Update: We are offering online retreats while Plum Village France remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dharma Talks / Motivation and Obstacles in the Practice

Br Pháp Lai

Br Phap Lai talks about examining our motivation to practice on the spiritual path and working with the obstacles that prevent us from having a deep practice.

Br Phap Lai shares how the Buddha gave up great power and privilege which would have enabled him to do much good, to become an ascetic, with the determination to find relief from the deepest kinds of suffering. Our teacher Thay also witnessed great suffering during the famine in Vietnam in 1944. To face great suffering one needs a great vow. These great vows enable us to suffer with and aspire to help all beings. We develop the capacity to relieve the suffering of others and the great vow also becomes medicine for ourselves.

The aim of the path is to realize our interbeing nature and touch the ultimate dimension of no-birth and no-death in the midst of birth and death. Br Phap Lai invites the audience to name what motivates us to have a spiritual practice and what our obstacles to practice are. Obstacles to practice are like an inner Mara which prevent us from practicing wholeheartedly. He discusses different types of motivations and seeing how motivations can also be hidden from us (such as wanting to avoid pain) or how one can try to fulfil motivations in unhealthy ways due to misguided thinking. Obstacles include our own inner judgement, boredom, laziness, avoiding our past suffering or fears of the future. Br Phap Lai then discusses how to apply the seven factors of enlightenment (mindfulness, curiosity, energy, joy, concentration and equanimity/letting go) to obstacles that block our practice.

You can help us caption and transcribe this video on Amara

— More from Br Pháp Lai

Christmas eve talk- The true spirit of giving

Br Phap Lai gives the Christmas Eve talk on embracing the suffering that may come up during Christmas celebrations as well as the true spirit of giving. Br Phap Lai shares a story of being embraced by the collective energy of the community on Christmas eve while he was...

Br Pháp Lai

December 24, 2019
— Discover more...

Taking care of Mother Earth

Br Phap Lai teaches on protecting Mother Earth. Protecting Mother Earth was one of Thay’s greatest teaching. He had the courage to love Mother Earth and face her suffering. In Thay’s book, Love Letter to the Earth, and his calligraphy “I am in love with Mother Earth”, he asks...

Br Pháp Lai

October 20, 2019

Christmas eve talk- The true spirit of giving

Br Phap Lai gives the Christmas Eve talk on embracing the suffering that may come up during Christmas celebrations as well as the true spirit of giving. Br Phap Lai shares a story of being embraced by the collective energy of the community on Christmas eve while he was...

Br Pháp Lai

December 24, 2019

Communities of Love as Healing Sources

Br. Phap Ung talks about the community’s love as like an ocean embracing all beings. In the spirit of meta-ethic, Suffering can be embraced by the community and be a source of growth and practice to see that we are not separate from each other. When we ourselves suffer,...

Br Pháp Ứng

November 10, 2019

Hide Transcript

What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

00:00 / 00:00
Show Hide Transcript Close