Many Rivers Order of Interbeing Sanghas

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The Pith Meditation Practices of Thich Nhat Hanh

Date: Wednesday May 8, 5pm – Sunday May 12, 1pm, 2019
Location: Great Vow Zen Monastery, Clatskanie, Oregon

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2019 Oregon Community of Mindful Living Spring Retreat

Dharma Teacher Fred Eppsteiner

The Pith Meditation Practices of Thich Nhat Hanh: Stopping, Deep Looking, Breakthrough

Thich Nhat Hahn (Thay) is well known for skillfully opening the path of engaged Buddhism in our modern times. The path of mindful living and the creative application of traditional Buddhist practices to all aspects of daily life has given him a worldwide following and acknowledgement as one of the great spiritual lights of our age. Less well known is the depth of his understanding of the more profound aspects of the Buddhist path, especially the meditative tradition. As a lineage holder in the Vietnamese Thien (Chan/Zen) lineage that traces itself back to the Chinese master Linji (Rinzai), Thich Nhat Hanh is an accomplished transmitter of this tradition as it flowered in Vietnam.

In this five day retreat, Fred will share teachings and practices from a practice text that Thay wrote to summarize the meditative path, Fourteen Verses on Meditation. It presents the practices of Stopping (samatha), Deep Looking ( Vipasyana) and the non-intellectual experience of Emptiness and Non-self as the means of liberation from suffering (Breakthrough). Fred will be presenting these teachings and practices with clarity and concreteness so that they can easily become a daily practice each participant can embrace. Please see the Fourteen Verses below.

This will be a silent retreat. The silence affords participants the opportunity to deepen their meditative experience while absorbing the experiential meaning of the teachings and practices presented during the retreat. The retreat will include formal periods of sitting and walking meditation, guided meditations, daily Dharma talks, group interviews with Fred, deep listening periods, and opportunities for solitary practice.

Fred Eppsteiner is the Dharma Teacher of the Florida Community of Mindfulness, a large Buddhist community of over 300 members in Tampa. A practicing Buddhist for nearly 50 years, and a psychotherapist for more than 30 years, Fred has trained extensively in both Zen and Dzogchen lineages. He received Dharma Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh in 1994 and is the editor of two books: The Path of Compassion and Interbeing. For more information on Fred and his community, access

Great Vow is handling registration this year. Scholarships are available at all levels. Register at:

Fourteen Verses on Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh

  1. Like the two wings of a bird, Stopping (Shamatha) and Looking Deeply (Vipashyana) The two practices rely upon each other And progress together, side by side.

  2. The practice of shamatha is to stop, Allowing us to recognize, to get in touch, To nourish and to heal, To settle down and to concentrate.

  3. Vipashyana is the practice of looking deeply Into the nature of the five skandhas1, To gain insights and to develop understanding Capable of transforming all sufferings.

  4. Breathing and walking mindfully Generate the energy of mindfulness, To be aware of and to touch The wonders of life within and around me.

  5. Calming body and mind, Nourishing and healing, Protecting our six senses, We maintain concentration.

  6. Looking deeply into the heart of reality To discern the true nature of things, Vipashyana enables us to let go Of all longings, desires and fears.

  7. Dwelling peacefully in the present moment, Transforming habit energies Giving rise to understanding, Will free us from afflictions and sorrows.

  8. Impermanence is Non-Self, Non-Self is Interdependent-Origination, It is Emptiness, Conventional-Designation, And is one with the Middle-Way, as well as Interbeing.

  9. Emptiness, signlessness, and aimlessness Liberate us from sufferings, In daily practice we should not be caught in Mere intellectual reasoning.

  10. Nirvana is Non-Attainment. Sudden or Gradual Enlightenment are not different. After the realization, we live in freedom Right here in this present moment.

  11. The essential sutras, such as The Discourses on Awareness of Breathing And the Four Establishments of Mindfulness, Show us step by step how to transform body and mind.

  12. The Mahayana sutras and teachings Open many wide gateways To show us the deep insights Of the Theravada meditation stream.

  13. Tathagata meditation and Patriarchs meditation Should not be differentiated and separated Interbeing of the Four Noble Truths should be used As the foundation of the transmission.

  14. Supported by the Sangha The practice flows easier to accomplishment, Allowing us to swiftly realize and attain Our great vow to help all beings.