Excerpt from Thay`s Dharma Talk, The Science of The Buddha Retreat, 12th of June 2012:
When we look into the 1st Noble Truth
we can see the path leading to ill-being. You just leave that path, you take another path. Ill-being will go away and give place to well-being. So the problem is to change the path.
The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Noble Path, which
is based on a kind of insight called Right View. Right View means the vision of interbeing, of non-discrimination, the vision that can be free from the notions being and non-being, of birth and death. The Five Mindfulness Trainings are the very concrete path
recommended by the Buddha and it is possible to present this path in non-Buddhist terms.
Our Dharma Teachers have begun to try implementing the practice of mindfulness in many schools. They have been able to train schoolteachers in order to bring
this kind of practice into the classroom and the result has been very encouraging. Young people can learn and practice. They do not need to believe in the existence of the Buddha in order to do that.
The learn how to
mind back to the body by the way of mindful breathing
; release the tension in their body in order to have ease and peace
; handle a painful feeling, a strong emotion
; produce a joyful feeling, a happy feeling
; listen to the other person with compassion
express themselves in the language of non-blaming, practice loving speech
- restore communication with their parents and friends.
All that can be taught to young people and we need school teachers capable of doing that for themselves in order to offer this
practice in schools.
We need manuals to learn, to help with the practice. Many of you are teachers, educators and writers, please meet and discuss possibilities of providing these kinds of documents and environment in order to bring this practice
into schools. The Five Mindfulness Trainings can be written in a language free from Buddhist terms.
One of our Dharma Teachers, Ha Vinh Tho, is now in Bhutan. He has been invited by the Prime Minister to come and help Bhutan foster mindfulness-based
education in creating a GNH Centre.
Many of our monastic and lay Dharma Teachers want to join him and help train a national community of schoolteachers in order for them to be capable of doing it for themselves first. We should train the trainers,
so the trainers can go train all the schoolteachers in the country.
When we met the governor Jerry Brown in California, we also talked to him about that. He said that we could start with a few schools in California. After having demonstrated the
effectiveness of the practice, it will be easier to convince other schools to follow. We need many helping hands to bring this kind of practice into schools to help young people suffer less, to help teachers suffer less. Because if the students suffer less,
the teachers will suffer less.
This is a project of our Sangha, please join us. We need members of the Sangha to help the Sangha.