Ivan Zamorano

Acupunture Treatment

Mindfulness Retreat for Educators First Talk | Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindfulness Retreat for Educators First Talk | Thich Nhat Hanh


(Bell) (Bell) (Bell) (Bell) (Bell) The sangha is invited
to come back to our breathing so that the collective
energy of mindfulness will bring us together as an organism. Flowing as a river
with no more separation. Let the whole sangha breathe as one body, chant as one body, listen as one body, transcending the boundaries
of a delusive self, liberating from the superiority complex,
the inferiority complex and the equality complex. (Bell) # May the day be well,
and the night be well, # May the midday hour bring happiness too, # In every minute and every second, # may the day and night be well. # By the blessing of the Triple Gem, # may all things be protected and safe. #May all beings born
in each of the four ways # live in a land of purity. # May all in the Three Realms
be born upon Lotus Thrones. # May countless wandering souls # realize the three virtuous positions
of the Bodhisattva Path. # May all living beings,
with grace and ease, # fulfill the Bodhisattva Stages. # The countenance
of the World-Honored One, # like the full moon,
or like the orb of the sun, # shines with the light of clarity. # A halo of wisdom
spreads in every direction, # enveloping all with love and compassion, # joy, and equanimity. # Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya, # Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya, # Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya. # (Bell) (Bell) # The Buddha jewel shines infinitely, # enlightened for countless lifetimes. # The beauty and stability
of a Buddha sitting # is seen in mountains and rivers. # How splendid is the Vulture Peak! # How beautiful the light,
that shines forth from Buddha’s brow, # illumining the six dark paths. # To the Nagapushpa assembly we will go, # to continue the true teachings
and practices. # We take refuge
in the Buddha ever present. # The Dharma jewel is infinitely lovely,
the precious words of Buddha. # Like fragrant flowers floating down
from the heavens. # The wonderful Dharma is plain to see, # it is recorded luminously
in three transparent baskets. # From generation to generation
handed down in ten directions, # so that today we can see our way. # We vow to learn with all our heart. # We take refuge
in the Dharma ever present. # The Sangha jewel is infinitely precious,
a field of merit and good seeds. # The three robes and begging bowl
are symbols of freedom. #The mindfulness trainings, concentration,
and insight support each other. # In mindfulness day and night, # the Sangha dwells and is the foundation
for us to realize the fruit of meditation. # With one heart, we come home # and take refuge
in the Sangha ever present. # (Bell) Respected Thay, dear brothers and sisters
and dear friends, we would like to invite all of the
children to stand up and to follow me and Brother Quang Cheu and Brother Frank
and Brother Wu and we will go outside to
the children’s room right now. Thank you. (Bell) (Bell) (Bell) Good morning dear sangha,
today is August the 12th in the year 2013 and we are in Brock University
on the second day of the retreat – Happy Teachers Will Change The World. When we hear the bell,
when we listen to the bell we may like to invite all the cells
in our body to join us in listening. We know that our father,
our mother, our ancestors they are all present
in every cell of our body. And we listen in such a way that the
energy of peace and mindfulness will penetrate into
every cell in our body. Deep listening. When we hear the bell if we are used to the practice, we naturally stop our talking,
our thinking, our speaking, and begin to focus our attention
on our in breath. We breathe in, with pleasure,
and we say, “I listen, I listen.” That means every cell in your body
is listening with you. You can say “we listen, we listen”. And we allow the sound of the bell
and the energy of peace to penetrate into every cell of our body. And when we breathe out we say, “This wonderful sound brings me back
to my true home.” My true home is in the here and the now
where life is available. And when 1,000 people breathe like that the energy of mindfulness and peace
will be very powerful. It can be very nourishing. And the children, if they happen to be
sitting with us, they feel that energy. It’s very healing, very nourishing. And the best thing you profit from,
coming to a retreat, is that kind of collective energy
of mindfulness and compassion and peace that has the power to heal. The same thing is true when we walk. If everyone focuses their attention
on their in-breath, their out-breath and the steps that they make
and then we shall be able to generate a collective energy of peace
and mindfulness and joy and that will be very healing,
very nourishing. Well, when we speak of global ethics, we
speak about a kind of spiritual practice that anyone can take up regardless
of religion, race, nationality, culture. You don’t need to be a Buddhist in order
to practice mindfulness of breathing. Because when you breathe mindfully joy, happiness and healing can happen. In Buddhism we learn that Buddhism
is made of non-Buddhist elements. It’s like a flower.
