Sunday 1st May marks 100 days since Thay’s passing, a day that is observed in Buddhist traditions. We’d like to take this moment to offer you a selection of sharings to remember, celebrate and continue our Teacher.
Letter from Sister Chân Đức
Practice for Thay’s 100th day of passing
This Sunday will mark the one hundredth day of the parinirvāṇa of our most beloved and respected teacher, the dhyāna master of the international Plum Village sangha.
In order to be able to dedicate ourselves to looking deeply we shall practice half a day of Noble Silence. This is a precious opportunity to practice to realise the insight of no-coming and no-going. Let us remind each other by our own practice of coming back to the island within, not looking around to see what others are doing, but dwelling solidly in our breathing and footsteps. No-coming and no-going is a truth beyond words and concepts that we can realise when our mind and body dwell in the stillness of concentration.
While dwelling stably in the present moment we have a chance to look at each other with the eyes of understanding and love. We are all children of one spiritual father and we accept each other as brothers and sisters of one family.
The greatest tribute we can pay to our beloved teacher and spiritual father is to understand and love in the spirit of true brotherhood and sisterhood. If there are internal knots that have not been untied we begin without further ado to untie them. True understanding is the understanding of interbeing, no separate self, no being and no non-being, realised in the context of brotherhood and sisterhood.
Plum Village, 29th April, 2022
Sister Chân Đức – True Virtue
On Sunday, you can join Plum Village Monastery, Deer Park Monastery or Blue Cliff Monastery for ceremonies to mark 100 days. At Deer Park, this will involve the spreading of Thay’s ashes.
Sharings from Sister Chân Không and Brother Pháp Hữu
“I thought at one point that Thay would not return to Vietnam. But one day in Thailand, the Brothers Phap An, Phap Niem and Trung Hai came to meet Thay because he wanted to express something very important to them. When the brothers arrived, Thay put one hand on his chest and using that hand, drew a circle on his chest. He stopped when his hand came to rest at the starting point of the circle. We understood the meaning – whether going East or West, in the end, Thay wished to return to his roots.” Sister Chân Không
“Dear Thay, through your daily practice, you were able to see your continuation. You taught us that if you saw someone walking with mindfulness and compassion, you knew they were a continuation of Thay and the spiritual ancestors. Dear Thay, do you remember our conversation in Hong Kong? You said you wanted us to continue to renew Buddhism; that you have been able to do 60 per cent of the work, but there is still so much more to do. You gently reminded me that it is up to us, your monastic and lay descendants all over the world, to keep the Dharma wheel turning, to translate the practices and teachings into the language of our times, to make them accessible and practical for use in our world today. Dear Thay, thank you for trusting us and taking refuge in us. When we take refuge in each other, we know we are continuing you.” Brother Pháp Hữu
Brother Pháp Hữu also gave an intimate account of the moments and days after Thay’s passing on The Way Out Is In Podcast
Messages of Gratitude from Thay’s Students around the World
During the memorial week for Thay, we received an outpouring of gratitude from people all over the world who have been touched by Thay’s teachings.
“Thay has been such a grounding and inspiring human in my life. Two of my favorite things he has said… ‘You never appreciate the absence of a toothache,’ and, ‘In this world we have honey and so we also have bees.
“This second quote is from a time I went to Deer Park Monastery to hear him speak. While on walking meditation, a woman stepped on a hive of bees and the angry bees stung the entire group. People were shrieking. Thay stayed calm as leaders at the monastery helped those who were stung. He then walked with some of the group back up to where he was giving his talk. Amidst the drama of the moment, people eventually made their way back to the building to sit down for the talk but there was a lot of anxiety and confusion in the air. After some time passed, Thay came and sat down at the front of the room, rang the bell to begin his talk, and all he said to address what had happened was – “in this world we have honey and so we also have bees.” It’s a moment I will never forget.” Alisa
How to Continue Thay
There are so many urgent crises in the world and we may think, “If only Thay were still alive, he would know what to do.” In this talk, Brother Phap Linh explains that Thay can be very alive in us if we know how to practice.
A Cloud Never Dies – Short Documentary on Thay’s Life
Throughout his life, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh was a tireless advocate for peace and human rights. Some of his deepest teachings, insights, and practices were forged in the wars in Vietnam. This 27 minute film made in collaboration with Thay’s monastic students tells the story of his life.
There are more resourced connected with the film on our dedicated page for A Cloud Never Dies.