The latest summer news from Plum Village Australia
Nhập Lưu - Stream Entering Meditation Centre
Nhap Luu Summer Newsletter

In this issue:
From the Editors  (bi lingual) 
Newsletter Nhap Luu Newsletter Needs You
Working Bees
From The Nhap Luu Sisters
I'm In Love With Mother Earth (bi-lingual)
Dharma Talk: Kshanti Paramita
Dharma Sharing: Kshanti Paramita
Australian Order of Interbeing Retreat 2016
Dates For Your Diary
Got Something to Share?
Mindfulness Bell Subscriptions
Invitation to help us realise our three stage project




 

From the editors

English
Vietnamese
Dear Thay, dear Sangha,

In this December Nhap Luu News, we have some special things to share for your inspiration over the holiday period.

We are completing our four-part bilingual series ‘I'm in Love with Mother Earth’, which was originally motivated by the Paris Climate Change Conference,as well as by Thay's own practice focus for us in 2016, ‘Protecting the Planet’. We have looked at the scientific understandings behind a few of the lifestyle changes that we are often invited to make (traffic.libsyn.com/deerpark/peace_treaty.pdf) if we want to reduce our personal negative impact on Mother Earth, in the belief that better understanding can sometimes help us make the leap.  Earlier segments are also available here: http://www.nhapluu.org/en/news/newsletters

But in this closing section, we spotlight something that may even become the inspiration for some New Year resolutions.  It is that one action we can take, which is the single most effective lifestyle change in the direction of reversing the process of global warming; and which simultaneously helps us foster our compassion. 

While we often associate Mahatma Gandhi with popularising  the Sanskrit term ‘ahimsa’ (harmlessness) Thay has given extra weight to the aspiration with his deepest teachings on interbeing and non-discrimination and he has shown us, with his own life as his teaching, that living a life of harmlessness is the natural outcome of developing the mind of love. ( Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘The World We Have’ pp 17-23 Ch 3, Diet for a Mindful Planet)   

Those of us who are already committing to protecting the planet as part of our practice, and who would like to connect with others practising similarly in the Plum Village tradition, may be interested in the Earth Holder Sangha. Here are links to their website and newsletter( at  www.earthholder.org) and to their 110 Page EHS Practice Book. Eartholder Sangha is an initiative of the Order of Interbeing.

 And continuing with our series on practising with the Six Paramitas, we have a Dharma talk from Thay on the third paramita, Kshanti Paramita ( inclusiveness) augmented by a touching  Dharma Sharing from a Victorian sangha member. 

Immediately after the 2016 Nhap Luu Spring Opening Retreat, at the three-day Order of Interbeing (OI) retreat,  there was productive discussion around some important establishment matters for our National sangha.  As a result of that discussion we are able to bring you the official Australian Sangha guidelines for OI aspirants, as well as the official  Australian  Sangha guidelines and requirements for anyone who has the aspiration to become a lay Dharma Teacher in this lineage. 

This time, in our section from the Sisters, some light is shed on just how much the wider sangha's support for our Monastic centre is needed in hands-on practical ways throughout the year.  We are also, happily, able to share wonderful news about phase one of our building/development project. Because we have in fact, commenced the building of the lay visitors' accommodation block. And we're smiling.  We need to keep working to ensure that stages two and then three become realities, but we have actually begun and that's a happy thing. 

With another “ New Year” not far off, let us resolve that this current years' slogan from Thay, of   "Protecting the Planet” will be carried forward, by taking some inspiration again from Thay  Pháp Dung, when he suggests that we might all “look deeply at what further changes we can make in our practice centres and our homes and offices, to save water and electricity, and to be more efficient and less wasteful. Because it needs to be our practice to be more aware and mindful of our interconnectedness with one another and other species and of the responsibility that this entails for our own generation and many generations to come.”

Our best wishes to you all for this holiday period. May you be peaceful and happy, and we hope you enjoy reading your newsletter. We always welcome  feedback and suggestions, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Susan Wirawan,
Chân Nguyện Lưu
for the Editorial Team.


 
Newsletter Team
Editor: Susan Wirawan (True Aspiring Stream)
Editing: Helen Snowden (True Ocean of Light)
Layout: Leonie Clark
Translation: Lê Đỗ Đăng Trình (Trinh) and Trần Thị Thanh Quý (Angela)
Kính thưa Sư Ông, kính thưa đại chúng,

Trong bản tin Nhập Lưu tháng 12, chúng tôi xin gửi đến quý vị một số nội dung đặc biệt để thưởng thức trong dịp lễ.

Chúng tôi khép lại chuyên mục song ngữ bốn kỳ “Chúng con kính yêu mẹ đất”, vốn được truyền cảm hứng từ hội nghị biến đổi khí hậu Paris, cùng những phép thực tập của Sư Ông dành cho đại chúng trong năm 2016 với nhan đề “Bảo vệ hành tinh xanh”. Chúng tôi cũng mời quý vị tìm hiểu một số khái niệm khoa học đằng sau những gợi ý thay đổi nếp sống, nhằm giảm thiểu tác động của cá nhân đối với Mẹ Đất.
(traffic.libsyn.com/deerpark/peace_treaty.pdf)

Trong bản tin kỳ này, chúng tôi tập trung vào một hành động thiết thực mà quý vị có thể áp dụng nhân dịp năm mới. Hành động này là giải pháp hiệu quả nhất nhằm đảo ngược tiến trình ấm lên toàn cầu, đồng thời nuôi dưỡng hạnh từ bi và yêu thương trong mỗi chúng ta.

