Sunday, December 21, 2014

An Update on Thay’s Health: 13th of December

Thay's teaching has inspired and guided our Sangha since it was founded.  He had a brain hemorrhage on November 11, 2014.  Remembering Thay's teaching that the present moment is a wonderful moment, our Sangha has been following his condition.  The following is a reproduction of the official announcement that was made on December 13, 2014.  We offer our mindfulness and metta to Thay.

Official Announcement
Plum Village
December 13, 2014
To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide,
To our Dear Beloved Friends,

Thay continues to surprise the doctors with his strong vital signs and steady, peaceful breathing. They are still amazed that Thay has been able to survive and even to show small signs of progress.

A few days ago, one of the doctors shared that “Thay is an enigma”, and another said they were “witnessing a miracle.” When a top neurosurgeon from the US visited last week, he was deeply impressed by the medical team’s commitment to giving Thay every possible chance of recovery.

In recent days Thay has been showing some indications of wakefulness, but he continues to remain in a coma. There have been times when Thay had his eyes open for more than two hours, and is responsive, but he is not yet showing clear signs of communication. The doctors remind us that it may be weeks or months before we can understand the damage caused by the hemorrhage and discover the extent of healing that may be possible.

The medical team has started to stimulate Thay to have more wakefulness. Every day the nurses help Thay sit in a chair, and in addition to acupuncture and massage from the attendants, physiotherapists come to activate Thay’s body. We sing to Thay, and we also let Thay listen to Sangha chants and beautiful sounds of nature.

We are very grateful to the EIAB and Maison de L’Inspir’ sanghas and all the Venerables from Vietnam and elsewhere, who came to offer their support and presence in Plum Village, as well to all the many lay practitioners who have offered your presence, or sent energy, letters and drawings of love and support. We can feel the Sangha body, as an extension of Thay’s body, finding nourishment and healing. Here in Plum Village the Sangha continues with our Winter Retreat, offering Days of Mindfulness, monastic days, dharma talks, dharma circle sharings and classes, deepening and strengthening Thay’s sangha body.

On December 18th there will be a Monastic Ordination Ceremony for new novices, as Thay would have wished. The monastic community will ordain 31 new monks and nuns in Thailand, nine in Plum Village, and one new novice monk in Deer Park Monastery, California. This group of new monastics will belong to the “Red Oak Family”. This event is momentous for our Plum Village community as we continue the work and love of our Teacher. There truly is only continuation.

During the holiday season, please take some time off to take care of yourself, your loved ones, and friends. Find time to be with nature, to enjoy the stars, and the white clouds and to truly come home and be at home within ourselves, as Thay always encourages us to do. You may like to write love letters instead of spending money and consuming more. The New Year is a wonderful opportunity to begin anew with ourselves and let go of resentments and regret.

We will release another update about Thay’s health in the New Year.

Until then, may you and your family touch true peace and happiness.
May you be able to enjoy your true home.

“Eternity can be touched in the present moment,
and the cosmos in the palm of your hand.”

TNH, 18 March 2012

With trust and love,
The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Belfast Peace Festival, September 5th and 6th

The First Annual Belfast Peace Festival will be held Friday evening September 5th and all day Saturday the 6th.  The event includes a street dance and sign painting on Friday night. Saturday includes a morning meditation, a peace walk through downtown, music, drumming and children's events.  Dharma sister Lynn Deeves is scheduled to perform at the closing ceremony.

Click here for more information.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mindfulness Exercises

"Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes.
All is a miracle."

Thich Nhat Hanh

Click here for five ways to help bring mindfulness into our everyday lives.

Lessons From a 21-Day Retreat

Click here for some inspiring insights from a Dharma brother's retreat experience at Plum Village.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Blue Cliff Monastics to Lead May Days of Mindfulness

Two Days of Mindfulness

Join us in mid-May here in Central Maine for either or both of two Days of Mindfulness 
led by visiting monks and nuns from Blue Cliff Monastery in up-state New York.

Saturday, May 17th, there will be a Day of Mindfulness in Augusta at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church at 69 Winthrop Street from 9:30 to 3:30.   A registration fee of $20 is requested though none will be turned away.  Pre-registration is strongly suggested as space is limited.

The day will include sitting and walking meditation, Dharma talks and deep relaxation.

Sunday, May 18th, there will be a Day of Mindfulness at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park in Freeport from 10:00 to 2:00.  No registration required for this event.

The day will include a walking meditation and a sheltered picnic lunch.

For both events, please bring a bag lunch and wear comfortable cloths for walking.  Dana bowls will be available.

Please contact Greg at or call 207-622-7012 to register for Saturday's event  or for more information. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Three April Events with Claude AnShin Thomas

Claude AnShin Thomas, a Zen Buddhist Monk and Vietnam veteran noted for his work with veterans and post-traumatic stress, will give two public talks and lead a Day of Meditation here in Maine this April.

On Wednesday, April 23 at 7:30pm, Claude AnShin Thomas will be speaking at the Church of Universal Fellowship, 82 Main Street, Orono, Maine.  Admission is $5 to cover organizational expenses plus donation to support Claude AnShin Thomas' life and work.  No one will be turned away.  All proceeds  benefit the non-profit Zaltho Foundation, Inc.  Please contact Daryne at for more information.

On Friday, April 25th at 7:00pm, Claude AnShin Thomas will be speaking at the Camden Opera House, 29 Elm Street, Camden, Maine.  Admission is $10 to cover organizational expenses plus donation to support Claude AnShin Thomas' life and work.  No one will be turned away.  All proceeds benefit the non-profit Zaltho Foundation, Inc.  Please contact Jay at for more information.

On Saturday, April 26th from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Claude AnShin Thomas will lead 'A Day of Meditation for Veterans and Others Living With Post-Traumatic Stress' at Point Lookout, 67 Atlantic Highway (Route 1), Northport, Maine. There is a $30 charge for the day which includes lunch and tea/coffee.  Please contact Jay at to pre-register (recommended) or for more information.

We spend most of our life living in a state of forgetfulness.   Sometimes when we wake up in the morning, we are  consumed by suffering, full of fear, doubts, shame.  The physical wounds of war and violence, although significant, cannot be considered differently than the wounds that cannot be seen.

But when we have the courage to touch these emotions and wounds, to establish a different relationship with them, we then have the possibility to make different choices in our life and to heal.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Easter Retreat at Blue Cliff Monastary

An Exploration of Christian and Buddhist
"Double Belonging"

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us that religious traditions inter-are; they are not separate from one another.  Join us on retreat as we look deeper into this aspect of Interbeing.

This retreat will be lead by monastic Dharma Teacher Thay Phap De (a laicized Catholic priest) and Dharma Teacher Jeanne Anselmo, along with the monks and nuns of Blue Cliff Monastery.  It is open to all with an interest in the interconnectedness of Christian and Buddhist practice.

Click here for more information or to register.

May Mindfulness Retreat with Joanne Friday

Coming Home: Cultivating Fearlessness, Freedom and Joy

Join Dharma Teacher Joanne Friday 
for a 5-day mindfulness retreat
at Camp Aldersgate in Rhode Island.

An early registration discount is
available until March 15th.

Click here for more information or to register.