, my whole body was smiling. Our fingers can smile, our face can smile our shoulders can smile, Our heart can smile, and our toes can smile also. and I feel so happy. Today, I would like to share with you about the relationship between parents and children. It is the subject of my sharing today, so I would like to know how many of you came here as a family. If you have children here, please raise your hand. OK, thank you, there are many We are lucky that everyone has our parents Some of us have children, and some don't have the children but everyone has our parents. I'd like to tell you about my parents, my childhood. When I was a child, my father made a schedule for me for the children in the family. So at what time we wake up in the morning and we did sitting meditation together, when I was a child, sit up on the big bed, I don't remember how long, but I remember the image that we sat together and after that we did the household delights in our capacity, like for me, I fed the chicken and cow, how many chicken we had every day my brother folded up the mosquito net and blanket for everyone my sister swept the yard, my father prepared the breakfast, and then everyone do a different task and then we ate breakfast together before we went to school. And after school, we had lunch together, and after that, we took a nap and after nap, we did our homework, the children, and then we went to sleep. And when I was four or five years old, we had my younger sister and my momtook care of my younger sister and my daddy took care of me. And he helped me to sleep he used to tell me some stories to help me fall asleep so at the same when we took a nap, my father also told me some stories, but some time I couldn't take a nap, I couldn't sleep I tossed and turned, tossed and turned and my father said "look on the roof, to watch a movie" and I looked to the roof, the roof of my house at that moment was made of metal sheets and in all the metal sheets, there were many tiny holes and when the rain came, the water fell down. So that's why my father used a wide plastic sheet to spread out, to cover the roof, to prevent the rain from falling on the bed. And outside of my house, there was a big tree and many branches covered the roof and when the sun came, it reflected the shadow on the sheet. And when the wind came, it made the shadow move My father said that was the movie, "watch the movie!" I was born one year after the war in Vietnam so at that moment, my country was very poor. I didn't know what a film was. What was a film? I didn't know. There was no television at that moment. So my dad said, "that's a film! Look at the film." And I watched the film until my eyes were tired, and I fell asleep. One day he asked me: "What's the film?" and I said to him: "No, there was no film today!" And he said: "That's the film. Why didn't the film run?" Because for me, film had to run, and because that day, there was no wind that's why the shade didn't move and when the shade didn't move, I felt there was no film. That's why my dad went out, climbed up in the tree and shook the branches, and he asked me: "Did you see the film?" and I said yes, and I watched the movie until I slept. Every time I remembered that, I was so happy. I was so happy, and it is the memory I remember the most. Of course I have many beautiful memories but I couldn't tell you every memory I have of my parents. So whatever the parents did for the children is never lost they will be remembered forever. And I also remember forever. It is a beautiful past Thay, our teacher, used to say that we have to create our beautiful past because every time we think of our past, we are so happy. And if we don't have a beautfiul past, we can create a beautiful past in the present moment. So if we live this moment deeply, tomorrow this moment becomes a beautiful moment This moment becomes the beautiful past. so I hope that during this week you can live in such a way that every time you think of the time you were in Plum Village you are so happy, your children are so happy. So that's the way we create a beautiful past in the present moment. I remember that in the summer, my father took time to take me, my brother and sister to visit my aunt and my uncle. And it took about ten or twelve of fifteen hours to get there, and we went by car or sometimes by train. And I used to sleep on the train and in the car, but when we passed by the beautiful places, beautiful scenery, he always woke me up, to look at the beautiful scenery outside of the car or the train. "Look there, at the beautiful river, look there at the beautiful mountain. Look at the beautiful bridge." And I woke up, stared outside to look at the beautiful river, but I don't remember much about the river, the mountain, the bridge, but I remember the image that my daddy woke me up. Now, I enjoy the nature, I enjoy seeing the beach, the mountain, the rivers, thanks to my daddy. I think everyone has beautiful memories, but sometimes we are busy and we don't remember our childhood so we can't remember our childhood to nourish ourselves again. and we can do it for our children. Of course, living together, taking care of each other, sometimes we have some difficult moments. Nowadays, the life is so busy, and sometimes we don't have the time to care for our children and we let electronic devices take care of our children Is it your case? Yes. We let our children watch the television we let our children play games because we don't have time for them. And slowly, slowly, they don't know how to communicate with people, because they just watch tv, they just play games, they don't know how to communicate and slowly they become isolated, they become lonely. So we have to organize in such a way that we have time for our children. And we have to respect our children. We have to respect the different point of views of our children and let our children be free. I remember when my daddy gave