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Re: Thay’s present health condition and how to support Thay’s recovery

Plum Village, January 08, 2016

To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide,
To our Dear Beloved Friends,

Since the dawn of the New Year, Thay has very clearly communicated to us a wish to return to his hermitage in Plum Village, France. Thay is satisfied with the progress he has made so far, thanks to the phenomenal care and attention of the doctors at UCSF, as well as all the many wonderful therapists treating him in the past six months. Thay would now like to return home to benefit from the healing collective energy there and to be with his Plum Village family. The attendant team will continue to care for our teacher around the clock and to find the most appropriate therapies.

The doctors approved of Thay’s decision and assured us that Thay could make the journey without risk. We are very happy to announce that Thay arrived safely at Bergerac airport in France this afternoon (Friday 8th January), and has returned to his hermitage in Plum Village, to a warm welcome of songs and smiles from his monastic disciples.

We are profoundly grateful for all the support and loving donations that Thay and the attendants have received throughout their stay in San Francisco. The loving embrace of the global Sangha has allowed Thay to make great progress on his path of recovery, and he returns to Plum Village invigorated and full of joy. On the eve of the New Year, Thay joined in the joyful celebrations with his attendants, smiling and humming along as they sang. In the last few days, Thay has also enjoyed listening animatedly to recordings of his own voice reading some of his best-loved poems. We are all happy to trust in Thay's new intuition to return to Plum Village. In the coming weeks we will celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Daffodil Festival, and the Great Ordination Ceremony at Plum Village, and are very happy to know that Thay will be able to enjoy these celebrations with us.

We continue to practice together to care for our teacher, to care for ourselves, and to care for the present moment; by doing so we can assure a bright future that contains the love of community, sisterhood and brotherhood. We are deeply grateful for the supportive energy that everyone is sending our teacher, and invite you to continue doing so as we turn this new page.


With love and trust,

The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village


As Thay’s recovery is progressing well, we will offer updates only from time to time. We will keep our global community informed of any major developments, and provide information on how you can continue to support Thay’s healing. All official announcements will continue to appear at plumvillage.org, langmai.org, villagedespruniers.org, and www.facebook.com/thichnhathanh.


Celebrating New Year’s Eve with attendants, San Francisco, 31 Dec. 2015

 

Our Beloved is in Us - message from Shantum

Dear Thay, Dear Sangha,

I am sitting in a hotel room in Kushinagar where the Buddha passed away. It is 3 am and I am awake being with Thay as he transitions from one state of consciousness to another.
The Thay I have known, associated with and loved for over 25 years will not be the same. I will have to look for him, visit him and listen to him in different ways and forms.

I recall in 1988 as we sat on a coach, traveling between Vaishali and Kushinagar 'In the Footsteps of the Buddha'. He was sitting in the front seat of the coach by the window and I sat next to him on the aisle seat. I was still a naive student and some of my interests in spirituality were linked to the developing of miraculous powers. I asked him whether I could practice so that I can develop the power to be in more than one place at the same time. He looked at me with compassionate and understanding eyes and said, 'All in good time'.

Today more than 25 years later, I see Thay everywhere. I see him in our traveling pilgrimage sangha, with Eileen, Valerie, Susan and 20 others as we walk together 'In the Footsteps of Thay'. I see him in the village in Vaishali where we met some Buddhists and he suggested we set up a practice centre. I see him relaxing on a hammock on Vulture peak. I see him teaching at Nalanda. I see him continuing to turn the wheel of the Dharma in Sarnath. I see him teaching the children of Bodh Gaya and I see him teaching on birth and death in Kushinagar.

I see him in the Banyan Tree that he planted on the land for the Mindfulness Practice Ashram in Dehradun, the Sita Ashok tree at Sanskriti in Delhi, the Banyan at the Root institute in Bodh Gaya and the Bodhi Tree in Sujata's village in Bakrour.

