Update: Our practice centers are opening up again, visit the retreats page for upcoming retreats.

Days of Mindfulness

Chanting before the dharma talk

You are welcome to join us for Days of Mindfulness throughout the year. These days offer a small taste of Plum Village mindfulness practice.

If you are travelling from further afield, we recommend that you stay with us for at least a weeklong retreat, so you can have a complete introduction to our mindfulness practices and “full immersion” experience of Plum Village.

What, when & where?

You can find a list of the upcoming mindfulness days here.

Days of Mindfulness are a full day of practicing mindfulness, in the Plum Village style, as a community. Monks, nuns, and lay practitioners – Plum Village residents, guests, neighbours and friends – come together to listen to a Dharma Talk (ie. a teaching or ‘lecture’), and to practice sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindful eating, smiling and breathing together.

The Dharma Talks will be given by a resident senior monastic Dharma Teacher, and from time to time we may watch a video of a past Dharma Talk by Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh).

Please note that the day unfolds naturally, with as little guidance as possible, so everything can flow relaxingly. Days of Mindfulness in Plum Village are not structured as “mindfulness workshops” or “classes”.

Days of Mindfulness take place every Thursday and Sunday during general retreat weeks. During the theme retreat weeks like Francophone Retreat, Summer Retreat the monastery will not host a Day of Mindfulness. Please note that it is not possible to visit for the day in August, as Plum Village is in resting period.

The location of Days of Mindfulness alternates between Plum Village’s hamlets: Upper Hamlet (Thénac), Lower Hamlet (Loubès-Bernac) and New Hamlet (Dieulivol). The entire community gathers in one hamlet for the whole day.

Practical information

Typical program for a Day of Mindfulness

8:45 Arrive
9:00 Sitting Meditation
(please do not enter if the sitting has already started)
9:30 Dharma Talk 
(please do not enter the Meditation Hall if the Talk has already started)
Short Break for tea
11:30 Walking Meditation through the fields & forest
12:30 Lunch Together in the Meditation Hall
13:30-15:00 Rest / free time
15:00 Dharma Sharing
(small circle discussions on mindfulness practice, or another activity)
16:30 Day ends

Please remember to arrive early so you can enter the meditation hall calmly before the program begins.

Walking meditation

Can I come?

If you are in the neighbourhood, you are very welcome to join us for a regular Day of Mindfulness.

Prior registration is not required.

Please note that during our special retreats Plum Village is full to capacity (the meditation halls overflow) and we can only accept those who have registered for the retreat. If you would like to attend Dharma Talks during a special retreat, but do not wish to stay in Plum Village, we ask you to please register as a commuter for the whole week, and support the collective energy by participating in the full program. Please see each retreat’s registration page for more information.

How to prepare

We recommend that you read a little about Plum Village mindfulness practice before you attend, as Days of Mindfulness unfold naturally with minimal introductions to the practices.

Please check this page a few days ahead of time to find out where the next Day of Mindfulness will take place as there may be last-minute changes to location.

Dharma talk from Brother Phap Lai

What to bring

  • Please bring a set of earphones, and an extension cable (at least 3m). The Dharma Talks are given in either French, English or Vietnamese. If you do not understand any one of these languages, translation is available.
  • If the weather is rainy, please bring appropriate footwear for our country paths (and mud).
  • A self-service tea table and vegan lunch is provided for everyone.
  • Please don’t forget to bring your donation in gratitude for the teachings and to contribute towards the meal and facilities provided.

Dana (donations)

We welcome donations, or dana (generosity), in gratitude for the teachings and to support our community to be able to continue to offer those teachings long into the future.

Your donation is also a contribution towards the meal and the facilities provided (meditation hall, sound system, bathrooms, and so on). The suggested donation is €20-35 per person, depending on your means. Donation Boxes are located in the hamlets’ Dining Halls or you can donate online via this link.

All donations go to support the Plum Village community, officially recognised in French law as a Buddhist congregation known as “Communauté Bouddhique Zen du Village des Pruniers.”

Your generosity is deeply appreciated. Thank you.

Accommodation nearby

We regret that we cannot host you for one-night or two-night stays (the minimum stay is one week). We recommend you consider booking a room in a Chambres d’hôtes in the region of Thénac (Upper Hamlet), Loubès-Bernac (Lower Hamlet), or Duras (New Hamlet).

We look forward to seeing you at a Day of Mindfulness soon!

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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