Mặc dù khái niệm “ahimsa” (không gây hại) trong Phạn ngữ thường được gán cho thánh Mahatma Gandhi, Sư Ông cũng đã nhiều lần nhấn mạnh tầm quan trọng của lối sống không gây hại cho các chúng sinh khác, thông qua các giáo lý tương tức và không thiên vị. Sư Ông đã cho chúng ta thấy rằng lối sống không gây hại là một kết quả tự nhiên của quá trình phát triển tâm từ bi (Xem sách Hướng đi của đạo Bụt cho hoà bình và môi sinh, Chương 3: Sống biết tiết chế là giữ gìn cho đất mẹ, Thích Nhất Hạnh).

Đối với những người cam kết bảo vệ hành tinh như một phần của quá trình thực tập của mình, và mong muốn kết nối với những người đồng quan điểm theo pháp môn Làng Mai, quý vị có thể tìm hiểu về tăng thân Bảo vệ hành tinh xanh tại www.earthholder.org

Tiếp tục loạt bài về Lục độ ba la mật, chúng tôi muốn chia sẻ một bài pháp thoại của Sư Ông về pháp kshanti (nhẫn nhục), được minh hoạ bởi chia sẻ của thành viên tăng đoàn Victoria, Daya Jepsen. Và một bài chia sẻ quý giá khác từ loạt bài Thứ Ba với Sư Ông.

Ngay sau khoá thiền mùa xuân tại thiền viện Nhập Lưu, trong ba ngày diễn ra khoá tu của dòng Tiếp Hiện, có rất nhiều thảo luận xung quanh những vấn đề quan trọng có liên quan đến tăng đoàn nước Úc. Nhờ đó mà chúng tôi giờ đây có thể đem đến cho quý vị hướng dẫn chính thức cho những ai muốn gia nhập dòng tu Tiếp Hiện tại Úc, cũng như những yêu cầu đối với những vị mong muốn trở thành giáo thọ theo pháp môn Làng Mai.

Chuyên mục “Từ các Sư Cô” kỳ này, chúng tôi nỗ lực lý giải tầm quan trọng của sự ủng hộ của công chúng đối với các vị xuất sĩ thông qua các hoạt động thiết thực trong năm.

Và cũng nhân dịp đầu năm mới, chúng tôi mời quý vị áp dụng câu châm ngôn “Bảo vệ hành tinh xanh” trong các hoạt động thường ngày, thông qua những hướng dẫn của thầy Chân Pháp Dung: “Hãy quán xét xem những thay đổi nào khác nữa mà chúng ta có thể thực hiện tại các thiền viện, nhà riêng và sở làm, nhằm tiết kiệm nước, điện, sử dụng năng lượng tiết kiệm và hiệu quả. Bởi vì chúng ta cần phải thực tập nâng cao nhận thức và chánh niệm về sự tương tức với các chúng sinh khác, và nghĩa vụ của chúng ta đối với thế hệ hiện tại cùng những thế hệ tương lai.”

Xin chúc quý vị một kỳ nghỉ lễ an lạc, và hy vọng bản tin kỳ này đem lại chút lợi lạc cho quý vị. Hãy gửi phản hồi và góp ý của quý vị cho ban biên tập.

Susan Wirawan,
Chân Nguyện Lưu
Từ Ban Biên Tập

 
Nhóm thực hiện
Trưởng Ban Biên Tập: Susan Wirawan, Chân Nguyện Lưu
Biên Tập Viên: Helen Snowden (True Ocean of Light)
Dàn Trang: Leonie Clark
Dịch Giả: Lê Đỗ Đăng (Trình) và Trần Thị Thanh Quý (Angela) 
 

Thay's Hut, Thai Plum Village, November 2016  
(photo :Susan Wirawan)

Nhap Luu Newsletter Needs You

Be a part of our team!

We need volunteers to help plan issues, solicit stories, assemble and edit text, and generally help to produce our Nhap Luu Newsletter.

  • If you are a practitioner of the Dharma in this tradition, and also just love the idea of contributing to something that helps bring us more together as one big Sangha in this sparsely populated yet huge country;
  • if you like writing, or would like to learn and write more;
  • if you like laying things out to look good;
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Then please send a short note describing your interest and skills to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
 

Working Bees

Firewood Working bee: storing the wood, and  carting the wood.
photos: Carwen Barker.
You are invited to join and support the Sisters of our Meditation Centre on any Saturday, to help out in the routine maintenance tasks of a large Australian Bush property such as ours is.

Overnight stays are quite possible. Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to say you are coming, and to give your arrival details.

We sometimes also convene for-a-specific-purpose, larger scale working bees through email to the wider Victorian sangha.
 

From The Nhap Luu Sisters

Sister Chan Thuan Tien speaking at the end of the Land Dedication Ceremony.
Photograph Courtesy of The Pyrenees Advocate.

Dear Sangha and Friends,

While it's been a very full quarter for the Sisters here since the end of the Spring Opening retreat- there is, without a doubt, something that we all want to hear about the most, and which actually came about recently.  That is the actual real life launch of stage one of our three stage development project.