I see him in my daughter, Nandini whom he held so tenderly soon after she was born and called her the 'sangha baby' when we lived in Plum Village. I see him in Gitu, whom he calls Zhitu ( as the French pronounce G as a Zh), as he lovingly married us together and later made us role play Dharma drama, as a quarreling  wife and husband who could 'begin anew' in front of village kids and later as mother and child, when Gitu was pregnant. I see him in our other daughter, Anamika, knowing that each time I call her name, which means 'cannot be defined by name' it is a teaching I received from Thay not to get caught in the idea or concept of something, and remembering that we are only 'participants in her life'. I see him in my mother and father with whom he so compassionately shared the practice of telephone meditation ( for the second time, on his return to India after 12 years). I see him in my in-laws who so hospitably hosted him in Dehradun, while the monks and nuns loved playing on the slides and swings.  I see him in Aradhana (my sister) who caringly crafted a film on Thay's visit to India in 2008. I see him in Vikram (my brother) who mimics, 'Be Happy' in an affectionate way.

I see him in the Linden tree in Upper hamlet that supported the swing he sat on. I see him in the tasty tofu that he shared with us from his plate.  I see him in each step I take on the pilgrimage, in how he encouraged that I develop 'pilgrimage as a practice'. I see him in so many of my brothers and sisters, so clearly in Sister Chan Khong, Sister Dinh Nghiem,  in Brother Phap Huu, Brother Phap Niem and too many to mention. He is truly without boundaries and was never born and can never die.

I see him in the empty cup from which he has sipped cups of tea already knowing that he was transmitting himself in his presence. I see him on the empty cushion, knowing the sound of the bell is in the air and I bow deeply in the Eleven Directions (including the direction within).

As Sheila reads the teachings given to Anathapindika by Shariputra yesterday, as we sat in Vaishali near the stupa where the relics of the Buddha were found, I realised the profundity of the teachings and practice and Thay telling me once when I was wearing a turban, that the issue of life and death is as urgent as if my turban was on fire.

A few weeks ago as we sat at the place in Kushinagar, where the Buddha's relics were distributed into 8 parts by the Brahmin Drona, for stupas to be built on the relics, Brother Phap Dung shared how Thay did not want his remains encased in a stupa. However, Thay also knew that it is very likely that some of his grieving students will do exactly that, and so he said that if such a stupa is built, then a sign can be put on it saying ' Thay is not in here', and then he added in his gentle and humorous way that maybe it is also good to put another sign, saying, ' Thay is not out there either'.
 
This morning our pilgrimage sangha co led by Eileen and Jack from the Mountain Lamp sangha will walk to the cremation ground where the Buddha's body was cremated 2,600 years ago and sit by the Hiranyavati river to send healing energy through meditation, chanting and floating lotuses along the river (and of course one day the lotuses will return to be mud! ). However through Thay I realise that the Buddha never died. Tomorrow we shall cross the border to Lumbini, where the Buddha manifested as a baby from mother Maya's womb, and again Thay made me understand that the there was not a single point in time and space that we can say the Baby Buddha was born. He had been in his mother's womb for 10 months (Indian months are 28 days each) before that and in his mother and father before that and so on. He was never born and he never died and his umbilical cord was connected to everything, past, present and future. Thay as he transitions and transforms, continues to teach us as he always has - with patience, compassion and generosity.

The sun will rise as it always does. Another day will dawn. I will await news of Thay's health condition as his body struggles against the inevitability of sickness. My heart is deeply pained with sorrow, and yet I know that Thay is continuing to teach with each breath and non-breath. To paraphrase part of the Bhaddekaratta sutra, death comes unexpectedly, we cannot bargain with it. A sage is one who lives in the present, mindfully day and night.

Thay is free, as the Buddha was many centuries ago. There are few of us who are able to transcend the constraints and concepts of birth and death, but when our teachers show us the potential of the human being in being awakened, in being free, in being the white cloud in the blue sky, we know that we can do it too.

Thank you dear Thay for all you have shared with me, a young Indian, wandering in confusion on the west coast of the US. You showed me a path and how to walk on it, to touch peace, how to breathe in awareness, how to smile to the miracle of being alive, to accept and caress my pain and to develop love for my family, friends and four fold sangha. You showed me that the tear that is  now trickling down my cheek will become rain one day and wash away the sorrow in so many, by providing nourishment and healing.

How can one person do so much and help free so many people. I see that in Gandhiji, I see that in Ambedkar, (both of whom I did not personally meet). I see that in the Dalai Lama in our time. I see it so clearly in Thay and I am blessed to be able to call him my teacher, my wise friend, my spiritual father and in that to know that freedom and awakening is possible.  

