Dharma Talks / Letting Go of a Separate Self

Br Pháp Ứng

“My coming and going is in every breath. The rhythm of my birth and death is the sound of countless hearts beating.”

The spiritual “present moment” is made up of mindfulness, concentration, and insight. It is not the same as the physical present moment. Dwelling in these energies, the present naturally heals the past. We cannot cut off our past, nor do we need to do that.

In this concluding talk on the “Seven Factors of Awakening”, through moving tales of a Vietnam Vet’s transformation, his own experience as a war refugee, and his insights at his father’s death, Br. Pháp Úng shares a profound teaching on letting of a separate self. Nirvana is not liberation from birth and death, but from the idea of a separate self.

We have knowledge of the practices, the key to liberation, but do we practise them? Or are we, as the Vietnamese proverb says, dying of thirst while sitting by the stream?

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Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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