“Love is Freedom” – Earth Retreat

In this present time of global biodiversity, social and climate crises, how can love show us the way?

The mindfulness practices as taught by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh help us cultivate greater understanding, healing and transformation. They are a path of great love – one that does not demand anything in return, that expands us, that frees us from individual and collective fears, greed, and illusion. A kind of love that liberates us to engage in ways that can contribute to a better world for all.

For the first time, Plum Village is hosting a Global Earth Retreat that unfolds both on-site and online (both in Plum Village and in our center near Paris). We will learn mindfulness practices that help us cultivate happiness, love and freedom, and join in workshops and panels on the themes of spirituality & activism; social & racial justice; how to take care of our grief and “eco-anxiety”;  among others. Together we will cultivate peace and the insight of Inter-being which can surely be the ground for a better future for all on Earth.

This Global Earth Retreat is open for all ages. The retreat will be mainly in English, with French and Spanish translations. Online Dharma sharings will be available in a few different languages.

Please note: The in-person retreat will be from June 16 – 23, 2023 (including arrival/ departure days). The online retreat will be from June 17 – 22,  2023. The registration for the online circle sharing will close on June 10.

For the online retreat we have carefully curated four adjusted schedules to cater to different time zones for your convenience: for Europe/ Africa, the Americas East and Americas West, and Asia/ Pacific. (Please click on your region to see the schedules of your time zone). Multiple price tiers and scholarships are available and you can follow the online retreat full or part time. Below you will find for more information about joining the retreat online.

In a number of cities and centers around the world local groups will gather to follow the retreat together in-person, see how to join in your region and how to join the onsite retreat in the Healing Spring monastery near Paris.

Go here to register for onsite and here to register for the online retreat.

Here is the trailer of the retreat with beautiful images of Plum Village, an interview with Thay and two activists.

Dharma Talks

Sister Chan Duc (“True Virtue”), Brother Phap Huu, Sr. Luc Nghiem and Br. Phap Linh are among the Dharma teachers who will offer talks during this retreat.

Special panel sharings & inter-faith solstice celebration

We are delighted that some special guests will join our Global Earth retreat:

Satish Kumar, Rehena Harilall, and Tho Ha Vinh will join us via zoom at panel sharings – for both onsite and online participants.

rehena Harilall (Dr.) celebrates African and Indian heritages. She grew up in the South African apartheid era and has been an activist in racial and social justice since childhood. Post democratic elections in South Africa she was active in various reconstruction and development projects, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2019 she co-founded “Buddhists Across Traditions” (BaT), the only UK-based BIPoC/Global Majority-centered Buddhist collective uniting traditions towards racial healing, social equity, and justice. She is one of the co-founders of the Sprouting Humane Education for the Ecological Crisis (SHEE) collaboration, part of the EcoDharma network, an ally of Faith for the Climate and has spoken on several European panels and podcasts on Buddhism and ecological justice. She has articles published in the Mindfulness Bell and Lions Roar journals. She is currently supporting various re-pair projects in Southern Africa relating to the renewal of marginalized rural spaces most impacted by the legacy of colonialism and the ecological crisis.

Satish Kumar is an Indian British activist and speaker. He has been a Jain monk, nuclear disarmament advocate and pacifist. Now living in England, Satish is the founder of the Schumacher College international center for ecological studies. In 1962 he went on a peace walk of over 8,000 miles for two and a half years, from New Delhi to Moscow, Paris, London, and Washington, D.C.

Tho Ha Vinh is a lay Dharma teacher in the Plum Village Tradition. He was the Director of the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan, and the Head of Learning and Development at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He is the Founder of the Eurasia Learning Institute for Happiness and Wellbeing. He holds a PhD in Education and Psychology.

Ejna Fleury, Midahi Baptista, and Wolf Martinez will be present in Plum Village and offer an inter-spirituality solstice celebration.

Ejna Fleury is an enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, South Dakota, and is their first Tribal Peace Ambassador. She is a Mystic, Visionary & Ceremonialist. She is the co-founder of the Wounded Knee Global Ceremonies to heal the multi-generational and multi-lineal effects of massacre, holocaust, and war upon humanity, other species, and our beloved planetary home. Grandmother Ejna has been practicing meditation for more than 40 years and is a certified meditation teacher and spiritual counselor.

