Date(s): Apr. 28, 2015 - May. 13, 2015
Language: English / Japanese
Fuji Midorino Kyukamura
A unique opportunity for practitioners to join Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic disciples on a very special Teaching Tour in Japan
Dec. 28, 2014
Dear Beloved friends of Plum Village,
In the booklet “A Rose for Your Pocket”, it was told that that Thay was pinned on his robe a white carnation on Mother’s Day, as he and Thầy Thiên Ân were visiting a bookstore in Tokyo. It was Thay’s first trip to Japan then, in 1957. In 1995, Thay and a small delegation of Plum Village monastics held the first Plum Village’s teaching trip in Japan.
A second teaching trip was planned for the Spring of 2011, but was cancelled because of the Tsunami in March of that year. To make up for that cancelled trip, another teaching trip was planned for the Spring of 2015, with the theme “The Art of Happiness: Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village Monastics in Japan 2015.” The trip is co-organized by the Plum Village monastics from Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism in Hong Kong and the Mountain of Harmony Sangha, the core lay Sangha practicing in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village in Japan.
Preparation for the trip has been going well until we received the news that Thay was hospitalized in November 2014 and suffered a brain hemorrhage on Nov. 11, 2014. We have been aware of that Thay had not been in his optimal health since August 2014, but we sincerely trusted that Thay would be able to come to Japan as planned. Posters and flyers for the trip had been printed; the monastics and lay members were ready to welcome Thay to Japan.
We would like to make the trip a special one, marking Thay’s return to Japan after 20 years after the first teaching trip in 1995. Make it 55 years or so, since the time that Thay received that white carnation from a Japanese university student. Little did the university student know that her action was the seed for a beautiful tradition a few years later in Vietnam. A group of university students – among them Sr. Chan Khong, distributed the “Rose for Your Pocket” in the annual Vu Lan (Ullambana) Ceremony and pinned red roses for those whose mothers were still alive, and white roses for those whose mother had passed away. In the annual rose festival in Plum Village, Thay always says his mother is still alive in him, because Thay is his mother’s continuation.
In the spirit that Thay is always with us and we are his continuation, the organizing team decided to continue organizing the trip as if Thay would be on the trip, and kept the title as “Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village Monastics in Japan 2015”, since all the posters and flyers for the trip had been printed. A delegation of Plum Village senior monastic will give the teachings on Thay’s behalf. We believe that continuing the trip will help Thay’s recovery. Given the smallest chance, we sincerely trust in the future that Thay will recover and be able to be present with us physically in Japan.
All the events planned for the trip are kept as they were before. Among them is a packaged tour for Sangha members and friends from all over the world who would like to participate in the teaching events as well as visiting the beautiful and friendly country of Japan. We have worked with the Japanese Tourist Bureau to organize this trip. Activities for the trip (April 28 – May 13, 2015) consist of all public teaching events and sightseeing opportunities at locals where the events take place (you can see the full itinerary here). In the last two days May 11-13, 2015, a sightseeing trip to Kyoto, the cultural city of Japan, is planned.
For more information about joining the tour, please visit pvfhk.org. Registration for the International Delegation Tour package is available on line at pvretreats.org/aiab the online registration site of Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism, Hong Kong.
We hope to see you for the “Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village Monastics in Japan 2015” teaching trip.
Peace is every step,
Br. Phap Kham
Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism
For the Organizing Committee of “Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village Monastics in Japan 2015”