Plum Village is a Buddhist Monastic Institution and our residents are mostly nuns and monks. Ours is a four-fold practice center where Lay practitioners are always welcome to come and practice with us. Every year many people come to Plum Village to practice the art of mindful living. Their visits may be as short as a few days for Day of Mindfulness or one week, three weeks (the bi-annual 21-Day Retreat), fours weeks (the Summer Opening Retreat in July), or as long as three months (the Monastic Rains Retreat, also known as the Winter Retreat).
Occasionally we receive requests from friends who wish to come to Plum Village to practice mindful living for an extended period, usually from three to six months. All guests who come to Plum Village are welcome to stay for minimum of one week and a maximum of two weeks. Even for those who come to Plum Village with difficulties, the first two weeks are enough to help you to calm down, reflect on your difficulties, and to learn how to begin to transform those difficulties.
For the initial two weeks, every guest is asked to contribute the full amount of contribution for your room, meals and all activities. The contribution requested depends on the type of housing you choose. The least expensive accommodation is a room with at least five to ten beds. The most expensive is a room with one bed (Upper Hamlet only) or two beds. During the Summer Opening Retreat, Spring and early Autumn Retreats it is possible to stay in a tent and the contribution requested is the least expensive of all housing.
After two weeks, guests who wish to stay longer may request to extend their time with us. You will be asked to write a letter to the community to share with us why you would like to continue your stay. If your request is accepted, we shall also ask you to write a letter to us every month to let us know how you are progressing in your practice. In this letter you might share with us what progress you have made in transforming your difficulties, what practices will you continue to do to transform your difficulties, and how much longer you wish to stay. You may tell us more about yourself so the community can understand you more deeply, and help you with your practice.
We know that the practice helps transform our difficulties tremendously. If you practice well, attend all scheduled activities of the community and live in harmony with the community here, your extended stay request will be granted for two weeks or one month at a time, depending on the policy of the hamlet you are residing in.
If you ask for a reduction in the contribution amount, please let us know the reasons, and how much you can contribute each month. Requests are reviewed on an individual basis and the amount of reduction will be considered accordingly.
Guests may have ideal images about community living and this can be a source of difficulty when they have to deal with a situation in Plum Village which is not at all the way they imagined. If this occurs, then you only need to kindly request the help of other sisters or brothers to learn more why things happened the way they did instead of in the way you expected! Daily life interactions with others from many cultures and countries vary with each new situation. Only through your own experience can you truly know what community living is like. The brothers, sisters and lay friends in Plum Village are here to help you learn the art of living mindfully and appreciating the many wonders of life that are available in us and around us in the present moment.
We hope this information is helpful to you in planning your stay at Plum Village, and we look forward to welcoming you here!