Dec 17

How To Meditate I – What is Meditation

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Dec 15

An Update on Thay’s Health: 13 December

An Update on Thay’s Health: 13 December

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

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Dec 15

Jatacha tale She Who Drives Men Man

A Tale of Constancy

Born again as the king of the Shibi, the Bodhisattva ruled his subjects effectively, always keeping in mind the virtues of compassion, generosity, and righteousness.

One of the principal townsmen in the capitol city had a daughter of unmatched beauty. She was so exquisite that when men would see her, they would become entranced and infatuated, filled with desire to the point of insanity. Because of this, she became known as “She who drives men mad ».

The father wasted no time in telling the king of his daughter. The Bodhisattva king sent a group of Brahmans who were well versed concerning the auspicious marks of women to go and determine if she would make a suitable wife. The Brahmans arrived at the home to be served dinner and immediately lost all control and became obsessed with the young maiden themselves. Upon leaving, they decided that such a woman was not fit for the king, for she was too beautiful for someone as pure as the king, and that her beauty would only cause him to be lost in desire. They returned to the palace and told the king that she indeed was beautiful, but was marked with inauspicious signs and naturally, the king decided not to take her as his wife.

Some time later, the king was on a tour throughout his kingdom and saw the woman. He was struck by her beauty and immediately fell in love. Upon inquiring who she was, he learned that it was the woman he had refused and that she had now been married to one of the king’s own high officials, a man named Abhiparaga.

Abhiparaga noticed that his king seemed sad and when he discovered the source of his sorrows, he immediately offered the king his wife. After much debate, the Bodhisattva convinced Abhiparaga to retract the offer. He stated that even though he was in love, he could not carry out such a wicked action as taking one spouse away from another. He explained that the virtuous, even when sick with sorrow, can never stray from the path of right action.

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Dec 13

THE HEART SUTRA

Avalokitesvara, Bodhisattva of compassion, observing deeply the refinement of wisdom, Prajnaparamita, clearly saw the emptiness of personality, thus enduring adversity and pain.

O, Saripurtra, form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form; form is exactly emptiness, emptiness exactly form, the same is true of feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness.

O, Saripurtra, all dharmas are forms of emptiness, not born, not destroyed; not tainted, not pure, not increasing, not decreasing, and so in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no mental formations, no consciousness; no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no color, no sound, so smell, no taste, no touch, no thought, no realm of sight and so forth until no realm of consciousness, no ignorance, no end to ignorance and so forth until no old age and death, and no end to old age and death, no suffering, no desire, no cessation, no path, no wisdom, no attainment.

And so the Bodhisattva relies on the Prajnaparamita with no hindrance in the mind, no hindrance, therefore no fear, far beyond deluded thoughts, this is Nirvana.

All past, present, and future Buddhas rely on the refinement of wisdom and thus attain the cultivated enlightenment.

Therefore, know that the Prajnaparamita is the interdependent mantra, the interconnected mantra, the mantra of world making the mantra which relieves all suffering.

So proclaim the Prajnaparamita mantra, proclaim the mantra and say: Gate! Gate! Paragate! Parasamgate! Bodhi Sva Ha!

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Dec 08

Thich Nhat Hanh – On Letting Go

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