Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet

Welcome to a 7-week in-depth online learning journey to nurture insight, compassion, community, and mindful action in service of the Earth.

Learn More

Are you currently participating in this course? Login

7 week course:
3-7 hours per week,
Combination of self-paced content and live events.

Language: English

Prices: €/$200, €/$300
Scholarships are available

Dates for next course: 20th October – 8th December 2024 (tentative dates)

Join our online course

Register

Join this new online course bringing to life the teachings in Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet.

Do you have a deep sense of care for the Earth, and want to find ways to bring mindfulness to your climate response? This new online journey harnesses the wisdom of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh to teach us how to face challenging feelings and create a sense of freedom and possibility. It is designed to empower the human resilience we need to face our current situation.

Course registration is now open for the next course which will run from 20th October until 8th December 2024 (tentative dates): Please register here.

You can also sign up to receive updates.

Why Take this Course?

  • Balance personal wellbeing with climate action 
  • Begin to master difficult emotions and develop inner resilience
  • Join a grounded purpose-driven community of changemakers
  • Train in deep listening and compassionate communication
  • Nourish a profound relationship with the Earth
  • Turn your climate concern and anxiety into sustainable action

What Does the Course Offer?

New Teaching Videos

Professionally filmed short-form teachings from Plum Village monastic and lay teachers

Talks from Thich Nhat Hanh

Specially curated archive footage of teachings on engaged Buddhism and the environment

Daily Zen Practices

New guided meditations and other mindfulness exercises to incorporate into daily life

Live events

Learn together with Plum Village monastics and lay teachers

Small Group Sharings

Four group sessions to share insights and absorb the learning with others

Bespoke Interactive Platform

To connect with each other and feel a sense of community

You will have access to the course material for 12 months after the course ends.

We have entered a period unseen before in human history that requires all hands and all hearts on deck. Whether you’re a climate activist, a scientist, a parent, an outdoor enthusiast, or someone who simply doesn’t know where to begin, this course will help you respond to the current crisis from a more grounded, thoughtful, connected, and effective position

Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Chair of the Paris Climate Agreement

What Will You Learn?

Week 1

Embracing the Pain

Become able to ground ourselves in our breath and body, to create the stability and clarity needed to handle the difficulty of our situation.

Week 2

Cutting Through Illusion

Learn to move beyond a human-centric view of the world, to break out of our separation and touch a greater wonder and mystery in life.

Week 3

Living with Courage

Face our deepest fears about our death and the possible destruction of our civilization to have the peace and energy to respond to big challenges.

Week 4

Learning to Rest

A chance to rest & restore, and to reflect on course learnings up until this point.

Week 5

Brave Dialogue

Discover strategies for listening and speaking to help us in the challenging dialogues needed to heal relationships and address the climate crisis.

Week 6

Mastering Mind & Habits

Explore how Buddhist psychology and self-compassion can help us take care of fear, anxiety, and despair, transform our habits, and identify our deep aspirations.

Week 7

Action Dimension

Identify and nurture the power of community to support us beyond this course and feel empowered to walk in the company of bodhisattvas.

Meet your Teachers

Sister Peace, Brother Pháp Dung, Christiana Figueres, Dr. Larry Ward
Sister Chân Đức, Brother Pháp Hữu, Sister Từ Nghiêm, Anh Tran (Nho)
Brother Pháp Xả, Sister Lăng Nghiêm, Sister True Dedication, John Bell
Sister Trai Nghiêm, Felipe Viveros, Sister Tuệ Nghiêm, Sister Chân Không
Sister Định Nghiêm, Brother Pháp Linh, Sister Lực Nghiêm


After being in climate justice movements for many years, I’ve found myself stuck in a routine way of thinking and taking action. My time with you all has been a breakthrough, a start of a new journey.

Isabelle, USA

I had burned out and now I see that taking care of me is the first thing to do, to serve with my true self for humanity

Donna, Chile

My biggest takeaway from the course has been that I have all the tools necessary to heal myself. I can connect to mindfulness and the earth whenever I need. My life has become slower, more meaningful, and colourful since engaging with this course.

Cait, South Africa

What are the Practicalities of the Course?

  • To take this course, we recommend you take a minimum of 3 hours per week (including live events), and ideally allow 5-7 hours a week to complete all elements of the course.
  • For the next cohort of this online course, there will be 4 live events (plus one optional live relaxation), which you can access via Zoom. Live events will be held on Sundays at 19:30 Central European Time (CET). The dates will be published soon.
    • Live opening (1 hour)
    • Q&A with monastics (1 hour)
    • Optional live relaxation (1 hour)
    • Workshop (1.5 hours)
    • Closing (1 hour)
  • We also encourage you to join a small sharing group to follow the course with and exchange insights. These groups will meet 4 times, and you will likely be invited to choose either Fridays or Saturdays, with meeting times adapted to different time zones.
  • In addition, we’ll run the course again later in the year, from October – December 2024 (exact live event dates in this cohort TBC).

Use your tears to put out the fires scorching the Earth, and your breath to redirect the waters of your heart towards wellness, justice and harmony.

