Plum Village, France
January 3, 2015
To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide,
To our Dear Beloved Friends,
Happy New Year! May you and your loved ones enjoy a truly New Year, blossoming with health, happiness and peace. We would like to thank everyone for continuing to generate the energy of healing and compassion for our Beloved Teacher.
In the last three weeks Thay has gradually emerged into wakefulness, and has his eyes open for much of the day, to the point where the doctors can now say that he is no longer in a coma.
In his current state, Thay is able to recognize familiar faces. He is very responsive to verbal stimuli and has brought everyone great joy by starting to smile in the last few days. One of Thay’s close attendants recounted some shared memories from being on Tour with Thay. There was a particularly humorous story which, to his astonishment, even made Thay smile and chuckle.
However at the present time Thay is not yet able to speak. This indicates some degree of aphasia, which is being monitored closely and may evolve favourably in response to therapy.
Thay’s physical condition remains stable, and thanks to the excellent care Thay has received from the medical staff, he is able to enjoy being comfortable and at ease. Thay is investing great effort in his physiotherapy sessions. He is making daily progress, and the attendants are learning from his mind of determination, as they witness him practising the exercises from time to time throughout the day.
There are plans for Thay to be transferred to a specialist Stroke Rehabilitation Clinic soon. In the Rehab Clinic he will get the best possible care and training in order to regain as much as he can in his speech ability and movements.
Today in Plum Village we concluded our special Christmas and New Year Retreat. Nine hundred people, including many friends from near and far, participated in our New Year’s Celebrations on the 31st. We practised walking meditation together along Upper Hamlet’s legendary paths, burned New Year Resolutions in a bonfire, listened to a nourishing Dharma Talk from a senior Dharma Teacher, and enjoyed a festive meal and lively performances, ranging from jazz to rap, kung fu and an in-house skit of “The Goodfather”. Sister Chan Khong offered a Total Relaxation and Touching of the Earth, and the whole community sat in meditation as midnight arrived, signalled by the giant temple drum and bell.
Thay has built a beautiful community for us all to take refuge in, and we know the peace and joy of our spiritual family is Thay’s peace and joy.
A real sangha always carries within itself the energy of love, the energy of brotherhood and sisterhood, hope and compassion.
Our sangha is our home. Our sangha is our hope.
TNH, December 24, 2010
With trust and love,
The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village