Imagine Thây & Dear Deer Park

chanting compassion ~d nelson

What a privilege to indulge in mindful retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh (Thây, respected teacher in Vietnamese) monks, nuns and lay friends for a couple of weeks at Deer Park meditation center. I’m grateful to have the time for learning, studying and practicing these mindful ways of understanding and love. To cultivate peace in myself and aspire to support others on their path. Yes, two weeks is enough time to fully embrace all 4 noble truths; that suffering or being dissatisfied happens, there is a path to suffering. Importantly, there is well-being, and an eightfold path leading towards well-being. As a staff member on the retreat there were frequent opportunities to experience all of the noble truths, sometimes, all at once. There is great beauty and happiness that comes from transforming difficulties. As Thây says, “no mud, no lotus.”

path's reminder

path’s reminder

In future posts more will be shared about this retreat experience. There is also a video with hundreds of smiles of retreatants in production. Makes me smile looking at all those images. It was nice to have a camera at Deer Park, and nice to not have a camera with me most of the time, depending if a camera lead to more ill-being for myself and others. Today I’d to share some colorful images captured with the intent of sharing colorful moments of true love and friendship on the path.

walking down together

walking down together

stupa fog

stupa fog

closing retreat moment

closing retreat moment

day of mindfulness, ocean of peace hall packed

day of mindfulness, ocean of peace hall packed

We are quite fortunate that the talks from the “finding our true home” retreat are posted on youtube, here.  I will enjoy my breath while reviewing Thây answering my question about a better way to not behave as a victim.

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14 thoughts on “Imagine Thây & Dear Deer Park

  1. mkesling63

    I did not watch the entire surmon on the link it was an eco for me but I like when he said you win for yourslef and the other person. They will go down now in their own self defeat. It is there choice to fall to emotional uncontrol. It is weak and it is time to spend all that time on oursleves. The 4 cycles of civic violence will be at an end for all soon. With the change in criminal law it will end in the home too soon. People are not letting evolution of it all happen and forgeting to cure themsleves instead first. When people give powerful humane evolution time instead of trying to control it, there is less death as a result. All 4 cycles of civic and domistic violence will cure. Civic has fisrt and it was still abused. It can be the self effort on self way first or the fast way, the death by GMLA order way. To your group here I admire your efforts of building one on one people socials away from the tv set and cell phone. Building a healthy social life is all important to a healthy balance in life and emotional strength. It is true emotional social security. Activity away from work, I hope you include education is work too. The more you control the more emotional, spirtual to human death there is. Hold up death of another and suffer the same fate yourself. Thanks for the sharing.

    Reply
  2. marga t.

    I have never heard Thich Nhat Hanh speak; I’ve only read his words. I enjoyed the added message in his countenance, voice, and persona. Thank you for the share and welcome back! So happy for your experience.

    Reply
  3. brucethomasw

    The retreat sounds and looks like it was wonderful Dave. I thought of you being there, a few times over the past few weeks. I look forward to hear and see more about it, video included.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      It was joyful and a privilege to have an extended retreat. Slowly I’ll unpack more sights and sounds to bring out their freshness. So many smiles will be packed into this next video. Wishing you happiness, Bruce.

      Reply
  4. goingoutwordsandinwords

    What beautiful pictures dear friend, thank you for posting. It brings me a smile to see Deer Park and many faces that I recognize from being on retreat with the sangha. This year was the first TNH tour I’ve missed since 2007 – so it’s especially nice to hear words and see pictures.

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      I’m happy that the images get you in touch with the sangha. They get me in touch, also. There’s at least one Montana friend sharing in the hundreds of smiles.

      Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      I’m glad you like it, Genie. Taken during Pasadena public talk. And yes, those series of talks from the Deer Park retreat are a very worthy introduction to Thay’s teachings. The winter retreat talks are really more advanced and intended to benefit monastics. 🙂

      Reply

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