Welcome to episode 63 of The Way Out Is In: The Zen Art of Living, a podcast series mirroring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s deep teachings of Buddhist philosophy: a simple yet profound methodology for dealing with our suffering, and for creating more happiness and joy in our lives.

In this episode, Zen Buddhist monk Brother Phap Huu and leadership coach/journalist Jo Confino explore ‘shining light’. This deep-looking practice, established in the Plum Village community, allows monastics to share and receive feedback, so that they can learn and grow together, and better understand each other.

Fresh from a shining light session, Brother Phap Huu offers insights into the practice and its evolution over the years, while Jo brings insights from feedback systems in the lay communities. Their conversation touches upon radical transparency, power dynamics, generating joy and happiness in the sangha, the practice of gratitude, the importance of language in the process of growth, bringing this shining light into the everyday, and much more. 


Co-produced by the Plum Village App:https://plumvillage.app/

And Global Optimism:https://globaloptimism.com/ 

With support from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/

List of resources 

‘Shining the Light’https://www.parallax.org/mindfulnessbell/article/shining-the-light/ 

‘The Practice of Gratitude’https://plumvillage.org/articles/the-practice-of-gratitude 


Sutras: ‘Discourse on the Dharma Seal & the Three Doors of Liberation’https://plumvillage.org/library/sutras/discourse-on-the-dharma-seal-the-three-doors-of-liberation

‘The Four Dharma Seals of Plum Village’https://plumvillage.org/articles/the-four-dharma-seals-of-plum-village 



“Meditation on offering guidance. Lord Buddha and teachers over many generations, today we have a chance to practice offering guidance to our brothers, sisters, and friends. We know that in spirit, we are all part of one sangha, that our flesh and bones are also part of one sangha. Therefore, we are aware that offering guidance to another is offering guidance to ourselves. We vow to use all of our love and understanding in order to practice offering guidance. We promise that every word we speak will come from the good intention of wanting to have a correct view about the person to whom guidance is being offered. We vow not to let our anger, sadness, and prejudice wrongly influence our opinion. We promise that every word we speak will come from love, because offering guidance to one is also offering guidance to many. We are aware that this practice will offer benefits to each of us. Dear Buddha and ancestral teachers, please support us in our wholehearted effort to successfully offer guidance today.” 

“The essence of this [practice] lies in real friendship or in real relationships. According to my understanding and experience of relationships, they require the time and space to acknowledge the flowers, as well as to support one another when we see a particular negative habit or tendency. This may be a viewpoint, or a recurring action. And if you don’t fix it, or if you don’t support the other person to change it, it will grow.”

“When you hear something as simple as, ‘When you smile, brother, you make the whole room smile’, that’s a wonderful quality [to be told that you have]. I received this [complement] when I was a young novice. And I’d never experienced that before: being acknowledged for a simple action that can help brighten the room. And that became one of the threads in the fabric of who I am, and I always remember that [complement] when I smile. So shining light can water the seed that helps the wonderful characteristics of a human being grow and develop.” 

“Freedom is freedom from something

Podden och tillhörande omslagsbild på den här sidan tillhör Plum Village. Innehållet i podden är skapat av Plum Village och inte av, eller tillsammans med, Poddtoppen.