Community

Everyone who comes to practice is a member of the sangha. Even if we come to Plum Village for only one week, our presence and our practice can contribute to the vitality and harmony of the sangha.

In society, much of our suffering comes from feeling disconnected from one another. We often don’t feel a real connection even with people we live close to, such as our neighbors, our co-workers and even our family members. Each person lives separately, cut off from the support of the community. Being with the Sangha can heal these feelings of isolation and separation. We practice together, share a room together, eat side by side and clean pots together. Just by participating with other practitioners in the daily activities, we can experience a tangible feeling of love and acceptance.

Thay often says that the sangha is a garden, full of many varieties of trees and flowers. When we can look at ourselves and at others as beautiful, unique flowers and trees we can truly grow to understand and love one another. One flower may bloom early in the spring and another flower may bloom in late summer. One tree may bear many fruits and another tree may offer cool shade. No one plant is greater, or lesser, or the same as any other plant in the garden. Each member of the sangha also has unique gifts to offer to the community. We each have areas that need attention as well. When we can appreciate each member’s contribution and see our weaknesses as potential for growth we can learn to live together harmoniously. Our practice is to see that we are a flower or a tree, and we are the whole garden as well, all interconnected.

Discourse on the Teachings to Be Given to the Sick

  This translation of the Discourse on The Teachings to Be Given to The Sick has been prepared by Thich Nhat Hanh from Ekottara Agama 51.8, Majjhima Nikaya 143 and Madhyama Agama 26.  It appears in Thich Nhat Hanh, Chanting From The Heart (Parallax Press, Rev.Ed., 2006) It is...

And a Mindful New Year

By Jessica Ardis If you had told the sixteen-year old version of myself that I would chose to spend New Year’s Eve sitting in silence with nuns, I would have asked what you were smoking. The nuns I had encountered in twelve years of Catholic school were mostly a...

Apple Harvest

About a week ago someone told us that our annual tradition of apple picking was coming around once again.  There are some orchards nearby that are harvested a couple times over the course of the autumn. Whatever can’t be gathered by the mechanized pickers is left for any enthusiastic...

Wake Up: The Music of Community

Guitar & Vocals: Joe Reilly; Female Lead Vocals: Melina Bondy; Cello: Phap Linh; Bass Guitar: Phap Luu; Keyboard: Phap Dan, Andrew; Djembe: Phap Dang; Guitars: Phap Lai, Luc Nghiem; Harmonica: Phap Man; Backup Vocals: Plum Village Sangha. Recorded and rehearsed on Thursday, January 28th, 2010 in Plum Village. This...

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