I feel the Nobel Peace prize committee will regret that they did not give the recognition to the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as they have regretted not giving that recognition to Mahatma Gandhi. I have been fortunate to be with him as he spoke with the most powerful parliamentarians and the president  in India, to senators and congressmen in the US, to the many powerful business people of the world, to the czars of IT community, to the heads of media, to the leading medical practitioners, to thousands of Dalits who have embraced the BuddhaDharma, to parents of young people who are afraid of their children becoming monastics, to young children including the ragged beggar girls and boys whom he played with, to the thousands and thousands of people who came to hear him year after year all across the world. Each one, I feel was touched by his words and presence. In addition millions have been inspired by his books.

Thay and Sister Chan Khong jokingly used to remind me that I used to ask a lot of questions when we first met, and slowly, over time, I did not seem to ask many. But a few days ago, a question that has been nagging me, arose again. If everything is manifested due to causes and conditions, then what is the 'unconditioned' that is spoken about, what is the 'ultimate reality'? And now as Thay transitions from no-birth to no-death, I realise that the conditioned and the unconditioned are the same, the relative and the ultimate are the same, it is just how we 'view' it, how we 'live' it, and that nothing can be born and nothing can die and everything alchemises due to everything else.

We walk together hand in hand in the Avatamsaka realm and look over the valley to Lower Hamlet, from the gap between the trees on the walking mediation path in Upper Hamlet and Smile.

Maitri,
Shantum ( Satya Marg...True Path)

 

 

Click here for the

 

THICH NHAT HANH – A BRIEF PERSONAL PROFILE 

One of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, poet, peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh has led an extraordinary life. Born in central Vietnam in 1926, Nhat Hanh was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1942, at the age of sixteen. Just eight years later, he co-founded what was to become the foremost center of Buddhist studies in South Vietnam, the An Quang Buddhist Institute.

In 1961, Nhat Hanh came to the United States to study and teach comparative religion at Columbia and Princeton Universities. But in 1963, his monk-colleagues in Vietnam invited him to come home to join them in their work to stop the US-Vietnam war. After returning to Vietnam, he helped lead one of the great nonviolent resistance movements of the century, based entirely on Gandhian principles.

In 1964, along with a group of university professors and students in Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hanh founded the School of Youth for Social Service, called by the American press the "little Peace Corps," in which teams of young people went into the countryside to establish schools and health clinics, and later to rebuild villages that had been bombed. By the time of the fall of Saigon, there were more than 10,000 monks, nuns, and young social workers involved in the work. In the same year, he helped set up what was to become one of the most prestigious publishing houses in Vietnam, La Boi Press. In his books and as editor-in-chief of the official publication of the Unified Buddhist Church, he called for reconciliation between the warring parties in Vietnam, and because of that his writings were censored by both opposing governments.

In 1966, at the urging of his fellow monks, he accepted an invitation from the Fellowship of Reconciliation and Cornell University to come to the U.S. "to describe to [us] the aspirations and the agony of the voiceless masses of the Vietnamese people" (New Yorker, June 25, 1966). He had a densely packed schedule of speaking engagements and private meetings, and spoke convincingly in favor of a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement. Martin Luther King, Jr. was so moved by Nhat Hanh and his proposals for peace that he nominated him for the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize, saying, "I know of no one more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle monk from Vietnam." Largely due to Thich Nhat Hanh's influence, King came out publicly against the war at a press conference, with Nhat Hanh, in Chicago.

When Thomas Merton, the well-known Catholic monk and mystic, met Thich Nhat Hanh at his monastery, Gethsemani, near Louisville, Kentucky, he told his students, "Just the way he opens the door and enters a room demonstrates his understanding. He is a true monk." Merton went on to write an essay, "Nhat Hanh Is My Brother," an impassioned plea to listen to Nhat Hanh's proposals for peace and lend full support for Nhat Hanh's advocacy of peace. After important meetings with Senators Fullbright and Kennedy, Secretary of Defense McNamara, and others in Washington, Thich Nhat Hanh went to Europe, where he met with a number of heads of state and officials of the Catholic church, including two audiences with Pope Paul VI, urging cooperation between Catholics and Buddhists to help bring peace to Vietnam.

In 1969, at the request of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hanh set up the Buddhist Peace Delegation to the Paris Peace Talks. After the Peace Accords were signed in 1973, he was refused permission to return to Vietnam, and he established a small community a hundred miles southwest of Paris, called "Sweet Potato." In 1976-77, Nhat Hanh conducted an operation to rescue boat people in the Gulf of Siam, but hostility from the governments of Thailand and Singapore made it impossible to continue. So for the following five years, he stayed at Sweet Potato in retreat - meditating, reading, writing, binding books, gardening, and occasionally receiving visitors.

