Sister Lang Nghiem teaches on the 8th, 9th and 10th Mindfulness Training, True Community and Communication, Truthful and Loving Speech, Protecting and Nourishing the Sangha respectively.
Transformation of our speech and speech patterns is possible. Communication, kindness and loving speech are all trainable and we can learn to speak from a place of non-fear and help others to speak from a place of non-fear.
These three mindfulness trainings firstly enable one to communicate with oneself and recognize what is happening in our body and the feelings and mental formations that arise in our mind. The mindfulness trainings help us to take care of our feelings and discover what wholesome or unwholesome seeds our mental formations are nourishing. Sometimes we tell half-truths when fear motivates us to protect ourselves or self image. Communicating with ourselves leads us to discover what being true to an authentic self really means.
Deep communication with others is only possible with maturity of mind, and in practicing the trainings, we learn ways to ask our loved ones how they are really feeling, to find out what is important to them at a given moment and to ask questions such as “What is your biggest dream?” Do we have the maturity of mind to truly learn about our loved ones and their deepest aspirations?
Sr Lang Nghiem shares stories from her life about how she learns to communicate with herself, experiences with Dharma sharing, establishing true and deep communication with her family and reflections on questions left unasked of loved-ones passed away.
– The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings
(Bell) (Bell) (Bell) Good morning, dear sangha, can everyone here hear me well? Okay. Translations okay? Okay. It's been a beautiful three days that we've had. The sun was full and I had a chance to really enjoy the fall without being too cold. And the sisters kept telling me, 'Oh! The rain is coming'. So I'm really, really enjoying the sun, and bracing myself for the rain. Anyhow, I hope you had a wonderful morning and had an opportunity to enjoy a bit of the sun, walking back and forth in our hamlets, whether it is Upper Hamlet, Lower Hamlet or in New Hamlet, taking some time to just come to yourselves and enjoy your steps and your breathing. Today I am wearing my OI jacket. Because this winter we are sharing, we have a series of Dharma talks and we are sharing about the 14 mindfulness trainings of the Order of Interbeing. The Order of Interbeing or OI members, they wear this jacket as part of their uniform. So the first time I saw this jacket, I was - My eyes got caught right away. I really like the cut and the simplicity of the jacket. It is quite simple, clean lines, no frills. So I really liked it. And I asked a sister, 'Where can I get one of those?' I didn't know you had to - I didn't know there was a journey you had to take before you could wear one of this. I didn't know you had to be an OI member to wear one. So you can say maybe I took the 14 mindfulness trainings in order to wear the jacket. (Laughter) So when I was younger you saw the cheerleaders, you know. Basketball players and, oh! Not that you want to be a cheerleader or whatever sport's team that you like, but just for the uniform. (Laughter) Some of you may feel the same about the monastic's robe, I don't know. (Laughter) But you know, when I finally took the 14 mindfulness trainings, it was when I was already a monastic. Two years into your monastic life, it used to be like that then. We start taking the 14 mindfulness trainings as well, because the 14 mindfulness trainings they are both for lay members and monastics. So they are a fourfold order. Meaning lay men, lay women, monastics, monks and nuns. So when I first took the 14 mindfulness trainings as a monastic, and I finally earned the right to wear the jacket, I couldn't. Because there was a sort of stigma for monastics wearing the OI jacket. Like if you wore the OI jacket it meant that you were acting a bit more too mature for your monastic age. Something like that. It was mostly the elder brothers and sisters who wore the OI jacket. And today I did hesitate to put this on, because I didn't want to make the statement that I'm older in the community. (Laughter) But I just wanted to put it on to show you what an OI jacket looks like, since we are talking about the Order of Interbeing, the 14 mindfulness trainings of the Order of Interbeing. Anyhow, it's kind of like a show and tell. A few weeks ago, one of my eldest sisters, she was up to give a Dharma talk and she also hesitated to put on this jacket. Everybody said, 'Oh! You look too mature wearing that jacket'. But I didn't know if mature meant you look old, a physical age or too mature meant that you are showing off that you have wisdom, or too mature meant that you are being more than you are. So I have no idea what too mature means when we wear this jacket. But today I'm very comfortable wearing it. I kind of like it. I admit it. So, if you are new here today and you are curious about the history of the 14 mindfulness trainings or the Order of Interbeing, and how it came about, or all of the other previous mindfulness trainings that we've been talking about this winter, you can check out our YouTube channel, Plum Village online Monastery, to get those explanations. Today, I will, I've been asked to share about the 8th, 9th and 10th mindfulness trainings. And at the end