Mindahi Bastida (Otomí-Toltec) is Director of the Original Nations Program of the Fountain and until July 2020 was the Director of the Original Caretakers Program, Center for Earth Ethics, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (2017- ) and General Coordinator of the Otomi-Toltec Regional Council in Mexico, a caretaker of the philosophy and traditions of the Otomi-Toltec peoples, and has been an Otomi-Toltec Ritual Ceremony Officer since 1988. He is consultant with UNESCO around Sacred Sites and Biocultural issues and for other UN programs. He has written on the relation between the state and Indigenous Peoples, intercultural education, collective intellectual property rights and associated traditional knowledge, biocultural sacred sites, and other topics.

Wolf Martinez is a Third Gendered Ceremonialist of Diné, Ute, and Spanish decent who adopted in the Lakota way of Life. Wolf has practiced healing arts based in Indigenous and Oriental Traditions, Shiatsu, for over 30 years, incorporating mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well being. Wolf has been a Ceremonial Leader for 25 years based in Native American Traditions. Inipi (Sweat Lodge), Hanbleceya (Vision Quest), Sacred Plant Ceremonies, Commitment Ceremonies, Clearings and so on, awakening us to an expanded awareness of the ever present Relationship with Nature, the Cosmos, the people, and our Self.

With the presence of Joshua Konkakoh and Cacique Paje Bane to share their wisdom.

Joshua Konkakoh is an honoured African elder, indigenous wisdom keeper and experienced social change movement builder. He is the founder of ‘Better World Cameroon’, the ‘Spirit of Ndanifor’ and the ‘Indigenous & Modern Project’. Joshua is internationally best known as the visionary behind BWC, his Eco-village permaculture projects, based on indigenous knowledge, and the “Spirit of Ndanifor’, designed to be a youth-led, solution based Permaculture and Ecovillage Alliance on an international platform. 

Cacique Paje Bane of the Huni Kuin Kaxinawa tribe, from Rio Jordao in Acre, Brazil is leaving his village in the Amazon for the first time to transmit the message of the forest, a call to live in harmony with the Earth. He shares his ancestral community values, connection to nature, humility – “I take care of the earth, and the earth takes care of me” and to learn from our cultures and traditions.

He founded his village of 149 inhabitants 17 years ago, and assumes his responsibility as “cacique” (chief village) and “paje” (healer). He takes care of everyone’s needs (food, traditional care) and that their customs and traditions are preserved [Photo taken during a ceremony for singers to bring the quality of this special bird who can imitate many of the song birds]

Tailored workshops including:

Register for onsite/ in-person retreat

To register for the onsite retreat in the Healing Spring monastery and Maison de l’Inspir near Paris, please go to this site.

** To register for couples, please fill in details of both people.

If there are no more spaces available here, you may like to consider joining the retreat in the Plum Village center near Paris – see more information here.

Si prega di registrarsi qui sotto se si desidera soggiornare con la sangha italiana in Upper Hamlet
Si desea alojarse en Upper Hamlet con la sangha 
castellana, por favor regístrese aquí:

More information about joining us for the onsite/ in-person retreat

The environment is not outside of us, we are the environment. What we need is a transformation of our consciousness, our ideas of happiness, and our lifestyle.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Online retreat

The online part of the retreat is being co-organized by the Earth Holder Community and Plum Village. Sessions such as the Dharma talks, sitting meditations, and some panel sharings will be livestreamed from Plum Village. Other events such as workshops and panel sharings, the affinity group meals, and deep relaxations will be facilitated by the Earth Holder Community. Because many monastics in Plum Village will be guiding the circle sharing groups on-site, the online circle sharings will mostly be facilitated by experienced lay practitioners (OI members and Dharma teachers)

There will be a combination of live and recorded sessions. In some regions there will be a live MC while watching the talks given in Plum Village that day together with other participants. We have carefully created four adjusted schedules so that it flows well with your time zone. Please click on your region to see the schedules of your time zone:  Europe/ Africa, the Americas East and Americas West, and Asia/ Pacific.

We would like to make this retreat as inclusive and available as possible, so that many friends from around the world can join and connect with the powerful energy of the global Sangha. We therefore provide multiple price tiers to support students and those without a regular income. Scholarships will also be available .

Please note: The in-person retreat will be from June 16 – 23, 2023 (including arrival/ departure days). The online retreat will be from June 17 – 22,  2023. The registration for the online circle sharing will close on June 10. After that you can still register for the online retreat, but not for the circle/Dharma sharing.