In 1982, Thich Nhat Hanh established Plum Village, a larger, thriving retreat center near Bordeaux, France, where he has been living in exile from his native Vietnam. Since 1983 he has traveled to North America to lead retreats and give lectures on mindful living and social responsibility, "making peace right in the moment we are alive." He has offered retreats for Vietnam veterans, mental health and social workers, prison inmates, ecologists, businessmen, police officers and members of Congress. In 1997, Nhat Hanh founded the Green Mountain Dharma Center and Maple Forest Monastery in Vermont. In 2000, he founded Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California. He has ordained over two hundred monks and nuns from different parts of the world. In addition, 230 lay practice communities practicing in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh meet regularly throughout the United States and around the world.
Since his days in Vietnam, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a leading proponent of "engaged Buddhism," a way of life and a spiritual practice that works actively in the world to relieve suffering. Nhat Hanh continues his work to alleviate the suffering of refugees, boat people, political prisoners and hungry families in Vietnam and other Third World countries. He has been instrumental in initiating the declaration, by the General Assembly of the United Nations, dedicating 2001-2010 as the "International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World" (Resolution A/RES/53/2519/111998). He collaborated with the Nobel Peace Laureates in drafting the "Manifesto 2000," with six points on the Practice of Peace and Non-violence distributed by UNESCO. In December 2000, Thich Nhat Hanh was invited to give a lecture at the White House World Summit Conference on HIV and AIDS. He has also been invited to speak at The Gorbachev World Forum and the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland.
Thich Nhat Hanh has received recognition for his prolific writings on meditation, mindfulness, and peace. He has published over 85 titles of accessible poems, prose, and prayers, with more than 40 of those works in English. His best-known books include Peace is Every Step, Being Peace, Touching Peace, Call Me by My True Names, Living Buddha, Living Christ, Teachings on Love, and Anger.

Now eighty-two years old, Thich Nhat Hanh is emerging as one of the great teachers of our time. In the midst of our society's emphasis on speed, efficiency, and material success, Thich Nhat Hanh's ability to walk calmly with peace and awareness and to teach us to do the same has led to his enthusiastic reception all around the world. Although his mode of expression is simple, his message reveals the quintessence of the deep understanding of reality that comes from his meditations, his Buddhist training, and his work in the world.

Given the response his last India visit generated (12 years ago) and his stature as a world figure, it is expected that Thich Nhat Hanh will once again excite considerable interest amongst Indian audiences from all walks of life. On his previous visit, he had a wonderful meeting with Mr. K.R. Narayanan (then Vice President of India) on politics and spirituality, after which the Ethics Committee was set up in Parliament, he spoke at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, New Delhi, on "Worlds in Harmony", and held a five day retreat at the Theosophical Society, Chennai, among other programmes. Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) will be in India from late September to the end of October 2008. This trip has been made possible by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Thich Nhat Hanh has been designated a 'Distinguished Visitor' by the Government of India. In the course of his present visit, he will address parliamentarians, teachers, doctors, the corporate sector, social workers and many others.

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

OTHER MONASTICS WHO ACCOMPANIED THICH NHAT HANH


A number of senior monks and nuns are accompanying Thich Nhat Hanh from all over the world. They are all ordained Dharmacharyas and senior teachers of the community. Sister Chan Khong and Sister Annabel were both ordained by Thay in India in 1988 on Gridhakuta mountain. They are both accomplished teachers and writers who have written books which are extrememly popular all over the world.
Sister Jina, Sister DinhNghiem, Thay Phap Dung, Thay Phap Dang, Thay Phap Son and Thay Phap Huu are the abbots and abbess of different centres in Europe and the US . They and the other monastics accompanying Thich Nhat Hanh to India , teach and conduct retreats independently all over the world and have a following of their own.

Sister Chan Khong


" Sister Chan Khong was born in a village on the Mekong River Delta in 1938. Propelled by her passionate dedication to social change, she began working in the slums of Saigon as a teenager, distributing food, helping the sick, and teaching children. In 1964, she joined Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in founding the school of youth for social service, which grew to an organization of over 10,000 young people organizing medical, educational, and agricultural facilities in rural vietnam , and rebuilding villages destroyed by the war. This unique nun is a woman who not only lived but made history, and whose single-minded dedication to humanity and courageous integrity can serve as an inspiration to all."

