We share recordings from a special evening of mindfulness with practitioners in India.
Plum Village had the great joy of celebrating Vesak with the various Plum Village sanghas in India and the Ahimsa Foundation on 26 May, 2021. (The Ahimsa Foundation isan organization founded to represent our teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and his practice communities in India). We had a chance to hear firsthand the suffering that many have endured during the pandemic and watch it unfold into an evening of gratitude and joy of being alive in the present moment. We invite you to enjoy the highlights of the evening with us below.
Introduction and Update from India by Shantum Seth
If you would like to know more about what Ahimsa Trust is doing in India you can download this report.
A Taste of India: Tea Meditation and Haikus
We had the great privilege to take part in a tea meditation guided by Aarti, a meditation practice born from deeply touching the present moment while having her daily evening cup of tea in the hospital with her sick father suffering from COVID-19.
Sheela, a writer, was encouraged by her sangha to write poetry and over the course of the year, her suffering and grief has creatively transformed into haiku (a Japanese poetry form that has the structure of 5-7-5 syllables).
Dharma talk by Br Phap Lai (Joy in the Midst of Suffering)
Brother Phap Lai offered a short dharma talk on how cultivating joy in the midst of suffering need not feel like a conflict.
We are much more than our fear of death. Br Phap Lai tells a story from the Buddha’s time of how a mother crazed with grief over the loss of her baby was asked by the Buddha to bring back a mustard seed from a household that had never been touched by death. Over the course of the day, this woman slowly realized that no household is exempt from the inevitability of death and was able to accept her loss. Br Phap Lai also tells us to remember that we are not alone in our suffering, no matter how great.
India’s very own Delhi-grown Plum Village monk, Br Bao Tich (Br Satyaratna) led a guided meditation on cultivating freedom, peace and joy in ourselves.
The evening closed with a simple candle lighting ceremony, as the full moon rose over India on Vesak day.