of each row there is some mindfulness trainings. If we can pass them, then we can read them together. So I read the 8th mindfulness training first. "True Community and Communication. Aware that lack of communication always brings separation and suffering, we are committed to training ourselves in the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech. Knowing that true community is rooted in inclusiveness and in the concrete practice of the harmony of views, thinking and speech, we will practice to share our understanding and experiences with members in our community in order to arrive at collective insight. We are determined to learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting, and refrain from uttering words that can create discord or cause the community to break. Whenever difficulties arise, we will remain in our Sangha and practice looking deeply into ourselves and others to recognize all the causes and conditions, including our own habit energies, that have brought about the difficulties. We will take responsibility for all the ways we may have contributed to the conflict and keep communication open. We will not behave as a victim but be active in finding ways to reconcile and resolve all conflicts however small. The Ninth Mindfulness Training: Truthful and Loving Speech. Aware that words can create happiness or suffering, we are committed to learning to speak truthfully, lovingly, and constructively. We will use only words that inspire joy, confidence, and hope as well as promote reconciliation and peace in ourselves and among people. We will speak and listen in a way that can help ourselves and others to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. We are determined not to say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people, nor to utter words that might cause division or hatred. We will protect the joy and harmony of our Sangha by refraining from speaking about the faults of another persons in their absence and always ask ourselves whether our perceptions are correct. We will speak only with the intention to understand and help transform the situation. We will not spread rumors nor criticize or condemn things of which we are not sure. We will do our best to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may make difficulties for us or threaten our safety. The Tenth Mindfulness Training: Protecting and Nourishing the Sangha. Aware that the essence and aim of the Sangha is the practice of understanding and compassion, we are determined not to use the Buddhist community for personal power or profit, or transform our community into a political instrument. However, as members of a spiritual community, we should take a clear stand against oppression and injustice. We should strive to change the situation, without taking sides in a conflict. We are committed to looking with the eyes of interbeing and learning to see ourselves and others as cells in one Sangha body. As a true cell in the Sangha body, generating mindfulness, concentration, and insight to nourish ourselves and the whole community, each of us is at the same time a cell in the Buddha body. We will actively build brotherhood and sisterhood, flow as a river, and practice to develop the three real powers, love, understanding, and cutting through afflictions, to realize collective awakening." Maybe we will listen to one sound of the bell. You can just breathe with these trainings. You know, how to understand them, or agree or disagree, but we just take a few moments to come back to our body, come back to our breathing, and enjoy the present moment. (Bell) (Bell) I thought these three trainings were quite a lot to cover in one Dharma talk. Since we've just read them you can see why. So I thought I would start with the 9th mindfulness training. Truthful and Loving Speech. I quite like - In the introduction of the 14 mindfulness trainings, there is the last line, it says, "The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings help us to cultivate concentration and insight, which free us from fear and the illusion of a separate self." The idea of being free from fear and the illusion of a separate self has always spoken to me. In practicing these mindfulness trainings, the more I put them into practice or reflect upon them in my daily life, the more I can recognize the different kinds of fears, or the kinds of wrong perceptions that lie at the base, that are the foundation of my actions in body, speech or mind. So it's like an endless practice. Because there is so many fears. And recently I got in touch with actually one fear. One kind of fear. I'll tell you about it. One day I had this dream. And in the dream, I was I was sleeping, and a sister came in to the room, so I was waking up, and she said, 'Last night I heard you listen to really loud music.' And I said, 'What?' I said, 'Oh, it must have been -' Because I sleep with my device next to look at the clock. And I said, 'It must have - My device must have turned on by accident.' So the music was playing. And - So I woke up from this dream. And it was a very simple dream. But I was really disturbed by it. Because I realized, that in the dream I wasn't being very truthful. And I was a bit disturbed that in my dream I could be untruthful. So, in the dream, I realized I was telling a half lie. Because at one point I realized the device did - This was in the dream. It did turn on by accident, but I chose to