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Dharma Talks / Openness, Non-Attachment to Views & Freedom of Thought

Sr Tuệ Nghiêm

The moment we step into Plum Village we want to cultivate the energies of mindfulness, concentration and insight. The Buddha originally taught these three trainings as precepts, concentration and insight. It was Thầy who showed us that precepts are essentially mindfulness. Every precept is a Dharma door. They are guidelines to help us see ourselves.

The Buddha devised the monastic precepts after incidents in the Sangha that caused suffering. Thầy devised the 14 Mindfulness Trainings as a reaction to the situation of his country at war, and of the world at that time. In “Tiếp Hiện” the word “Tiếp” means to be in touch and “Hiện” means here and now. Only in the present moment can we realize peace in order to alleviate suffering. In English it is called the Order of Interring. When we touch interbeing we are open to the suffering of others and motivated to help.

The first three of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings are Openness, Non-Attachment to Views and Freedom of Thought, in line with the ultimate ideal of Buddhism to free ourselves from notions and views. When we are free we can touch Nirvana in the here and now.

When we hold on to an idea or notion we feel rigid and less free. It prevents us from arriving at a deeper insight. In the spirit of meta meditation we can wish for ourselves and others to be free from wrong perceptions and wrong desires: “May I have clarity into my habits and shortcomings.” We can practice this in the morning as a reminder to be aware of our perceptions throughout the day. The Discourse on the Absolute Truth (Sutta Nipata 4.5) can help us to recognize our dogmatic views and the comfort we seek in the sense of identity we get from having views.

As humans we have a tendency to form ideas and opinions. We can take refuge in our breathing to take care of this habit. Living in the Sangha is a precious opportunity to practice with our views. But what does it mean to take refuge in the Sangha? We don’t take refuge in an individual but in the good conditions for practice we create collectively. And in the ability of the Sangha to help us see where we are stuck. We can observe our body in the moment we are holding on to our idea. If we don’t manage to do it during the day we can check in with our body at the end of the day, because the tension will still be there, and breathe with this tension to relax our body and let go of our ideas.

The practice of changing the CD is very powerful but it can also be used to avoid our suffering. Sometimes we need to revisit our suffering when we have enough strength and clarity to go inside and face the discomfort of our suffering.

The teachings of interbeing and non-self can be experienced during daily activities like eating, going to the bathroom and touching the earth and help us let go of ideas and notions of separation. With these insights we can see the suffering of people on the other side of the globe as our own and see that we not only practice for ourselves but for all of us.

Referenced sutra: Discourse on the absolute truth

You can support us by helping to caption & translate https://amara.org/v/lfyx/

(Bell) (Bell) (Bell) (Bell) Dear respected Thay, dear brothers and sisters, dear community, today is Sunday the 7th of October in the year 2018 and we are in the Assembly of Stars meditation hall at the Lower Hamlet. And I think it is our fourth week of the Rain Retreat. We are continuing on the theme of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings for this Rain Retreat. We've learned the moment we step into Plum Village that we want to cultivate here our energies of mindfulness, concentration and insight. These are energies that are innate in us. And the practices that we do here help us to tap into these energies inside. Because once the energies of mindfulness, concentration and insight are growing in us, they help us to be truly alive, to savor every moment of our life, to experience deeply, to appreciate deeply the simplicity of life, the beauties around us that a lot of times we take for granted. And they are these energies that help us to understand deeply who we are, the way we are, why we suffer the way we do and to transform this suffering that we have. So these are powerful energies. The Buddha had taught these what we call learnings, trainings but they are learnings, extensively in his teachings during his lifetime. But he also mentioned the three learnings or the three trainings as precepts, concentration and insight, not just mindfulness, concentration and insight but it is precepts. Precepts, concentration and insight. In our first Dharma talk we heard about that a little bit from Sister Doan Nghiem. And it was Thay who showed us the link between mindfulness and precepts. And that the practice of the precepts is really the practice of mindfulness, because the precepts really heighten our awareness of our actions of body, speech and mind that could bring suffering to ourselves and to other people. The precepts, I call them the Dharma doors, they are different Dharma doors, each one of the precepts is a Dharma door that help us to experience what is happening