me advice, and give me many solutions, and he said: "It's up to you to choose," so I have tendency to follow what he wished me to do. But when he said "you have to do this, you have to do that," I have tendency to do in the opposite way. Because from deep here in our heart, everyone wants to be free. When we are free, we want to do the good thing I think everyone wants to do the good thing, but because when we feel to be imposed, we don't want to, we want to do the opposite. To punish our parents, to force us to do like this, to do like that. So you may give your children freedom to choose. You can give them advice, you can give them many solutions and let them choose. They will choose the good way to go. Our children are very smart. They know what they want to do, they know what they should do and what they shouldn't do. So we don't put the pressure on our children Our children also have a lot of pressure when they go to school already, and when they come home, we create an atmosphere in such a way they feel free they feel joyful, and they feel happy. Some children commit suicide because they have a lot of pressure at the school, they have to do many things, and when they go home, they have to do homework and if their parents don't understand them their parents expect too much "you have to be the best student in the school, you have to go to the university that university," so you make your children worry so much. and sometimes they didn't know what to do. And they just commit suicide, and it is too late to discover that. So we may choose happiness and joy sometimes we don't need number one. "You just be happy, that's already a lot." Sometimes we have to talk to our children like that. In our daily life, if we don't pay attention, we will cause our children to suffer a lot. We compare our children with other people "You're not as good as the other person, you're not as good as your friends." You're not humble at your friends, you don't know how to communicate You don't talk much, and you make your children feel depressed. because they always feel that they are not worthy. They're not as beautiful as other people they 're not as good as other people. Little by little, day by day, they feel depressed and they suffer a lot, and when our children are depressed we also suffer Now, if you have the children, who don't have depressions be happy with that. You're still lucky, they smile to your case, smile to your situation. and take good care of our children, don't let our children fall in that situation And if it's your case, if you have your children who are depressed, so we learn ways to take care of our children in order that they can get out of this situation they can transform from this depression, so we can save more time and energy to care for them, to take good care of them. and they feel loved, they feel cared for, they feel understood, and they feel happy. One thing of our suffering is when we feel that nobody can understand us. Our parents don't understand us, our parents don't listen to us. So try to find time to listen to our children let our children share, let our children communicate with us, with parents and respect our children we as parents, we thought we had a lot of experience we have more experience than our children It's true we have more experience than our children, but sometimes we have to learn from our children many people say that, my children are my teachers Is it your case? Yes. I learned a lot from my niece. When I went home to visit my family, I led my niece to go to the pagoda. and she asked me Come to bow to the Buddha and we came to the Buddha, and we joined our palms and we prayed, and afterwards I asked her, what did you pray and she said: "I prayed for everyone to be healthy, to be happy." The poor people become rich, the rich become richer if it's not stolen by the thief I asked her: "Don't you pray for your parents? Don't you pray for your grandparents?" She said: "Parents and grandparents are included in everyone already." and it made me shocked. We discriminate, right? Our parents first, then our parents, and then other people, but she prayed equally for everyone. Parents and grandparents are included in everyone already. She was only six or seven years old at that time In the eyes of the parents we always see our children are still young Don't know how to take care of themselves, no matter how old they are, no matter how insightful they are in society and we keep reminding them. "You have to do this, you have to do that, you have to wear the warm coat," and sometimes you make them unhappy. But still keep reminding, even if they have children already! They know how to take care of children, we keep reminding our children. So we have to be aware of that. Sometimes we do something that's unnecessary, we care too much, and we make our children unhappy We keep calling and calling and calling, and too much, they don't even pick up the phone because they know it's the parents. So we take good care of our children, but at the same time, we offer them space. It's also the way we respect our children. We trust our children. Respect is the nature of love. We trust our children, even if they are different from us, we trust our children, even if they want to do something different from us. You want them to become a doctor, but they may not want to become a doctor, they want to become a business person, that's ok. Just respect them, and make them happy, and they know what to do. Of course, the children have to... As a parent we have to take good care of the children and also as children, we have to take good care of our parents sometimes if we just show our respect, our gratitude, we already make other people happy. Our parents do something for us, and if we receive it with gratitude, we make them happy. And if we think it's their task, they are not happy. I made a lot of poetry, and one day I collected all my poetry and