As 2013 drew to a close, in the meditation hall of the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village, Thay offered a Dharma talk entitled “Can the New Year be a Real New Year.” He began that talk by posing a question for each of us to ask ourselves: “Have I been able to produce feelings of peace, joy, and happiness each day during the year?” He then said that if, indeed, the New Year is to be new, then a person entering that year also has to be new — re-created continually through mindful practice. As he said, “New Year, New Me.” Earlier, Thay, in talking about this process of beginning the year anew with loved ones, said that an essential step is to look deeply to see how you can help those loved ones in the months and year ahead.
Such caring goes beyond individuals; it includes the organizations and institutions devoted to easing the suffering of the earth and all living beings. Thirty-seven years ago, Thich Nhat Hanh purchased a farmhouse and some land in the southwest of France and founded just such a place. Plum Village is now the largest Buddhist monastery in Europe, with over 200 resident monks and nuns. Additionally, every year Plum Village welcomes thousands of meditation practitioners from around the world to experience the art of mindful communal living.
Resident monastics and visiting retreatants live in three different hamlets. Each one of them is facing some challenges. You can find more information about these challenges and our aspirations on our donation page.
As Thay taught us, please look deeply to see how you can help your loved ones in the year to come. We hope that love extends to Plum Village. Please consider beginning this new year by helping to preserve Plum Village as a place of refuge not only for you, but for generations to come.
We bow to you in gratitude and we wish you happiness, health, and peace in the coming year.