Sep 20th monastics and layfriends will join NYC Climate Strike

Global-Climate-Strike-1-300x295.jpg

On Fri Sep 20, 2019, monastics and layfriends from Blue Cliff will join the NYC Climate Strike in support of mindful and timely action for the sake of Mother Earth. Interested in joining us? This is an exciting invitation to join thousands of PV friends around the world for coordinated Earth Justice practice!

More information on joining us in NYC on a downloadable Word document………………..

Here is the NYC schedule:
Schedule
=>9:30 a.m. Plum Village practitioners gather with PV monastics for sitting, walking, singing
at Jacob Wrey Mould Fountain, City Hall Plaza
10:30 a.m. All-Buddhist gathering begins. Same location.
11:50 a.m. Walking meditation to youth strike site at Foley Square
12:00 p.m. Sitting and walking meditation in support of Youth Climate Strike
1-2:00 p.m. Peaceful walking meditation to Battery Park rally
3-5:00 p.m Battery Park rally. Greta Thunberg speaks at 5 pm
For more information about the Strike Action, visit: https://strikewithus.org/#demands

The Plum Village Earth Holder Community is encouraging sangha members around the world to support young people on September 20 in the Global Climate Strike, and then to follow this with various ways of caring for Mother Earth and all its beings over the next 18 months. You can find more about this coordinated worldwide mahasangha applied practice opportunity:

·     Description of “Give Mother Earth 18 Months”  

·     Information about the Supporting Student Climate Strike  

·     Flyer for September 20 event, customizable. Student Climate Strike Flyer – Open link (allow time to upload); then choose ‘File”/”Download”/Microsoft Word, and customize

For general information, if needed after reading the above documents, please contact Simona Coayla-Duba, Earth Holder Community Coordinator, simona.coayladuba@gmail.com

——————————————————————

Announcing the launch of the Earth Holder Regional Community Builders! We believe this will be of interest to you. Please visit the links for cover letter, project description, and application (due on October 1st).


Tour Retreat, Aug 14-18: for the future to be possible

TOUR2017.jpeg


August 14-18, 2019

We invite you to join Thich Nhat Hanh’s community of monks and nuns from Deer Park Monastery, CA, Magnolia Monastery, MS, as well as Blue Cliff, NY, to experience joy and harmony for yourself and have an opportunity to learn the art of mindfulness, to deepen your mindfulness training, and to taste the joy and peace of practicing as a community.

The Buddha has provided us with guidelines to protect us and help us live in mindfulness. We will be using these guidelines during the retreat to take a look at what preserves peace, well-being, and joy in our bodies, in our consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of our families and society and at what heals and preserves our precious planet. For the future to be possible, we will take this time to look more deeply at how we are practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming.

It is a wonderful retreat for those new to mindfulness practice in the Plum Village tradition, as well as for anyone interested in mindful community life. We welcome the participation of people from all backgrounds. We are committed to fostering a practice environment where all may touch the Dharma and find healing, transformation and nourishment.





Meeting Thầy’s Life Force: “I realized Thầy is not simply trying to hold on to life for our sake…”

Thay-2019-May.jpg

Meeting Thầy’s Life Force
By Sister Dang Nghiem

 

I had the opportunity to see Thầy at the root temple, Từ Hiếu, on April 16, 2019. Thầy was eating breakfast when I walked in. He looked at me intently as I knelt with joined palms. “Dear Thầy, I am Dang Nghiem, your child and disciple,” I said. Thầy nodded several times. I settled on the floor by his feet as Thầy returned to his breakfast. Occasionally, Thầy looked into my eyes with his Zen Master’s penetrating gaze, and I smiled brightly in return. It seemed Thầy was checking, “Are you here?” and my smile confirmed, “Yes, I am absolutely here!” At one point, Thầy held out his left hand to me. I held Thầy’s hand with both of mine. I closed my eyes and breathed mindfully as I felt the softness and warmth emanating from Thầy’s hand. The stillness in our connection was profound.

These Brothers and Sisters care for Thầy with so much joy, attentiveness, and tenderness that I cried out of gratitude, happiness, and reassurance.