in the present moment in ourselves. They are like an MRI that help us to see our mind. In the lifetime of the Buddha, he devised the precepts for us to practice. And usually he devised these precepts in response to incidents that happened, incidents that the monks and the nuns encountered that could... So incidents that happened that creat suffering for oneself and for other people either now or later. The precepts are really guidelines for us to see ourselves, to go into ourselves, to be aware of the working of our mind. And Thay instead of calling them precepts, Thay called them the Mindfulness Trainings. And that is what they are to train us to be more mindful. So we have five trainings for lay practitioners, we have 250 for fully ordained monks and we have 348 for fully ordained nuns. I remember when I was a novice, I was a bit resistant to the trainings, especially to the idea that the nuns have more trainings than the monks, and it was one of the venerables from Vietnam who was teaching us the mindfulness trainings who said, and he was quite serious when he said this, he said, "The Buddha loves the nuns so much more, because he devised 348 mindfulness trainings for the nuns which means that the nuns have more protections than the monks." And that really shifted my perspective on this, that we are loved, we are loved by the Buddha and that we have more trainings for us to practice, more trainings for us to... More Dharma doors for us to experience the present moment, to experience and to see ourselves deeply. More protection for us. So it was just a matter of perspective that changed completely my idea about the mindfulness trainings. So during the war we have learned that, during the war in Vietnam, in the midst of all the atrocities and the suffering and the violence that was happening Thay devised the 14 mindfulness trainings for us to practice. They were also in response to the situation that was happening in Vietnam but also in the world. The war, those of you who have been in it know the horrendous suffering, the fear, that everyone is feeling, experiencing. For many of us, the Vietnamese siblings, even though we may be born after the war, but I know the war is very much a part of us. I know that is my case too. I was born at the end of the war and I didn't think it had an impact on me. But one time there was a documentary of Sister Chan Khong and her work. And it was shown like a preview for her and some of the monastics. So I went in, and right in the middle of the documentary there was a scene where there was fighting and Sister Chan Khong's voice in the background but the scene was killing and fighting. And at that moment I felt a lot of tension and I couldn't even breathe. I thought, "What's going on?". And I had to leave the room after five minutes. I couldn't bear it anymore. So I went out and I was really perplexed about it, I thought, "What is happening in me?" So I breathed and I practiced walking meditation and I realized that even though I didn't experience the war, but it had affected me very much. And just seeing a scene of the killing and the fighting in the movie was enough to trigger this fear and anxiety that I have. So I know a lot of my siblings have PTSD, not just veterans in Vietnam but a lot of us have it. We just have to sit and look deeply into ourselves and we can see the presence of the war there in us. So the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings came about. They are guidelines to practice in the midst of all the suffering. In Vietnamese we call the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings "Tiếp Hiện". "Tiếp" as in the word (Vietnamese), which means to be in touch. To be in touch with the reality of the world, to be in touch with the reality of our body and mind. In other words, to be present to whatever is there, we are not running away from whatever is there. Thay and the monastics during the war they were not satisfied by sitting in the temple meditating in the meditation hall. They found they needed to really go out there and really do something to help alleviate the suffering. "Tiếp" also means to continue, as in the word (Vietnamese). To continue, to extend, to continue the work of the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas and all our ancestral teachers, to sow seeds of awakening, to sow seeds of love and peace. So it's really being in touch with the suffering in us and around us. We have a chance to cultivate compassion, to cultivate awakening just like the mud and the lotus. We've heard about mud and lotus. That is for us to grow lotuses we need the mud. The suffering is the mud. We really need to face the mud, to face the suffering in order for lotuses to grow, in order for happiness, and peace, and compassion to be possible. And "hiện", as in the word "Tiếp Hiện", it means present, like (Vietnamese) for example. It means here and now. That only the present moment is real, and that only in the present moment we can tap into the seed of peace and awakening inside us. "Hiện" also means to realize, as in the word (Vietnamese), to realize. Realization means to be able to understand ourselves and to transform ourselves, to transform our suffering. Because when we are transformed, when we have a lot of space inside