Dr. Larry Ward, Senior Plum Village Dharma teacher

Pricing

Our aim is to make the course financially accessible whilst covering the costs involved in producing and running the course and, if possible, supporting the international Plum Village monastic community.

Standard Rate | $300

This rate helps us sustain the course, the creators and community that is offering it.

Discount Rate | $200

For students and people on a lower income that are unable to afford the standard rate.

Scholarships | $0 – $60

For those in need of financial assistance, and who also identify as: a young person (35 and under) and / or Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour (BIPOC) and / or from the Global South.

Sponsor Rate | $600

This option helps sustain the course and enables us to offer more scholarships.

 

Register

Registration for our next course cohort, running from the 20th of October until the 8th of December 2024 (tentative dates), is now open:

If you’d like to be the first to hear about any course news, please sign up for updates

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration and payment

How do I register?

You can register above by choosing a cohort that suits you. After selecting your rate, you will create an account by entering your name and email address (or log in if you already have an account). You will then receive an email from us with a magic login link. You will be logged in on the registration page by clicking the button/link in the email. From there you can proceed to payment. If you are applying for a scholarship, you will be directed to the application form.

How does the pricing scale work for the course?

We offer an inclusive pricing system with a ‘sliding scale’ of prices as we are aware that people have different financial capacities: 

  • Our standard rate is €/US$300, which helps us to cover the costs involved in putting this course together. 
  • If you are a student or on a lower income and unable to afford the standard rate, you are welcome to choose the discount rate of €/US$200. 
  • To ensure a diverse, inclusive and accessible course, we offer scholarships on request with a rate of €/US$60 or less for particular hardships. 
  • We have a sponsor rate of €/US$600 for those who may have the capacity to contribute more, which helps us to offer more scholarships.

What can I expect after I apply for a scholarship?

After you apply for a scholarship, you will receive an email confirming the reception of your application. Our team will review your application. If approved, you will receive a further email which contains a unique scholarship coupon. You can use this coupon when you finish registration. Read the step-by-step guide of claiming the coupon here.

How do I use my scholarship coupon?

You can log in the registration page and enter your coupon code (under ‘Order Overview’ in the ‘Coupon field’) and click ‘Apply Coupon’. You will see the updated price afterwards. Click ‘Continue’ to finish your course registration. You can find the step-by-step instruction here.

What payment options do we offer?

You can make payments via Credit Card or Debit Card, and payments can be made in either Euros (€) or US Dollars($).

For those who are paying in Euros you can also make your payment via Ideal, Giropay, Bancontact, Sofort, Eps’ and P24.

We are not able to accept bank transfers, and can only accept PayPal transfers in the case where no other form of payment is possible. For any questions about payment please contact us via zasp@plumvillage.org.

How can I pay if I do not have a credit or debit card, or a PayPal account?

Unfortunately, we only can offer these forms of payment. If you are not able to pay via these means, we suggest asking a friend or family member to help you.

Do you offer partial payment / installment?

No, we do not. We appreciate your understanding.

What is the refund policy?

The intention of this course is to offer a transformative and healing online learning journey, helping people to cultivate insight, compassion, and resilience. This course has been created with much hard and loving work. To help us sustain the course and the community that is offering it, the refund policy is as follows:

  • Within six weeks before the course start date – 100% of the full fee may be refunded. An admin fee of €30.00 will be charged.*
  • Within one week before the course start date – 50% of the full fee may be refunded. An admin fee of €30.00 will be charged.*
  • Within two weeks after the course start date – financial refunds no longer possible, however you will be able to transfer your place to future courses if you experience personal circumstances which mean you can no longer participate on your originally chosen course dates. 
  • Two weeks after the course start date – Refunds or transfers no longer eligible.

    *The admin fee is waived for scholarship recipients.

Course content and time requirement

Will I be able to follow the course if I’m new to mindfulness, Plum Village and Thich Nhat Hanh?

This online course is designed to be accessible to those new to mindfulness practice and the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. It is also a refreshing and deepening experience for those who have been practicing mindfulness for some time. The course is a precious chance to connect directly with our spiritual community, and to meet like-minded people concerned with the pressing issues of our times.

Is this online course appropriate for all ages?

This online course is designed as an adult learning experience. If you are a parent or guardian, you may want to watch any of the videos on the online course platform first and check if you feel they may be suitable for your child to watch. Please note that in the sharing groups, themes may spontaneously arise that may not be appropriate for teenagers or children, and so it is not possible to register participants under 18. We are currently exploring how we can offer a different, more tailored experience for children and teens online. Please join our newsletter for future announcements.

Is the course pre-recorded or live? 

This online course is a mixture of pre-recorded content, live events and interactive elements. Our pre-recorded videos, tailored exclusively for your learning journey, gives you the opportunity to follow the content at your own pace during the week. The live events, sharing groups and interactive features give you an opportunity to cultivate community and share insights with fellow participants.

How much time do I need to follow this online course?

You will need a minimum of 3 hours per week for the course. However, we recommend 5-7 hours per week to get the full benefit of the teachings and practices shared. Much of the content is self-paced, and there is one live event or sharing group each week on Friday/Saturday/Sunday, as well as self-organized opportunities to cultivate community and share insights and experiences with other participants.

