Update: We are offering online retreats while Plum Village France remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Courage, Love and Hope for 2021

How to face our future with stability and freedom

Join us for an inspiring five-day retreat online

[This retreat is most suited for European and African time zones. If you’re in an American time zone, this online retreat will be more suitable.]

A chance for us to come together online as we reflect on the past year, and all the challenges we have faced in the year 2020, in our relationships, work, nations and as a whole planet. How can mindfulness help us generate the courage, love and hope that is so needed in our times?

Suffering is impermanent,
and that’s why we can transform it.
And because happiness is impermanent,
that’s why we have to nourish it.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Join us for this rare chance to enjoy moments of peace and awakening as a spiritual family.

This retreat course will be in English, with French translation (en savoir plus).

A specially-curated 5-day experience

Featuring new guided meditations, relaxations, and movement

Intimate group interactions with monastics

Listening deeply and learning from one another

Exclusive talks from senior teachers 

Broadcast live from Plum Village, France

Connect live to an international community 

Generating a collective energy of mindfulness

“Dharma Sharing” circles

Join a group of 16-20 people, guided by a monastic. These “Dharma Sharing” groups are a unique Plum Village offering and a highlight of the retreat. It’s a great way to enjoy live interaction, and to hear, learn, and connect deeply with people from many different countries and backgrounds. Dharma Sharing also provides a chance to ask questions to the monastics and receive guidance or recommendations for deepening your mindfulness practice.

An accompanied five-day experience

Sister Thoai Nghiem (Sister True Auspicious)

Monday 28: At Home in the World

How can we find the courage to resist everything that is pulling us away from the present moment? The practice of coming back home to the body is the basis of being at home in the world. We will explore the power of mindful breathing and mindful walking to help us overcome restlessness, agitation, and dispersion, and learn how to touch a feeling of wholeness and stability in the here and now.


Brother Phap Lai

Tuesday 29: Truth and Dialogue

What if we disagree with our loved ones about basic facts? What if our views and values seem incompatible? We will explore powerful practices of deep looking, deep listening, and loving speech to help us open compassionate dialogue with those who hold different views.


Brother Phap Linh (Brother Spirit)

Wednesday 30: Questions & Answers

This is an opportunity to ask a question about the joys and challenges of applying mindfulness to our lives and relationships, at home, work, school, communities, and in the world. Our panel of senior Dharma Teachers will offer their experience and insight.


Sister Chan Duc (Sister Annabel)

Thursday 31: Hope in Action

The future is made only of one substance: the present moment. The aspirations and intentions we cultivate today are already building our world tomorrow. Every smile, every look, every thought matters. Our actions are our continuation and the ground on which we stand. We can adorn the world with our actions.


Sister Chan Khong

Friday 01: Five Mindfulness Trainings Transmission

A rare chance to receive the Five Mindfulness Trainings and to make the commitment to bring spirituality and ethics into every area of life. The Five Mindfulness Trainings are one of the most concrete ways to practice mindfulness, compassion, and understanding. Taking them to heart can give us energy and insight to remain engaged in the world.