ourselves, when we have clarity inside ourselves, we have a lot of energy to do something to alleviate the suffering for other people. We know what to do and what not to do to alleviate the suffering. So I'd like to read the first three of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings, because today I will talk about the first, and the second, and the third of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings. The First Mindfulness Training, Openness: "Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory or ideology, even Buddhist ones. We are committed to seeing the Buddhist teachings as guiding means that help us develop our understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill or die for. We understand that fanaticism in its many forms is the result of perceiving things in a dualistic and discriminative manner. We will train ourselves to look deeply at everything with openness and the insight of Interbeing in order to transform dogmatism and violence in ourselves and in the world." And the Second Mindfulness Training: Non-attachment to Views. "Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. We are committed to learning and practicing non-attachment to views and being open to others experiences and insights in order to benefit from the collective wisdom. We are aware that the knowledge we presently posses is not changeless, absolute truth. Insight is revealed through the practice of compassionate listening, deep looking and letting go of notions, rather than through accumulation of intellectual knowledge. Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our lives." The Third Mindfulness Training, Freedom of Thought: "Aware of the suffering brought about when we impose our views on others, we are determined not to force others, even our children, by any means whatsoever such as authority, threat, money, propaganda or indoctrination, to adopt our views. We are committed to respecting the right of others to be different, to choose what to believe and how to decide. We will, however, learn to help others let go of and transform fanaticism and narrowness through loving speech and compassionate dialogue." So we can see that the first... first three of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings... I have to mention about. In English, the 14 Mindfulness Trainings are called the Order of Interbeing. I thought one said that it is not a direct translation of "Tiếp Hiện", "Interbeing", because "Tiếp Hiện" is not really interbeing. Why are there two different names? So I reflected on it, and what I found is that when we truly experience interconnectedness, interbeing, what it helps us is that our heart and our mind are completely open. Are completely open to be in the skin of other people. We can see what's happening to me is happening to other people, and what is happening to other people is actually affecting me a lot. So naturally, the insight of interbeing when I'm able to experience it deeply, helps me to protect, it helps me to do something to help other people. So it's in the same spirit of "Tiếp Hiện", coming in touch with the suffering and seeing the connectedness between myself and other people. It is only through this insight of interconnectedness, of interbeing, that we can be motivated to do something. Otherwise, we are just looking after our own interest and our own safety. The first three fo these Mindfulness Trainings talk about the mind. Buddha taught us that the mind is really the king of all the dharmas. (Vietnamese) in Vietnamese. Because the mind paints the world, the mind is like a painter that paints a reality. The mind creates our own reality, whether it's a physical reality, whether it is social or the environment. And it's also called the first three trainings "The cream of the Buddha's teaching". Because in Buddhism, our ultimate goal is to be free. To free from ideas and views and notions. So these trainings really adjust that issues, the issues of attachment, the issue of dogmatism, the issues of fanaticism, so that we can free ourselves. So that we can be free from ideas and notions and perceptions. When we are free, we can experience nirvana right here, right now. We don't need to die to experience nirvana. Nirvana is a place, is a state of mind when we are free. Brother Phap Dung mentioned this. When we are free of ideas and notions, not holding on to, not clinging. We can let go. That is the cream of the Buddhist teachings. The other things that we are doing in Plum Village, the other practices that we do, whether it's breathing or walking, they help us to have peace now. They help us to calm our body, to calm our mind, but ultimately, it is to help us to let go of our ideas and notions. To help us to see where we get stuck and blocked so that we can let go and be free. So when we hold on to an idea, when we are attached to views and notions, when we are dogmatic about something, we feel rigid and close-minded. For me, ideas and notions is all about my perceptions, it is all about the constructions of the mind, right? It's my own construction of reality, of other people. And it feels so real, it's like our own reality. The Buddha taught about knowledge like my own experience of reality, my knowledge of reality, the knowledge I have about