It has taken almost two years of very dedicated work on the part of our architect Tim Sullivan, to not just design our lay accommodation block and complete the working drawings, but to get us through the stages of: Bushfire Emergency Plan drawn up and approved; planning permit applied for, and approved; and finally Building Permit applied for and approved.  Tim's patience and kindness have been remarkable, and his work pro-bono. We got there. And now we have been equally fortunate finding builder Eric Gip who has worked many times in the past to help Buddhist temples and communities (including that of Quang Minh in Braybrook), and on many Lion's Club projects as well. He will take us through the construction process with great care. For Eric, it has always seemed a natural thing to not just use his skills in business, but also in service.

So, on Sunday  4th December, the Sisters arranged a Land Dedication ceremony to ensure the well-being of the land and it's flora and fauna. On Tuesday the 6th, the machinery arrived to make the first site-cut for the levelling of the land, and once that is finished, and the land surveyor has done the site set out workers began the footings on December 19th. That is about a two week project, after which the frame can go up. The Building Surveyor must approve pre and after each of these steps, and once the frame is approved then roof, walls, cladding, windows, doors, decking, and finally the interior with all details can be done. 

Eric's estimate is that we could be at lock-up sometime in late July, or August 2017. Which will be wonderful. It means that our visiting brothers for the 2017 Spring Opening Retreat, will have a decent place to sleep and work for the first time. And that's something we have wanted for a long while.

Happily, the community we sit in will be looked after also through our project. Eric has sourced the majority of tradesmen from Beaufort, and most building supplies from Beaufort and Ballarat. 

  Top left, and right:  the land is levelled after the clearing is complete.
Bottom: a preceding ceremony was held, to dedicate the land, and to ensure wellbeing of land and its' flora and fauna. (photo: June Savage)
,

In October the Sisters went to Sydney to carry out an Ancestors' Day Ceremony in the home of Lotus Buds Sangha member Be Nam Huynh. Then, on November 5th a for- the- purpose working bee was organised, specifically for the collecting, cutting, transporting and stacking of firewood at the Meditation Centre itself.15 people came and worked together and ate together and rested together.  Every Saturday actually, there is an open invitation to the Community to just come and join in helping the Sisters with normal maintenance. In fact, Saturdays are standardly referred to as  working bee days.  But at times, for a specific task that is quite big, a special call for help will go out as it did in this case.  The 20th of November then saw two sisters go to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, to facilitate a Day of Mindfulness for the local Sangha there.

There are already plans for regular Days of Mindfulness over all of 2017 in Melbourne for both English speaking and Vietnamese speaking groups, and a first one  for Tasmania in March.

Another very special event of course, was the fact that Thay made his unexpected trip to Thai Plum Village very recently, arriving there on Saturday the 10th of December.  Two of our Sisters were already booked to visit from the 12th to the 22nd for a Dharma Teachers Retreat, but this visit precipitated a trip for all seven of them:-), to see Thay, back again in a place close to his home country, for just a while. 
 


Lining up waiting for Thay's arrival at his Hut. Photo courtesy of the Plum Village Sangha.


If you are able please join us at Nhap Luu, for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (details on the website www.nhapluu.org); and if not, then definitely to see in the New Year of 2017. The details for that are on the website, and in “dates for your diary” in the newsletter here, as well.)

Happy reading, Happy New Year, and may you all be peaceful.

The Sisters of Nhap Luu Meditation Centre. 

 

I'm In Love With Mother Earth

English
Vietnamese
Working towards a wholly plant-based diet

“May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that reduces the suffering of living beings, stops contributing to climate change, and heals and preserves our precious planet.”
(from ‘The Five Contemplations’)


We shared recently in this series that taking an aeroplane flight is one way to hugely increase our personal carbon footprint*. And yet there is actually one other thing that many of us do every single day of our lives, which is far more damaging to the environment even than flying, and that is eating meat. This does include eating grass fed (free-range) meat. 

*CARBON FOOTPRINT is the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, event, product or individual. 

GREENHOUSE GAS is any of various gaseous compounds (such as carbon dioxide, and methane) that absorb infrared radiation (IR) and radiate the heat in all directions.  Greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere absorb infrared radiation (IR) from the sun and release it to be trapped in the atmosphere. This contributes to the greenhouse effect, or “global warming.”

The reason that eating meat adds heavily to our carbon footprint, is that the livestock industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation (which leads in turn to habitat loss, pushing more endangered species to the brink of extinction), land degradation, and the excessive consumption of fresh water as well as the pollution of water.

Many of us already know about carbon dioxide, which is one of the greenhouse gases that are a major cause of climate change. This is produced mostly by burning fossil fuels for electricity and transportation. The livestock industry is responsible for producing a great deal of carbon dioxide, through it's consumption of fossil fuels. However, there are also other greenhouse gases that we don’t hear about very often and two of them, methane and nitrous oxide, are produced in agriculture.

Methane is emitted in vast quantities by animals such as sheep and cattle, as a by-product of their digestive process. It is over 72 times more potent that carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. (Methane is also emitted through the decomposition of food scraps which get into land fill with other rubbish. This has led to an understanding of the importance of composting our food waste, rather than just throwing it away). Nitrous oxide is produced through the use of chemical fertilisers used in growing feed for the livestock industry. 

