On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Ven. Thich Chuc Thanh visited the NC Outer Banks Sangha with Virginia Beach sangha members Mark Palamara and Curtis Spear. The group is hosted by Dave Edmonds at the Pitts Center in Southern Shores, NC.
The evening began with chanting and meditation. Chuc Thanh started the discussion off with several teaching stories. One lesson was about the novice monk who insisted he should be fed the same amount of food as the older monks and his master monk. When the young monk became ill from over eating, he learned the lesson of being content with what he has and to not let his eyes desire more than his stomach can handle.
Another lesson was about “good, bad, who knows.” The story is about cause and effect and how perspective can change as conditions change with respect to something being good or bad, or who knows? An owner’s horse runs away. This is typically perceived as a bad thing to happen. The horse returns with a herd of new horses the owner can claim. This is perceived as a good thing. The owner’s son starts to train the new horses, gets thrown and breaks his leg. Later, the broken leg keeps the son from being drafted to go to war.
During the course of the discussion with the sangha members, Chuc Thanh also made these points:
- Always come back to living in the moment, being content with what we have in this moment.
- Continue to learn and practice the dharma. The more we live our lives, the more flexible we should become.
- Happiness is in your mind, not in material things.
- Live life as simply as possible. Keep material choices to a minimum. Have more time for developing your mind.
- Understanding the difference between “wanting” and “needing” frees us from all advertisements we are exposed to from all media sources.
- What is important? Caring. When is it important? Now. Who is important? The person in front of you now.
- What is bad for you mind? TV. What is good for your mind? Dharma.
The evening concluded with Kyle and his fellow musicians performing original, soothing, peaceful music for the group.
The next NC dharma session will be Tuesday, May 23, 2017 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Pitts Center in Southern Shores, NC.