put it into a volume, to make a gift, to offer it to my daddy, as a birthday gift. I never offered him a birthday gift, in the countryside, we didn't have the habit of giving birthday gifts to our beloved one. But when I became a nun, I offered the presents to the other sisters, and I saw I didn't do that for my parents. So I collected all the poetry to offer it to my parents, to my daddy. And when he saw it, he was so happy. He was so happy. And the poetry, all in Vietnamese, and I'll read you just one. I just asked sister ... yesterday to translate for me in English so I'll read it. This is the gratitude for father. I'm grateful that you have, together with mother, given birth to me and nurtured me to maturity. I'm grateful that you have, together with mother, been the first teachers in my life. I'm grateful, dear father, for your skillfulness in giving your sympathetic and wholeheartedly encouraging words. I'm grateful that you have showed me the beauty and wonders of life, and given me the freedom of choice. I'm grateful that you have understood me, even though I chose not to speak I'm grateful that you have been present for me so that I can whisper your name in difficult moments. I'm grateful that you have taken me to the temples, gave me the opportunity to be in contact with the Dharma, the monks and the nuns. I'm grateful for your humility, simplicity, faithfulness, religions, courage, willingness to love and endurance. I'm grateful for your craftsmanship in making toys for me when I was young. in giving me a schedule to follow, helping me to be succesful in what I do in my capacity. I'm grateful that you have sacrificed your time and energy to be with your children I'm grateful for the first reading exercices and litterary writings you have taught me. I'm grateful that you cherished me and cherish everything I do. I'm grateful that you have transmitted to me faith and vitality I'm grateful you have taken me to visit famous places, beautiful sceneries, and told me stories of ancient dynasties Father, you didn't go down in history but you have gone down in my history. I'm grateful that you are my father. I'm grateful and happy to have you in my life. [gong sounds] Sometimes we have a difficult moment ? with other and that difficulty becomes too much and we suffer. Sometimes we're angry with each other parents and children, sometimes the anger becomes hatred. and we don't want that person to exist We want to run away from our parents We don't want to have anything to do with them. because they cause us a lot of suffering. and also, at the same time, sometimes parents want to run away from children, because they cause us a lot of suffering. But where do we run to? Even if we don't want them to exist, you want to run away from them, but still, they are in us, our parents are in us. Even if we don't want, but they're still in us. If they are not in us, why do we suffer because of them? Because they're here. That's why we suffer because of them. So the best thing to do is to go back to take care of our suffering and difficulty. We can't run away If we run, we run forever, but the wound, the suffering, will still be there. So if you have a difficulty with your children or children have a difficulty with their parents the best way is to go back to take care of our wound, to take care of our suffering. First of all, we go back to our body, to enjoy our breathing, to relax our body and to see where the wound accumulates in our body, where the suffering accumulates in our body and slowly, slowly, we know how to take good care of our body We suffer a lot because we don't have the capacity to stop our parent does something, or says something, maybe one or two times it happened in the past already but we keep remembering. So that's why we suffer, we cannot stop our thinking but by the way to go back to our body, slowly, slowly, we can focus on our body and we can stop thinking and we can heal our wound, we can heal our suffering and difficulty. If we don't know how to take care of ourselves, love can become hatred. So go back to take care of our emotion, go back to take care of our anger go back to take care of our suffering, by smiling, by mindful breathing, by mindful steps. Tomorrow you'll hear more about reconciliation, given by sister Chan Khong, so I don't need to talk much about reconciliation, between parents and children I'd like to share with you the gift that you'd like to offer to your children is your happiness. Our teacher would say that the most precious legacy, the most precious inheritance, the most precious gift you offer to your children is your own happiness. The children suffer so much when parents argue with each other. Children suffer too much when parents fight with each other. Children suffer too much when parents are divorced. So the most precious gift to offer to your children is your own happiness. So go back to take care of yourselves to nourish your joy and happiness, to heal the wound, and see that sometimes our parents argue with each other with love for very little things like my mom my father wanted the children to wake up early, he trained us to wake up early and my mom said "Just let them sleep more!" They don't sleep enough." So different viewpoints made them argue with each other and after that, we felt scared Wake up early or sleep long, it doesn't matter with us, but our parents argueing with each other and sometimes they were fighting with each other over very little things I remember that when I came to my grandparents, I like to climb up into the tree to pick up the fruit and my grandfather didn't like me to climb up because he was afraid I would fall down. But my grandmother supported me to climb up because she knew I was happy when I climbed up into the tree. But sometimes they argue with each other. Allowed or not allowed. Right or wrong, sometimes it's not so important. The important thing is the harmony with