Mindfulness, concentration and insight in the context of Sangha building
Sr Tue Nghiem gives the final talk of the 2019 rains retreat.
Mindfulness, concentration and insight are powerful energies that we generate from within. They are the essence of the Plum Village practice. They enable us to cultivate joy and manage our suffering. We can cultivate mindfulness, concentrate and insight through connecting with our breath and body which are very tangible. When we come together as a sangha, we support each other to produce these three energies. A true sangha also has these three energies, and with mindful breathing and mindful walking, the community becomes the living Dhamma which has the power to shift our minds. The sangha also helps us tap into the energy of the Buddha (mindfulness, concentration and insight at its highest potential) and our own embodiment of these three energies is our best contribution to sangha building. When we take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, we are essentially taking refuge in mindfulness, concentration and insight.
Sr Tue Nghiem then goes on to share six ways for us to sustain our practice, especially when we are away from the practice community. These six ways are
1) Mind Your Own Business – creating inner space,
2) Momentary opportunities – practicing from moment to moment
3) Embracing the mindfulness trainings – protecting ourselves,
4) Creativity – finding new dhamma doors,
5) Immersion in a sangha,
6) Expanding the sangha – including non-human elements in our daily sangha