A 6-day experience connecting with like-minded people

Guided meditations and relaxations specially for dealing with the stresses of campaigning for change

Circle sharings with fellow practitioners

Tap into the wisdom of the collective through deep listening and loving speech practices

Talks from senior Dharma teachers and special guests to keep the flame alive 

With special guests Satish Kumar, Tho Ha Vinh, Ejna Fleury, Joshua Konkahoh, and others

Panel sharing and workshops

Exploring concrete ways mindfulness can support social and environmental action. Hear from experienced practitioners and activists who have applied mindfulness practices into their daily life and work.

“Dharma Sharing” circles

Join a group of about 20 people, guided by an experienced lay facilitator. These “Dharma Sharing” groups are a highlight of the retreat. It’s a great way to enjoy live interaction, and to hear, learn, and connect deeply with people from many different countries and backgrounds.

Please note that Dharma sharing spaces are limited, and that registration for it will close on June 10th, 2023. Therefore we recommend that you register as soon as possible.

What’s an “online” retreat like?

I have found this retreat very powerful. Quietly radical. Sneakily paradigm-shifting. It reminds me exactly why I love Plum Village so.

Yvette Issar, Geneva, Switzerland

Thank you to all involved in making this retreat happen. It has been such a nourishment for me and inspiring to hear all the dharma talks and panel discussions …. It really was like experiencing a mini retreat at home. Deep gratitude to everyone.

Sarah Dawson in Ireland

What was particularly helpful is to bring the retreat spirit into my own home, making the integration into daily life easier.

Judith, The Netherlands

Experiences from the Online Wake Up Ambassador Retreat

Register for the online retreat from June 17 – 22

Please be aware that there are two parts to complete the registration process:

  1. The first part consists of three short steps:
    • 1. Choosing your contribution
    • 2. Making the payment
    • The last step of part 1: Creating an user account (name and password)
  2. The second part: Filling out the Registration Form Part 2 (further important information like your time zone, language, and your circle sharing preference).

This will only take a few minutes.
You need to complete both parts in order to register. Only after you have clicked “Submit”, will your registration be complete and successful.

This online retreat and its content will be hosted at the online retreat platform of the Earth Holder Community (EHC). Please note: The registration for the online circle sharing will close on June 10. After that you can still register for the online retreat, but not for the circle/ Dharma sharing part of it.

We do not want the financial aspect to keep you from participating. As retreat organizers, we are committed to equity and ensuring that our offerings on Earth & Social Justice are accessible to retreatants from all around the world. We therefore provide multiple price tiers and partial and full scholarships to support students, those without regular income, and friends from across the global South. Financial contributions will help to sustain the activities and offerings of Plum Village and the Earth Holder Communities.

If you are not familiar with English, please use the translation function of your browser (e. g. ChromeEdgeFirefox).
如果你不懂英语,请使用你的浏览器的翻译功能 (ChromeEdgeFirefox)

Please send an email to retreats@earthholder.org if you have any questions.

Onsite retreat in HSM and MdI near Paris

The Global Earth retreat will also take place in our centers Healing Spring monastery and Maison de l’Inspir near Paris. The retreat will be in English and French. Most activities will be live onsite (sitting, walking meditations, Dharma sharing, onsite workshops). The Dharma talks and panel sharings will be livestreamed from Plum Village. The brothers and sisters of Healing Spring in Verdelot and Maison de l’Inspir are happy to welcome you and practice with you during this special retreat. Reductions are available upon request. Please click here for more information and to register.

Join the retreat with practitioners in your region

We encourage local Sanghas/ groups and friends to join the online retreat together with your local group. In a number of cities and practice centers around the world local Sanghas will participate in the retreat together (e.g. in Morning Sun Practice Center in NH, US; Healing Spring near Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Hongkong, Geneva, and other places).

By following the online retreat together, practicing sitting, walking, watching the Dharma talks and having Dharma sharing sessions with practitioners from your area, you will benefit from the siblinghood and the collective energy of the Sangha while following the retreat of Plum Village. Please see this site for more detailed information about where local Sanghas will gather. If you are hosting a local gathering and would like people in your area to find out about it on that page, please fill in this short form.

You can also join the retreat with two or three friends or family members from your home. There are special group rates at the online registration.

More information about the Earth Holders communities :

Questions about the program

How much time do I need to follow this retreat?

This is a 6-day online retreat, depending on time zone– late Friday through Thursday evening. Ideally, it is best if you can clear your days from other commitments so you can fully participate and savor the peaceful energy of the retreat, even when you are not following a scheduled session.

Please look at the schedule of your time zone to see how much time you need. You don’t need to join all sessions, but we recommend you join at least the sittings, Dharma talks, panel sharings and Dharma sharing sessions, if you would like to get a real retreat experience.