Retreat Program

All times displayed in

07:30

30′ Guided sitting meditation

08:15

Guided mindful movement

09:30

Arriving and settling

10:00

“At Home in the World” A talk by Sister Thoai Nghiem

14:30

30′ Deep lying down meditation

15:30

Sharing in small groups

20:00

20′ Guided sitting meditation and reading

07:30

30′ Guided sitting meditation

08:15

Guided mindful movement

09:30

Arriving and settling

10:00

“Truth And Dialogue” A talk by Brother Phap Lai

14:30

30′ Deep lying down meditation

15:30

Sharing in small groups

20:00

Panel sharing on Global Ethics

07:30

30′ Guided sitting meditation

08:15

Guided mindful movement

09:30

Arriving and settling

10:00

Questions and answers

14:30

30′ Deep lying down meditation

15:30

Sharing in small groups

20:00

20′ Guided sitting meditation and reading

07:30

30′ Guided sitting meditation

08:15

Guided mindful movement

09:45

Arriving and settling

10:00

Talk on Compassionate Communication by Sister Hoi Nghiem

14:30

30′ Deep lying down relaxation

15:10

Arriving and settling

15:30

“Hope in Action” A talk by Sister Chan Duc

18:15

Dinner in Sharing groups

20:30

New Year’s celebration and musical performances

22:00

**Sister Chan Khong** Guided Relaxation & Contemplation: “Connecting to Our Roots”

23:30

A Ceremony to bring in the New Year

08:15

Lazy morning

10:45

Arriving and settling

11:00

Five Mindfulness Trainings Transmission Ceremony

15:30

Closing circle in sharing groups

All streamed content will be uploaded after the session, and will be available to everyone who has registered for six months.

What’s an “online” retreat like?

I was delighted to feel that retreat feeling in my house, sitting, listening, breathing with others. It showed me that when you get a sangha together, even online, the PV peacemaking magic still happens

Joe Holtaway, United Kingdom

I never thought I could experience the vibe of Plum Village in my own living room, but this is exactly what happened. Seeing everybody’s smiles on Zoom made me feel as if I were present in our beloved centre, and I did not even leave my house.

Gijs Van den Broeck, The Netherlands

The energy of Plum Village infused my whole home, the loneliness of quarantine dissolved, and I finished the three days feeling nourished, refreshed and inspired.

Aoise O’Dwyer, Ireland

Experiences from the Online Wake Up Ambassador Retreat

Resource Package

Exclusive Video: How to Create a Retreat at Home

Inspiration for transforming your space and readying your heart and mind

Calligraphies

New artwork from the monastics to print and post around your home

Free Thich Nhat Hanh e-book

Your own digital copy of The Mindfulness Survival Kit

50% off Parallax Press classics e-book

Special offers on the best reading to accompany your retreat

Register

You can choose to register with or without Dharma sharingWe are offering a chance for you to join a group of 16-20 people, guided by a monastic. These “Dharma Sharing” groups are a unique Plum Village offering and a highlight of the retreat. It’s a great way to enjoy live interaction, and to hear, learn, and connect deeply with people from many different countries and backgrounds. Each session is between 1.5 and 2 hours long, as we listen deeply to each other’s experiences of the retreat. Dharma Sharing also provides a chance to ask questions to the monastics and receive guidance or recommendations for deepening your mindfulness practice. If you select to join a “Dharma Sharing group”, it’s important that you can commit to join every session, in order to support the stability of the group.. Then please choose a contribution that matches your financial situation. All contribution levels give access to the same retreat content and experience.

Contribution

Questions about the program

How much time do I need to follow this retreat?

This is a 5-day retreat, Monday morning to Friday afternoon. Ideally, it is best if you can clear your days from other commitments so you can fully participate and savor the peaceful energy of the retreat, even when you are not following a scheduled session.

Each day there is a morning session from 7.30 to 11.30 (CET), which includes an optional 30-minute guided exercise session and a one-hour break for breakfast. The afternoon session is from 2.30-5pm and starts with relaxation followed by “Dharma sharing” (breakout groups). The evening session is from 8.00-8.45pm. We recommend you always arrive a few minutes early to set up your computer connection. 

Please note that you can choose to opt-in or opt-out of the three “Dharma sharing” afternoon sessions (3.15-5pm each day). If you opt-in, we ask that you commit to join all three sessions, on time, so the group can have a strong collective experience. To avoid disturbing the group, we will not be able to admit people to the Dharma Sharing sessions once they have started.

Please also organise some time before the retreat starts, to familiarise yourself with the videos and information in the “How to Enjoy Your Online Retreat” package, and set up a peaceful corner of your home where you can have an internet connection. We hope that this immersive and interactive experience will help you strengthen your mindfulness practice and establish the spirit of Plum Village right in your home.