each other. Wake up early or sleep more, it doesn't matter, it's not so important but when parents are happy, we're more happy. Climb up into the tree or not, is not so important. But what's important, is grandparents who are happy. So we have to practise to let go of an idea. Sometimes we think our idea is the best. But we have to let go, in order to have harmony in the family. Sometimes we have to sacrifice the best in order to have harmony in the family. And when we have the harmony, we have everything When we lose harmony, we lose everything. So harmony is very important in our family. So if parents aren't happy, we go back to take care of ourselves to offer our gift to offer our children a beautiful gift. If for some reason you are divorced, so you can divorce in such a way that you don't feel hatred towards each other you can be friends It is a big healing for your children. We had one sister whose parents were divorced but after that they became friends and every time they come here they are also together and they're happy, as friends. and they made my sisters happy. So you don't need to nourish the hatred in yourself forever, you can transform. You can make the hatred become love it is the legacy you'll leave for your children. the children can learn from you. They learn a lot from you and you transmit to them every moment, every minute you don't need to wait until they grow up to transmit to them your legacy or inheritance When they grow up, they know how to earn money they know how to earn their living but they learn also a lot from you the way you love each other, the way you behave with each other they know how to behave with his wife, her husband, his children, her children and they will do exactly the way you do Sometimes we are not happy with our parents and we say to ourselves that when we grow up, we will not do like that, but then when we grow up, we do exactly the way our mom did, we do exactly the way our father did. because they transmitted both good qualities and not good qualities. So you do the same, you transmit yourself to them and they'll do exactly the way you have done. So please, transform it, not only for you but also for your children. When you transform, your children will transform And it is a lot. So the best way is to learn how to take care of ourselves We can only offer to other people whatever we have we can't offer to other people what we don't have If we'd like to offer other people joy, we have to have joy, if we'd like to offer other people peace, happiness, we have to have peace and happiness. If we don't have it, how can we offer it to other people? The willingness is not enough. We have to generate joy, generate happiness generate peace, generate love in order that we can offer it to our children. And we also respect each other. In Vietnamese, we say, we have to respect like we just see each other Do you remember the moment when you just met each other? You were so happy, you were very careful you were very mindful, careful in your speech, careful in your actions, but when you got married, and later on, you forgot it. You forgot the first moment you were with each other and you are not so careful anymore and you start to say something to do something that makes other people unhappy. So we have to remember the moment when we just met the other the first day we loved each other very fresh, very beautiful, we would like to offer beautiful things to other people we only would like to offer joy, happiness, love to other If we just cause each other suffering, it's not true love for true love, you have to know how to bring joy and happiness to other people Thay, our teacher, always kept a beginner's mind, very fresh, the lotus blooms every year but he was so happy to see and to know the first lotus blooming every year and he kept asking: "Do the lotus at Lower Hamlet bloom yet?" and he was eager to observe, to be really present, to see the lotus blooming and we let him know: "Thay, today is the first day the lotus at Lower Hamlet is blooming!" and he was so happy, and he made us happy even 30 years, or more than 30 years, but still, he was still happy with the first lotus blooming and he made us happy. So we have to remember the joy and happiness because your joy and happiness will inspire other people to be joyful and to be happy. In true love, there's no room for pride. there's no room for hurt pride sometimes, we feel hurt, we suffer, and we don't want to call for help. Without you, I can survive but sometimes we have to ask for help, we open our heart to ask for help Dear beloved one, I suffer so much that I'd like you to know this, please help me. I remember that my nephew really wanted to eat snacks. He liked to eat yoghurt and many things, except the main meal. One day, he opened the fridge to take the yoghurt but his mother didn't allow him to eat, and she said: "Save it for other people, you didn't eat everything." And he was not so happy, and he didn't eat it. But my grandmother took it for him, allowed him to eat. "Just eat it, don't worry." But at that moment, he was angry, that's why he didn't want to eat it, and he said no. And my mom said: "What? Why don't you eat? Before, you wanted to eat, and now you don't want to eat." And he said "That's because I don't like it." And my mom asked him to eat and because he was afraid my mom would yell at him, he ate, but he wasn't happy at that moment. I wondered why my mom asked him to eat when he was not so happy? And my mom told him: "Don't feel hurt pride." That story stays in me forever. Thay used to say that when you're angry with someone, offer that person a present. And when you offer the person that present, you'll transform your anger. And you know, offering a present to the people with whom you're angry, is easier than receiving a gift from the person with whom we're angry. Because when we're angry with a person, we don't want to have anything