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.
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