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Dharma Talk by Thich Nhat Hanh

"The Five and Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings and the Noble Eightfold Path"

Heart of the Buddha Retreat

Plum Village, September 24 25, 1996

"When you practice the five mindfulness trainings very deeply, you practice the fourteen too. You don't have to change or to add. The only thing is that from the part of organization, when you receive the fourteen you still practice the five, but you have to be a community leader. When you are formally a member of the Order of Interbeing, you have to play the role of a Sangha builder. You have to organize the practice.

"So if you have already received the five trainings, and have practiced for a number of years and you find it wonderful, constructive and healing, you might like to ask to be ordained into the Order of Interbeing. In the case you are ready for Sangha building, you can be a leader, you have time to help organize the Sangha and lead the practice of a Sangha. Otherwise you can practice the fourteen without an official transmission ceremony.

"You can very well practice the five with the fourteen at the same time without being ordained a member of the order. Only when you have enough time and energy to take care of one community should we ask for a formal transmission. And then you'll be working together with other brothers and sisters....

"The Order of Interbeing has two communities. The ones who have been ordained formally have to work together as a Sangha, with other members of the Order, to make decisions and to lead the practice of their local Sangha, and to participate in the life of the greater Sangha. They are in what we c all the core community....

"So the fourteen are yours. Even if you don't receive them formally, please practice the five in the light of the fourteen. And you know that the fourteen can already be touched in the five. When you feel that you want to be more engaged, more active in Sangha building, helping with the teaching and organizing of the practice, it's time for you to ask for ordination. The minimum time is one year of practice with the core community. As a member of the extended community, you come and practice with the core for one year at least--recitation of the precepts, sitting, walking, dharma discussion, and after one year, if you are sure you want to be in the Order, then the Sangha will arrange and present your name for an ordination ceremony that can take place in Plum Village or in other Sangha centers.

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