listen to the music. Anyway, this has a long history, because before I became a nun, I used to listen to a lot of music. All kinds of music. Soft music, loud music. Slow music, fast music. But since ordaining, it's been a very long time since I listened to music again, or had even the desire to listen to music. I realized, in listening to music, it touched off many different scenes in me, like sadness, or despair, or anger. Many different elements. Not all music would do that, a lot of music also touches off quite wonderful elements in me, like joy, or connection, or understanding of myself and others. But since becoming a nun, I have less of a need to listen to music. Because I realize that listening to the music, it was - The music that was constantly playing in my head then, it was painting a picture. And also adding a different element to my experience, to my present moment experience that I felt maybe was not so true to it. So I stopped listening to music for a long time, and for many years I had all of the Plum Village songs just circulate in my head. "Happiness is here and now", "Breathing in, breathing out". Maybe we take a moment to sing one, so you can have a taste. (Laughter) Actually, there is a song I like recently. "Cultivate peace hour by hour". Brother, do you know that song? Flower by flower? Can you start the song for us? We can sing this together. (Singing) # Cultivate joy hour by hour # smile by smile, flower by flower. # Sow seeds of joy among gloom and despair, # cultivate joy and joy will be there. # Cultivate joy and joy will be there. # Cultivate peace, hour by hour, # smile by smile, flower by flower. # Sow seeds of peace, among hate and fear, # cultivate peace and peace will appear. # Cultivate peace and peace will appear. # Cultivate love, hour by hour, # smile by smile, flower by flower. # Sow seeds of love among hard and cold, # cultivate love and love will take hold. # Cultivate love and love will take hold. # Anyhow, that was the kind of music that has been playing in my head for a very long time. And so, recently when I had this dream and I was just listening to a loud music, with a lot of base, (Laughter) I said, 'Wow! I was sleeping, and I'm already a nun'. This is in the dream. So when I woke up from it, well, in the dream I woke up, right? And the sister asked me, 'Oh! I heard you listening to a loud music last night.' I thought, it must have been an accident. But it wasn't an accident. I mean, I did choose to listen after it - I my dream, I chose to listen after it got turned on by accident. And the funny thing is, I realized, even in my dream I remembered that telling a half-truth was more believable than telling a, I don't know, that not telling a half truth. When I woke up, I was quite disturbed about this kind of behaviour and this kind of thinking that was happening in my dream. And I realized why. Because I thought, in my dream, maybe the safest place where I can be anything, anything. I can think anything, do anything, feel anything. And who would know? Who would know what happens in my dream? Nobody would know, but me. And yet, in my dream, I still had this need to protect an image of myself. In this dream, that need to to say, to tell this half true, and I realized it was in order to protect myself, it was still happening. So when I woke up, I thought, 'Wow! If this is happening in my dream, what am I doing in my waking hours?' So this has been on my mind quite a lot these past few months. Just looking into my daily life, in my thinking, in my speech. And how, if I am motivated by - If my speech or my actions are motivated by this fear. And it has been quite fun to observe my mind, and all of the fears that still that still hamper me. I don't know if I want to say that word, hamper. That still affects me. So I've recognized quite a lot, in my speech, specially in my speech, in my waking hours this last few months. So I found myself, whenever this need to say something, to explain myself, or to, yes, to explain myself, or to look in certain way, or to sound like I am in a certain way. I have to take a moment and I breathe with it. And very often, I cannot stop it in time, so then I end up, in the last few months, saying things like, 'Sorry, that wasn't what I meant'. I didn't mean to say that. What I meant was - And then I would talk about the feelings that I was afraid that the other person may not understand or receive. And that has been my practice for the last couple of months, and it has to do with this mindfulness training, Truthful and Loving Speech. When I reflected on these trainings, I thought, 'Where do I begin to share about the -' Right away, I had that dream come up. I guess what is important for me is maybe how to share this process that I've got through, learning to recognize myself, learning to be more truthful to myself, and learning to be more loving to myself. So, how? How can we begin to be more truthful and loving to ourselves? It's not just about talking, talking to yourself, after communicate with myself and to listen to what I'm saying. I need to be able to talk to myself. I realize that soft communicating with myself it wasn't just about talking, but it was about recognizing what was going on in myself. Like recognizing what is going on in my body, in my feelings, in my perceptions, in my mental formations, in my consciousness. So, what is happening in my body? Do I know what is happening