When you look into a flower, you see the flower is made uniquely
of non-flower elements. When you look into a flower
you see the sunshine. The sunshine is not a flower but without
the sunshine no flower is possible. When you look into the flower
you see a cloud that gives rain. Clouds and rain are not flowers
but without these non-flower elements a flower is not possible. So to meditate means to look deeply
and when you look deeply into something like a flower you have the insight that
that thing, that flower, is made only of non-flower elements. And if you remove any of these
non-flower elements, out of the flower, the flower cannot continue to be there. So the same thing is true with Buddhism. Buddhism is made only
of non-Buddhist elements. And if you have that insight there will no longer be any dogmatism and any kind of belief that can create
division and fear and hate. So it’s perfectly possible for a non-
Buddhist to practice mindfulness. The practice of mindfulness, the practice
of global ethics can help us in many ways. First of all we can release
the tension from our body and this can be done not only by adults
but by children. We have organised retreats for children
and they practice very well. The children are more capable of being
in the present moment than us adults. There is tension in our body. We have aloud tension to be accumulated
a lot in our body. And that is the foundation
of many kinds of diseases. So the practice of mindful breathing can
help us release the tension in our body. Whether we are sitting on a bus or
in the classroom or at the airport, practicing mindful breathing
can help release the tension. And if the tension is gone the amount
of pain in our body will be reduced. Our pain is in function of our tension so if we can release the tension
we can reduce the pain in our body. In whatever position we find our self in;
lying, sitting, standing, walking we can always release tensions. In the sitting meditation you can release
all tension from your face, from your shoulders
and you just enjoy breathing. You don’t fight
while you sit in meditation. You allow yourself to be relaxed,
to release all kinds of tensions. There are about 300 muscles in our face and when they are tense
you don’t look very beautiful. (Laughter) If we know how to breathe in and smile
then all the tension in these 300 muscles will go right away. Very quickly. So everyone can learn
to release the tension in their body whether they are walking or sitting
or lying down and so on. And we can do that at any time of the day
and wherever we are. And then the practice of mindfulness
can help us generate the energy of joy and happiness. A good practitioner
can bring in a joyful feeling at any time she likes to. A good practitioner can bring in a feeling
of happiness whenever she wants to. And this is simple enough
and everyone can do it. We know that when we breathe in and if
we focus our attention on our in-breath, we bring our mind home to our body. And when mind and body are together
something happens: we are fully established
in the here and the now. Mind is an embodied mind. When mind is with the body you are truly
alive, you are truly there, fully present. And you are in a position to get in touch
with all the wonders of life that are around you and inside of you. And you may find out the conditions for
joy and happiness are already there. More than enough to bring in a joyful feeling, a happy feeling. Mindfulness allows us to see
that we are very lucky, we are much luckier
than many other people. Suppose we breathe in
and focus our attention on our eyes. ‘Breathing in, I’m aware of my eyes.’
Mindfulness of eyes. An insight may come right away.
Oh my eyes are still in good condition. And since you have eyes,
still in good condition, a paradise of forms
and colors is available. You need only to open your eyes
and the paradise is yours. And those of us who have lost our eyesight
the paradise is not for us anymore, any longer, and our deepest desire
is to restore our eyesight. So focusing our attention on our eyes which are still in good condition, we touch one
of the conditions of happiness that we do have in the present moment. And there are thousands of conditions
like that inside of us. When you breathe in
and become aware of your heart. ‘Breathing in I’m aware of my heart.’
