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    Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening

    A Classic Zen text written in the 8th century by Hui Hai. He was a student of Ma-tsu and from the same line as Hui Neng, Huang Po and Rinzai (Lin-chi).

  • Don't Take Your Life Personally

    Ajahn Sumedho urges us to trust in awareness and find out for ourselves what it is to experience genuine liberation from mental anguish and suffering.

  • Perfect Wisdom: Prajnaparamita Texts

    The Short Prajnaparamita Texts were composed in India between 100 BC and AD 600. They contain some of the most well known Buddhist texts such as The Perfection of Wisdom in 700 Lines, The Heart Sutra, and The Diamond Sutra.

  • Fingers and Moons, by Trevor Leggett

    Trevor Leggett points to the truth beyond words, beyond explanations and methods.

  • Experience Beyond Thinking: Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation. An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation and the reflections of an ordinary practitioner. Used as a guide by meditation groups.

    An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation.

  • Understanding Karma and Rebirth A Buddhist Perspective

    Meditations and exercises to help us understand karma and rebirth and to live from the unborn moment.

  • The Old Zen Master by Trevor Leggett

    Stories, parables, and examples pointing to the spiritual implications of practical events in daily life.

  • Teachings of a Buddhist Monk

    Modern practical teachings from an American monk living within one of the oldest Buddhist traditions.

Seeds of Happiness and Sorrow, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Herb plant.In Buddhist psychology, we talk about ‘store consciousness’. Store consciousness is the lower part of our consciousness which stores many things; we call them seeds — seeds of happiness, seeds of sorrow, seeds of pain, all kinds of seeds. And that part of our consciousness is described as being like a garden, or soil, or earth, which preserves seeds.

The upper part of our consciousness is called ‘mind consciousness’, and this is linked to the intellect. So a dharma talk should be considered to be like rain falling down on the earth. We should let the rain touch the soil and to penetrate into it. Then there is a chance that the seeds that are buried in the depths of our consciousness will be touched by the talk. We should not, therefore, use mind consciousness a lot. We should refrain from thinking, from comparing, from judging; we should just allow the dharma talk to fall like rain and to penetrate into the soil of our store consciousness. And that is why it is better to stay in a state of half sleep rather than to use your intellect! While you are snoring, the dharma talk is able to sneak in! But if you use the intellect, it is like using a lot of buckets to receive the water, and that prevents the rain from penetrating into the depths of your consciousness.

It is certain that we have seeds of happiness, seeds of joy, of peace, of love, in us, but it may be that during our daily lives, nobody knows how to touch those seeds. That is why they don’t grow. They remain deeply buried in the bottom of our consciousness. Maybe during a dharma talk, how­ever, you allow the talk to come down and touch these seeds.

Dharma talks can also come down and touch the seeds of suffering in us. The contact between the dharma and the seeds of suffering might then provoke a kind of transformation. The best thing to do during a dharma talk, therefore, is not to think, not to compare, to measure, or to reflect.

Click here to read more by Thich Nhat Hanh.

First published in the August 1994 Buddhism Now.

3 Responses

  1. Very happy to find th Buddhism Now Blogsite.
    Looking forward to delving thro your Archives
    Thank u

  2. Beautiful. Let the rain of Dharma pour in so my positive seeds will grow. Thank you Master.

  3. Yes!

    Pemasiri told us to be in samadhi while listening to a dhamma talk.

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