Sr Chan Kong 2 Sr Chang Kong

 

 

Sister Annabel


Sister Annabel, whose Dharma name is Chan Duc, or True Virtue, is a much loved senior Dharma teacher in the Order of Interbeing. She has been a student of Zen Master, poet,author and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh ( affectionately known as 'Thay' meaning Teacher by his students) since 1986.
In 1990 she was ordained as a Dharma Teacher, and became Director of Practice at Plum Village , Thich Nhat Hanh's monastery and retreat centre in Southern France . She has travelled widely throughout the world, teaching and leading retreats, and works closely with Thay in translating his many books.
In 1997 she was made Director of the Maple Forest Monastery in the United States , and in 1998 was installed as Abbess at the Green Mountain Dharma Centre in Vermont . She is now working towards the establishment of the ' Institute of Applied Buddhism ' in Germany.

 

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THICH NHAT HANH AND THE MONASTICS OF PLUM VILLAGE IN INDIA IN SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2008
EVENTS SUMMARY

Curtain Raiser Press Event with book launch - 25th September 2008

A National Workshop for Teachers ‘Towards a Compassionate and Healthy Society’ - 26th-29th September 2008

Inauguration of the Mindfulness in Education Centre land in Dehradun - 30th September 2008

Thich Nhat Hanh meeting with senior editors of The Times of India - 1st October 2008

Thich Nhat Hanh and monastic community meeting with Radio Mirchi - 1st October 2008

Gandhi Memorial Lecture to mark 60th year of Gandhiji's martyrdom & UN Non- Violence Day - 1st October 2008

Interfaith Peace Walk titled 'Peace is every step' on Rajpath commemorating the International Day of Non-violence, Gandhi Jayanti and Id - 2nd October 2008

Session on ‘The Art of Leadership’ for the corporate community - 3rd October 2008

A Day of Mindfulness - 4th October 2008

Private meeting with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi -  5th October 2008

‘Engaged Buddhism and Women’s Activism’
Half Day of Mindfulness with Women social activists - 6th October 2008

‘Meditation and healing’ talk for the medical community - 6th October 2008

Public talk - ‘Prabuddha Bharat’ - 8th October 2008

Public Talk - Engaged Buddhism - 9th October 2008

2 day retreat - Meditation and Social Engagement - 10th to 11th October 2008

Sankashya – 3 day retreat - 12th to 14th October 2008

Public Talk on "Understanding our Mind” - 13th October 2008

Talk on "Leading with Courage and Compassion" in Parliament - 17th October 2008

Private meeting with Rahul Gandhi - 18th October 2008

‘Living Together in Harmony’  - A 5 day (3evenings and a weekend) retreat
15th  to 19th  October 2008

Visit to Delhi and Noida schools

An international conclave ‘Path of Awakening’ - 20th to 29th October 2008

No coming, No going - 30th Octobe2008

 

Curtain Raiser Press Event with book launch - 25th September 2008

Alliance Francaise auditorium, New Delhi


Partner Organisations with Ahimsa Trust: French Embassy, Alliance Francaise, Full Circle Books

Programme details:

  1. Interactive session between Thich Nhat Hanh and an eminent panel of invitees including Arun Shourie, Anu Aga, Arun Kapoor and Nandita Das moderated by Shantum Seth before an invited audience from the media
  1. Launch of book titled ‘Under the Banyan Tree’ by H.E. Jerome Bonnafont, Ambassador of France, Embassy of France in India
  1. Questions by members of the press
  1. Informal social interaction accompanied by refreshments.
  1. Event received extensive press coverage from print and television media like Hindustan Times, Times of India, Asian Age, NDTV, News X  etc

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A National Workshop for Teachers ‘Towards a Compassionate and Healthy Society’ - 26th-29th September 2008

The Doon School, Dehradun

Partner Organisations with Ahimsa Trust: MAX India, The Doon School, Pallavan, Vasant Valley School, Kasiga International School

Programme details: A 4 day workshop was organised at The Doon School where 550 teachers attended from all over India ranging from the north- east  India to Kerala.  The participants included a number of Principals, teachers, some administrative staff from both private schools as well as Government schools like the Kendriya Vidyalayas, NCERT and the SCERT schools and residents of Dehradun. The workshop was inaugurated by the Governor of Uttarakhand on the 26th evening. A very full schedule followed in the next 3 days including talks, discussions, walking and eating meditation and introduction to various practices. The feedback forms from the workshop were extremely positive with participants requesting follow up workshops in the future.  A report was written by some of the American embassy school teachers. Click here to view the report.