Raising cows, pigs, and chickens for human consumption also requires huge amounts of land, grain for fodder, and fresh water.  It takes, for example, between 50,000 and 100,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef, compared to maybe 2,500 litres to produce 1 kilogram of rice or protein rich legumes, such as soy beans. It takes even less water to produce most fruits and vegetables; and the amount of land used in raising animals is similarly disproportionate to the amount used in cultivating grains and pulses, and requires clearing of trees and thus the release of carbon dioxide into the environment.  At the same time, whilst a large amount of the edible grain and legumes that we produce is diverted to animals as feed (so that we can have meat, dairy and eggs), over 700 million people in the world  remain in poverty, suffering from chronic undernourishment or even starvation.

(Further reading:  https://sustainabletable.org.au/Hungryforinfo/Theenvironmentalimpactsofeatingmeat/tabid/105/Default.aspx
Thich Nhat Hanh, ‘The World We Have’ pp17-32 Ch. 3, Diet For A Mindful Planet
Peter Singer,  “Practical Ethics”  )

When we are willing to make some important changes in our own food choices by starting to reduce our meat and dairy consumption, beginning to eat instead whole grains and protein rich legumes like soy beans and lentils, we help reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and thus the causes of global warming.  We also free up the massive amounts of land and water that grazing takes, to produce more of these relatively inexpensive foods, which then become available and affordable as a staple food supply to feed more people, more cheaply, potentially alleviating undernourishment in the world.

"Beings all over the Earth are struggling to live.
I aspire to practice deeply so all may have enough to eat."
(Gatha used before eating. TNH)


Needless to say, animal agriculture also causes a lot of shocking, and completely unnecessary suffering for and cruelty to animals, especially those raised in factory farm settings.

In 2007, Thay led tens of thousands of his students in moving towards a vegan diet in order to nourish compassion and help save the planet. If we look deeply into the Mindfulness Trainings, we see the importance of considering our consumption habits, including food choices. Our ability to practise diligently, and to be content in knowing that we are doing everything possible to reduce suffering in ourselves and our world, is tied intimately, amongst other things, to what we choose to eat.

“In the past Buddhists were vegetarian with the intention to nourish our compassion towards animals. Now we know that we should be vegan, in order to protect the earth.”  “We need to change our way of seeing things….we need to wake up and fall in love with the earth.”
(Thich Nhat Hanh,‘The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology’)

“And when we choose to move towards a vegan diet, it is the most practical action that we can take at least three times a day to nourish our personal commitment to reduce damage to the planet. Not only are we choosing to not support the system of mass industrial agriculture or the meat industry; we're choosing to support our reverence for life.”

(Thich Chan Phap Dung:
http://plumvillage.org/news/reflections-on-the-paris-climate-conference/.
http://langmai.org/tang-kinh-cac/la-thu-lang-mai/la-thu-lang-mai-39-2016/dung-lai-nhin-sau-va-hanh-dong)

As aspiring Bodhisattvas taking the lead from our teachers, we come to demonstrate an understanding that there are two arms to engaged practice: there is drinking your tea when you are drinking your tea or walking when you are walking (for example); and there is mindful engagement with the social issues of our time, and right action – arising from the wisdom acquired from that practice. 
Hướng tới một chế độ ăn hoàn toàn dựa trên thực vật


“Xin nguyện ăn như thế nào để giảm thiểu được khổ đau của muôn loài, bảo hộ trái đất và chấm dứt những nguyên nhân gây biến đổi khí hậu bất thường.” (Hạnh Phúc Là Con Đường, “Ăn cơm chánh niệm”, Thích Nhất Hạnh).

Gần đây chúng tôi đã đề cập đến việc đi máy bay ảnh hưởng thế nào đến sự gia tăng khí thải nhà kính. Thế nhưng có một hành động mà chúng ta thực hiện hằng ngày, lại có tầm ảnh hưởng sâu rộng đối với môi trường hơn rất nhiều so với việc đi máy bay, đó là việc ăn thịt, bao gồm thịt những loại động vật ăn cỏ được nuôi thả tự nhiên. 

* LƯỢNG KHÍ THẢI CÁC-BON là tổng lượng khí thải nhà kính từ một tổ chức, sự kiện, sản phẩm hoặc cá nhân.

KHÍ THẢI NHÀ KÍNH- là các loại hỗn hợp khí (chẳng hạn như khí các-bô-níc hay khí mê-tan) hấp thụ bức xạ hồng ngoại (IR) và toả bức xạ nhiệt ra ngoài theo mọi hướng. Khí thải nhà kính trong bầu khí quyển trái đất hấp thụ bức xạ hồng ngoại (IR) từ mặt trời và giữ lại lượng bức xạ này trong bầu khí quyển.  Hiện tượng này góp phần tạo ra hiệu ứng nhà kính, còn gọi là “sự nóng dần lên của trái đất”.

Lý do việc ăn thịt làm tăng phát thải khí nhà kính, là vì ngành kỹ nghệ mục súc là một trong những ngành đóng góp nhiều nhất cho lượng khí thải các-bon, phá rừng (dẫn đến thu hẹp đất sống của sinh vật và đẩy một số loài đến bờ vực tuyệt chủng), thoái hoá đất, cũng như việc sử dụng quá lượng nước sạch và ô nhiễm nước.

