NC Talk September 26, 2016
Ven. Chuc Thanh, Mark and Curtis traveled to Southern Shores, NC for the NC Dharma talk on September 26, 2016. We had a group of 13 people attending the session, 6 who were visiting the group for the first time.
We opened the session with chanting the Metta and Heart sutras. Thay Thanh then directed a metta meditation period.
In response to a question about frustration with oneself, Thay Thanh pointed out that mindfulness and compassion for oneself in the heat of the moment are important to controlling one’s frustration or anger. The first thing to do is to be mindful, to calm yourself down. Recognize the anger and let it go. This takes practice in order for this to be your instant action when you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry, but eventually it will work for you.
The other points Thay Thanh made include:
- Meditation of love and compassion is for us first, then for others. You need to love yourself before you can focus your energy on others.
- Thay Thanh told the story of two boys, one of whom was crazy. The moral of the story is to not argue with a crazy person.
- The Dharma helps us to look at things differently. For example, do not focus on what is lost. Instead, focus on what you still have.
- There are four kinds of people with respect to when they begin to practice the dharma. The first is when they hear of someone passing away who is not close to or related to them, they think “I can wait to practice the dharma.” The second is a person who is familiar with a person who has died recently and they think “maybe I should practice the dharma.” The third person is one who has a close friend or family member pass away and they think “I must practice the dharma.” The fourth type of person is laying on their death bed. For them, it is generally too late to think about practicing the dharma.
- We are always chasing something; not living in the moment.
- Living in the moment is not living in fear.
- Let things go. If you carry negative things with you, they can continue to hurt you. If you carry good things with you, you will spend too much energy clinging to them and hurt more when they disappear.
- You can’t change others. You can only change yourself.
- Buddhism is taking care of yourself and letting other things care of themselves.
Mark Palamara, September 29, 2016