to do with that person, right? When they offer us a present, we don't want to receive it. We feel hurt! If you observe your mind, you will see that you feel hurt. and we don't want to receive it. And the story between my mother and my nephew comes up. Even if we feel hurt, we receive it, and we observe our mind, to take care of our wound and some more skillful people receive it and then they give it to other persons because they're polite, but deep down inside, we don't want to receive it, but we receive it to be polite. But for me, I receive it to observe my wound, to take care of my wound. And slowly, slowly, I can heal the wound and keep the relationship open. If we don't want to receive it, it means we close our relationship. but when we receive the gift, we open the relationship. And when we have a good relationship, we are happy. The good relationship is a foundation of love and happiness. I would like to draw on the board how our mind works. So last week, Sr Duc Nhiem already introduced you but now some of you are new in the practise, so I'd like to present it again, for you to understand. When we understand how our mind works, the practise becomes much easier. So, simply, our mind has two parts, an upper part we call mind consciousness, and a lower part we call store consciousness. and in the store consciousness we store all the seeds. Beautiful seeds, wholesome seeds, like mindfulness, compassion, understanding, forgiveness what else? Happiness, joy, peace, and also there are some unwholesome seeds, like hatred, anger, disappointment, so all the seeds sleep here. And all the information we receive through our eyes, our ears, our nose, our tongue and our body, all the information we receive from family, from school, from society, goes here. And if it does, the wholesome seed is manifested here. and is becoming the happy face, as if it waters the joy and happiness. and you become joyful and happy, For example, if you see someone you love, the joy here is water and makes you happy. If you hear something that you didn't like, it waters maybe the anger here, and the anger manifests here as an unhappy face, a suffering face. So it depends on how we water the seeds inside of us and in case the anger is watered and you feel suffering, then you invite the mindfulness here to come up to embrace it. and slowly, slowly, the anger will come down here. So it is the way we take care of ourselves. Sometimes we don't need to sit there to transform our suffering and difficulty, we just water the good seeds inside of us and if you water the good seeds, these seeds become stronger. and becomes stronger and stronger. And there's no more space for the bad, unwholesome seeds. Like the garden, if you know how to plant a flower, we have the flower to enjoy, we don't need to spend too much time on weeding and if you leave the garden there empty, it would come up and wouldn't take too much time to weed. If we plant a flower, we have the flower to enjoy so it is the same with our mind, if we water the beautifu seed here, we won't need too much time to transform It is not too much hard work to do. It's the same with children. If you water the good seeds inside of your children, the good seeds inside them will manifest. And when they do the good thing, they don't have time to do the bad thing. And if you yell at them, and say: "Don't do this, don't do that!" then they don't know what to do. And they don't know how to consume their time so that's why they continue to do it. But if you water the good seeds inside of them, they continue to do it again and again and again, and it becomes bigger and bigger and bigger and there's no more space for this kind of seeds, and this kind of seed would sleep. So there's a way we can take care of ourselves and take care of other people. and if we'd like to take good care of other people, we have to know how to take care of ourselves Always go back to ourselves to take good care of ourselves. Listen to ourselves, listen to our suffering. Release the tension in ourselves, generate joy and mindfulness to ourselves, so when you know how to do for yourself, you know how to do it for your parents You know how to do for your children. Your children do exactly the way you do, because they are your continuation. They are your copy! So do something for your children, we have the chance. No matter how much suffering we have, we can transform it. And everyone has the chance to begin anew, we come here as a spiritual family, and if you bring your children here, it is a very beautiful gift to offer to your children. And when we come here, we become the children of the spiritual family no matter how old you are 10 years? 20 years? 30 years, 50 years? Or 60 years? We are the children of the spiritual family, no matter you have the religion or not, no matter which religion you belong to. We come here as a spiritual family, we swim happily, joyfully, peacefully in the family, because everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to be peaceful, wants to be joyful and suffer less. It is the path we walk on, and we walk together. We build up the spiritual family together for our members to have a second chance if we had suffering in our family. And then we come here to live, to enjoy and we learn ways to go back to take care of our blood family. So I wish you enjoy this week happily, joyfully, peacefully, and learn to smile, to walk and breathe. Three things, only three things and no matter the suffering we're having, we can let go so that we can enjoy in the spiritual family we can be happy and we can do it right now and right here. It's not something that we just learn, we come here to learn so that we can bring something home, to do it, If we cannot do it here, we cannot do it at home, So just do it here, then you know what to do when you go home. So I wish you a happy stay. Enjoy your practise and thank you very much for your listening.