Do I need to set time aside before the course starts? 

You will need to spend 1-2 hours before the online course begins, to familiarize yourself with the course platform, learn more about the course teachers and watch some introductions to the practice and the themes in this course. We also suggest that you set up a peaceful corner of your home where you can follow the course activities online.

Can I join the course…

…if we are a couple?

We suggest that you register as individuals and participate as an individual in the group sharing sessions.

…if I want to register as a group (not a couple)? 

We currently don’t offer a group registration option, so it would be best if you register for each individual. For the live events, you are welcome to watch them together. Similarly, for the recorded material and practices, you may like to watch together and explore practicing together as a group. It will also be possible to set up or join the same sharing group.

…if I live with other people, such as housemates? 

Yes, you do not need to be in a hut on a mountain to enjoy this online course. As long as you have a quiet corner or room where you can be undisturbed, and perhaps some space to stretch, you will be able to enjoy the online course. You may need headphones, and if you are joining sharing sessions, somewhere in the house where you can speak in privacy. You can explain to those you live with your intention in joining the online course and ask for their support. The idea is not to cut yourself off from them, but to generate the energy of mindfulness, peace and presence during the sessions and bring to them to your interactions off the screen. You will be able to apply many of the teachings, such as deep listening and mindful eating, right away!

…from any time zone?

Yes. This online course will be a mixture of pre-recorded video content and live events. The pre-recorded content will allow you to follow in your own time during the week. 

The live events will take place at 7.30pm Central European Time (CET). All events will be recorded if you’re not able to join live.

The Live Sharing Group Sessions are self-organized, so it’s likely that there will be groups taking place at times convenient for various time zones.

Live events and sharing groups

How long are the live events? 

The live events will generally be for 1 hour, with the exception of the workshop which lasts for 1.5 hours. The sharing sessions within self-organised groups will also be 1 hour long.

Will the live events be recorded? 

Yes, live events will be recorded, but the sharing group sessions. If the live event is not at a convenient time for you, you can watch the recording afterwards which will be provided on the platform within approximately 24 hours following the live event.

What are the sharing groups about? 

The sharing groups are online, peer-facilitated groups of about 8-10 participants each. We will provide guidelines on facilitating the sharing group sessions. These sessions give us a chance to listen deeply, speak from the heart, and benefit from each other’s insights and experience of the course. We can share our experiences, our joys, difficulties as well as questions relating to the teachings in the course and the mindfulness practices we are following together.

How is the sharing group formed? 

In the course platform, you will be invited to join or create your own groups, and specify the time, day of the weekend and language preference. The invitation to join/create a sharing group will be announced a few weeks before the course opens, so you have a good amount of time to choose the group and get the times of the group session in your calendar. In order to build a safe and supportive environment in these groups, we ask participants to commit to staying in the group for all 4 sharing sessions.

Can I change my sharing group?

Yes, you can change your group until your second sharing session. You can change your sharing group after the first meeting with your group if you feel uncomfortable or if the time/date doesn’t suit you. After the second sharing session, it is not possible to change your sharing group. This is to support the creation of a strong collective experience within the group.

Can more than one person join in one screen for the group sharing sessions?

We ask for one person per screen for the group sharing sessions, so that your face can be seen more clearly. This can help to create a sense of safety and greater sense of connection. If this is not possible for some reason, then the maximum would be two people per screen.

Languages

What language will the course be given in? 

This online course will be offered in English. As we expand our experience and technical capacity, we hope to offer translation into more languages in future. For the group sharing sessions during the course, if you’d like to create a group sharing in a language that suits you better, you are free to set one up and see if others are interested and available to join.

Is there any translation for the live sessions?

The live sessions will be offered in English. As we expand our experience and technical capacity, we hope to offer translation into more languages in future.

Can I join a sharing group in my own language?

Sharing groups are self-organized. We welcome and encourage you to join or create a sharing group in your own language if you feel more comfortable expressing your thoughts and feelings in that language. Though please be aware that we cannot guarantee that there will be enough people available to join at the same time and in the same language as you; this will depend on the other course participants.

After the course

Will you be offering this course again?

Yes, our intention is to offer this course multiple times. Please subscribe for updates to be among the first to hear about ZASP updates.

Will I get a certification after completing the course?

No, at this moment we do not offer course certification.

Can’t find your answers here? Please take a look at our more extensive FAQ page.

Subscribe for Updates

Subscribe here to receive our course updates

By clicking Sign Up, you agree that the International Plum Village Community may send you information. You understand and agree that the International Plum Village Community, its affiliates and service providers may use your information in accordance with our privacy policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Course Content

Expand All
Get Ready for the Journey
Week 1: Embracing the Pain
Week 2: Cutting Through Illusion
Week 3: Living with Courage
Week 4: Learning to Rest
Week 5: Brave Dialogue
Week 6: Mastering Mind & Habits
Week 7: Action Dimension
Post Course: Continue the Journey

/ Register

Hide Transcript

What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

00:00 / 00:00
Show Hide Transcript Close