in my body? Am I listening to what is happening in my body? Am I aware of what is happening in my body? There is pain maybe somewhere. There is tension maybe somewhere. Do I know how to remove the pain in my body? Do I know how to take care of the tension in my body? And what is happening in my feelings? What am I feeling right now? Do I know how to take care of the feeling that is coming up? If it is a pleasant feeling, do I know how to enjoy it? Do I know how to prolong it? If I'm angry, do I know how to recognize my anger? Breathe with my anger? Take my anger for a walk? Mental formations, perceptions. What kind of perceptions are happening in my mind? What kind of perceptions do I have right now? Are these perceptions nourishing me? Are these perceptions adding joy to my life? Are these perceptions helping me to be more connected with myself or with my brothers and sisters? With my family? Or do my perceptions add more separation. Isolation. Do my perceptions feed my loneliness, feed my suffering. So these are the questions that come up for me when I communicate with myself. And communicating with yourself, you can do this at any hour throughout the day. I'm sure, coming to Plum Village you have learned many different practices so far to help you to come back to your body, come back to your mind. And just to listen to what is going on. When we go walking meditation, it's an opportunity for us to communicate with ourselves. Because at any moment, there is so much going on in your body, in your feelings, in your perceptions. And then also at any moment there is always something you can do to take care of what is going on in your body, or in your feelings, or in your perceptions. You can always ask yourself questions like, what can I do to release the tension in my body? What can I do to calm my feelings? What can I do to quiet my thinking? What can I do to gladden my mind? We can always ask one of the brothers and sisters about how to do this if you want to learn more how to do this. So, I find communicating, speech. If I want to speak well, I also have to learn how to listen well. And first of all, to listen to myself, to listen to what is going on, like I said, in the body, in the feelings, in the perceptions, mental formations, consciousness. What is going on? And when we can listen to what is really going on in ourselves, and also when we know how to take care of all of those areas, the things that are coming up in ourselves, it becomes much easier for us to listen to others. Otherwise, sometimes it's like you are a crying baby, and the other person is a crying baby, and it's a competition, which baby can cry louder so that it could be heard. So it is quite important that we learn how to come back to ourselves, learn the different ways to take care of ourselves, come back to ourselves and slow down enough, so that we can recognize ourselves. So in our daily life, we have to create opportunities for us to slow down, and to, what we say, generate stillness. It's quite important for our society nowadays for a person to know how to just come back to him or herself, to themselves, and to generate stillness. Everywhere you look, people are busy. Everywhere you look, there is a lot of business, there is a lot of outgoing, going out of ourselves. And very few people know how to go in, how to come back and to recognize themselves to know who they are. To know what they are at that moment. In our society, I find we have - There is a word that keeps floating around recently, that I keep hearing in recent years. The word 'authentic'. We want to be authentic. We want to be true to ourselves. We want to be - I want to be true to myself. But what does that mean? Because very often, I find when people are speaking about being authentic to oneself, there is an idea of a kind of a permanent self. The thinking behind it, it seems to me that there is a kind of self that you have to to know, to get to. Sometimes I hear things like, 'Oh! When I do that, I'm not true to myself'. 'If I do that, I'm not true to myself'. 'When I say that, I'm not true to myself'. 'When I think like that I'm not true to myself'. But it makes me wonder, what is your true self? In the Buddhist teachings, every moment we are already our true self. So even if in that moment you are expressing a lot of anger, actually you are being your true self in that moment. Or you are tired, or you are - Whatever. However we manifest. At each moment, we are already our true self. And this is the teaching on aimlessness. Because in every moment we are manifesting everything that we are. Everything that we've ever accumulated, everything that we've ever - Everything. The good, the bad. The wholesome, the unwholesome. The beneficial, the not so beneficial. Every moment we are actually manifesting the totality of ourselves. The totality of our seeds, of our potentials. The sum of our habit energies. Every moment we are manifesting the sum of our habit energies. The sum of ourselves. So there is no authentic self you need to be true to. Every moment you are already your true self. This is a very important teaching to understand. Thay often quotes, 'L'homme est la somme de ses actes'. I don't know who said that. Pause. Can you say it louder? Because I don't know how to pronounce his name. Jean Paul Sartre. Thay often quotes him. 