reality, about myself and about other people, maybe an obstacle to my own growth and to my own transformation, my own growth. It's an obstacle to true understanding. So clinging on to views, clinging on to notions can prevent us from arriving at a deeper and profound understanding of reality. There is a sutra that Thay always talked about when he talked about these first three trainings. It's a story in the sutra called The Sutra of the One Hundred Parables, the story of a father and a son. The father is a merchant, and he was living with his son. One time, he went on a business trip. During that time, the robbers came to the village and stole everything and they burned down the village and they killed people. And when he came home, he found a dead body next to his house. And he thought that was his son that was killed. So he suffered a lot and he cremated the body of his son and put the ashes in a bag. And he took it with him wherever he went. And he lamented over the death of his son, he suffered a lot. One time- His son, he was not actually killed, he was kidnapped by these robbers. And he managed to escape. And he went back home, he found his way back. In the mid of the night, he knocked at the house that his dad had rebuild. He knocked, he knocked, but his dad, who was inside crying and suffering from the dead of his son, refused to open the door. He thought it was someone playing a prank on him. So out of desperation he left his dad, and his dad lost him forever. So the Buddha said that sometimes the truth comes knocking at our door, but we refuse to let it in because we have all these ideas, we have all these beliefs that we consider the truth, reality, and nothing else is the truth. So knowledge is an obstacle to the path. (Vietnamese) (Bell) (Bell) My question, every time I heard this teaching was, How do I know I'm stuck in my ideas and perceptions? How do I know I'm caught in, I'm attached to notions, and ideas, and perceptions? Because I realize that if I know this is a perception, it's no longer a perception. And if I know I'm caught in a perception, or an idea or a notion, I can let go so easily. It's just that I don't know that I'm caught in an idea or notion or perception. And I see that in people around me. Sometimes they are so stuck, and yet they don't see they are stuck. Sometimes their ideas and views are so narrow like this but they don't see that. And that's the difficult thing about perception and belief systems that we have. So how do I practice, how do you practice to recognize that you are attached to views, and notions, ideas and perceptions? It's been something that I've... always have to sort of warn myself, caution myself about it, about whether I am stuck in ideas, and views and perceptions, because I know the suffering that I would experience if I'm stuck, I'm attached to a perception, to an idea, to a notion. So I have some practices. Sister Annabel, Sister Chan Duc talked about the love meditation, the metta meditation. I have my own metta meditation. I made it really simple so that I can practice them. I usually do it when I go to bed, I say this loving meditation for myself. And then, when I wake up in the morning, I say this loving meditation to everyone, to other people. The first one is, May I be safe and protected. The second one, May I be happy and peaceful. And the third one is, May I be healthy in my body and my mind. And the fourth one is, May I be free from wrong views, wrong perceptions, and wrong desires. This is a reminder for me to be really mindful, to be able to see the wrong views, the wrong perceptions I have. It's coming from a deep desire in me to understand and to see whether I'm caught in a wrong view, wrong perception, wrong desire, because I realize that I may be stuck in a wrong perception, in a wrong desire, a wrong view and I may not even know it. This love meditation that I do for myself is to help me enhance my awareness of notions and ideas and belief systems that I may have, that are narrow and limited. But it also comes from this deep desire to understand. And I know where I am right now can be changed, that my understanding grows and that there is a higher reality, a higher understanding, a higher wisdom and that my practice is to be able to stay open so that I can experience this deeper understanding, deeper wisdom. So that I'm not caught in my own understanding and knowledge. May I be free from wrong views, wrong perceptions and wrong desires. The fifth one that I practice is, May I have clarity into my own suffering, into habit energies, into my shortcomings. That also from that desire to understand, that desire to, to not get caught in my narrow views, in my belief system. To be free from my conditioning. But one of the sutras that was eye-opening for me was the Discourse on the Absolute Truth. It is a sutra in the Sutta Nipata 4.5, and I really like this discourse. It's something that I read often to myself because they are... because they are like MRI for me to look at myself, a sort of guidelines for me to go in and to see whether I'm attached to views, whether I'm being dogmatic or not. "He who still abides by a dogmatic view, considering it as the highest in the world, thinking, “This is the most excellent,” and disparaging other views