The Most Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh (Thây), our spiritual teacher, founded the Unified Buddhist Church (Eglise Bouddhique Unifieé) in France in 1969, during the Vietnam war. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, a poet, a scholar, and a peace activist. His life long efforts to generate peace and reconciliation moved Martin Luther King, Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He founded the Van Hanh Buddhist University in Saigon and the School for Youths of Social Services in Vietnam. When not travelling the world to teach “The Art of Mindful Living”, he teaches, writes, and gardens in Plum Village, France, a Buddhist monastery for monks and nuns and a mindfulness practice center for lay people.
The Unified Buddhist Church established Sweet Potatoes Community in 1975, Plum Village in 1982, the Dharma Cloud Temple and the Dharma Nectar Temple in 1988, and the Adornment of Loving Kindness Temple in 1995. Thich Nhat Hanh’s sangha (community of practice) in France is usually referred to as the Plum Village Sangha.
Plum Village, a monastery for monks and nuns and a Buddhist practice center for lay people, was founded in 1982 by the Vietnamese Zen-Master Thích Nhất Hạnh (Thầy). Every year, Plum Village welcomes thousands of friends from all around the world. Due to its rapid expansion in recent years, the community is now comprised of four hamlets: Upper Hamlet, Son Ha Temple, Lower Hamlet, and New Hamlet. Plum Village also has practice centers located in The United States (Deerpark, Bluecliff, Magnolia), Maison de l’inspir Paris, EIAB Germany, Plum Village Thailand, Plum Village Hong Kong, and Entering Stream Australia.
Throughout the year we offer retreats at Plum Village — we also have special retreats, events, and tours which take place throughout the year. See the event listings for more information. Please plan your retreat carefully, reading the relevant event information page as well if you are attending a special event, retreat or tour.
In the winter, spring, and autumn retreat, the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh offers teachings every Thursday and Sunday in the early morning. In-depth Dharma sharing in small groups usually take place every Thursday and Sunday. When Thây is not in Plum Village, the teachings will be given by monastic and lay Dharma teachers of Plum Village; or we will watch a video of Thây.
Practice at Plum Village helps us weave mindfulness into all daily activities, not focusing just on sitting meditation in the meditation hall. This enables us to meditate throughout the day, while eating, walking, working, and enjoying a cup of tea together. All friends are invited to help in communal activities, such as preparing meals, general cleaning, and washing dishes, as a way of continuing mindfulness practice while performing everyday tasks.
Transcription of Dharma Talk by Thich Nhat Hanh about Plum Village:
I Have Arrived, I’m Home: Celebrating twenty years of Plum Village life”