'L'homme est la somme de ses actes'. So, man is the sum of his actions. And I find this is quite good news. Because in every moment we are exposed to new and beautiful things. Or we may be exposed to not so new and not so beautiful things. But in every moment we are the sum total of everything that we are. So the sum total of who we are changes at every moment. And I find that extremely good news. Because what it means is if I take in more elements that I aspire to be, then, eventually, or at that moment the sum total of me already changes to whatever I want to be. If I want to be more beautiful, if I want to be more loving, if I want to be more kind, I just expose myself to it. I expose my speech to it, I expose my thinking to it, I expose my actions to it. I also expose myself to other people's speech, thinking and actions. So I am not a mathematician. And I think, when I say we are the sum, you know, every moment we change and the sum total of ourselves changes. I was a bit nervous that the mathematicians may laugh at me. And at my simple math. But I find that this has actually been my experience in my practice. What I am trying to say is that transformation is possible. Specially, when we are looking at speech and at our speech patterns and behaviour, behaviours. When I first came to Plum Village, I remember I attended my first Dharma sharing. We have sharing in groups where everybody speaks from the heart, I was actually very uncomfortable. And listening to everyone share about how they felt about this, it was actually very scary for me. I didn't know how to handle it. I was like almost frozen. 'How could she share about her sadness like that? How could he share about his anger like that?' I was very - Yes, I was, you can say a bit paralyzed in that moment, in my first Dharma sharing, just listening to everyone share. Because at that time, I didn't know how to, I didn't know how to share my feelings. I remember, before I came to Plum Village, every time a strong emotion would come up, or I felt anger at my parents or at my siblings, it was very difficult for me to express it. I was like, 'It is this lump in my throat' when I thought about this anger, or this frustration. And I couldn't really see it. Because the dialog that was happening in my mind was one of punishment. I really wanted to address my anger, but actually the way I was wanting to address it was to get the other person to know that I'm angry, and, 'You've done this, this, this, and that is why I am angry'. This dialog. And I wanted to say in the most punishing way. So it wasn't very helpful. And what ended up happening was I couldn't say it, because, at the same time, there was a part of me that didn't want to didn't want to hurt the other person. In return, I knew that saying it would be very helpful. So there is a part of me that didn't want to hurt my loved ones in return. And so very often I would remain silent. You kind of cancel yourself out, or you want to punish, at the same time, you don't want to punish. And then I didn't know how to speak about this feeling in a way that was constructive. So I found in many years in not speaking about it, I ended up silencing myself. And therefore this kind of lump developed in my throat. Sometimes, your emotions, they will manifest in your body, somewhere. You can, if you come back to your body, listen to your body, you can feel where you've stored a lot of tension. Or you can feel where you have stored some pain. Anxiety. Anxiety I find sometimes right here. The strong emotions I find I accumulate them here. Stress, about not being able to do things, on my shoulders. So you can have fun with coming back to your body, identifying where, where you store things. Your body is a store house of all kind of things. So I found I couldn't speak about my feelings, and coming to Plum Village and being in Dharma sharings was - It was a new form of torture. But slowly, you know, I found all that, just being in the circle and hearing other people share about their feelings, and realizing that nobody in the circle reacted in any kind of negative way, in any condemning way. Or that the circle was big enough, or it was enough to absorb what was being shared. So I found, 'Oh! You can actually share about your feelings, and nothing happens'. No one would say anything to you in return about how they want to punish you with their words. Yes, nothing happens. And so, I found that slowly, slowly, I was able to share a tiny bit more about how I was feeling. And I remember it took so long. Each Dharma sharing that I went to, it was like another part of myself. And even though I thought it was so big, now that I think about it, it wasn't much at all. It was how I felt about the weather, you know? But I was like how hard it was for me to speak about feelings, for instance. Or, I mean, let alone sharing about how I was sad over something. It was not easy. But with the years I kind of learnt, slowly, I learnt a bit more how to express my feelings in this safe setting. And also the more I came back to myself, the more I learned how to speak to myself. Just recognizing the kind of thinking that goes on in my mind, and saying, oh, maybe we can we can do better. Or, is this thinking helping me right now? I can think differently, recognizing that I could have a choice in how I felt or how I thought, or how I perceived things, and that I wasn't a victim of these thoughts, or perceptions, or feelings. So, as I learned how to do that, I also learned how to slowly