For the past twenty years the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) and Plum Village have been quietly spreading through the Spanish-speaking world, as Thay’s books were translated from English into Spanish. In the past six years this wave of material has been joined by subtitled video Dharma talks and audio recordings of translations.
This year, 2014, is a watershed year: the trickle has become a flood. Thich Nhat Hanh and 57 of his monastic students arrived in Madrid, Spain, on April 25th to kick off the first ever Plum Village tour in a Spanish-speaking country. A handful of dedicated practitioners from Latin America were able to raise funds to join Thay on this tour, but the cost of flying, and the disparity in the cost of living between there and Europe, makes the voyage difficult for all but a few.
Your donations will make it possible for seven Plum Village monastics, Dharma teachers and disciples of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, to introduce thousands of children, young people, activists, teachers and others to the practice of mindfulness and awakening through retreats, Days of Mindfulness for Educators, Wake Up events for young people and public talks in Santiago, Chile; Quito, Ecuador; Bogotá, Colombia; Managua, Nicaragua; and México City, México this fall from September 21st to November 4th, 2014 (More details here)
We have since used some of these mindfulness practices with directors of high schools (Colegios de Bachilleres de Chiapas COBAH) and some professors. I am sure that this is the way to begin watering the seeds, so that we can go on working with indigenous girls and boys and adolescents. In this way we are going to carry out what was discussed in the sharing circles on the 2014 Spain Tour about Wake Up Schools. — Maria Marilu Jimenez Lopez, Chiapas, México
This Wake Up tour will bring Spanish-speaking Plum Village monks and nuns directly to five countries in Latin America: Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Nicaragua and México. Instead of just a handful of people having access to these practices and teachings, the tour reaches out to thousands of people interested in Thay’s teachings in these countries and gives them the opportunity to bring mindfulness practice into their families, schools, and communities.
If we are able to surpass our goal of raising $37,000 for this tour we will also be able to invite filmmaker Wouter Verhoeven to join us to film the events of the tour, creating an invaluable set of Spanish video resources on the practices of Plum Village and Wake Up Schools. All donors to this campaign will additionally receive a link to the Wake Up Schools as-yet-unreleased film, filmed and edited by Wouter, called “Happy Teachers Will Change the World.”
We really need your help to plant these seeds. The travel costs of the tour alone are approximately $5,000 per monastic, and there are only a handful of dedicated volunteers in each country working with very little financial support. This tour could not be possible without donations from those of us in countries like the U.S. and Europe who are fortunate enough to have retreats and monastics nearby and accessible to us year-round.
We are delighted to announce that the organizing team in Nicaragua has arranged with local tree-planting ecologists, who will attend the retreat in Managua, to plant 500 trees in the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve as a carbon-offset to the air travel from the tour.
Here are some highlights of the tour as it stands now:
- Day of Mindfulness with teens in the Pedro Apostol School in Puente Alto(340 students)
- Public Talk at the Auditorio de Telefonica (200 people)
- Wake Up Schools: Mindfulness in Higher Education for students in training to become teachers, Estadio Universidad Mayor, (800 students)
- Wake Up Schools: Mindfulness in K-12 at the Centro Patrimonial Recoleta Dominica for current teachers
- Wake Up Event for Young People 18-35 in Santiago
- 2-Day Mindfulness Retreat at Punto Zero, Putaendo (100 people)
- The Ministry of Education of Ecuador is bringing 200 teachers responsible for innovation from around the country to a Day of Mindfulness for Educators (200 teachers)
- 2-Day Retreat at the Center for Integral Health (100 people)
- Wake Up Event for Young People at Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar (100 people)
- Wake Up Public Talk at the University of the Andes (150 people)
- Afternoon of Mindfulness at the Student Union of the University of the Andes (100 people)
- 3-Day Retreat at La Calera (80 people)
- Universidad Centroamericana 4-hour program focused on reaching youth and students (80 people)
- Alianza Francesa 2-hour public talk (150 people)
- 2-Day Mindfulness Retreat with retreatants including two organizations that work with former street children, Los Quinchos, and Casa Alianza, a community arts center for women and youth in Managua, young university teachers, folks who are part of Nicaragua’s natural medicine network. (80 people)
- Tree-planting by local ecologists in the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve as acarbon-offset to the air travel from the tour and visit to the La Garnacha religious community (500 trees)
- Day of Mindfulness for Educators at the National Autonomous University of México (250 people)
- Flashmob Meditation and Public Talk in Coyoacan (300 people)
- Wake Up Event for Young People in the Iberoamerican University (200 people)
- 4-Day Retreat “The Art of Waking Up to Our Ancestors” (120 people)
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