Your Gifts at Work

Sharing in the [Dharma] group and especially listening to others share their thoughts nourishes my soul! Thanks to you and the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation, I had my fill of spiritual food only the Sangha can provide.
— Marco, retreat scholarship recipient
 

Annual Highlights (2016 Coming Soon)

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Denise Nguyen, Director of the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation

Denise Nguyen, Director of the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation

Letter from the Director

Many teachings from the Buddha begin with “I heard these words one time when the Buddha was staying at the Anathapindika Monastery in the Jeta Grove, near Shravasti.” We can trace the origins of this monastery back to a man named Sudatta, a wealthy merchant and philanthropist who was inspired to build the refuge for the Buddha after hearing him teach. Sudatta also looked after the well-being of the monastics by arranging for their daily meals and medical care when needed. His charitable efforts extended to caring for orphans and the destitute, earning him the name Anathapindika, which means “the one who cares for the poor and abandoned.”

Reflecting on the events of 2015, I know the spirit of Anathapindika is very much alive and strong in our community. I see his spirit at each of our monasteries, lovingly supported by you, our wonderful donors. The sisters at Deer Park Monastery now have shelter, like the Buddha did in Jeta Grove, thanks to your donations to complete the nunnery. You looked after the well-being of Thay not only by generously donating to support his recovery but also by continuing his teachings in each of your mindful breaths and steps.

Giving (dana) is an essential Buddhist practice. It is about generosity and openness, our capacity to embrace others with compassion and love. Dana doesn’t only mean making a financial gift. We can give the gift of our calm, concentrated presence to help someone who is fearful. We can offer our time and energy to help the homeless or work to address climate change. When we truly see ourselves as others and others as ourselves, we naturally want to do everything we can to secure their happiness and well-being, knowing it also contributes to our own.

Like Anathapindika, who received much satisfaction and happiness from his practice of giving, I hope you also realize great joy knowing your donations benefit so many people to transform their suffering and embrace peace.

My deep bows and gratitude to you, our dear Anathapindikas, for all your loving support of Thay and our beloved community.

A lotus for you,

Denise Nguyen

True Moon Lamp