Find mindfulness of heart. You find out, you get insight that
your heart still functions normally. How wonderful to have a heart
that still functions normally. There are those of us
who wish to have such a heart because they are subjected
to the risk of having heart attacks and their deepest desire is
to have a normal heart like ours. So a heart is another condition of peace
and happiness that we do have. So in the practice of the contemplation
of the body in the body we get in touch with the whole body and we realize that
there are so many conditions of happiness that are in our body
and our mind and around us. More than enough for us to be joyful and
to be happy right in the here and the now. We do not need to run into the future and
to look for more conditions of happiness, because we do have more than
enough conditions to be happy right here and right now. So based on that kind of awareness, a good practitioner
can generate a feeling of joy at any time he wants by touching the conditions of happiness
which are already available. And the same thing is true with happiness. Conditions of happiness are already there,
more than enough. And with mindfulness
we recognize these conditions and then happiness can come right away. So generation a feeling of joy,
generating a feeling of happiness is what a good practitioner
can do at any time. So in global ethics we learn
how to release the tension in our body, to reduce the pain in our body,
to generate a feeling of joy, to generate a feeling of happiness. The French have a song,
‘Qu’est-ce qu’on attend pour être heureux’ What do we need, what do we wait,
why don’t we be happy right now? And then the practice of mindfulness also
helps us to handle a painful feeling, a painful emotion. When a practitioner knows a painful
feeling is coming up, she knows what to do to take care of that painful feeling
or that painful emotion that is coming up. And a good practitioner knows how to
handle a strong emotion, a painful emotion or a painful feeling. And she can get relief
after a few minutes of practice. And if she continues with the practice, she will be able transform
that feeling of pain into something else much better, a feeling of joy,
a feeling of happiness. So a good practitioner
knows how to handle suffering. She is not afraid of suffering. With energy of mindfulness
she can recognize suffering, she can hold suffering,
she can bring a relief and she can even go further;
transform the suffering. There is a deep connection between
suffering and happiness. And most of us have the habit of
trying to run away from suffering and we do not know
that suffering can be useful. It’s like when you grow lotus flowers –
you need the mud. Lotus flowers cannot grow on marble. Without the mud you cannot grow lotus. The same thing is true
with happiness and suffering. A good practitioner knows
how to make good use of suffering in order to grow happiness. We can speak about
the goodness of suffering. If we know how how to embrace suffering, to hold it tenderly,
to look deeply into it, then we will be able to generate the energy of compassion
and understanding, which are at the foundation
of true happiness. Because no true happiness is possible
without understanding and compassion. Without understanding and compassion
you are utterly alone. You cannot relate to any living being and that is why we learn that
the true foundation of happiness is understanding and compassion. Understanding is, first of all,
understanding of the suffering. The suffering inside of us
and the suffering in the other person. To me the Kingdom of God is not a place
where there is no suffering, if there is no suffering there, then
there will be no happiness either. In the Buddhist tradition we speak
of the nature of interbeing. You cannot be by yourself alone,
you have to interbe with all of us. Suppose we speak
about this sheet of paper. You have the left and you have the right. The left cannot be by itself alone, it has to lean on the right
in order to express herself. You cannot detach the left from the right. The same thing is true with the right, you cannot ask someone to come
and bring the right to Boston and someone else
to bring the left to New York. (Laughter) They like to be together.
