In this fifth talk of our June retreat “40 Years of Plum Village: Now We Have a Path, We Have Nothing More to Fear”, elder brother Pháp Ứng offers a heartfelt talk rich with poetry, music, and a video to share with us about the third Dharma Seal of PV: the “times” (past, present, and future) and the “truths” (conventional and ultimate; and the Four Noble Truths) inter-are. He shares that it is possible to realize this truth through the practice of the first two Plum Village Dharma Seals, “I have arrived, I am home”, and “Go as a river”.
Seeing that our ancestors and descendants are all present in us right now, we feel full and complete, and this also helps us to dwell happily in the present moment. With our mindful breathing and walking, we are able to take good care of both, and practice in such a way that we are nourished immediately: “there is no way to happiness; happiness is the way”.
Brother Pháp Ứng shares that by touching the Right View of inter-dependent co-arising (“this is, because that is”) is very practical, and helps us care for the suffering that is arising in the present moment. It protects us from drowning in that suffering and transforms it at the same time.
Brother Pháp Ứng shares that touching deeply the suffering of the relative dimension gives rise very naturally to the love and understanding that allow us to be in touch with the ultimate dimension of no birth and no death. In fact, he says, when we have the practice it is even good that the suffering of birth and death is so painful. Letting ourselves really feel that pain, we make a deep vow to get to the bottom of it, to learn to truly dwell happily in the present moment and see that everything is already a wonder: “the fresh air is already there, we just have to open the door and let it in.”
A rich sharing from long-time Plum Village practitioners who lived in Plum Village during each era from the 1980s to the present day. For photographs of each era, see the slideshow of Plum Village across the years.