Nhiều người trong chúng ta đã biết về carbon dioxide, đó là một trong những loại khí nhà kính là nguyên nhân chính gây biến đổi khí hậu. Nó được tạo ra chủ yếu là do việc đốt cháy nhiên liệu hóa thạch để sản xuất điện và vận tải. Các ngành công nghiệp chăn nuôi chịu trách nhiệm sản xuất một lượng lớn carbon dioxide, cho dù đó là trong sản xuất thịt hoặc sữa. Tuy nhiên, cũng có các loại khí nhà kính khác mà chúng ta ít khi biết đến và hai trong số đó, methane và nitrous oxide, được tạo ra trong nông nghiệp.

Khí metan được phát ra với số lượng lớn bởi các loài động vật như cừu và gia súc, như một sản phẩm phụ của quá trình tiêu hóa. Nó là mạnh hơn 72 lần so với carbon dioxide như một loại khí nhà kính. (Khí metan cũng được phát ra thông qua quá trình phân hủy thực phẩm tại bãi rác. Vì thế việc ủ rác thải thực phẩm làm phân bón thì tốt hơn so với việc vứt chúng đi.

Chăn nuôi bò, lợn, và gà cũng đòi hỏi một lượng lớn đất, thức ăn gia súc, và nước. Chẳng hạn, phải mất từ 50.000 đến 100.000 lít nước để sản xuất 1 kg thịt bò, so với chỉ2.500 lít nước để sản xuất 1 kg lúa hoặc các loại đậu giàu protein, ví dụ như đậu nành. Việc sản xuất hầu hết các loại trái cây và rau quả còn yêu cầu ít đất đai hơn, và số lượng đất đai được sử dụng trong chăn nuôi cũng không cân xứng như vậy. Trong khi một số lượng lớn các hạt được dùng làm thức ăn cho động vật (nhờ vậy mà chúng ta có thịt, sữa và trứng), hơn 700 triệu người trên thế giới vẫn còn trong cảnh nghèo đói hoặc bị suy dinh dưỡng mãn tính.

(Đọc thêm tại:
 https://sustainabletable.org.au/Hungryforinfo/Theenvironmentalimpactsofeatingmeat/tabid/105/Default.aspx


Hướng đi của đạo Bụt cho hoà bình và môi sinh, Chương 3: Sống biết tiết chế là giữ gìn cho đất mẹ, Thích Nhất Hạnh)

Khi chúng tôi sẵn sàng thực hiện một số thay đổi quan trọng trong việc lựa chọn thực phẩm, bằng cách bắt đầu cắt giảm lượng thịt và sữa tiêu thụ, và bắt đầu ăn ngũ cốc và các loại đậu giàu protein như đậu nành và đậu lăng, chúng ta sẽ giúp giảm lượng phát thải khí nhà kính và hạn chế nguyên nhân của sự ấm lên toàn cầu. Chúng ta cũng giải phóng một lượng lớn đất và nước để chăn thả, và chuyển sang sản xuất các loại thực phẩm tương đối rẻ tiền, mà sau đó trở nên sẵn có và giá cả phải chăng như một nguồn cung cấp lương thực để nuôi sống nhiều người hơn, rẻ hơn, và có khả năng làm giảm tỉ lệ suy dinh dưỡng trên thế giới.

Quán tưởng trước khi ăn – Thích Nhất Hạnh

Vạn vật tranh sống
Trên trái đất này
Nguyện cho tất cả
Có bát cơm đầy.


Hiển nhiên, ngành kỹ nghệ chăn nuôi cũng gây ra rất nhiều đau khổ không cần thiết cho các loài sinh vật, đặc biệt là những loài mục súc được nuôi trong trang trại.

Vào năm 2007, Sư ông đã hướng dẫn hàng ngàn đồ đệ chuyển đổi sang ăn chay, nhằm nuôi dưỡng lòng từ bi và góp phần bảo vệ hành tinh xanh.

Nếu chúng ta nhìn sâu vào các phép thực tập chánh niệm, chúng ta có thể thấy được tầm quan trọng cảu việc nhận thức về các thói quen tiêu thụ, bao gồm việc ăn uống. Sự thực tập chuyên cần, kết hợp với các hành động trong khả năng cho phép nhằm giảm thiểu đau khổ cho bản thân và thế giới, gắn liền với lựa chọn thực phẩm của chúng ta, bên cạnh những thứ khác.

“Đã có nhiều Phật tử biết ăn chay trường để nuôi dưỡng long từ bi đối với các loài vật. Ngày nay người ta cũng nhận thấy rằng ăn chay có thể giúp giải quyết nạn đói kém đang xảy ra trên khắp thế giới và có thể ngăn chặn nạn hâm nóng toàn cầu.”

"Chúng ta phải thay đổi ngay lối sống của mình, sống như thế nào để con cháu chúng ta có một tương lai sáng đẹp hơn." (Thích Nhất Hạnh, Hướng đi của đạo Bụt cho hoà bình và môi sinh).


“Và đi về hướng ăn chay, không dùng sản phẩm từ sữa (vegan), chính là một hành động cụ thể nhất mà chúng tôi có thể thực hiện ít nhất ba lần mỗi ngày để nuôi dưỡng cam kết cá nhân và làm giảm sự thiệt hại cho trái đất. Không những chúng tôi chọn không yểm trợ ngành công nghiệp sản xuất thịt và việc chăn nuôi, trồng trọt theo hướng sản xuất hàng loạt, mà chúng tôi còn chọn yểm trợ tôn trọng sự sống.”

