We share some words from our elders on the spirit of this year’s Rains Retreat at Plum Village Monastery.
“The Rains Retreat carries the spirit of being still, not running away, either from our suffering or chasing after an idea of happiness. It is an opportunity to take refuge in our spiritual family to enrich and deepen our mindfulness practices and to continue Thay’s legacy in our Sangha body” (Brother Phap Huu – Ceremony of Requesting Refuge).
As 25446 Bhikshus, 85 Bhikshunis, 5 Shikshamanas, 15 novice monks, 8 novice nuns, 2 aspirants, 94 lay friendsmonastic and lay practitioners commit to practicing together for 90 Days in the Dharma Cloud, Loving Kindness, and Dharma Nectar temples, we invite our Sangha family around the world to join in the spirit of the Rains Retreat, to stop, rest, heal, and reflect.
We make good use of this Retreat to take care of our thinking. Recognizing the tendencies to compare and judge, we can apply practices such as “changing the channel” or gāthā to cultivate Right Thinking that has the marks of interbeing, impermanence, and non-self (Sister Chan Duc – opening talk).
Pay attention to how we walk. Continue Thay by being 100 per cent in our steps. Be nourished and healed by our mindful steps, for ourselves and for people everywhere who need faith and aspiration (Brother Phap Ung – Ceremony of Requesting Refuge).
Ways To Practice With Us This Rains Retreat
Home Practice Suggestions
We will post the Sunday talks during this Retreat with practice suggestions from one of our elders and a guided meditation. You are invited to practice along with us, either with your family, friends, or local sangha.
Observe a weekly “Day of Mindfulness”
Choose a day in the week to be your “Day of Mindfulness”, maybe with family, friends, or a community of practice. A suggested schedule might include:
- Morning sitting meditation
- Exercises with the body
- Watch a Dharma Talk
- Walking meditation
- Mindful Lunch (20 minutes in silence)
- Deep Relaxation
- Sitting meditation in silence
- Mindful Dinner (20 minutes in silence)
You might choose some gathas to learn and practice during these 90-days.
Words from Brother Phap Huu at the Ceremony for Requesting Refuge as abbot of the Dharma Cloud Temple (15th September 2022)
Namo Shakyamuni Buddhaya,
Dear Respected Thay,
Dear elder brothers and sisters of our community,
This Rain retreat in the Dharma Cloud Temple, we are 46 Bhikshu, 15 Novices, and 61 lay persons, a total of 122 practitioners for the full 3-month Rain retreat.
How fortunate we are, to have the conditions to be together and practice for three full months. The Rains Retreat carries the spirit of being still, not running away, either from our suffering or chasing after an idea of happiness. It is an opportunity of returning home to oneself and taking refuge in our spiritual family. To enrich and deepen our Dharma body with our mindfulness practices and to continue Thay’s legacy in our Sangha body.
This is a beautiful tradition the Buddha has created for us to stop, rest, heal, and reflect.
I want to acknowledge what our community has gone through this year with the continuation of our teacher. There has been space for tenderness, grief, transformation, and togetherness. We have had beautiful moments of actions to strengthen our bodhicitta as we hosted again many retreats as well as celebrating 40 years of Plum Village. Having children and teens back for our summer has nourished the freshness of the community.
There is no other place I would rather be than in this spiritual family with its beauties and imperfections. I am very proud to be a part of this community.
Please dear Thay, dear elder brothers and sister, be a refuge for me and for the whole community.
Breathing in, present moment.
Breathing out, wonderful moment.
Please accept our request!