The following is the excerpt from the Podcast.
The Buddha encouraged us to practice Right Thinking. We suffer because we don’t know how to think. We don't know how to practice Right Thinking. And Wrong Thinking brings a lot of fear, anger, separation and despair.
Right Thinking brings us close to the kingdom of God, to peace, to love. Right Thinking brings us back to the source of life because the Right Thinking is the kind of thinking that is free from discrimination, free from anger, free from separation.
When you think that the kingdom of God is not there, it is something that is elsewhere in the future and you can only go to it after you die. That's not Right Thinking. When you think that your mother is entirely another person, you are yourself only and she is herself only, you are two separate persons, that's not Right Thinking.
When you are able to see you in your mother and your mother is in you and you belong to the same stream of being, that is Right Thinking. That thinking eliminates all kinds of discrimination and anger and hate, and brings love and understanding.
Suppose grateful people come together and practice the Right Thinking. And they can build the kingdom of God, they can build the pure land of Buddha right away. The Buddha said that everything is the product of our mind. And if we practice the collective right thinking, we can bring in the kingdom of God, we can bring in the pure land of the Buddha, we can bring in peace and joy for us right in the here and the now.
Suppose we speak of the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village. Upper Hamlet of Plum Village, what is it? Is it something that exists outside of us, outside of our thinking? You are sitting in it, Upper Hamlet. The Upper Hamlet of Plum Village is the collective thinking. We have come together and have produced the Upper Hamlet to sit in. The Upper Hamlet of Plum Village is the product of collective thinking.
And in the Upper Hamlet, there is something very precious. There is the practice of mindfulness. Here we have come together, committed to practice mindfulness, mindfulness of walking, mindfulness of sitting, mindfulness of eating, mindfulness of talking and thinking. That is why the Upper Hamlet is possible. Otherwise, it would be something else.
We create a collective energy of mindfulness, of brotherhood. And when a friend comes to the Upper Hamlet, he or she will feel it. There is something special here. And that something special is the collective thinking, the collective energy of mindfulness and concentration and brotherhood.
When we hear the sound of the bell, we notice that everyone is silent, everyone is fully present in the here and the now, listening to the sound of the bell and enjoying their in-breath, their out-breath. And it seems that everyone is investing 100% of their body and mind into listening to the bell. That energy of mindfulness is so powerful. There is silence. But this kind of silence is so eloquent, so alive, so peaceful. And you feel it penetrating into your body, into your mind. And you feel nourishment and healing because of that silence, that energy of silence. And that silence is part of the Upper Hamlet. It is the part of that collective creation of our thinking, collective thinking.
Thay's explanation about Right Thinking is exactly the meaning of Insight. Thay uses the word Right Thinking because it is mentioned in the Noble Eightfold Path. However, it's very tricky because people may misunderstand its true meaning. Right Thinking means Non-thinking. That's why Right View (= Insight) brings about Right Speech and Right Action directly without thinking. The truth is that ego thinks but awareness attains insight without thinking. So, the subject of thinking and the subject of attaining insight are different.
The following is my understanding of the Noble Eightfold Path.
(The right side):
Right Mindfulness ⇒ Right Concentration ⇒ Right View (= Insight) ⇒ Right Thinking (= Non-thinking) ⇒ Right Speech ⇒ Right Action ⇒ Right Livelihood ⇒ Right Diligence (= Selective watering) ⇒ Right Mindfulness
(The wrong side):
Wrong Mindfulness (= Forgetfulness) ⇒ Wrong Concentration (= Dispersion) ⇒ Wrong View (= Ignorance) ⇒ Wrong Thinking (= Thinking) ⇒ Wrong Speech ⇒ Wrong Action ⇒ Wrong Livelihood ⇒ Wrong Diligence ⇒ Wrong Mindfulness (= Forgetfulness)
PV stained glass (Mindfulness, Concentration, Insight)