If I can’t join one of the sessions, can I still follow the other sessions?

We encourage you to attend as much of the retreat as possible to get the greatest benefit from the practice. Please note that if you wish to join the 3 Dharma Sharing sessions, you will need to follow the Dharma Talk in the morning in order to “unlock” the Dharma Sharing session in the afternoon. To support the collective shared experience, it is not possible to join the Dharma Sharing if you have not attended the Dharma Talk.

If I can’t join a session live, can I watch it later?

Yes, we try to livestream all sessions to our platform so you can follow both there and on Zoom. The recording of this livestream will remain available afterwards.

What is “Dharma Sharing” or “breakout groups”? 

In this retreat, the Dharma Sharing is a smaller break-out group of 20-25 participants, led by a monastic. It gives us a chance to listen deeply, to speak from the heart, and benefit from each other’s insights and experience of practicing mindfulness. We can share our experiences, our joys, our difficulties, and our questions relating to the teachings in the retreat, and the mindfulness practices we are following together.

What do I need to prepare before joining this retreat? 

Please organise your time and commitments, so you have space from the morning of Monday, December 28, to the evening of Friday, January 1, to fully participate in the retreat. A few days before the retreat starts, you’ll receive a digital package with information and resources on how to prepare yourself and your environment so you can really enjoy the retreat. Please allow an hour or two before Friday morning to familiarize yourself with these materials and set up your computer correctly.

You’re invited to prepare a room or corner in your home where you can be online, undisturbed. It is important that you are not interrupted during the various sessions, so you may like to communicate with loved ones, or other people you live with, to ask for their support in this. If you are participating in the Dharma Sharing groups, it will be important for you to log-on from a private space where you can share without others hearing you.

If I have a question about the teachings given during the retreat, where / when can I ask it?

The Dharma Sharing break-out groups are the ideal time to ask questions from the heart about the teachings you have heard and practices we are following together. You can also write a question in the comments below the video of a particular talk. There will be a special session of Questions & Answers with the monks and nuns on Wednesday 30th December.

Will I be able to interact with the monastics directly? Eg. Can I ask them a question and get an answer?

The Dharma Sharing break-out groups offer a rare opportunity to join a circle facilitated by a monastic. If you are interested in connecting with the monastics, we strongly encourage you to make the commitment to opt-in to the three Dharma Sharing sessions. Our teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, taught us that Dharma Sharing break-out groups are the most powerful way to learn and grow in our mindfulness practice. Please note that these sessions are not direct question-and-answer sessions, but a group where questions are addressed collectively.

I live with other people. Can I still join the retreat?

Yes, you do not need to be in a hut on a mountain to enjoy this retreat. So long as you have a quiet corner or room where you can be undisturbed, and perhaps have space to stretch and do the mindful movements, you will be able to enjoy the retreat fully. You may need headphones, and if you are joining Dharma Sharing, somewhere in the house where you can speak without being heard by others.

You can explain to those you live with your intention in joining the retreat and ask for their support. The idea is not to cut yourself off from them, but to generate a strong energy of mindfulness, peace and presence, during the sessions, that you can bring to your in-person interactions off-screen over the course of the weekend. You will be able to apply many of the teachings on deep listening, mindful eating and so on, right away!

Is this retreat appropriate for all ages? Can children or teenagers join?

This retreat is designed as an adult learning experience, but anyone is welcome to join the meditations, talks, movement and relaxations. Please note that in the Dharma Sharing breakout groups themes may spontaneously arise that are not appropriate for teenagers or children, and so it is not possible to register participants under 18 for the Dharma Sharing groups. We are currently exploring how we can offer a different, more tailored experience for children and teens online. Please check our events listing for future announcements.

I haven’t done a retreat before. Will I be able to follow this one?