They need each other. So the same thing is true
with suffering and happiness. If you send your children to a place where
there is no suffering, what will happen? They have no chance to learn how to be
understanding and to be compassionate. It’s by touching suffering,
understanding suffering that love and compassion can be born. It is through the mud
that the lotus flower can grow. So we should see the deep connection
between left and right. Happiness and suffering, and the inside and the outside,
the mind and the body. We have learn how to abandon
our dualistic way of looking at things. So the practitioner not only knows
how to handle suffering but he knows also how to
make good use of suffering in order to create compassion,
understanding and happiness. So the attitude many people adopt, trying
to run away from suffering is not wise. In fact, we have to go home to ourselves
to recognize the suffering inside of us, listen deeply to that suffering,
hold it tenderly and learn from it. We know how to create
understanding and compassion that will transform us and
will help transform the other person. And that is why we should speak
about the goodness of suffering. (French): Goodness of suffering. Then a good practitioner
knows how to listen. Because she knows how to listen
to herself, to her own suffering, now she is capable of listening to
the suffering of the other person. The other person may be our partner,
may be our father, our son, our daughter. There is suffering in him, in her. And if we have understood
our own suffering, it will be much easier for us
to recognize and understand the suffering in him or in her. When we are able to recognize
the presence of suffering in that person, and see that he, she
has been victim of that suffering, because no one has helped that person know
how to handle the suffering in them. So you might be the first one that can
help him or her to suffer less. And that is why looking at that person,
you are not angry anymore. And you are motivated by the desire
to say something or do to something in order to help him or her suffer less. It means compassion is in your heart,
understanding is in your heart because you have been able to listen
and to understand your own suffering. Now is time for you to listen and
understand the suffering of that person and help him, help her to suffer less. And a good practitioner can go further. She’s now able to listen with compassion
to what the other person has to say. And she can use the kind of language
called loving speech, gentle speech, in order to help the other person
to open his heart. When someone suffers so much,
that person closes the door of his heart. And if we know how to be compassionate, how to use loving speech, then we’ll be
able to open the door of his heart and help him to empty his heart
so that he will suffer less. ‘Darling, I know that you have suffered
so much in the past many years. I was not able to help you. In fact I have reacted in such a way that
made you suffer. I am sorry. That’s because I did not understand
your suffering, your difficulties. That is why I have reacted in such a way. I need your help darling. I need you to tell me about your
difficulty, suffering, your despair so that I will not react
the way I have in the past. If you don’t help me, who will?’ When we have compassion in our heart,
we can speak with that kind of language. And that kind of language will be able
to open the heart of a person and she will tell you
what is in her heart. Now you have the chance
to practice compassionate listening. Compassionate listening
is the kind of deep listening that can help the other person
to suffer less in one hour or less. Inside of every one us there is
a dormant bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. We have to help the bodhisattva
to become alive again so that we can practice deep listening so that we can bring relief
to the other person. Just listen with compassion. Compassionate listening means
you keep compassion alive in your heart during the whole time of listening. You breathe in mindfully,
you breathe out mindfully and you remember just one thing; I am listening to him or to her
just with one purpose, allow him to suffer less,
to speak out and suffer less. Just remember that. And if you keep that
kind of awareness alive, you are protected
by the energy of compassion. What the other person says will not
set off irritation and anger in you. You are protected
by the energy of compassion. If you don’t practice
mindfulness of compassion, then you are not protected. And what the other person says may be
full of bitterness, blames, accusations and that will set off
the irritation, the anger in you. And you lose your capacity of listening. That is why mindfulness of breathing,
mindfulness of compassion helps you to be a real listener. If you can listen with compassion
for one hour, you help the other person
suffer much less. You tell yourself, “Though he is victim
of so many wrong perceptions, I am not going to interrupt him right now
and correct him right now. If I do, I will transform the session
into a debate and I will ruin everything. I just listen and allow him to have
a chance to empty his heart. In three or five days
I will offer him some information so that he can correct his perceptions,
but not now.” That is mindfulness of compassion. If you can keep that
mindfulness of compassion alive during the time you listen, you can heal that person, you can help him
or her to empty their heart and suffer less. And you play the role of