as inferior, is still considered not to be free from disputes." So if I had a think that I am the best, if I think that my idea is the best, then this is I'm caught. This maybe a dogmatic view. That is a bell of mindfulness for me, because I know that is the tendency I have, to think that the idea I have is right. This helps me, it is like a light that brings... You know, bringing a light into my mind to see, Yes, I'm being caught in a dogmatic view. "When seeing, hearing, or sensing something and considering it as the only thing that can bring comfort and advantage to self, one is always inclined to get caught in it and rule out everything else as inferior." That sounds familiar, isn't it? What we see, what we hear, what we sense we consider that they are the only things that can bring us comfort. And it is a bell of mindfulness for me, because I see that sometimes our thinking, our belief system, our notions and ideas could be a comfort zone for us. We all have a need for material comfort and emotional comfort. And sometimes this comfort can be... They may be causes of our suffering. And finding comfort in our ideas, and notions, and knowledge is another thing that we sometimes get stuck in and we dont' even know. Because these comforts, these belief systems we have, these ideas we have, these perceptions we have give us a sense of self-worth, give us a sense of identity. And if we let go of this identity, if we let go of this sense of self-worth, then, who are we? That is the tendency to cling. "Caught in one’s view and considering all other views as inferior, this attitude is considered by the wise as bondage, as the absence of freedom. A good practitioner is never too quick to believe what is seen, heard, and sensed, including rules and rites." So, the question that we have to ask ourselves, as Thay always reminded us is: Are you sure? Am I sure? Am I sure of my perception? Am I sure of what I heard? What I've seen? What I sensed? Now that is the season or us to do Shining Light. We are beginning Shining Light sessions in the New Hamlet. I think this is really relevant to us. Am I sure about my perception? Am I sure about what I have seen? What I have heard? So that we can come to - So that we can let go of our ideas and our perceptions, so that we won't shine too strongly on our sisters. Because what we see, what we hear could be just our perception. "A good practitioner abandons the notion of self and the tendency to cling to views. He is free and does not depend on anything, even on knowledge. He does not take sides in controversies and does not hold on to any view or dogma." I think I skipped one. "A good practitioner has no need to set up a new theory for the world, using the knowledge he has picked up or the rules and rites he is practicing. He does not consider himself as “superior” “inferior”, or ‘equal” to anyone." And what I notice in myself which means that we are very much the same, that it's something we all do, that there is this tendency to form ideas and opinions about everything, about circumstances, about people, that tendency goes unnoticed, forming ideas, forming opinions and they are truly we are just forming perceptions about circumstances, about people, about ourselves. So, this discourse is a bell of mindfulness to help us to see if we can really let go of forming ideas and perceptions. If we can just see things as they are, without the need to forming an opinion about it. And this is a challenge. It's a challenge to see and to hear and to stay quiet about it in our head. I think that is when we really need to practice mindful breathing, taking refuge in our breathe in a 100% so that we can watch ourselves and we can let go of this tendency to form ideas and perceptions. Most of the times, we form ideas and perceptions and then we judge. We judge others, good, bad. This is a really good way to also let go of judgments. Judgments towards ourselves and judgments towards other people. "He does not seek for anything or cling to anything, either this extreme or the other extreme, either in this world or in the other world. He has abandoned all views and no longer has the need to seek for comfort or refuge in any theory and ideology. To the wise person, there are no longer any views concerning what is seen, heard, and sensed. How could one judge or have an opinion concerning such a pure being who has let go of all views?" So when we are able to let go of our views, when we let go of clinging, and forming these ideas and perceptions, then we are not caught in this extreme or the other extreme. We are practicing the middle way, which is being truly present and not-attached to any ideas or notions. And this is when we can experience nirvana here and now. A pure being who has let go of all views. This is a being who is dwelling in nirvana right here and right now. And it could be us if we are able to let go of these views. Not forming new views, and opinions, and perceptions we can experience nirvana here and now, we could be that pure being. " A wise person no longer feels the need to set up dogmas or choosing an ideology. All dogmas and ideologies have been abandoned by such a person. A real noble one is never caught in rules or rites. He or she is advancing steadfastly to the shore of