Please note that you can choose to opt-in or opt-out of the four “Dharma sharing” sessions). If you opt-in, we ask that you commit to join all four sessions, on time, so the group can have a strong collective experience. Please also try to watch the Dharma talks of the same day before the sharing. To avoid disturbing the group, we will not be able to admit people to the Dharma Sharing sessions once they have started.

Please also organize some time before the retreat starts, to familiarize yourself with the videos and information in the “How to Enjoy Your Online Retreat” package, and set up a peaceful corner of your home where you can have your best internet connection. We hope that this immersive and interactive experience will help you strengthen your mindfulness practice and establish the spirit of Plum Village right in your home.

If I can’t join one of the sessions, can I still follow the other sessions?

We encourage you to attend as much of the retreat as possible to get the greatest benefit from the practice. Please note that if you wish to join the 4 Dharma Sharing sessions, you will need to follow the Dharma Talk in order to “unlock” the Dharma Sharing session later in the day. To support the collective shared experience, it is not possible to join the Dharma Sharing if you have not attended the Dharma Talk.

If I can’t join a session live, can I watch it later?

Yes, the recording of most of livestreams will remain available afterwards at the online retreat platform.

What is “Dharma Sharing”, “Circle Sharing”, or “breakout groups”? 

In this retreat, the Dharma Sharing is a smaller break-out group of around 20 participants, led by an experienced facilitator. It gives us a chance to listen deeply, to speak from the heart, and benefit from each other’s insights and experience of practicing mindfulness. We can share our experiences, our joys, our difficulties, and our questions relating to the teachings in the retreat, and the mindfulness practices we are following together.

What do I need to prepare before joining this retreat? 

Please organize your time and commitments, so you have space from late Friday, June 16 to the evening of Thursday June 22, 2023 , to fully participate in the retreat. On Friday 16 there will be a (optional) total relaxation. A few days before the retreat starts, you’ll receive a digital package with information and resources on how to prepare yourself and your environment so you can really enjoy the retreat. Please allow an hour or two before June 16 to familiarize yourself with these materials and set up your computer correctly.

You’re invited to prepare a room or corner in your home where you can be online, undisturbed. It is important that you are not interrupted during the various sessions, so you may like to communicate with loved ones, or other people you live with, to ask for their support in this. If you are participating in the Dharma Sharing groups, it will be important for you to log-on from a private space where you can share without others hearing you.

If I have a question about the teachings given during the retreat, where / when can I ask it?

The Dharma Sharing break-out groups are the ideal time to ask questions from the heart about the teachings you have heard and practices we are following together. There will be a special session of Questions & Answers with the monks and nuns or other experienced Plum Village practitioners on Wed June 21, 2023, live in the Americas.

Will I be able to interact with the monastics directly? Eg. Can I ask them a question and get an answer?

The Dharma Sharing break-out groups offer a rare opportunity to join a circle facilitated by an experienced facilitator. Because many monastics in Plum Village will be guiding the circle sharing groups on-site, the online circle sharings will mostly be facilitated by experienced lay practitioners (OI members and Dharma teachers). If you are interested in connecting with the monastics, we encourage you to consider joining one of the on-site retreats. However, the online retreat is still a wonderful way to connect with many experienced practitioners – monastic and lay – from around the world.  If you are interested in connecting with experienced Plum Village practitioners, we strongly encourage you to make the commitment to opt-in to the four Dharma Sharing sessions. Our teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, taught us that Dharma Sharing break-out groups are the most powerful way to learn and grow in our mindfulness practice. Please note that these sessions are not direct question-and-answer sessions, but a group where questions may be addressed collectively.

I live with other people. Can I still join the retreat?

Yes, you do not need to be in a hut on a mountain to enjoy this retreat. So long as you have a quiet corner or room where you can be undisturbed, and perhaps have space to stretch and do the mindful movements, you will be able to enjoy the retreat fully. You may need headphones, and if you are joining Dharma Sharing, somewhere in the house where you can speak without being heard by others.

You can explain to those you live with your intention in joining the retreat and ask for their support. The idea is not to cut yourself off from them, but to generate a strong energy of mindfulness, peace and presence, during the sessions, that you can bring to your in-person interactions off-screen over the course of the week. You will be able to apply many of the teachings on deep listening, mindful eating and so on, right away!

I haven’t done a retreat before. Will I be able to follow this one?

