Plum Village is dedicated to creating an environment in which healing, understanding, happiness, and peace can blossom and grow. We do this by travelling to the Middle East and bringing young people from the region to Plum Village.
The brothers and sisters of Plum Village Monastery have the aspiration to continue our teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh’s, long history of deep listening and sharing mindful practices with people living in areas of conflict and war. Thay first led a retreat in Plum Village for Palestinians and Israelis in 2003, where he offered insights based on his own experiences in the war in Vietnam and Buddhist teachings.
To realize their aspiration to continue Thay’s efforts, a monastic delegation from Plum Village travelled to the Middle East and then hosted young people from that region at a Plum Village Wake Up Retreat. We were able to offer two cycles of this outreach in 2018 and 2019, but we were unable to travel during the pandemic of 2020 and 2021.
This year, we are able to resume this transformational work. In July, a group of 10 young Palestinians will come to Plum Village France for the Wake Up Retreat and in 2023 a group of monastics is planning to travel back to Palestine and Israel. We welcome donations to support this initiative.
Below you can read about the monastic teaching tour and Wake Up retreat in 2019. The 2022 program will follow in the same vein.
The Visit to the Middle East
During their journey to the Middle East, the monastics from Plum Village hosted a multiple-day retreat and single days of mindfulness in natural surroundings. They sat with local sanghas and conducted events open to the public. They met with local peace groups, as well as students, teachers, artists, businessmen, environmentalists, and refugees, with the intention of listening, learning, and sharing mindful practices that might help these people of a region that has endured conflict for more than 70 years. The goal was to water the seeds of peace, equanimity, and happiness.
Coming to Plum Village
The invitation to young people from the Middle East to join the 2019 Wake Up Retreat, was designed to nurture a community of mindful listening, peaceful meditation, compassion, and healing. That summer, the brothers, sisters, and lay volunteers of Plum Village found these young people eager to meet together and discover new ways of seeing and dealing with their world.
One participant in that Wake Up Retreat later wrote us:
A Final Note on Plum Village’s Efforts in the Middle East
Plum Village’s work in the Middle East can only happen with the support of our friends and family. More than half of the young people who came to the Wake Up Retreat received financial aid provided by generous donors to help cover their travel costs, including not only airfare, but also such things as visas and border taxes. If you would like to support Plum Village’s efforts in the Middle East please visit our donation page.
Our deepest thanks go out to you.