liberation and will never return to the realm of bondage." It is a very short discourse, but they are like guidelines for us to look at ourselves and to see where we are caught, where we are stuck and how to let go of it, how to throw it out, like brother Phap Dung said. I loved this image of throwing out those views and ideas. Although it is not as simple as that. But what I also found for me to see where I am stuck is the practice of deep listening and loving speech. And especially deep listening, because I notice that sometimes when I'm listening to other people I'm not really listening deeply, I'm not really there, I'm in my head forming new ideas and ways to respond to what is said. I'm pretending I'm listening but I'm not really listening. And even though I'm not intentionally pretending not to listen, it's just - I guess that is how our mind works, right? It's not that we are intent to pretend that we are listening, it is just that is how our minds works automatically. It is habitual. Mindfulness helps us to be a Buddha, to really stay present and to hear deeply without forming ideas and opinions in our head, so that we can really hear between the lines. And we can hear so much more, when we can hear without forming ideas and not preparing how to respond. Then we can truly hear what is not said. Living in a community, living in a sangha is a really precious opportunity. When we talk about taking refuge in the sangha, it's something that I have reflected on all my life, what does really taking refuge in the sangha mean? Surely I want to take refuge in her? Or in her? Or in her? You know? Because sometimes I, I - Sometimes, especially when I was younger, I sort of doubted these people around me. I doubted their love and I doubted their - Their goodness. It is like, you know, like how do I really - What does it really mean by taking refuge, I do not want to take refuge in these people around me like these. What I realized was that the sangha, even though they are not perfect like these people, like my sisters, they are not perfect. They have a lot of flaws, I do have a lot of flaws. But they are there, and they have this deep desire to practice. And that is what I have to take refuge in. It's just their presence there, practicing, creates an environment for me to practice. And that is what I'm taking refuge in. I'm not taking refuge in her, or in her, I'm taking refuge in the collective energy of practice that everyone here is creating and generating. And that this is a really good environment for me to be in, to be motivated, to practice. And everyone is really a reminder for me to come back to my practice. Each one of them is like a bell of mindfulness for me to help me come back to myself, come back to the practice. Because I'm not always very disciplined. I cannot always do it myself and I need the presence of everyone else to help me, to remind me to come back to myself. But what I also realized is that the presence of the sangha helps me to see where I'm stuck, where I am blocked, where I tend to cling and attach. And it happens in sharing, but it happens a lot in meetings. That is when I have a lot of opportunities to see whether I'm stuck or not. Whether I'm clinging on to my views or not. Here is my rule. I look inside myself, and if I see in my interaction with my sister or in meetings or whatever, if my heart is constricted, and tight, then I know I'm attached to an idea. I'm attached. I'm stuck in a perception. I'm stuck in my belief system. So if I feel constricted, if I feel blocked in here, if I feel discomfort inside, then I know that is where I need to face, know what I need to look into. Because I'm probably stuck and clinging to my views, and my perceptions and my ideas. So the presence of the sangha helps enormously, because they are there constantly and they are challenging my ideas and my perception all the time. And every time it happens, is an opportunity for me to see where I am right now. Whether I am rigid, I am holding, or whether I am just opening and let it in. Letting it happen, let it in, accepting whatever ideas that are coming from other people. So for me, the practice is to come back to myself and to feel that block inside. And I, I - I do it when I am in sitting meditation, I just follow my breathing, I just go in and I localize if I'm stuck and blocked anywhere. And I just breathe with that blockage. But also, I can't sleep at night. I can wake up in the middle of the night and sometimes for two or three hours and I couldn't go back to sleep. And it is usually in the wee hours of the night. And I make use of that time to do see if I'm stuck and blocked. So instead of forcing myself to go back to sleep, or beating myself down for not being able to sleep, I just go back to my body, I go through my body and I feel if there is anything that feels uncomfortable stuck and blocked, and I just breathe with it. And I found that sometimes it takes an hour or even two just to get this opening in that blockage, because you can see that when your mind from your present breathes with that blockage, then it sort of dissipates, it melts away. And you hear this gurgling, softening in the body, like the circulation in the body. And then there is openness in the body. And when that happens, it's