Plum Village, 15 November, 2014
To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide,
To our Dear Beloved Friends,
Thầy is now in a hospital with a highly reputable neurologist monitoring his progress. He is in the right place with the best possible care and attention. New tests have been done. Doctors report that Thầy is showing good progress in terms of remaining stable and not having major changes in his condition during this critical part of his recovery. The area of hemorrhage has not grown and his vital signs are normal.
In the early morning, Saturday, November 15, Thầy opened his eyes for the first time since his cerebral hemorrhage, to look at his attendants for a brief moment. He was very conscious and attentive to what was happening around him, lifting his left hand to touch the attendant next to him. Since then, he has also opened his eyes several times and his gestures of communication are clearer, nodding or shaking his head to respond. Thầy has been able to rest and sleep peacefully for several hours each day. The doctors are cautiously optimistic and remind us that Thầy’s condition is still in a critical stage and conditions can change at any moment.
Winter Retreat Opens
The Fourfold Sangha of Plum Village gathered this morning in the Still Water Meditation Hall of the Upper Hamlet to formally open the Winter Retreat and to participate in the “Face To Face and Request for Refuge Ceremony”. We know that it has always nourished our Teacher to see all his students, lay and monastic, gather to practice and take refuge in each other for 90 days. At least in Upper Hamlet this year, we have broken a record high with 60 lay friends taking refuge, 52 Bhikkhus and 18 Novices. We will share this wonderful news and spiritual food to nourish Thầy. All our monasteries around the globe will also host the three month retreat as usual, to deepen our practice and nourish our community and our brotherhood and sisterhood.
We are aware and grateful for the love and practice that people are offering from all around the world to support Thầy’s recovery. Sanghas and groups of practitioners are gathering to send their peaceful energy to our Teacher. He is clearly receiving this energy. Each of our mindful breaths and mindful steps is nourishing Thầy. Please continue to enjoy the blue sky for Thầy, the fresh morning air and the small pathways in nature for Thầy. Especially, please enjoy each other, your loved ones, and our togetherness for Thầy.
If possible, you can dedicate a day to eat vegetarian as a way to generate compassion to send to Thầy. You can reconcile with your loved ones, or to let go of your resentment of someone and write them a love letter. And in the same Winter Retreat spirit being practiced at our monasteries, you can participate in your local Sangha more, support the collective energy of mindfulness, consume less and reduce your time online.
With trust and love,
The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village
Future reports on Thay health and recovery will be posted officially at plumvillage.org, langmai.org, villagedespruniers.org, and www.facebook.com/thichnhathanh.