the Bodhisattva of Deep Listening. You are the Bodhisattva. And four or five days of practice
may be enough for you to play the role
of the Bodhisattva of Deep Listening. We have offered some many retreats of
mindfulness in Europe and North America. And the miracle of reconciliation
always takes place in our retreat. The first four days we allow
the good seeds in us to be watered. The seeds of understanding,
compassion and so on. We learn how to listen
to our own suffering. We learn how to look
at the suffering of the other person. We suffer less
after four days of practice. We learn how to speak
gently and with compassion. We learn how to listen
with deep compassion. And on the fifth day of our retreat
we are encouraged to put into the practice the practice of deep listening
and of loving speech in order to reconcile
with the other person. The other person may be in the retreat and she may have been exposed
to the same teaching and practice. That is why it’s easier. But if the other person is at home, then you are allowed to use
your portable telephone and practice. That happens on the fifth day. Many have reported to us that they have, on the fifth day. We say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen
you have until midnight tonight in order to do that, restore communication and reconcile. And many people have used their telephone
to practice compassionate listening and reconcile with their father, their
mother, their son, their daughter with the practice of deep listening
and loving speech. So the miracle of reconciliation
always happens in our retreats. (Bell) (Bell) I’m sure that if parents
and school teachers take up this practice, they will be able
to transform their family and their class into a very pleasant place to live in and to grow love and happiness. Global ethics can be described
in these terms of practice: how to release the tension in your body, how to reduce the amount of pain in your
body preventing many kinds of diseases that grow on the ground
of tensions and stress. Learn how to generate a feeling of joy,
a feeling of happiness for yourself and for your loved ones, how to handle a painful feeling,
a painful emotion, how to listen, how to speak in such a way that
you can restore communication and bring about reconciliation. Of course you don’t need to be a Buddhist
in order to do all these things. You can very well
bring that practice into school and make the teaching and the learning
into something pleasant, wonderful. There is a text called
‘Mindfulness of Breathing’ in which the Buddha proposes
16 exercises on mindful breathing. It’s very practical, everyone can do it.
Not complicated. You can already notice the effect
of the practice after one or two hours. The first exercise is so simple; To be aware of your in breath
and out breath. This is what we practiced this morning. Breathing in,
I know this is in an in-breath. To identify the in-breath as in-breath, and to identify the out-breath
as an out-breath. Breathing in, I know
I am breathing in. So simple. And yet the effect can be great. [1. aware of I + O] Aware of in-breath and out-breath. As you breathe in, you pay attention
to your in-breath only. Your in-breath becomes
the only object of your mind. And if you are truly focused,
mindful of your in breath, you release everything else. You release the past, you release
the future, your projects, your fear, your anger, because the mind
has only one object at a time. And the object of the mind now
is the in-breath. Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. So you focus your mind on your in-breath
and you release everything else and you become free. There is regret concerning the past,
sorrow concerning the past. There is fear and uncertainty
concerning the future. All of that you release in just 1
or 2 seconds because you are focusing all your mind into your in-breath. So breathing in mindfully sets you free.
You have freedom. If you are to make a decision, it’s better
you have enough freedom to make it. You are not under the influence
of anger or fear, and your decision is much better
than if you are not free. So just breathing in makes you free. And it’s pleasant also,
it’s pleasant to breathe in. So the exercise is so simple
but the effect can be great. The second exercise is to follow
your in-breath all the way through and to follow your out-breath
all the way through. And you may enjoy these two exercises
at any time and anywhere. Breathing in, I follow my in-breath
from the beginning to the end. Suppose this marker represents
my in-breath. It begins here
and this finger is my mind. Breathing in, I follow my in-breath
all the way through. There is no interruption at all,
not a millisecond of interruption. So during the time you breathe in
mindfully, you cultivate concentration. You are not only mindful of your in-breath
but you concentrate on your in-breath. The energy of mindfulness carries within
herself the energy of concentration. And it is also pleasant, because to be mindful and to concentrate
on your in-breath can be very pleasant. You don’t have to suffer. In fact you can feel wonderful,
just breathing in, especially when the air is fresh
and if the nose is free. So the second exercise [2. follow I + O] is to follow your in-breath and
your out-breath all the way through. We know we can do these two exercises anytime we like. The third exercise is
to be aware of your body. [3. aware of body] Breathing in, I’m aware of my body.