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The Foundation of our Activism

“Mindfulness of breathing is the great vehicle used by buddhas to save beings who are drifting.” – Master Khương Tăng Hội Meditation Master Khương Tăng Hội, the first patriarch of Zen in Vietnam, was a great source of inspiration for our teacher Thầy to practice and develop Engaged Buddhism....

Sr Hội Nghiêm

October 9, 2022
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Mindfulness of Love and Gratitude

Br. Minh Hy invites us to connect to great ancestral teachers who played a very important role in Thầy’s journey of renewing Buddhism. Inspired by their example, we can improve and refine our own practice, with faith and perseverance. We can make their practice come to life as we...

Br Minh Hy

October 30, 2022
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Peace, Reconciliation and Harmony with Right Speech

Sister Thuận Nghiêm (Sister Harmony) takes us along her life-long journey of transforming her way of thinking and speaking with the practice. She shares many true stories about the importance of checking our perceptions and speaking more humbly and lovingly. The impact of our speech is immediate and wide....

Sr Thuận Nghiêm

October 23, 2022
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Wisdom, Hope, Faith

“Do not abandon your aspiration too early!” Through her own experience of fearlessness, hope, compassion, anger, and despair during the war in Vietnam, Sr. Chân Không shares how she transformed unwholesome seeds through mindfulness practices in our Plum Village tradition. Touching on difficult topics such as suicide, alcoholism and...

Sr Chân Không

October 13, 2022

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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