Below are the ceremonies conducted at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam; and Plum Village, France, from 22-31st January 2022.
Thay’s funeral on Saturday, 29th January 2022, was one of the biggest Huế, Vietnam has seen for decades. Thousands came out to join the procession, in a deep expression of love and respect for a cherished spiritual leader, a humble monk, and an extraordinary human being.
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Day 1 – January 22
Memorial Ceremony – Live from Plum Village France
Today we held our first ceremony to offer our collective energy of peace, love, and gratitude to our beloved teacher. Click the image above to watch the YouTube live-stream replay, which includes time-stamps for each segment.
The ceremony began with a guided meditation, followed by an incense offering, chanting, and readings. This ceremony was offered primarily in English and lasted about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Please find a comfortable and calm place to sit, and follow your breathing.
Poetry reading: You may like to find a quiet moment to enjoy poetry. Below you can listen to a recording of Thay reading his poem, “Please Call Me By My True Names.”
Walking Meditation: Wherever you are, please take some time (ideally at least 20 minutes) to enjoy the practice of walking meditation. With each step, we can enjoy breathing with Thay, walking with Thay and connecting to our own and Thay’s unborn and undying nature. With each step, we can feel Thay’s mindful steps continue in our own mindful steps.
Day 2 – January 22/23
Today a powerful and moving ceremony was held, to lay our teacher’s body in the casket. Video was broadcast live from Từ Hiếu Temple, in Huế, and Plum Village, France. The ceremony is in Vietnamese, with commentary in English by Sister True Dedication in Plum Village.
Click the image below to watch the ceremony (or to watch without commentary, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrfOC…)
Please follow your breathing as high monks and Thay’s senior disciples accompany Thay’s body to the Full Moon Meditation Hall at Từ Hiếu Temple, in Huế. The ceremony took place at 8AM on January 23 in Vietnam (2AM CEST; 5PM on January 22 PST).
Guided Meditation: You may like to find time today to follow the guided meditation below, to generate the energy of mindfulness and peace to offer our teacher.
Dharma Sharing: You may also like to reach out to spiritual friends on the path, to organize your own informal “Dharma sharing,” to reflect together on our gratitude to Thay and how we will continue to embody his teachings in our own life.
Day 3 – January 24
This ceremony to honor our Teacher began with a guided meditation, and continued with an incense offering, chanting, and readings. Most of the ceremony was in English, with chanting in both English and Vietnamese.
Click the image below to watch the livestream replay of this event on Youtube. Please find a comfortable and calm place to sit, and follow your breathing.
The image in the thumbnail above is taken from a powerful moment during the ceremony, as the community chanted “Listening to the Bell” with instrumental accompaniment (01:03:25).
Slow Walking Meditation: You may like to find time to practice slow walking meditation at home or somewhere outside close to nature. Here is some deep guidance on how to practice this:
Day 4 – January 25
Five novices (four monks and one nun) were ordained into the Plum Village monastic community today as we celebrate Thay’s continuation and legacy. Watch the novices receive the ten novice precepts, their monastic names and the ceremony where their hair is shaved.
This is considered an auspicious time to embark on the monastic path. Later in the day, the “Mimosa Tree” family of monastics grew further, as Blue Cliff monastery in New York also ordained one novice brother:
Deer Park monastery in California will follow with its own ordination ceremony on day 6.
Day 5 – January 26
This ceremony to honor our Teacher began with a guided meditation and included incense offering, chanting, and readings in English, followed by the Chant of Great Compassion, invoking the name of Avalokiteshvara.
- Guided Meditation “Thay’s Continuation”
- Incense Offering in Vietnamese
- Opening Verse in English
- Chanting “Praising the Buddha”
- Reading “Discourse on Taking Refuge in Oneself” in English, French and Vietnamese
- Chanting Namovalokiteshvaraya
- Closing Verse in English
Day 6 – January 27
Day of Mindfulness – Live from Plum Village France
Today we had a Day of Mindfulness offering our collective energy of peace, love, and gratitude to our beloved teacher. This day included a Question and Answers session by Thich Nhat Hanh, a walking meditation and a mindful meal.
Questions and Answers by Thich Nhat Hanh“What Happens When We Die?”
We livestreamed a Questions and Answers session by Thich Nhat Hanh from the 21 day retreat on “What Happens When We Die?”.
Click the image below to watch the recording on Youtube.
Lunch Hangout with Monastics
We enjoyed a mindful meal in silence for 10-15min starting with the five contemplations, followed by an informal Q&A session with monastics.
Novice Ordination at Deer Park Monastery
The “Mimosa Tree” family of monastics will grow again today, as Deer Park monastery in California will hold a novice ordination ceremony at 11am Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8)
Day 7 – January 28
Ceremony to Pay Respect and Invite Thay’s Energy to be Present (from Tu Hieu Temple, Vietnam)
This ceremony invited Thay’s energy to be present in the Buddha Hall.
Remembering Thay (from Plum Village)
Today, the multifold sangha in Plum Village gathered together to share their gratitude to Thay through music, poetry, and sharing in an intimate setting.
Click here for the “Eulogy of Thay’s disciples in Plum Village“.
Paying Tribute to Thay from Vietnam (Tu Hieu Temple)
This ceremony was streamed live from Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam with translation in English. This event included tributes from dignitaries, letters, song and poetry from monastics in in Tu Hieu Temple.
Click here for the “Tribute to Thich Nhat Hanh by the US Embassy, Vietnam“
Click here for the letter “Climbing the Hill of the 21st Century Together“
Click here for the “Eulogy of Thay’s disciples in Vietnam“
Click the image below to view the event.
Day 8 – January 28/29
An intimate tribute celebration with live music, song, heartfelt readings, and sharings from Plum Village, France (mostly in English)
A solemn and moving ceremony of gratitude from the temple in Huế, Vietnam, with Thay’s most senior disciples, and including a formal tribute from the people of the United States (mostly in Vietnamese, with English commentary)
A momentous funeral procession (cortège), with chanting, drums, bells, flowers, and parasols as Thay’s casket makes the final journey to the cremation grounds; followed by texts, poems and songs offered by Thay’s senior monastic disciples (mostly in Vietnamese, with English commentary)
Closing ceremony from Plum Village, France and Vietnam (Commentary and translation is provided in English).
Day 9 – January 30
21:00 GMT / 16:00 ET / 13:00 PT
In this sacred ceremony and procession in the early morning of Sunday January 30th, in Vietnam, Thay’s ashes were formally carried from the “Paradise Garden” Cremation Park, to our Từ Hiếu Root Temple in Huế, by Thay’s disciples and close venerables. Commentary and guidance in English is provided by Sister Kinh Nghiem (Sister Reverence).
Click on the image below to watch on Youtube.