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Inauguration of the Mindfulness in Education Centre land in Dehradun - 30th September 2008

Thich Nhat Hanh inaugurated and blessed the land which has been bought by 5 people, a part of which will be used to set up a Mindfulness in Education Centre in the future.  He planted a Banyan tree  along with the other monastics who planted the Sita Ashok tree, Peepal tree etc.

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Thich Nhat Hanh meeting with senior editors of The Times of India - 1st October 2008

Gandhi Darshan guest house, Rajghat, Delhi and Times of India office, Delhi


Programme details: Thich Nhat Hanh was invited to be the National Guest Editor for all Times of India publications on 2nd of October, Gandhi Jayanti also observed as UN World Non Violence day for which a meeting with senior editors of Times of India was organised at Gandhi Darshan guest house, Rajghat subsequent to which he visited the newspaper office to interact with the top management including Samir Jain, Vice Chairman of the group.

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Thich Nhat Hanh and monastic community meeting with Radio Mirchi - 1st October 2008

Gandhi Darshan guest house, Rajghat, Delhi

Programme details: Thich Nhat Hanh’s interview was aired by Radio Mirchi in their special focus on peace on 2nd October

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Gandhi Memorial Lecture to mark 60th year of Gandhiji's martyrdom & UN Non- Violence Day - 1st October 2008

Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti auditorium , Delhi

Partner organisation:  Gandhi Smriti Darshan Samiti


Programme details: Thich Nhat Hanh delivered the Gandhi Memorial Lecture to mark  the 60th year of Gandhiji's martyrdom and World Non- Violence Day 2008 celebrations followed by the launch of the book ‘Power’ published by Harper Collins and released by H. E. Anand Sharma, MOS Ministry of External Affairs. The session  was attended by a large audience including many dignitaries like Dr. Karan Singh, head ICCR; Mrs. Tara Bhattacharya grand daughter of Gandhiji, Ms. Savita Singh, Director, Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti and H. E. Vu Quang Diem, Ambassador Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

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Interfaith Peace Walk titled 'Peace is every step' on Rajpath commemorating the International Day of Non-violence, Gandhi Jayanti and Id - 2nd October 2008

Raisina Hill to India Gate on Rajpath

Partner Organisations: Government of NCT of Delhi, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO, Prayas, Temple of Understanding, MAX India, WASS 

Programme details: A path breaking event where more than 1000 people including students walked for peace, slowly with mindfulness, in silence led by Thich Nhat Hanh down historic Rajpath. The event was flagged off by the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit. The group consisted of NGOs like Prayas, interfaith representatives like the Temple of Understanding, Vipassna practitioners and the medical community

 
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Session on ‘The Art of Leadership’ for the corporate community - 3rd October 2008

Hotel Taj Mahal , New Delhi  

Partner Organisations: Aspen Institute India, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII)

Programme details: A half day of mindfulness practice session was organised and was well attended by eminent members of corporate India inaugurated by Ravi Bhoothalingam, Founder and Chairman, Manas Advisory followed by the launch of  the book, ‘ Understanding our Mind ‘published by Harper Collins by Analjit Singh- Chairman, Max India. Other eminent attendees included family members from TVS and The Hindu group who specially flew to Delhi for the event.

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A Day of Mindfulness - 4th October 2008

India International Centre, Lodi Estate, New Delhi  

Partner Organisations: India International Centre

Programme details: A full day of mindfulness was held in the beautiful premises of the IIC on a Saturday.  It was attended by about 300 people including many members of the IIC.  Former Attorney General of India, Mr. Ashok Desai introduced Thich Nhat Hanh to the audience.  After a one and a half hour talk in the Fountain Lawns  the entire audience joined the walking meditation in Lodhi Gardens.  Thereafter, there was a silent picnic lunch  at Lodhi Gardens.  After a short break, Sister Chan Khong led a Deep Relaxation and  Touching the Earth session in the Martin Luther King Plaza. This was followed by apple meditation which was enjoyed greatly by the participants.  The day ended with a question and answer session with eight monastics.


