Plum Village France

Plum Village, near Bordeaux in southwest France, is the largest international practice center in the Plum Village tradition, and the first monastic community founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) in the West.

Plum Village is where Thay developed his dream of building a Beloved Community: creating a healthy, nourishing environment where people could learn the art of living in harmony with one another and with the Earth.

What began in 1982 as a small, rustic farmstead, has today grown into Europe’s largest Buddhist monastery, with over 200 resident monks and nuns, living and practising in four different hamlets spread out across the French countryside.

Upper Hamlet, Plum Village
The early days of Plum Village

You may enjoy reading this transcript of a Dharma Talk by Thich Nhat Hanh:

“I Have Arrived, I’m Home: Celebrating twenty years of Plum Village Life”

At Plum Village we weave mindfulness into all our daily activities, training ourselves to be mindful throughout the day: while eating, walking, working, or enjoying a cup of tea together.

Plum Village is a home away from home, and a beautiful, nourishing, simple environment in which to cultivate the mind of awakening.

We enjoy periods of silence, sitting meditation, rest, relaxation, mindful work and play. All practitioners who come to Plum Village are invited to join in our communal activities, whether it is preparing meals, cleaning around the hamlet, or washing dishes, as a way of learning to cultivate joy and mindfulness whatever we are doing.

Dharma talk during a summer retreat

Every year, Plum Village welcomes thousands of meditation practitioners from all around the world who come to experience the art of mindful communal living. Over 40 nationalities are often represented at the festive four-week annual Summer Opening Retreat which offers special programs for children and teenagers.

In addition to Spring and Autumn retreat seasons, where visitors are welcome to stay for a week or more, Plum Village also offers special mindfulness retreats for French speakers, teachers, and young people.

The annual 3-month Winter Retreat, which is open to lay people People who are not monastics as well as monastics, attracts hundreds of practitioners who come to deepen their practice of mindfulness and live simply and harmoniously in community for ninety consecutive days.

Legal Information

Plum Village is registered as:

Communauté Bouddhique Zen Village des Pruniers
47120 – Loubes Bernac
Tel: +
SIRET: 425 182 565 00019

Plum Village has an volunteer programme for youth service, and recently opened an organic “Happy Farm,” where year-long resident farmers combine ecology and mindfulness as they cultivate vegetables for the community’s vegan meals.

When he was not travelling, Thich Nhat Hanh lived at Plum Village, where he wrote, taught, gardened and guided his global community. Many of the trails around the hills and fields of Plum Village have become legendary paths of walking meditation for Thich Nhat Hanh and his community.


Plum Village, France is actually composed of three separate monasteries, called “hamlets”.

The hamlets are self-contained communities where the monastics and lay practitioners live, eat, practice, work and relax as a spiritual family. All three hamlets come together at least twice a week (on Thursdays and Sundays in the Spring, Autumn and Winter season) to listen to a teaching and enjoy a full day of mindfulness practice as a community.

Visiting Plum Village, France

To visit one of our hamlets you can either register for a retreat or visit on a scheduled Day of Mindfulness.

[For overnight stays, each hamlet can only receive guests who have registered and paid for one of our retreats in our Retreat Calendar. We are unable to welcome people who arrive without a prior registration confirmed by the Registration Office, nor can we accommodate guests who wish to stay overnight outside the retreat dates. Thank you for your support and understanding.]

Who can stay where for retreats?

New Hamlet and Lower Hamlet are the two communities of Plum Village nuns (or “sisters”). If you are a woman coming on your own, please register at either New Hamlet or Lower Hamlet. They are located about 18 kms apart.

Upper Hamlet is where the Plum Village monks live and practice. If you are a man coming on your own, please register in the Upper Hamlet.

All hamlets accept couples and families for short-term retreats. For long-term retreats, such as for the Rains Retreat, requirements may vary, so it is best to read the requirements on the individual registration form for each Hamlet, or contact the Hamlet directly.

If you are arriving together with a member of the opposite gender, and wish to room together, you can register at any of the 3 hamlets, however the following requirements must be met:

  1. Either you are blood relatives or
  2. Both members must be above 35 years of age and
  3. Must be in a long-term relationship

If you are arriving together with a member of the opposite gender and wish to room apart, then please register separately to the respective Hamlet.

Please send all questions/concerns to the appropriate Hamlet so that we may get back to you in as timely a manner as possible.

Days of Mindfulness

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Upcoming Retreats

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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