You bring your mind home to your body. And your mind becomes an embodied mind. That will help to be established
in the here and the now, you are fully present you are fully alive and you can live that moment
of your daily life more deeply if body and mind are together. The oneness of body and mind is
what you realize with the third exercise. When you spend 2 hours with your computer, you forget entirely that you have a body. You are not truly alive in that moment. You are truly alive only
when the mind is with the body. You are fully in the here and the now
and you touch the wonders of life in you and around you. Many of our brothers
and sisters in Plum Village program a bell of mindfulness
in their computer. And every fifteen minutes,
they hear the bell, they stop working, they go back and enjoy
their in-breath and out-breath, smile and enjoy their body. And release the tension in their body. That is what the Buddha recommended
2600 years ago. There’s the fourth exercise. Breathing in I calm my body,
I release the tension in my body. [4. calm body] When you come back to your body, you may notice that
there is a lot of tension in your body. Then you may like to do something
to help your body to have more peace, to suffer less and with your out-breath
you allow the tension to be released. That’s the first four exercises of mindful breathing recommended by the Buddha so that we can take good care of our body. And with the fifth exercise
we go to the realm of the feelings. The fifth exercise is to generate
a feeling of joy. Generating joy. [5. Generating Joy] A good practitioner knows
how to generate a feeling of joy, because she knows that
mindfulness allows her to recognize all the conditions of happiness
that are already available. We can remind ourselves and we can remind
our beloved ones that we are very lucky. We can be happy right here and right now, we don’t have to run into the future
to look for happiness. There is a teaching given by the Buddha. That is the teaching of
living happily in the present moment. Life is available only
in the present moment. And if you go back to the present moment you will notice that there are
so many conditions of happiness already available. That is why joy and happiness
can be born right away. The expression living happily
in the present moment was found in a sutra five times. The Buddha was teaching Anathapindika, a businessman, in the city of Sravasti. That day Anathapindika, the businessman, came with many hundreds
of businessmen to visit the Buddha. And the Buddha gave them that teaching. “Gentlemen”, he said, “you can be happy
right here and right now. You don’t have to run into the future, you don’t have to look for success
in the future in order to be happy.” I think the Buddha knew very well
that businessmen, they think a little bit too much
about the future and their successes. And that is why
the expression living deeply, living happily in the present moment
was used by the Buddha five times in the same sutra, the same scripture. Drstādharmasukhavihara. [drstādharmasukhavihara] Vihara means to dwell or to live,
sukha means happily and drstādharma is the present moment. (Chinese) So a good practitioner
does not look for happiness in the future. He knows how to go home
to the present moment and recognize all the conditions
for happiness that are available and make joy and happiness
available right away. And she does that for herself
and she does that for the other person. Creating happiness is an art.
The art of happiness. So the fifth exercise is to generate joy
and the sixth is to generate happiness. [6. Generating Happiness] The seventh is to be aware
of a painful feeling or emotion. Breathing in, I know there is
a painful feeling, a painful emotion that is coming up in me. [7. Aware of Pain] The practitioner does not try to fight
the pain, to cover up the pain inside or to try to run away from the pain. In fact, because she is a practitioner she knows how to generate
the energy of mindfulness. With that energy she recognizes the pain
and she embraces the pain tenderly. ‘Hello my little pain. I know you are
there. I will take good care of you.’ Whether that is anger or fear
or jealousy or despair. We have to be there for our pain. There is no fighting, there is no violence
done to our suffering. Yesterday we spoke about a mother
holding the crying baby. Our pain, our suffering is our baby and the energy of mindfulness generated
by our practice is the loving mother. And the mother has to recognize
that the baby suffers. She takes the baby up and holds
the baby tenderly into her arms. That is exactly
what a good practitioner will do when a painful feeling arises. You have to be there
for your painful feeling or emotion. You continue to breathe
and to walk in such a way, that the energy of mindfulness
continues to be produced. With that energy of mindfulness
you recognize the pain and you embrace the pain tenderly. In Buddhism we speak of consciousness
in terms of store and mind. There are at least
two layers of consciousness. The lower layer
is called store consciousness. Our fear, our anger , our despair are
there in the bottom of our consciousness in the form of seeds. There is a seed of anger here and if the seed of anger
accepts to sleep quietly down there, we are okay. We can laugh, we can have a good time. But if someone comes and says something
or does something and touches off that seed of anger,
it will come up as a source of energy. Down here it is called a seed. [seed] (Chinese) Bija. [bija] And when it comes up here
on the level of mind consciousness it will become a kind of energy
called mental formation. [mental formation] And this is the mental formation
called anger. [M.F.] So when the practitioner notices
when anger is coming up, she, right away, breathes and invites the seed of mindfulness
to come up as energy. Mindfulness is another seed that is here. If we are a good practitioner,
the seed of mindfulness in us has grown to become a very important seed. It needs a touch lightly, then there will be a lot of that energy
coming up for us to use. If we are not a practitioner, the seed
of mindfulness is there but very tiny. If you practice mindful breathing,
mindful walking everyday, the seed continues to grow. If you need that energy, you just touch
and you have a powerful source of energy to help you to deal
with whatever is happening up there. So the practitioner begins
to breathe or to walk mindfully. The second mental formation
is manifested on this level, another mental formation.
