Dharma Talks / First-Person Applied Neuroscience

Br Pháp Lưu

Br. Phap Luu speaks about taking refuge in the Dharma and experiencing the “taste of Zen”.

As practitioners we should go take refuge in the Dhamma and not in ideas about ourselves. We should also check if our practice has the “taste of Zen”, asking ourselves, “Do I feel free?” Going for refuge in the Dhamma has the taste of freedom, whereas being caught in our ideas of how things are can cause suffering and anxiety.

With the insight of interbeing, we can practice to see the cloud in our tea and we practice to free ourselves from all views, including Buddhist ones. This is an experience of “first-person applied neuroscience”.

Br Phap Luu discusses the Anuradha discourse (an often recited sutra at Plum Village) to illustrate how we can get caught in views and ideas. Our mind has a tendency to attach to views which we identify with and defend, losing our freedom in the process. He relates our views of “I, me, mine” to the five aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness) and how our views of the five aggregates can cause suffering and can even become a matter of life and death when one is faced with despair and strong emotions.

He encourages the retreatants to practice to release their ideas and personally taste the freedom of Zen while on retreat at Plum Village. The conditions for one to walk in freedom and taste Zen are present here. Br Phap Luu also encourages us to borrow from the collective mindfulness energy to embrace our suffering.

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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