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Dharma Talks / Practice with the Four Foundations of Mindfulness

Br Huệ Trực

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How do we engage with the present moment with both clear-eyed awareness and open-hearted kindness? What kind of mindfulness practice brings us understanding, and has the capacity to relieve suffering in ourselves and others?

Brother Hue Truc playfully refers to his talk as a User Manual for mindfulness practice, with a long Troubleshooting section. At the same time, he says, all that practical guidance is offered with acknowledgment of the mystery and uncertainties we meet along the journey to understanding, and an invitation to relate to our experience with openness, curiosity, and responsive flexibility.

Brother Hue Truc structures his talk along the lines of the Four Establishments of Mindfulness taught by the Buddha in the foundational “Sattipatthana Sutra”. With humility and kindness, he describes his own experiences and challenges as he has practiced mindfulness, and some of the questions and trainings that he uses to anchor and direct himself.

“What is practice and what is not?”
“Where does this state of mind lead?”
“How does this feel?”

He invites us to be aware both of the felt experience of the moment, and how we are relating to it. He shares that when he pays attention to what is right in front of him, and allows himself to feel it, his body and mind seem to learn from such experience, even if that learning is subconscious. Therefore much of our work as practitioners is to take care of our mental attitude, continually returning to kindness, openness, and responsiveness to what we find– and trusting in the capacity of our own mind and body to learn.

“How do I come in contact with this experience in this moment, allow it to be, and learn something out of it?”

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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