Sunday, 8 August 2021, 3:00pm
Live-streamed from Plum Village, France, via Zoom and YouTube
(In English and Vietnamese, with translation available to French via Zoom)
What do our parents mean to us?
Can we see our parents’ presence in ourselves today?
What role has their love, their presence, and their absence played in our lives?
Whether our parents are still alive or have passed away, whether we have a good relationship with them, a difficult relationship, or no relationship at all, strengthening our relationship with the people who gave us life can nourish us and heal us.
In this time when many of us have experienced the pain of being separated from our families and loved ones, we would like to take a moment as a community to contemplate and cherish those who are as near to us as our own bodies, and to continue a tradition we have practiced with our teacher Thầy (zen master Thich Nhat Hanh) each summer from the founding of Plum Village. This year marks the first time we will have the opportunity to share that celebration with our broader community online.
The Rose Ceremony
The Rose Ceremony is our community’s living, evolving expression of our gratitude to our parents. We have a chance to listen together to “A Rose for Your Pocket”, a prose poem written by Thầy after the passing of his own mother. Woven through the passages of the poem, the community will offer songs and other gifts from our heart, to help us touch the presence and love of our parents in the present moment and situation.
Everyone is welcome to join us live via Zoom, and to prepare a small space with a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere for the occasion. You may wish to include a rose or another of your parents’ favorite flowers, to invite loved ones to join you online or in-person, and to prepare a poem or song to share with them.
At the end of the ceremony, we’ll have a moment to enjoy tea and a small snack (such as cookies) together, and to practice hugging meditation with those present with us.
In this interview, Thầy shares how “A Rose for Your Pocket’ spread from a few hundred copies handwritten copies, to the more than 2 million now in print; and how the Rose Ceremony grew from a single small gathering to become a widespread tradition in Vietnam celebrated in other Asian countries as well.
You may use the following Zoom link, with no password needed:
The event will also be live-streamed on YouTube:
“Maternal love is our first taste of love, the origin of all feelings of love. Our mother is the teacher who first teaches us love, the most important subject in life. Without my mother I could never have known how to love. Thanks to her I can love my neighbours. Thanks to her I can love all living beings.”
-from “A Rose for Your Pocket”, by Thich Nhat Hanh