Thầy eats each morsel of food slowly and mindfully. He closes his eyes while chewing, alternating from his left jaw to his right jaw consistently. Although his food is puréed, Thầy takes around 45 minutes to finish each meal. There is much wisdom in Thầy’s mindful eating. Because he chews on both sides, the muscles on each side of his face are exercised, and thus his face remains proportional, relaxed, and serene. Moreover, chewing the food carefully allows Thầy to swallow small quantities, preventing him from choking and getting pneumonia. Thầy has a good appetite and appreciates his food thoroughly. While Thầy eats, one Brother sits on his right to assist. At least two or three Sisters also eat with Thầy. The two Sisters who cook that day join in, to see how Thầy likes the food and what to cook for his next meal. Twenty-four monastic Brothers and Sisters take turns caring for Thầy. Sisters cook, and Brothers attend to Thầy’s needs. These Brothers and Sisters care for Thầy with so much joy, attentiveness, and tenderness that I cried out of gratitude, happiness, and reassurance. Day or night, every gesture Thầy makes is acknowledged and responded to. Deep love and affection flow between teacher and disciples. The transmission continues uninterrupted.

Right away, I realized Thầy is not simply trying to hold on to life for our sake. Thầy’s vitality is potent, and he continues to experience life in the deepest way.


One morning some of us Sisters wanted to make lotus tea for Thầy to see. To start, we each placed a gigantic lotus leaf on our head, held a lotus blossom by the stem, and walked slowly one by one in front of Thầy’s window. Thầy watched us pass, with interest and amusement. Then, settling outside his room, we filled each lotus bud with black tea, wrapped it in a lotus leaf, placed the stem in a bucket with water to pull water into the tea, and finally, froze them all so the tea could absorb the lotus fragrance. At one point the attendant brought Thầy to the door in his wheelchair to watch. I was afraid Thầy could not see well through the glass door, so I gently opened it and spoke through the slit door: “Would a Sister bring it closer for Thầy to see?” Immediately, I felt Thầy’s hand on my right elbow. His clutch was sudden, firm, and powerful, like thunder! It was a moment of profound stopping for me. When I turned around, Thầy was already wheeled away. I was stunned because I did not expect that Thầy could reach out that quickly. Moreover, I was in touch directly with Thầy’s steady, powerful life force. Right away, I realized Thầy is not simply trying to hold on to life for our sake. Thầy’s vitality is potent, and he continues to experience life in the deepest way.

It was definitely a hell realm! Yet, we were all there, in our imperturbable dwelling.


I was also moved deeply by the wholeheartedness, persistence, and forbearance of our monastic Brothers and Sisters. Plum Village practice is still neither acknowledged nor accepted in Vietnam. At the government’s whim, centers we build can be confiscated and the monastics evicted, just like Prajna Monastery in 2009. Yet Brothers and Sisters continue to practice diligently and train many incoming aspirants. Presently, we have two nunneries, one right beside the root temple in Huế, aptly named Diệu Trạm (Wonderful Dwelling). Another, Trạm Tịch (Imperturbable Dwelling) is in Đồng Nai, an hour outside of Saigon. It’s a beautiful place, with a forest and a large stream crossing in front of the nunnery. Unfortunately, about a year after we arrived, a gigantic pig farm was built right on the other side of the stream. Pig excrement and urine are discarded into the stream, so the water looks blackish or thick, dark green. The stench is unbearable, penetrating every room and quarter. The morning I was there, I went to sitting meditation with the thirty Sisters and ten aspirants. Some Sisters rubbed oil and covered their nose and mouth with a scarf to dampen the stench. I had so much respect for these Sisters, but I also knew that the polluted water will continue downstream and affect the health of innumerable people. Around 5 a.m., suddenly the pigs started to squeal. I had never heard the squealing from hundreds of pigs simultaneously before. It was definitely a hell realm! Yet, we were all there, in our imperturbable dwelling.

Witnessing Thầy’s life forcefully manifested in these monastics and in the practice is humbling and inspiring.


Witnessing Thầy’s life forcefully manifested in these monastics and in the practice is humbling and inspiring. I sincerely hope there will be enough collective awakening in Vietnam and worldwide, so Plum Village practice centers may thrive in Thầy’s homeland. Young people yearn for the practice, and people need spiritual guidance now more than ever.