And this one is mindfulness. So it is the energy of mindfulness that
will take care of the energy of anger. There is no fighting. Mindfulness does at least two things.
First of all to recognize, a simple recognition of the pain. And that is the seventh exercise.
Breathing in, I know anger is in me. Or despair is in me or jealousy is in me. Recognize simply, not fighting. The second thing mindfulness will do
is to embrace. And that is seen in the eighth exercise
is to calm down the pain [Calm Pain] like a mother holding the baby. The mother does not know
what is wrong with the baby. But the fact that
she’s holding the baby gently can help the baby suffer less right away. The same thing is true
with the practitioner. She does not know what is the cause
of that kind of anger or fear. But the fact that she is recognizing
and holding that energy of fear and anger can help her suffer less right away,
after one or two minutes. So this is the art of suffering. This is the art of happiness. How to generate a feeling
of joy and happiness. How to take care
of a painful feeling and emotion. How to calm it down, how to get a relief. And with the exercises that follow
you can go further and you can transform pain, sorrow, fear
into something more positive, like making good use of the mud
in order to grow lotus flowers. So a good practitioner
is not afraid of pain. She does not try
to run away from the pain. In fact, she tries to be with the pain. She knows how to handle
a feeling of pain, a strong emotion. And she knows how to make
good use of that mud in order to create
understanding and compassion which are factors of true happiness. So with global ethics,
with the practice of mindfulness, with a spiritual dimension
in our daily lives, we know how to overcome difficulties
that present themselves in our daily life. And that is why each one of us
should bring a spiritual dimension to our daily life. Without that kind of practice, we
don’t know how to handle the difficulties that come everyday. The image of a mother holding a baby
is very helpful. If your mindfulness is powerful enough, you embrace your pain, your sorrow,
you continue to breathe or to practice walking meditation. It’s like giving your fear,
your anger a mindfulness bath. Maybe 3 minutes, maybe 5, 10 minutes. After that, she will lose
some of her strength and go back to the original place,
down there in the store consciousness. After having taken a mindfulness bath, she goes down into the store and
goes back to where she had been before. Losing some of her strength.
That is the power of mindfulness. In the Buddhist tradition, we speak about 51 categories
of mental formations. As a novice monk, I had to know by heart
all these mental formations, so that every time one of them came up, I should be able
to call it by its true name, ‘Hello my fear, I know your name,
I am going to take good care of you.’ Recognizing and embracing.
