Peace, Understanding, and Compassion

August 24, 2010. 100-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Upper Hamlet, Plum Village, Dharma Cloud Temple. The talk occurs during the Retreat for Young People with the theme Truly Alive. Thay feels alive to me when he begins by saying this is “dharma talk a la carte” and that he’ll invite about ten questions to get them started. He writes the questions on the white board and after about 20-minutes of audience questions, there are significantly more than ten questions. Our Teacher seems to enjoy hearing the questions as he continues to write on the board. After the bell, we are reminded that all the questions appear to be linked together and if we answer one question then we can answer all the questions. The remain hour is spent hearing about peace, understanding, and compassion. The premise of this discussion is that even if we do get what we need, we still suffer. Examples of this are everywhere. The question is how can I understand my own suffering. It is the art of listening. You have to train – to practice mindful living – so you can listen to the suffering in yourself. Intention is not good enough.

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