not just melting away this blockage in my body, but I realize that it is also melting away the blockage that I have in my mind, because whatever I experience in my mind, is manifesting in the body. And helping that part in my body to melt is also helping to melt the way, the blockage that is in my mind. So taking care of the body is really taking care of the mind. Transformation in the body is also transformation in the mind. But it's easier for me to work on my body, because I can feel it, sense it. One phenomena that I realized that is happening inside and I see happening around me is what I call spiritual bypassing. It is the way we think, it is the way we look at things that we sort of not going through our difficulties and suffering, we sort of go around it. We think we have transformed but actually we are just avoiding the issues. And I realized one of the practices, it's a very precious practice, but we can get stuck in it. We can make use of it to bypass the difficulties and suffering we have. It is called "changing CDs". You've heard of it? Changing pegs? That means that when we have this enormous suffering that is manifesting, we don't have the clarity and the mindfulness energy, the strength in order to embrace it because it would be too overwhelming for us, it could be devastating to face that suffering that is unfolding inside, so the Buddha taught this practice so that we can go, instead of looking at this enormous suffering that is manifesting or that is threatening to come up, we can go, we can practice walking, coming in touch with the beauties around us, the trees, the good qualities, the positive things, so that we can have enough strength, enough clarity in order to go back and face this block, this suffering. But some of us have used it to bypass his suffering. We just do this all the time. And the suffering stays the same because we never really face it. We never really go into it. So, The practice is- Maybe at the beginning we need this practice of changing CD, but eventually we need really to go inside, we need really feel the rawness of that suffering, the discomfort feeling and energy, and the pain of that suffering. We need to really face it head on. And the tools that we can use, truly mindfulness, the breathing, accepting it, there is no need to struggle anymore, there is no need no run away. Spiritual bypassing is a skillful way to run away. For my self. We need to go in. (Bell) (Bell) So the way in is the only way in order to transform, in order to understand, in order to heal ourselves. The practice of Interbeing, the practice of non-self, interdependent arising, these are really profound Buddhist insights, teachings. But they are something we can experience, we can practice in our daily life. They are not something beyond our reach. When we are able to have this insight of interconnectedness, of interbeing, then we can be really free. Free from views and ideas. We can be in the skin of other people, we can be truly open. And that is when we can really transform the discrimination we have inside our head. These teachings can be practiced, they can be experienced when we are eating. It is in something mundane as eating that we can experience these really profound teachings. Or when we are urinating or defecating, or when we breathe. When we touch the Earth, these are practices that can help us cultivate the insight of Interbeing, of no-self. And this is, when we have this experience, this insight, that we can really transform ideas, and notions of separateness, we can really transform clinging and attachment. And that really can be truly free. So may you be free, may you be free from wrong views, wrong perceptions and wrong desires, and may you have clarity into your suffering, into yourself, into your shortcomings, and your weaknesses, so that you can be an instrument, an instrument to alleviate the suffering in the world, in yourself, in your families, and your society. When we have this insight, we know that the suffering that is happening on the other side of the globe through war, through human cruelty, they are not just of these people over there but they are ours too. They are our suffering as well. Even if this suffering had happened 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, that we can do something right now in this breath, in this step, in order to change, in order to bring peace to the people that have died. This is we are not just practicing this for ourselves. So with the insight of interbeing we know that our practice today is not just for ourselves. That we are doing it for those people who had suffered and who are suffering right now. And that we need more people to wake up, wake up to the fact that they are, they are clinging, so that they can let go. It's only when they can let go that they can be happy, can be free. So when we are able to let go, we can be happy and free. And with our own transformation, we can help other people to see that they are clinging, so that they can let go, they can be happy and they can be free. So our own awakening is helping others to wake up as well. Thank you for listening, thank you for practicing to wake up for yourselves and for humanity. (Bell) (Bell) (Bell)

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