 
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Private meeting with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi -  5th October 2008

Mrs. Gandhi’s residence, 10, Janpath, New Delhi

Programme Details: Almost a one hour meeting  where there was a sharing of communal concerns.  Thich Nhat Hanh offered full support from the Plum village community in any way sought by Mrs. Gandhi who also felt that Ahimsa Trust’s focus on mindfulness in education as a seed programme for sustainable community benefit was an important focus

 

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‘Engaged Buddhism and Women’s Activism’
Half Day of Mindfulness with Women social activists - 6th October 2008 (8.00 am to 1 pm)

Gandhi Smriti  Darshan Samiti

Partner Organisation: Sangat Trust, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti

Programme Details: Two of the senior most nuns of the group, Sister Chan Khong and Sister Annabal, led a half day of mindfulness with about 20 social activists most of who were women.  Both the nuns have had a lot of experience working in the social sector and talked specifically on how to handle burn out and sustain one’s compassion without becoming cynical.  The day included a question and answer session,  meditation, eating and walking meditation. Kamla Bhasin, one of the people who heads Sangat Trust, Irpinder Bhatia, Bindiya Thakur, Vidya Rao were some of the people present for the session.

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‘Meditation and healing’ talk for the medical community - 6th October 2008

AIIMS auditorium

Partner Organisations: World Academy of Spiritual Sciences, Gangaram hospital, Max India and All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Programme Details: World Academy of Spiritual Sciences, Gangaram hospital, Max India and All India Institute of Medical Sciences organised this talk at the prestigious AIIMS auditorium attended by around 400 members, most of them eminent doctors including AIIMS Dean in chair and Dr.S. K. Sama.

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Public talk - ‘Prabuddha Bharat’ - 8th October 2008

Dikshabhumi, Nagpur

Partner Organisations: Dikshabumi Committee

Programme Details: Thich Nhat Hanh gave a talk for 45 minutes to about 200000 people who had gathered at Dikshabhumi to commemorate the day Ambedkar embraced Buddhism in 1956. Governor Gawai from Kerala, Bhiku Sasai and other eminent Buddhists of India and abroad attended.   The rest of the sangha visited Diksha bhoomi the next day and introduced various practices to many thousands of people.

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Public Talk - Engaged Buddhism - 9th October 2008

Nagaloka, Nagpur
Partner Organisations: Trilokya Baudh Maha  Sangha Sahaiyika Gana (TBMSG), Nagarjuna Institute, Malini Srinivasan,

Programme Details: Thich Nhat Hanh gave a talk to about 250,000 Buddhists and others.

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2 day retreat - Meditation and Social Engagement - 10th to 11th October 2008

Nagaloka, Nagpur

Partner Organisations with Ahimsa Trust: Trilokya Baudh Maha  Sangha Sahaiyika Gana (TBMSG), Nagarjuna Insititute,  Malini Srinivasan

Programme Details: Thich Nhat Hanh and the monastic sangha led a 2 day retreat for about 300 Dalit social activist and workers, Buddhists and the general public. A children’s programme was also organised and led by the monks and nuns accompanying Thich Nhat Hanh.   For details on the Nagpur programme, a report is available on request.

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Sankashya – 3 day retreat - 12th to 14th October 2008

Sankashya, UP

Partner Organisation: Youth Buddhist Society, India, Pritam Singh

Programme Details: About 2000 people from the villages around Sankashya gathered for a three day retreat led by the monks and nuns of Plum Village.  They heard talks, practiced sitting, walking and eating meditation and learnt different practices such as deep relaxation, touching the earth.  Many of the participants took the 5 mindfulness trainings.  On the 14th, Thich Nhat Hanh arrived by helicopter on the 14th and gave a talk to about 5000 people who had gathered.  A detailed report is available upon request.

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Public Talk on "Understanding our Mind” - 13th October 2008

Sports and Cultural Club, Sector 15A, Noida

Partner Organisation: The Study Circle, Sports and Cultural Club, Sector 15 A, Noida

Programme Details: About 800 people attended the talk which was held in one of the halls of  the Sports and Cultural Club in Sector 15A, Noida and was organised in collaboration with the Study Circle of the Club.  The session started with some meditation, songs and chanting.  The representative of the Club and the RWA, Mandeep Singh Vinayak welcomed Thich Nhat Hanh, after which Dharmacharya Shantum Seth introduced him. Thich Nhat Hanh gave a one hour talk focussing on Buddhist psychology.  Thereafter there was a question and answer session which went on for another 45 minutes.

