Thay Returns to Vietnam

We are very happy to confirm that earlier today, 29th August 2017, at 12h35 local time, our dear Teacher landed safely at Đà Nẵng airport in Vietnam. This is his first visit to Vietnam since 2008.

In recent weeks Thay has expressed a strong wish to visit his home country once more, and the sangha is delighted to have been able to realise his wish. Thay’s trip will include a visit to Plum Village’s Root Temple, Chùa Từ Hiếu, in Huế, where Thay began his monastic training in 1942.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to our global community for your continued generous support for our dear Teacher, both materially and spiritually. Your support has given Thay immense strength for his recovery, and has helped make this trip to his homeland possible.

We know how precious it is to still have our dear Teacher with us, radiating great courage, strength, and presence. And we know that Thay draws his energy from the daily practice of every one of his students across the world. He is present with us, every time we take a mindful step or mindful breath, and bring peace and joy to ourselves and the world around us.

To read more, visit the official Plum Village announcement

We Have a New Website!

The Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation is excited to unveil a new website!

This website features easier navigation, beautiful photographs, and fresh content so you can learn more about how your gifts impact the global Plum Village community. We also have additional mindfulness resources to support you in your practice, so feel free to look around.

We depend on the collective eyes of our community members and appreciate your feedback. If you have any comments on the website, email Nhu-Mai at socialmedia@thichnhathanhfoundation.org.

Thank you for being there,

The Foundation Family

How My Seven-Year-Old Came to Take the Precepts

When my daughter was around four or five years old, she began to be intrigued by the altar, my sacred little haven of refuge. She’d go over when I was not there, pick up, and study the various adornments and sometimes even sit on the cushion, clearly mimicking me. She’d sit still for a minute at most, and then she’d run off again. Though some part of me wanted to protect my private space from the intrusion of children, later I’d be glad that I’d not discouraged her from spending time there.

On Motherhood: Lessons from a Three-Legged Doe

She imparted the first Dharma lesson to me in the summer of 2009, in the midst of an especially trying day. Looking back now, I am not sure what set me off, only that the morning’s Dharma discussion had dredged up within me a deep melancholy that I hadn’t felt before. At its core was my frustration at the choices I was making as a parent. At the time, my daughters were eight and twelve. One was on the brink of teenagerdom, while the other was prone to regular temper tantrums. To put it simply, I was at my wit’s end and at some point that late morning, I had lost my temper with either one or both of my children.  In any event, I was now teeming with guilt.  I felt hopeless, tired, and very alone, as my husband (my better, calmer half), had not joined us on this particular retreat.  And so, with a heavy heart I left my children crying in the dorm for a walk in the woods. Perhaps with a bit of breathing and alone time I could cool off and find my bearings.

Together We Are One

I had the opportunity to teach at a teen retreat recently, and a number of us staff were concerned about one of the youngest teens who seemed to have difficulty integrating into the larger group. The teen was shy and withdrawn, and didn’t come to activities. When they did, they would read a book rather than participate. We tried talking and listening to them and encouraging them to join in. When this met with some resistance, we simply accepted the teen and did our best to let them know they were welcome to be part of the group as they were. Other teens also reached out in different ways to help this teen feel connected.

As the week went on, the teen seemed to feel more comfortable joining in some activities and seemed to be less isolated in the big group. Then at the closing ceremony of the retreat, teens were invited to stand up, come into the center of the circle, and share something with the group. This teen, who at the beginning of the retreat appeared quite awkward and ill at ease, walked slowly to the center of our circle and shared very clearly and with great dignity that the retreat had helped them a great deal, they had learned important things, and they would be taking all of us with them after it ended. Then even more surprisingly, after the closing circle, this teen - who had spoken very little to others that whole week - stood at the door offering free hugs to anyone who wanted them!

The power of a group of people practicing sincerely together is enormous. Things that have not been possible for us up until then become possible.

Walk With Me: An Alternative Response

...In today’s climate, when you hear the word “Zen” or “mindfulness,” people no longer respond with, “Huh?” There is a social consciousness; mindfulness, the Buddha, and Zen have even made its way to Bed Bath and Beyond.

Commercializing mindfulness is not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes we overuse the word or misunderstand it. It’s sort of like the word “love.” We overuse it. “I love this, I love that.” We lose sight that love is really something different, something larger and deeper than “I love pizza. I love Coca Cola.” I think this film can go a long way to inform people about something other than the commercial aspect of mindfulness.

It’s more than just a fad. It’s something that’s been around for thousands of years, and it is deeply grounded in the historical lineage, going back to the Buddha and other spiritual teachers. Now, it can be presented in a way that is more contemporary and much more accessible.

2017 Lunar New Year “Parallel Verses”

We are very happy to announce the new Plum Village practice phrases to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year of the Rooster!In Plum Village practice centers all around the world, we print out these calligraphies (keeping the diamond form), paste them onto colored card, and pin them up around the dining halls, meditation halls and living quarters in preparation to celebrate the Lunar New Year. We hang them (with the help of a little cotton thread) from early-blossoming Japonica and Plum branches that we bring in to brighten our rooms.