open up to my family, my blood family. It was much easier for them, I mean, for me than for them. Because, of course, I was exposed to the practice, I was in Plum Village, and they never went to Plum Village, or exposed to the practice, or, I could just imagine that first time, I said, 'I love you' to my parents, how shocking it was for them. I can still remember the shock on their face. Because we don't say it. We are Asian, we are - I don't mean the stereotype, but I come from a village where it is not so traditional to say it, 'I love you' to each other, or to your parents, or to anyone. So it took a while for me to learn how to say it, you know? Yes. I was on the phone, so it is easier. I said it and hung right away. (Laughter) It took me a while longer to say it in person. But eventually I did. I learned how to say 'I love you' to my mum and dad without anyone teary and emotional. I remember when I was younger, every time someone in my village - you know, parents, child. relationships, someone, a parent, whether that parents say 'I love you' to their child, or the child learns to say 'I love you' to the parents, it became this huge ordeal. Everybody got emotional, and it was like, you know, it is quite shocking. Maybe our society is a bit immune to the words 'I love you' now, but for - I remember my first experience of it, it was - And it wasn't that long ago. Just about 17 years ago. It was quite challenging. But eventually, me and my family, my parents got used to it, got used to hearing these things and got used to saying, 'I love you', or 'How are you today?'. No, we say, 'How are you?' but, rarely did we respond to say exactly how we were feeling. But it took a while to train, to get used to. And, I didn't speak much to my father when I was younger. Because it was like how most fathers were to their children. For the village where I came from, it wasn't like this relationship where you speak to each other much, or, you know, you would ask, 'Did you eat today?', 'Did you go to school?' Things like that, questions like that you ask, and exchanges like that happen, but rarely did we speak about feelings, or our thoughts on things. Or what we aspire in our life, the dreams that we have. So I'm very grateful that I became a nun and learnt all these things. All the different ways that I could communicate with my father, and ask him about just how he was feeling, for starters. Or ask my father yes, what is the most important thing for him to do at that moment. Questions like that I didn't know how to ask before. And I didn't know where to begin. But I think being in Plum Village, slowly, I trained myself, I guess. Because you hear it all the time here. What is your greatest joy? What is your greatest happiness? I didn't learn how to ask those questions before I was a nun. So I'm just very happy that I was able to learn and to communicate with my father in that way before he passed. However, there is one regret that I have. This summer, I had a memory come up, between me and my father. I think it happened when I was 10 years old. And I remember visiting him in prison. I don't know if any of you ever visited anyone in prison. So there is this partition, this glass, I guess, plexiglas. And you go, the prisoner is on the other side and you are on - The visitor is on one side, and the prisoner on the other side. And there is a telephone. And you have to pick it up, and you talk to each other through this phone. So I, my brothers and sisters we got to go and visit our dad in prison. So everyone took turns. And I was quite reluctant to do so. Because I was very emotional. There was this lump in my throat. So when it was my turn, I came up. My dad is still on the phone, he is waiting for me to pick up the receiver. And I pick up the receiver, and we just look at each other. And I just remember this lump in my throat. I couldn't say anything. After about ten minutes or so, nothing came out. I was - Not even air. I think if I tried to speak up, then it would be just like a wheezing sound or something. So I was just kind of frozen and the receiver is on my ear. And I just look at my father. So ten minutes pass and then, I put the receiver down. And the visit is over, and he goes back to his cell, or wherever. So, this summer this memory came up. And I thought, 'Wow! It was such a big deal in my life, and in my father's life. But how come I never asked him about it?' It never occurred to me to ask him. So what happened after we left that day? What happened when you came back to your cell? (Bell) (Bell) What happened when you came back to your cell? Did you find it more difficult to stay in prison? Or questions like, did you have any friends when you were there? Did anyone support you? What kind of difficulties did you have? So when this memory came up I was just flooded with questions. But I couldn't ask him anymore, because he passed away. Three years ago. So the regret that I had was, I saw I didn't have the maturity of mind to ask all these questions. It was really, somehow - So that word has been coming up for me a lot, 'maturity'. Maturity of mind, or how can we have mature relationships. What does it mean to have a mature relationship with our sisters, our brothers, our parents. What does that look like? Since that memory came up and this topic has been coming up for me, this idea of maturity, because I find these trainings are quite helpful to develop a more