(Thích Chân Pháp Dung:

http://langmai.org/tang-kinh-cac/la-thu-lang-mai/la-thu-lang-mai-39-2016/dung-lai-nhin-sau-va-hanh-dong)

Trên con đường Bồ Tát Đạo, dưới sự dẫn dắt của ân sư, chúng ta hiểu rằng có hai cách để thực tập đạo Phật nhập thế. Cách thứ nhất là duy trì chánh niệm trong mọi hoạt động thường ngày như uống trà hay đi bách bộ, và cách thứ hai là chủ động giải quyết những vấn đề xã hội trong thời đại chúng ta, với sự tỉnh thức và trí huệ có được từ quá trình tu tập.

Photograph, courtesy Paul Davis CHÂN PHÚC ĐƯỜNG (True Hall of Merits)
 

Dharma Talk: Kshanti Paramita

Liberating our heart
Practising with the Paramita of Inclusiveness- Kshanti Paramita

Thich Nhat Hanh 
 

The Kshanti Paramita


The third paramita is called Kshanti Paramita; it can be translated as inclusiveness. It means literally, “to forebear, to endure,” but we could misunderstand that word. Kshanti really means to accept and to embrace. For example, this glass — it can hold about twenty cubic centiliters and it can endure those twenty cubic centiliters, that is its capacity. If we pour twenty cubic centiliters into it, the glass will not suffer. But if we want it to hold more, it may suffer. If we force a lot of sand into it, it will break. And we are the same. Each of us has the capacity to endure, to accept a certain amount of injustice but if we are forced to accept more we shall crack or we will break. Somebody says something or does something which we do not like, they do something unjust to us, and we suffer. But whether we suffer a lot or a little, whether we suffer at all, depends on whether the capacity of our heart to accept and to endure is small or great. There are people who could hear those same words, be treated in that same way, but they would not be angry. They would smile. But we, when we hear those words, when we see that behavior, we suffer a lot because compared with their heart, our heart is very small.

The capacity of the bodhisattvas’ hearts is very big, the capacity to receive, to embrace and to include. The reason why we suffer is because the capacity of our heart is very small. We hear the same words, we have the same treatment and some people can accept it, but we cannot. We suffer a great deal. Therefore we have to practice the capacity to include, to embrace. If we practice, if we train, the capacity of our heart will grow and we will suffer much less. We will hear the same words, we will be treated in the same way, and we will smile and we will not suffer.

To practice inclusiveness, or patience, does not mean that we have to suffer. When we suppress our suffering sooner or later we will crack, we will break, Therefore, the paramita of patience does not mean to suppress. If you practice suppressing, if you grit your teeth and bear it and think that that is the practice of patience, it is not. Soon you will crack, you will break. That is not what the Buddha taught. The Buddha taught that we have to practice, we have to train in order to open up our own hearts.

And when our understanding is great, our love is great, our heart will become great. We often say in Viemamese that it is our heart which is small, not our house. When our heart is wide, our house can receive many guests. If our heart is small, even if our house is very large, we will not receive any guests.

Every morning on the fifteenth or the first of the lunar month in the traditional temples, we organize a ceremony called “Commending the Virtues of the Buddha.” It is to praise the Buddha and the bodhisattvas and our ancestral teachers. There is a sentence praising the Buddha which goes something Like this: “The Awakened One who is fully awakened, arose in India. His heart is able to embrace the whole of space, his capacity includes all the three chiliocosms.” It means the capacity of his heart is very great. These are also four lines which are offered as praise to the Buddha. “The capacity of his heart can include all the worlds even though they are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges."

And why does the Buddha have such a great capacity of compassion and understanding? Because he has practiced. We can do the same. If we practice the paramita of patience, if we practice the Four Immeasurable Minds of loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, our heart will grow. And we will have the capacity to accept everything people say, however people treat us, even if we suffer injustice, we can still smile, we can still be happy.

The method which helps our heart to grow bigger is the Four Immeasurable Minds. The Four Minds have become so great, the mind of loving kindness, the mind of compassion, the mind of joy, and the mind of equanimity. Maitri, karuna, mudita, and upeksa are the four elements of true love. If you cultivate them every day, then they become boundless. You are capable of embracing everything, everyone, then the larger your heart becomes, the happier you become. You don’t have to suffer because of all the small things, the inconveniences that make you suffer every day. So the practice is not to be a bowl of water but to be a river and after that to be the ocean. What makes other people suffer cannot make you suffer any more because your heart is large. That is what it means by “boundless states.”
 

Maitri — the capacity to offer well-being 


In Sanskrit, loving kindness is maitri; it is the capacity to offer well-being and happiness. And you cannot offer something that you do not have. Therefore, practice in order for you yourself to have maitri , the energy of loving kindness, and you will be the first to profit from that energy. With the practice of looking deeply, the practice of calming, of understanding, you make the energy of loving kindness grow within yourself. You experience bliss, solidity, freedom, and well-being, and your presence will naturally offer the person you are with that same kind of energy. You only need to just be there. Before you do anything, before you say anything, your presence can already make him or her happy, because in you there is the energy of maitri.
 

Karuna — the capacity to reduce suffering in the other person


The second immeasurable mind is the mind of compassion. Compassion is the capacity to reduce and to transform the suffering in the other person. If we want to remove the suffering from the other person, we have to have a right perception of the nature of their suffering. What is the cause of the suffering? What gave rise to the suffering in the other person? We have to practice looking deeply; that is, we have to practice another of the paramitas, called the paramita of meditative concentration. When we have time, when we have the ability to open our heart, when we don’t have prejudice, we can look into the other person and see the suffering that that person has been through. We can see the nature of their suffering and when we know that, we know what we should do and what we should not do in order for that wound to heal in the other person. If we don’t have that understanding then we will not have the insight which is another paramita, the paramita of understanding, and we will just make the other person suffer more. Compassion is the heart which has understanding and wisdom in it.
 

