Thay arriving at his root temple on his first return to Vietnam after 39 years of exile in 2005. Thay has now returned to Tu Hieu Temple to live out his days.
“The Buddhism knowledge and wisdom I learned from Tu Hieu is now spreading all over the world, and I believe it’s time for me to get back to my roots,” he said.
We are so blessed to have encountered such a wonderful teacher and his transmission of the Dharma in this lifetime. Please hold Thay and his caregivers in your hearts and in your prayers.
I hope you are all well and enjoying this glorious autumn.
We have received word from Plum Village (you can see the full text below or at plum village.org ) that Thay had expressed a deep wish to go back to reside at his “root temple,” Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam, to live his remaining days. We are so happy that he has been able to realize his wish. I have included a video of his return below. The gratitude I am feeling is indescribable. He has given us such a precious gift and all of the guidance we need to transform our unskillful states of mind and be free. He has helped millions of people all over the world. The monastics have written that even at this moment, Thich Nhat Hanh remains steadfast and energetic in using every breath and every action to build and strengthen the “beloved community of compassion,” and to cultivate healing, reconciliation and transformation in his community, society and the world. As he said when he first returned to Vietnam in 2005, after four decades of exile, “There is no religion, no doctrine higher than brotherhood and sisterhood.”
We will have a chance to strengthen our "Sisterhood and Brotherhood" this evening at 6 PM (remember to set clocks back back one hour!) at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County on North Road in Peace Dale. We will enjoy a sitting meditation and continue practicing with the 14 Mindfulness Trainings. This evening we will look at the second of the Fourteen, which is perfect for the times in which we are living...it is focused on non attachment to views! I have included the text below. Clare will be facilitating and we will enjoy sharing the Dharma and reciting the Five Mindfulness Trainings. I hope you will be able to be with us.
Opportunity for Engaged Practice...
VOTE! Tuesday, November 6
I have found this site to be helpful - type in address and it shows the ballot and connects you to the state board of elections to show you where your polling place is and when it is open.
Here is a lovely article by Jo Confino, one of Thay's students, in the Huffington Post on how to navigate the times in which we live... with lovely interviews with Sister Peace a Thay Phap Dung. Enjoy!
There are also a couple of beautiful videos that the Vietnamese community has shared with us.... a biographical portrait....... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXmPOvrcp7k Thay's recent return to his root temple in Hue https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=14&v=v0J3Op_391g
with much love and a bouquet of lotus blossoms for you,
“There are thousands of channels in our consciousness; it is up to us to choose the channel.”Thich Nhat Hanh
The Second Mindfulness Training: Non-Attachment to Views Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. We are committed to learning and practicing nonattachment from views and being open to others’ insights and experiences in order to benefit from the collective wisdom. Insight is revealed through the practice of compassionate listening, deep looking, and letting go of notions rather than through the accumulation of intellectual knowledge. We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess is not changeless, absolute truth. Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our lives.
LETTER FROM PLUM VILLAGE
Friday 2nd November, 2018
Plum Village International Practice Center Le Pey, Thénac 24240, France
The monks and nuns of the Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists stand by our beloved teacher, the Zen master, global spiritual leader, peace activist and poet Thich Nhat Hanh, as he returns again to his homeland. Since celebrating his 92nd birthday last month, he has expressed a deep wish to go back to reside at his “root temple,” Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam, to live his remaining days. Thich Nhat Hanh has turned formidable physical challenges arising from the major stroke he suffered four years ago into a powerful teaching by continuing to live each moment peacefully and joyfully, with great presence and meaning.
Tu Hieu Temple is where Thich Nhat Hanh first became a monk in 1942, aged sixteen. After nearly sixty years spreading the teachings abroad, Thich Nhat Hanh’s final homecoming is a source of peace and happiness for his students, Tu Hieu Temple and lineage. It is very precious for Thich Nhat Hanh’s large international following to maintain this deep and enduring connection to our spiritual roots in Vietnam. Thich Nhat Hanh, who coined the term “Engaged Buddhism” and who has dedicated his life to renewing Buddhism so it can help individuals and societies address the challenges of our times, has always seen the roots of his teachings in the engaged spiritual life of the distinguished Buddhist patriarchs during Vietnam’s ancient Ly and Tran dynasties.
Although since his stroke Thich Nhat Hanh has no longer been able to speak, he remains powerfully alert and present. After summoning his senior disciples to a meeting on 24th October in Plum Village Thailand, where he has been residing since December 2016, Thich Nhat Hanh clearly communicated his wish to return to Vietnam using gestures, nodding and shaking his head in response to questions. The necessary arrangements were made for his return and he landed at Da Nang Airport, Vietnam on the afternoon of 26th October. His arrival was celebrated by a receiving party of senior Buddhist venerables, monks, nuns and lay followers.
After resting for two days by the ocean to recover from the journey, Thich Nhat Hanh arrived at Tu Hieu on the afternoon of October 28th, where he was welcomed with a traditional formal procession and the sound of drums and bells. As he entered, he took a moment to reach out and touch the cool stone of the ancient gateway: a seal of arrival and return. Everyone present remained silent as he contemplated the half-moon pond, where he had spent many memorable moments as a young monk, and then made his way to the Buddha hall to pay his respects and offer incense at the ancestral altar.
Since his arrival, Thich Nhat Hanh’s health has remained fragile but stable. He has joined his community in walking meditation at dawn, visiting every corner of this temple that was his home and where he was nurtured as he embarked on his spiritual path. On the evening of October 26th in Da Nang, as the current Abbot and Head of Tu Hieu lineage, Thich Nhat Hanh directed his disciples to draft a letter inviting all the monks and nuns of the Tu Hieu lineage (disciples and descendants of Zen Master Thanh Quy, his teacher), to a joyful family gathering and homecoming celebration at Tu Hieu Temple on Saturday November 3rd. As Thich Nhat Hanh said when he first returned to Vietnam in 2005, after four decades of exile, “There is no religion, no doctrine higher than brotherhood and sisterhood.”
Even at this moment, Thich Nhat Hanh remains steadfast and energetic in using every breath and every action to build and strengthen the “beloved community of compassion,” and to cultivate healing, reconciliation and transformation in his community, society and the world.