That’s the first step of the practice. There are wholesome, positive seeds
down here, we mentioned mindfulness. We mentioned concentration,
we mentioned insight, we mentioned non-violence,
we mentioned joy, we mentioned compassion. There are many good things down there. And as a good practitioner,
we know how to recognize them and help them to come up
as frequently as possible, because they will make the landscape
of the mind consciousness beautiful. We are happy if we know how to invite them to manifest
as mental formations up here. As for the negative, unwholesome mental
formations like fear, anger, despair, we better keep them down there,
do not give them a chance to come up. And they will grow weaker
and weaker and weaker. We do that for ourselves and we do that
to help our beloved ones to do the same. (Bell) (Bell) If we speak about
the life of a school teacher, we know that there is suffering
inside of the teacher, and there is also suffering
inside of the students. That is why if school teachers know
how to handle their own suffering, if teachers know how to generate
joy and happiness they will become happy teachers, they will suffer less, and when they go to their class, they can
help their students to do the same. During the last two decades
of the last century, there was a professor of mathematics here,
in Toronto. He taught at the French Toronto School. He came to a retreat
organized in Montreal. He came back
and tried to put into practice the practice of mindful breathing
and walking. His name is Henry Keekoo and he is director
of the program of mathematics in the Toronto French School. Two journalist from The Globe and The Mail came to his class to interview him about why he wanted to introduce
Buddhism into his class. This is forbidden here in Canada. And then he invited the two journalist
to come to his class and see how he taught his students. The day he came home from the retreat
and resumed his class he walked in mindfully,
slowly and mindfully. And he came up to the blackboard
and he erased things mindfully, and the students asked him,
‘Papa, are you sick?’ (French) ‘Papa, es tu malade?’ ‘No, I am not sick,
I am practicing mindfulness.’ (Laughter) So he told the students about
what he has learned in the retreat. Breathing, walking, easing,
calming and so on. And he proposed that
every half an hour, 15 minutes a boy would clap his hands three times,
replacing the bell of mindfulness and everyone practice mindful breathing
in and out to calm themselves. And the class made a lot of progress. there’s a lot of joy
and progress in his class. And he taught in many classes
of mathematics in that way. So when the two journalist came,
they witnessed that, teacher and students sit down
and enjoy breathing together, breath out laughing together. And every time they hear that (clapping), everyone stopped teaching, learning,
and enjoyed breathing in and out. That had a good impact on the learning
and the teaching of the school. So when the time for retirement came, they
asked him to stay for another three years. And other classes have adopted
his way of teaching. So for a teacher, or school teachers, the first thing to do
is to come home to himself or herself. The way out is in. Go back to oneself
and take care of oneself. Learning how to generate a feeling of joy, learning how to generate
a feeling of happiness, learning how to handle
a painful feeling, a painful emotion. Listening to the suffering allow understanding and compassion
to be born and suffer less. This is the first step and he or she
has to do that. That is the first step. A sangha, a community of practice
in the neighborhood can help him, can help her to deepen their practice. You have to begin with yourself. And the school teacher also
has members of his family; a partner, children. So like that. So after he has done it for himself,
he can help the other to do the same. It’s much easier. When you
have not changed yourself, it’s very difficult to help
change the other person. To help him or her suffer less. So with loving speech and deep listening,
with more peace and gentleness in yourself you become more pleasant. That is why you can help
the other person much more easily, and she or he will be able
to do the same thing. And we become co-practitioners. We share the same values,
we share the same spiritual practice. Because we know that each day
the situation improves; there’s more peace, less suffering,
more joy, more happiness and the children will profit from that. Because the children
can practice very well also. And when you have
a united harmonious family, then you can bring that
into your workplace. Then maybe first you have your class
and you transform your class. Your class becomes a happier place. Your class can become a family because there are many children
who are unfortunate. Their parents are not in good terms
with each other. They fight, they make each other suffer and the child has had no chance
to learn what love is. The class may be the second chance
for the child. And the school teacher can play
the role of the father or of the mother and can teach the young person
how to love, what is love. It’s something real. I remember this summer opening
in Plum Village there was a child that
came up for questions and answers and she made the whole sangha cry. She said that her parents are divorced.
They fight each other, they make each other suffer and when they come, they still fight
each other in front of the child. And the child asked, ‘What is love?
I don’t know, what is love? Why do they fight so much,
even in front of us?’ Many people cried. Very disturbing. So it is possible to give children
like that one a second chance by transforming the classroom
into a family, and Henry Keekoo was able to do so. There are other classes in the school
and there is the administration, and of course they will do everything
in order to improve the quality of life, the quality of teaching and learning
in the whole school. We continue tomorrow. (Bell) (Bell) (Bell) (Bell) Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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