Mudita — the capacity to offer joy 


The third immeasurable mind is that of joy. In our relationship with our loved one the element of joy is very important. If we love each other, we have to love each other in such a way that both of us have happiness every day, then it is real love. If every day we weep, we are sad, we suffer, then that is not real love, In the morning, were we able to smile and be happy together in our love? Were we able to say good-bye to each other and go to work with the energy of joy and love? But if, in the morning, we weep, in the midday we weep, and in the afternoon we weep, then the element of joy is not there. Therefore, the element of joy is very important in our love. First of all, there is the element of loving kindness, which is to offer happiness; the element of compassion, to remove suffering; and then the element of joy, the happiness which comes from our love.
 


 Photo:  Paul Davis CHÂN PHÚC ĐƯỜNG (True Hall of Merits)


Upeksa — the capacity to love with equanimity 

And finally, there is the element of equanimity. Equanimity means to love in such a way that we can preserve the freedom of the other person and our own freedom. If we lose our freedom and we take away the other person’s freedom, that is not yet real love. When we love with the aim of possessing the other, we take away our loved one’s freedom. We have to love in such a way that we have a lot of space and the other person has a lot of space. If we see there is a little bit of loving kindness, of compassion, of joy, and of equanimity in our love we should try to practice so that every day the loving kindness, the compassion, the joy, and the equanimity grow a little bit more. After a couple of weeks, we shall see that gradually our love is becoming true love and our happiness is growing all the time.

We have learned that understanding leads to acceptance and acceptance leads to forgiveness and love. It makes our heart grow up. The love and the understanding help us to mature, and when our heart is mature, we can easily accept these words, this unskillful behavior, this injustice, and we continue to be happy.
 

The Bodhisattva Thi Kinh 


Quan Am Thi Kinh is the bodhisattva of compassion of Vietnam, with a great, large heart. At that time in Vietnam there were no temples for nuns, and Thi Kinh very much wanted to devote her life to nunhood. So she had to pretend to be a boy in order to be able to lead the monastic life. She entered the temple as a novice monk; she was very happy. There are, among us. people who feel they have to become a monk or a nun to be happy. So they are willing to do anything to become a monk or a nun, and Thi Kinh was one of those people. There are people in Plum Village, monks and nuns, who feel like that. People have said to me, “If I could not be a nun, I could not bear it.”

At one point there was a woman who was a great admirer of the “monk” Thi Kinh, who was really a young woman. But Thi Kinh paid her no attention. The woman became pregnant and accused Thi Kinh of being the father. Of course as she was a woman this was not possible, yet she did not defend herself because she cherished the monastic life so much. When arrested and accused she remained silent. She was beaten and abused and still she remained silent. The woman who accused her left the child at the gates of the temple to further aggravate the situation. Instead of being angry, Thi Kinh embraced the child and raised her as a daughter of the Buddha. She was so full of compassion. Only when the “monk” Thi Kinh passed away did people discover that she was really a woman and they realized the great forebearance and love she had to have withstood such accusation and abuse. Her heart was so great. They saw she was truly an embodiment of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara.

If we have great happiness, we do not mind wrong accusations which come from ignorance and hatred. We hear them and yet we do not suffer. We just feel sorry for the person who says them. The reason we can bear it is because our heart is great and therefore the paramita of inclusiveness is very important. If you are still suffering a lot, it’s not only because of the other person who’s making you suffer. If you are still suffering a lot, it’s because the capacity of your heart is not very great. Cultivating the great, boundless minds of love – loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity – help us to grow our inclusiveness, so that we too may embrace and forgive, forbear and overcome obstacles in our lives, and become refreshing sources of compassion and happiness for ail beings like the bodhisattva Thi Kinh.

Extract from a dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh. 
Reprinted from the full version, with kind permission of the editors of from “The Mindfulness Bell” Magazine, Issue 29, Summer 2001.

 
Painting of Thay's Hut, Dining Hall, Thai Plum Village November 2016. 
photo: Susan Wirawan 
 

Dharma Sharing: Kshanti Paramita

The Third Paramita is Kshanti Paramita. It is often referred to as patience.  In the Diamond Sutra it is expressed as endurance. In our Plum Village tradition, Thay chooses the word inclusiveness.  It is our capacity to receive and transform pain inflicted on us by loved ones and our enemies.

The Buddha tells us that when salt is placed in a small bowl of water it is too salty to drink, but when we put that same salt in a large river we will not taste the salt.  So when our heart is big enough to include all our joy and love as well as our anger and fear, we will not suffer when we feel others have wronged us.

In his book 'True Love' Thay teaches us that we can develop inclusiveness by practising the four immeasurable minds: love, compassion, joy and equanimity. 

The Buddha actually gave a Dharma talk on inclusiveness to his son Rahula when he was eighteen years old, to nourish those four virtues. The teaching was to contemplate the nature of earth, water, fire and air.  The earth receives all, whether it is gentle walking and love or pollution and anger, without grasping or complaining.  This reminds me to try simply to be present without clinging to any preconceptions or ideas. 