This retreat is accessible to those new to the practice, and will be a refreshing and deepening experience for those who have been practicing mindfulness for some time. It is a precious chance to connect directly with our spiritual community, and to meet like-minded people.

I’m not in Europe. Can I join from a different time zone? Will I miss anything?

Please see the schedule and convert the times into your time-zone. If you are in a later time-zone, you may still be able to follow the morning meditations, exercise, teachings, relaxations and Dharma sharing (and simply miss the evening session, which you could watch the next morning). If you are in an early time-zone, you are likely to miss the morning sittings but you may be able to join the Dharma talks if you wake up early. We have designed this retreat primarily for Europe, as our centers in the US and Asia are offering online events in their region. This is still an experiment and we are open to learning, so please do send us your feedback.

What language will the retreat be given in?

The retreats will be offered in English with French translation. For French speakers, there will be your own French guided meditations, relaxations, and French Dharma Sharing break-out groups. As we expand our experience and technical capacity, we hope to offer translation into more languages in future. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Is there any translation for the live sessions?

The talks will be translated live in French. If you are bilingual, and have experience offering simultaneous translation for the Dharma talks (teachings) into a language other than French, and would like to offer to translate, please email the technical team, and we will see what may be possible: onlineretreats@plumvillage.org


Questions about tech issues

What do I need to join this retreat? Do I need to install anything? Do I need any special equipment?

This retreat will be delivered to you through your web browser and the Zoom app. When following the live events you can choose to join via Zoom or via the embedded video in your browser (link will be provided in advance). If you are opting-in to Dharma Sharing (the smaller breakout groups), you will need to install the Zoom software and you will need a webcam on your computer or tablet, so people can see you (just as you will see others). It is also preferable to have headphones, ideally with a microphone.

What quality will the videos be streamed in?

We try to livestream on 720p, but some of our Plum Village hamlets do not have strong enough internet so it may be limited to 480p. After the retreat we will upload all content in 1080p for your enjoyment.

I don’t have a very stable internet connection. Can I still join the retreat?

It depends how unstable. Your viewing quality is similar to watching something on youtube. So if that is a pleasant enough experience, then yes you can join this retreat. But for Dharma Sharing others might find it difficult to hear you. You can ask permission to turn off your camera, so others can hear you better.

Can I join the retreat from my phone?

Yes, when you subscribe you will receive an email with instructions and telephone numbers to join us via Zoom. You will only be able to follow the live sessions; it is not possible to join Dharma Sharing sessions from a phone.

Do I have to open my camera or can I join just audio?

Yes you can join only via audio, you do not have to start your camera, you can also choose only to watch via our platform. Only when you join the Dharma Sharing session, everybody is asked to start their camera to create a safe environment.

Will I be able to save and keep the recordings after the retreat?

All the recordings will be available afterwards on our platform, for you to access for six months. You will not be able to download them. 

If I have technical difficulties with my setup, who do I contact?

You’re invited to breathe, pray, or send an email to onlineretreats@plumvillage.org


Questions about registration

How are the “breakout groups” formed? Can I choose which breakout group to join? 

The groups will be assigned by the monastics, based on our experience of creating diverse yet balanced groups. It is not possible to assign you to a chosen facilitator or to be in a group with friends. 

What is my registration fee paying for?

Your contribution will go towards food, lodging, and healthcare for our community of 700 monastics in ten mindfulness practice centers worldwide. It will also enable us to invest in technical infrastructure in terms of internet, cameras, and equipment, so we can offer more teachings live online, with direct contact between monastics and practitioners. Without your support, we would be unable to sustain our community or offer the Dharma online.

Is there a refund option if I need to cancel my registration?

We can offer a full refund within 30 days of your payment. 

If I cannot afford the lowest scholarship fee, can I apply for a further reduction?

We do not want the financial aspect to keep you from participating. If you want to attend an online retreat and your budget does not allow for it at this moment, please email us at onlineretreats@plumvillage.org to apply for a further reduction.   

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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