Dear Friends on the Path,

Here is the teaching on Verse 6.

Verse 6

Looking deeply into the heart of reality

to see the true nature of things,

practicing vipashyana enables me to let go

of everything I am searching for, my desires, and my fears.

Our sister shares the teaching with us that the practice is to be closer to our hearts. The more I know myself, the more I can connect with what is outside.

There are some wonderful suggestions for reflections that we can all benefit from too for the new year.

Reflections:  Ending a year and starting a new:

- what nourishment did 2010 offer

- what were the challenges

- how do I aspire to continue

Happy New Year Everyone!!  May your year be filled with peace and stability of living in the Present Moment.

Direct download: Verse_6_of_14_on_Meditation.MP3
Category:Class, Meditation, 14 Verses 2010-11 -- posted at: 1:51pm CDT

Dear Friends

Tonight's wonderful class provides many insights into why we meditate and how we can better be masters of our own practice.  Here is the link for the materials

Verse 5:

To calm, to relax the body and mind.

To nourish, to heal, 

to protect the 6 senses,

and to maintain right concentration.

This week's homework also includes the wonderful, restful practice of Deep Relaxation--perfect for those of you entering the holidays....what a gift for yourself and the ones you love!

May you and your family be well. 

Direct download: Verse_5_of_14_on_Meditation.MP3
Category:Class, Meditation, 14 Verses 2010-11 -- posted at: 8:35pm CDT

Dear Classmates on the Path

Tonight's transmission is on the 4th Verse.  We begin the podcast after those present in the class all shared how our practice was progressing with each other.  Maybe you, too, would like to reflect how your practice has been going for you.

4th Verse:

My breathing and my steps

Enable me to generate the energy of mindfulness,

So that I can recognize and touch

the wonders of life within and around me.

Our teacher, Thay Phap Hai, reminds us that stopping and calm abiding allow us to uncover what is already there. We also will benefit if we can ask, 'We're stopping what?'

Another wonderful practice that our teacher urges us to try this week is 'Lazy Hour'.

Enjoy your breath this week--and your laziness.

Direct download: Verse_4_of_14_on_Meditation.MP3
Category:Class, Meditation, 14 Verses 2010-11 -- posted at: 9:49pm CDT

Dear Friends

Here is Sister Su Co Bich Nghiem's beautiful transmission on Verse 3.

Third Verse:

The practice of Vipashyana is to Look Deeply

into the nature of the five skandas

so that I may develop understanding

and transform suffering.


In this sharing, our sister encourages us to "Give yourself time to be with yourself more so that you can know yourself more.  So that we can better know ways to care for ourselves."

Enjoy your week of beautiful breathing.

Direct download: Verse_3_of_14_on_Meditation.MP3
Category:Class, Meditation, 14 Verses 2010-11 -- posted at: 8:20pm CDT

Dear Friends

What a great fortune to have been born a human, to be in harmony with others, and to have a chance to take this wonderful course!  The second session is offered to us by Thay Phap Hai and is rich with insights into our beautiful practice.

The Second Verse:

Stopping (Shamatha) means to be still

In order to recognize, to be in contact,

To nourish, to heal,

To calm, to soothe, and to refocus the mind.

Thay offers us a guided meditation, an introduction to the five hindrances, and three means to plunge ourselves into the cool water of the present moment.

The reading materials for this class are available on the Deer Park Monastery website at

May all enjoy calm abiding in the present moment during the week ahead. 

Direct download: 10112801.MP3
Category:Class, Meditation, 14 Verses 2010-11 -- posted at: 8:45pm CDT

Dear Friends

The 3-month Winter Rains Retreat began today at Deer Park.  Also, today this course on the Fourteen Verses on Meditation course held its first class.  A group of around 30 people have joined together to be taught by Thay Phap Hai, Thay Phap Ho, and Su Co Bich Nghiem and we have all committed to following the course during the coming 14 weeks. We hope that you will join us online.  In this way you can join us in our study, reflection and practice when and where it is suitable for you.  The text material for the respective classes and the outline of the course can be found on this website under Teachings, Fourteen Verses on Meditation here: or go to

First Verse on Meditation: Just as a bird has two wings, the practice of meditation has "stopping" and "deep looking." The two wings depend on each other.  Stopping and deep looking go in tandem.

The Podcast team will do our best to put the recording online as soon as we can after the class.  Because we want to keep up with the class, these podcasts will not have the usual introductions so we hope that is acceptable.   

May we all enjoy our stopping and looking together during this winter reflection time.


Direct download: 10112103.MP3
Category:Class, Meditation, 14 Verses 2010-11 -- posted at: 11:53pm CDT

Dear friends,

Brother Phap Dung, the Abbott of Deer Park Monastery, here offers a wonderfully casual talk with the children at this summer's Family Retreat. From Pokemon to Deer Park's ravens to an introduction to inviting the bell to sound, Brother Phap Dung encourages children to be present with, and appreciate, their surroundings and family.

Please enjoy these offerings with your family, and may there be great joy in your mindful togetherness.


Direct download: youth_talk.mp3
Category:Dharma talks -- posted at: 7:21pm CDT

Dear friends,

Thich Nhat Hahn shows us very clearly that while we practice for our own transformation, it is just as important to practice for our relationships with those we love. In this dharma talk Bother Phap Dung, the Abbott of Deer Park, encourages us to be present with exactly who we are, with all our strengths and weakness, rather than an impossible image of how we should be. He shows us how, by being present with ourselves and families in this way, we can clearly see the time, space, and attention needed to care for ourselves and our loved ones.