I had a chance to practise this way recently when my twenty- four year old  son came to stay.  He was jobless, homeless, possession-less and suffering with a drug addiction.   It caused a lot of suffering in the family.  I kept asking myself “How can I suffer less?  What is the root cause of my suffering, and how do I hold this kind of suffering?”

The Paramitas help us go beyond our attachment and aversion.   Beyond feeling like we are separate, and beyond the fear of letting go. That's just what I need!

The Third Paramita also challenges our habitual reactions.  I notice how easy it is to blame another person, or circumstances, and most of all to blame myself when things are not as I would like them to be.

When we observe, name, embrace and transform our suffering, we are practising inclusiveness.  Our beloved Thay also teaches us to hold our pain as a mother would hold a baby, using our mindfulness so that our compassion and understanding grow and our heart expands. 

As things went from difficult to impossible at home I held my sadness and fear as much as I could. I practised breathing and walking and spent time at Nhap Luu. When seeds of worry, fear, and anxiety sprouted I planted daffodils in my garden; being present to the earth, the sky and the plants.  If you come to my house next year you will see my suffering transformed into hundreds of smiling daffodils!

To practise inclusiveness is to learn acceptance. Looking deeply I saw how my strong attachment to wanting things to be different and fear of the future caused me to suffer.  As I let go of my expectations, I opened to just being present with my son amidst all the drama and pain. We shared memories of his childhood and baked cookies together and laughed.  These were happy moments that I will cherish.

All of us have suffering in our lives.  I have found that when I can practise inclusiveness I see our interconnectedness, and my heart can open more.

Daya Jepsen (True Bright Ocean)
Chân Minh Hi 

(Daya facilitates and practises with Abundant Earth Sangha in Ballarat, and also at Nhap Luu Meditation Centre). She lives nearby in Raglan. 

Daya Jepsen, Thai Plum Village, 2016.
(photos: Susan Wirawan)      

Seen near the Sisters' Residence No 2.
    Thai Plum Village 2016 

 

Australian Order of Interbeing Retreat 2016

After the Annual Spring Retreat a two day retreat was held at Nhap Luu for the members of the Order of Interbeing (OI) to celebrate the Order’s 50th anniversary. The Order of Interbeing was established by Thay Nhat Hanh on 5th February, 1966, a full moon day, when he ordained the first six members of the Order of Interbeing. The Order was created by Thay to help revitalise Buddhism during a time of war, as a spiritual resistance movement and to make Buddhism a refuge for those experiencing the dislocating effects of conflict. While we in Australia may not be experiencing war directly we know that there is much violence and conflict in our society and families. The OI members use the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings as the guide for their practice of Engaged Buddhism to help our society to be more peaceful.

During the retreat there were several opportunities for Sangha Sharing, to discuss the future of Plum Village Australia. These Sharings were led by Thay Phap Kham from Plum Village Asia in Hong Kong. There was a need for this because the number of sanghas within Australia has grown since the establishment of the first one in 1980s. With this growth has come an increased interest from members in not only sangha building but also in becoming members of the Order of Interbeing, and possibly Dharma Teachers. Yet the processes for these pathways have sometimes not been clearly stated throughout the Australian sanghas and misunderstandings and inconsistencies have arisen. This can create disharmony in the sanghas. So, a more co-ordinated approach is now needed to keep the integrity of the Plum Village teachings in the Australian sanghas.

The Sharings focused on:


The Australian Lay Dharma Teachers, with Thay Phap Kham, OI Retreat, Nhap Luu Meditation Centre. Photo: Cilla Brady,( True Precious Eyes). 

Contacts


Australian Sangha guidelines (click on a title, to receive it as a downloaded Microsoft Word Document in your own computer)

 

Dates for your diary

New Year's Eve at Nhap Luu (Friday 31.12. 2016)

16:00 Live Dharma Talk
18:00 Happy Dinner
19:30 Walking Meditation
20:30 Be-in Performance
22:00 Total Relaxation
23:30 Sitting Meditation New Year's Eve Ceremony
Stay the night.

January 21st Earth Cake Wrapping, for Vietnamese New Year
Exact programme TBA, but expect a 3.00 pm start.

January 27th Lunar New Year
Details TBA on the website.

April Retreats (Regional)

South Australia: April 7th - 9th    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
New South Wales: April 14th - 17th   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Nhap Luu (Victoria): April 21st - 23rd    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Queensland: April 28th – May 1st     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Spring Opening Retreat 2017 (National)
September 22nd - 27th, at Cave Hill Creek Raglan, Victoria. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Retreat details, and registration, on the website in around May2017

 

Mindfulness Bell Magazine Subscriptions


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or

c/- David Percival
745 Cagua S.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87108-3717

 

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Please help us realise our three stage building project

While stage one of our three stage building project (http:/www.nhapluu.org/en/events/coming-events/67-building-plum-village-australia-your-help-needed) is under way, your help and expertise in grant writing and any other fund raising methods (which might  include some know how or experience with Crowd -Funding) is still very much needed.

Only once we have also completed a new Dining Hall/ Kitchen building (stage 2) will we be legally able to hold accommodated and catered retreats on our own property. We need your help. 

If you feel able to help with the project in this way, please consider this a personal invitation. You can respond directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , briefly outlining your willingess and any experience, skills, or ideas you may have. 

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