Your Gifts at Work
Letter from Our Board Co-Chair
Dear Beloved Community,
There is a youthful energy at the practice centers as visitors and monastics enjoy gardening, cooking, and helping prepare for coming guests. Increasing numbers of young practitioners are coming to Deer Park, Blue Cliff, and Magnolia Grove monasteries to learn from the resident monastics.
Looking closely, I can see profound transformation take place. Following the example of a compassionate, mindful monastic life, young visitors gradually deepen their connections to their true selves and to the community.
At the core of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition is the union of monastics and lay communities, practicing and transforming together. This togetherness is also the value that our communities, our nations, and our planet need now more than anything else. Seeing that our young community members strongly resonate with Thay’s teachings of living simply, mindfully and collaboratively, I feel joy and hope.
We face many challenges in our modern world: loss of social and environmental connection, increased depression and suicide (particularly among young adults), social divisiveness and fear, and climate change threatening all species.
These problems feel daunting, and many of us have felt despair at times. Thay’s approach of focusing on healing ourselves and helping those around us may at first appear too “small scale” to be the solution. However, Thay and our monastic communities have clearly shown us that a mindful, compassionate lifestyle must be the basis of any action. Together, we can practice ways of living that support one another and the earth — going, and growing, as a river.
A common theme among so many of us practitioners is deep gratitude for having found this path, and the aspiration to help others find it also. Your loving support of the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation allows our practice centers to grow and offer this path to the curious — teens, young adults, families and practitioners of all faiths and backgrounds. The practice centers help us to recognize our interbeing, and to learn through engaged and applied practice how to transform our daily lives. We are so fortunate to live at a time when Thay has brought this fresh view to the world!
Thank you for being part of this river that is helping so many, offering hope and happiness, and helping to change our culture and make a future possible. Thanks to you, we are making a beloved community and deep transformation a reality, in each generation, in each family, breath by breath, step by step.
With trust and gratitude,
True Ocean of Courage