mature, I guess, the kind of maturity of mind that will allow you to communicate with others on a deeper level, a more meaningful level. So I, I've shared this story once in a Dharma sharing. And I found that - I was surprised, actually, that I was not the only one who lacked the maturity to speak to my parents, or to, you know, to have the kind of communication that would allow me to understand my parents on a deeper level. I thought I was the only one, but I was so surprised when I shared it. There were people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, who had also never asked their parents about the more significant things that happened in their lives. Or, yes. Or even the simple question, what is your dream? What is your biggest dream? To be able to ask your parents, or your child this question is an expression of that maturity of mind. So, do we have the maturity of mind to learn more about our loved ones? I was quite happy that I was able to recognize this, because I still have my mother. And now she is just bombarded with questions. I feel sorry for her sometimes. Because all of the probing questions that I ask. It is not so easy to answer. Questions about jealousy. You know, I don't know. I guess what I - I know I have no much time left. What I'm trying to share, since I felt I couldn't cover all three trainings in one, is that these trainings are trainable. Loving speech is trainable. Kindness is trainable. Compassion is trainable. Maturity of mind is trainable. And I'm very happy that wherever I look, I see in almost all sectors of our society there is huge interest in communications. Or, how to have better communication. But very often it is for diplomacy, or job performance. But I think here we are more interested in connection. So for those of you who are interested in speech and science of speech, I hope that we can come up with a science of speech that can help us to heal. Because I know there is a way of speaking that can help us heal. That can help us mature and be more connected. Become more whole. And maybe these 14 mindfulness trainings can be a starting point for this science of speech. I know there are many organizations, many groups out there, who are interested in researching about speech, or sharing about the kind of speech that is more healing for us, help us to connect more easily with others, like Non Violent Communication. I think the other week I saw on the UN website, the United Nations' website, it's quite interesting. There was a section about gender inclusive language. So the UN is training their employees to speak in such a way that is more gender inclusive. I said, Wow! That's part of our training, loving speech, deep listening, how to share so that others feel more included. A part of our training here. Because we also want to develop inclusiveness. So that's the UN. But I'm also very - I had a class, an English class, with our sisters, a few weeks ago, and we spoke a little bit about the language of millennials. I'm a bit impressed by the millennials as well in coming up with so many different words that kind of express the suffering of our time, or just do shed light to try to change the situation just by words that they come up with. One of the words that our sisters learned is mansplain. Mansplain means when a man is explaining something to a woman but like in a very not so kind way. In a way that shows that she is quite inferior to him. This is just one word. I'm sorry if I offend anyone by speaking about this word. So, when I shared it to the sisters, this word, right away they got very creative. 'Can we say monksplain?' (Laughter) 'Or how that nunsplain?' Many other words. And quickly I realized that this wasn't about gender. This issue about speaking down to another kind of spans gender, or species. But what I wanted to say was that there is more awareness of speech in our society. And I think there is a - I'm grateful for so many grassroots movements that introduce more ways of speaking to, new forms of speaking, new ways of speaking, that help people to connect with one another more, and also to help people to understand themselves and others more, speaking in such a way that love and understanding are possible. I think my time is up. Yes, my message today is, every speech is trainable. (Laughter) Truth is also trainable. When we can recognize the fears, we can learn how to speak with non-fear. And I don't mean speaking in such a way that we have, you know, we can say anything and we're not afraid of what other people may think. That is not what I mean when I say non-fear. We can learn how to speak with non-fear by recognizing the fears that motivate our speech and our actions. And how to help others to speak their truths with non-fear. Thank you very much for listening today. Enjoy your day. I wanted to say, after this we have walking meditation. Please, take this opportunity to also communicate with yourself. Every step that we make is a form of communication with ourselves. Just to recognize how we are making the step, what is going on in our body, our feelings, our thinking, etc. And when we know how to come back to our steps, our walking, connecting with ourselves with the community around us, with nature, we are also learning how to communicate, be in communion with everything. Thank you. Enjoy your day. (Bell) (Bell) (Bell) (Bell) (Small bell)
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