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Talk on "Leading with Courage and Compassion" in Parliament - 17th October 2008

Parliament annexe

Programme Details: One of the prestigious highlight of the visit was Thich Nhat Hanh’s address to parliamentarians with the honourable Speaker of Lok Sabha Mr. Som Nath Chatterjee in chair. The event was hosted in parliament annexe and attended by many dignitaries like Dr. Karan Singh, Santosh Mohan Deb, Rahul Gandhi, Omar Abdullah, Priyanka and Robert Vadera, Navin and Shalu Jindal, other members of parliament and prominent citizens like Justice Liela Seth, OP Jain, William Bissel etc. The talk was on deep listening skills after which a request was made by attendees to start a regular training plan in parliament based on these teachings which is being followed up with the Speakers office.
 

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Private meeting with Rahul Gandhi - 18th October 2008

Gandhi Darshan guest house, Rajghat, Delhi

Programme Details: Warm and personal one-on-one discussion between the two dignitaries, Rahul Gandhi showed interest in training for congress workers based on Thich Nhat Hanh’s Mindfulness teachings

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‘Living Together in Harmony’  - A 5 day (3 evenings and a weekend) retreat
15th  to 19th  October 2008

Teen Murti House

Partner Organisations: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), Ministry of Culture, Government of NCT of Delhi, Spice Foundation,  Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti

Programme Details: This 5 day retreat led by Thich Nhat Hanh and the nuns and monks of Plum village was attended by 750 people at the Teen Murti House.  Each participant had to register and commit to attending all 5 days.  Among the people who participated, there was the Director of the NMML, Ms. Mridula Mukherjee, Navin Jindal, Priyanka and Robert Vadra, academics, teachers and people from all walks of life.  The three evenings focussed on a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh, walking meditation, eating meditation and the introduction of practices such as Deep Relaxation and the 5 Mindfulness Trainings.  On the weekend, besides the above, discussion groups were formed, Beginning Anew , Touching the Earth and tea meditation was introduced.  A children’s programme was offered on the weekend where different NGOs were invited along with the participants children and the monastics had a 2 day session with them.  The entire retreat was an amazing success as was revealed in the detailed feedback forms which people took the trouble to fill up and return to Ahimsa Trust and NMML.

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Visit to Delhi and Noida schools (3rd, 6th, 7th,  15th, 16th and 17th October 2008)

About 20 monks and nuns visited a number of schools in Delhi and Noida  for 3 to 4 hour sessions with students and teachers.  The Shri Ram School in Vasant Vihar (3 days), Vasant Valley school (2 days),  Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, (2 days), Step by Step School Noida (2 days), Path ways School (a full day session) and  a  2 day session at Teen Murti House where children from various NGOs working with street children were present. 

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An international conclave ‘Path of Awakening’ - 20th to 29th October 2008

Sarnath/Varanasi, Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda

Partner Organisation: Tibetan Institute of Higher Studies, Maha bodhi Society of India, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda, Spice Foundation, ICCR, NACDOR, CADAM, ICCR, Minsitry of Culture, Bihar Department of Tourism

Programme Details: 300 international participants travelled with Thich Nhat  Hanh to Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Nalanda and Rajgir over 10 days where he gave a number of public lectures and visited the Buddhist sites. The participants came from different countries in Europe, the US, Asia and Australia and included professionals, journalist, doctors etc. A detailed report with annexures is available upon request.

Varanasi:

Bodhgaya:

Rajgir:

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No coming, No going - 30th Octobe2008

Sankskriti Kendra Anandgram, New Delhi

Partner Organisations with Ahimsa Trust: Sanksriti Kendra
Programme Details:   A sharing of the entire trip was organised at Sanskriti Kendra, where all partner organisations, patrons, volunteers and friends who had been involved in organising the whole trip were invited.  Thich Nhat Hanh, some of the monastics and the volunteers all shared their experiences.  Thich Nhat Hanh felt that the journey to India was no less than a ‘miracle’ and urged the sanghas to continue the wonderful work together.  This culminated with a slide show on the trip followed by a farewell dinner.

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