Please enjoy these offerings, and may they guide us toward acceptance of the miracle of this present moment.


Direct download: family_talk.mp3
Category:Dharma talks -- posted at: 9:11pm CDT

Dear friends,

In this playful dharma talk given to the children at this summer's family retreat, Brother Phap Ho shares a story of a frontier boy learning the ways of the local Native American tribe and the lessons of diligence. Learning, he reminds us, for both children and adults, can be the same thing as playing.  

 Please enjoy these offerings with your family, and may your present moment be inspired with playfulness.

Direct download: 07_02_2010_Phap_Ho_Childrens_podcase.mp3
Category:Dharma talks -- posted at: 3:07pm CDT

Gatha Practice: A Dharma talk of Sister Huong Nghiem

Waking up this morning I smile
24 brand new hours are before me
I vow to live fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion

Dear Friends

Gathas are short verses to recite in the routine moments of our lives - waking up in the morning,  brushing our teeth, turning on a car – to bring mindfulness and connection to those moments. In this dharma talk, Sister Huong Nghiem encourages us in our practice of using these gathas, showing us how to use them to cultivate gratitude and stoke the fires of understanding, directing our hearts and minds toward the wholesome seeds stored in our consciousness.

Please enjoy these offerings, and may they be nourishing to your practice.


Direct download: Gatha_Practice_1.mp3
Category:Dharma talks -- posted at: 12:13am CDT

Bells of Mindfulness

Sister Dang Nghiem shows us the proper way to invite the sound of the bell. She also teaches us how to cultivate that peacefulness when we hear noises that might otherwise cause stress.

Lay practitioner Patrick Burke made the video.  A higher resolution version is at

Direct download: Bells_of_Mindfulness.m4v
Category:videos -- posted at: 11:49am CDT

Sister Dang Nghiem on Inviting the Bell This is the full audio version of the Bells of Mindfulness video.
Direct download: Sister_Dang_Nhiem_on_inviting_the_bell.mp3
Category:Dharma talks -- posted at: 11:34am CDT

Starting a Fire:  A Dharma Talk from The Venerable Phuoc Tinh


Dear Friends

Thich Phuoc Tinh, known to the Sangha as The Venerable, here offers a wonderfully direct talk to encourage us forward in our practice. He reminds us that if we stop practicing when we are feeling good, we are like a person rubbing sticks together to start a fire, and stopping just as the sticks grow warm, before the real fire begins. The Dharma, he tells us, is a dharma of action, not of intellect.

This dharma talk is offered for Tet, the Vietnamese lunar new year. May the renewal and rejoicing that is going on at the Monastery carry deeply into your life.

A collection of The Venerable’s dharma talks is available as a book. Be Like a Tree, Zen Talks by Thích Phước Tnh is a collection of the Venerable’s uniquely practical and inspiring talks, helping us in our practice with non-fear, recognizing our thoughts and feelings, creating space in our lives, loving and being loved, cultivating our spirituality, and tasting the enjoyment of our own lives. The talks were compiled by OI Member Karen Hilsberg, and the book is available at and

Please enjoy these offerings, and may there be renewal in your every mindful breath. 


Direct download: Deer_Park_Podcast_Feb_7_2010.mp3
Category:Dharma talks -- posted at: 10:38am CDT

VIDEO PODCAST Meet our Practitioners:    J.C. Earle's Garden Practice

Dear Friends,

We hope you will enjoy this short interview with a local Deer Park practitioner.   J.C. Earle practices with the Compassionate Heart Sangha in Los Angeles, and he's a frequent visitor to Deer Park.  In this video, J.C. discusses his understanding of mindfulness, using his garden as a metaphor for consciousness.  A higher-quality version of this video is available at   This Vidcast was created by another Deer Park practitioner, Patrick Burke, and we are very grateful to him for this offering.

Please enjoy cultivating your garden as you watch this offering.


Direct download:
Category:videos -- posted at: 6:46pm CDT

Direct download: -JC_Dharma_QTM1-H.264_for_Video_Podcasting-mov.m4v
Category:videos -- posted at: 6:17pm CDT

Wake Up!

Dear Friends,

Last night at the Dharma Nectar Hall of Lower Hamlet in Plum Village, lay and monastic practitioners from around the world gathered to concentrate our energy into a new song which could represent the Wake Up movement. Thanks to the good conditions of a visit from Joe Reilly, Melina Bondy and many talented monks, nuns and lay friends, the fruit of our practice is posted here.

To learn more, or to join the Wake Up movement look no further than the website at

For more of Joe Reilly's songs, follow the link to his website at

Open your eyes!

Direct download: Wake-Up.mp3
Category:Chants, songs, meditations -- posted at: 11:57am CDT

Direct download: Wake_Up.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:37am CDT

Question and Answer Session from the Mindfulness and Education Retreat

Dear Friends,

Often at the end of retreats at Deer Park, a panel of Monks and Nuns will offer a question and answer session with the retreat’s participants. These sessions are always a precious opportunity for the retreat participants to seek guidance in their practice, and for our monastic brothers and sisters to share their unique insights.  This question and answer session was offered on the last day of Deer Park’s recent Mindfulness and Education retreat. The panel of monks and nuns answer questions from the college students and other visitors at the retreat on loneliness and connection, monastic life and values, and mindfulness of habit energies, cravings and addictions.

Please enjoy these offerings, and may the support of our monastic brothers and sisters be felt deeply in our practice.

Direct download: Deer_Park_Monk_and_Nun_Question_and_Answer.mp3
Category:Q & A -- posted at: 12:10am CDT



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