Happiness is Here and Now


A Public Talk by Ven. Thich Chan Phap Dang

Jointly organized by Plum Village Foundation Hong Kong & Polytechnic University Buddhist Studies Group

Date - 26 March 2009 (Thursday)
Time - 19:30 - 21:30 p.m.
Venue - Lecture Theatre Y305, Lee Shau Kee Building (Block Y), Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Registration is available online at on a first-come-first-served basis.


There are many happy things in our life that we do not realize that they are there. It may be a simple leisure walk, a meal with our family, a chat with friends ... We are not aware of these wonderful moments because we are not get in touch with the present moment, not in touch with ourselves. In this talk, we will learn about a few simple mindfulness practices that can help us go back to ourselves and enable us to realize that conditions for happiness are right in front of us. The sutra "A Discourse on Happiness (Mahamangala Sutta, Sutta Nipata,1)" will be referred to in this talk.

Bhikkhu Thich Chan Phap Dang was born in Viet Nam in 1966. He migrated to the US in 1980.  In 1984, he joined a retreat in San Diego, practiced and became a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.  In 1989, he got his BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from San Diego State University. In 1990, while studying for his Master Degree in Aerospace Science, he decided to come to Plum Village France for deeper training. He was ordained as a novice monk in 1990, a fully ordained monk in 1994 and a Dharma teacher in 1996. Since 1993, he has joined Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village Sangha in teaching tours around the world, such as Germany, Denmark, Switzerland (1995), Israel and Greece (1999). He has led retreats in USA, Canada, Brazil, Viet Nam from 1999 - 2008... He currently practices at Tu Hieu Monastery in Viet Nam and is a member of a team of Plum Village Dharma teachers, responsible for training about 400 novice monks and nuns in Vietnam and teaching the Art of Mindful Living in Southeast Asia.

How to register:

Registration is available online at on a first-come-first-served basis.  Confirmation will be sent to those who have successfully registered for the Public Talk

For those who need Simultaneous Cantonese Translation, please kindly come at least 15 minutes with your own earphones before the talk begins and be seated in the area which is connected to the translation system.

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We are looking forward to seeing you.

A lotus for you, A Buddha to be
For the Public Talk Registration Team


Discourse on Happiness

I heard these words of the Buddha one time when the Lord was living in the vicinity of Shravasti at the Anathapindika Monastery in the Jeta Grove. Late at night, a deva appeared whose light and beauty made the whole Jeta Grove shine radiantly. After paying respects to the Buddha, the deva asked him a question in the form of a verse:


"Many gods and men are eager to know
what are the greatest blessings
which bring about a peaceful and happy life.
Please, Tathagata, will you teach us?"

(This is the Buddha's answer):

"Not to be associated with the foolish ones,
to live in the company of wise people,
honoring those who are worth honoring-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To live in a good environment,
to have planted wholesome seeds,
and to realize that you are on the right path-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To have a chance to learn and grow,
to be skillful in your profession or craft,
practicing precepts and loving speech-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To be able to serve and support your parents,
to cherish and love your family and
to have a vocation which brings you joy-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To live honestly, generous in giving,
to offer support to relatives and friends,
living a life of blameless conduct-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To clearly avoid unwholesome actions,
not caught by alcoholism or drugs,
to diligently walk on the path of good-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To be humble and polite in manner,
grateful, content with a simple life,
not missing the occasion to learn the Dharma-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To persevere and be open to change,
make regular contact with monks and nuns,
and fully participate in Dharma discussions-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To live diligently and attentively,
to learn about what is wonderfully true,
and to be free of wrong perceptions-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To live together in the world
with mind and heart undisturbed,
all sorrows ended, dwelling in peace-
this is the greatest happiness.

"For he or she who accomplishes this
peaceful and safe in every place,
stable and free at any time-
Happiness lives within oneself."


Mahamangala Sutta,  Sutta Nipata, 1