This retreat is accessible to those new to the practice, and will be a refreshing and deepening experience for those who have been practicing mindfulness for some time. It is a precious chance to connect directly with our spiritual community, and to meet like-minded people.

I’m not in Europe. Can I join from a different time zone? Will I miss anything?

Please see the schedule of your time-zone. This is an international retreat suited for European, African, Asian and American time zones. It is convenient to follow in American time zones. Please click on your region to see the schedules of your time zone:  Europe/ Africa, the Americas East and Americas West, and Asia/ Pacific.

The Dharma sharings are in times that are suitable for your time zone. Some sessions will be live in your time zone, and for other sessions you can watch the recording on the retreat platform. In the Americas we encourage the participants to watch the Dharma talks (that have been given in France earlier that day) together in a zoom session to create a nourishing collective experience, possibly with a live facilitator.

What language will the retreat be given in?

The retreats will be offered in English with Spanish and French translation. For French speakers, there will be your own French Dharma Sharing break-out groups. Similarly for Spanish-speakers. As we expand our experience and technical capacity, we hope to offer translation into more languages in future. Some local groups are planning to follow this retreat with local translation in Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, and perhaps others. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Is there any translation for the live sessions?

The talks will be translated live from English into French and Spanish. Probably also into Chinese and Italian. If you are bilingual, and have experience offering simultaneous translation for the Dharma talks (teachings) into a language other than French or Spanish, and would like to offer to translate, please email the technical team, and we will see what may be possible: to retreats@earthholder.org

Questions about tech issues

What do I need to join this retreat? Do I need to install anything? Do I need any special equipment?

This retreat will be delivered to you through your web browser and the Zoom app. When following the live events you can choose to join via Zoom or via the embedded video in your browser (link will be provided in advance). If you are opting-in to Dharma Sharing (the smaller breakout groups), you will need to install the Zoom software and you will need a webcam on your computer or tablet, so people can see you (just as you will see others). It is also preferable to have headphones, ideally with a microphone.

What quality will the videos be streamed in?

We try to livestream on 720p, but some of our Plum Village hamlets do not have strong enough internet so it may be limited to 480p. After the retreat we will upload almost all content in 1080p for your enjoyment..

I don’t have a very stable internet connection. Can I still join the retreat?

It depends how unstable. Your viewing quality is similar to watching something on youtube. So if that is a pleasant enough experience, then yes you can join this retreat. But for Dharma Sharing others might find it difficult to hear you. You can ask permission to turn off your camera, so others can hear you better.

Can I join the retreat from my phone?

Yes, when you subscribe you will receive an email with instructions and telephone numbers to join us via Zoom. You will only be able to follow the live sessions; it is not possible to join Dharma Sharing sessions from a phone.

Do I have to open my camera or can I join just audio?

Yes you can join only via audio, you do not have to start your camera, you can also choose only to watch via our platform. Only when you join the Dharma Sharing session, everybody is asked to start their camera to create a safe environment.

Will I be able to save and keep the recordings after the retreat?

All the recordings will be available afterwards on our platform, for you to access for six months. You will not be able to download them. 

If I have technical difficulties with my setup, who do I contact?

You’re invited to breathe, pray, or send an email to retreats@earthholder.org

Questions about registration

How are the “breakout groups” formed? Can I choose which breakout group to join? 

The groups will be assigned by the organising team, based on our experience of creating diverse yet balanced groups. It is not possible to assign you to a chosen facilitator.

What is my registration fee paying for?

Your contribution will go towards the Online monastery of Plum Village, the food, lodging, and healthcare for our community of 700 monastics in ten mindfulness practice centers worldwide, as well as to the Earth Holder Community, an initiative of Plum Village focused on earth and racial justice, that is co-organising this retreat. It will also enable us to invest in technical infrastructure in terms of internet, cameras, and equipment, so we can offer more teachings live online, with direct contact between monastics and practitioners. Without your support, Plum Village and the Earth Holder Community would be unable to sustain our community or offer the Dharma online.

Is there a refund option if I need to cancel my registration?

We can offer a full refund within 30 days of your payment. 

If I cannot afford the lowest scholarship fee, can I apply for a further reduction?

We do not want the financial aspect to keep you from participating. If you want to attend the online retreat and your budget does not allow for it at this moment, we encourage you to fill out the short scholarship application form. Please find the link for it at the registration form on the bottom of the “Payment/ Choose your contribution” page. This will help us understand why you need to offer a different amount and we’ll reply with specific registration instructions.   

/ Register

Hide Transcript

What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

00:00 / 00:00
Show Hide Transcript Close