Visit To Plum Village

I jumped up to hug him and sat down when he did. His first words were for me to share his sticky buns with him and the two attendant nuns by my side. He mentioned that one of the sisters was in jurisprudence, so I began a chat with her. I then told Thay that I thought the dharma was in good hands with the likes of Brothers Phap Yu and Phap An teaching as well as they did. He said to me, “I think you are doing very well yourself!” – and this from the Zen master himself. A little while later, I reviewed my

Thay during walking meditation, New Hamlet, March 23, 2006

Thay during walking meditation, New Hamlet, March 23, 2006

practices with Thay and began to answer Sister Chan Khong’s question about cancer, starting with the famous Zenrin mentioned above. I spoke about the transformation I had had during the guided imagery session and recited my transformation of the famous Zenrin. I said that my purpose in teaching the class on Mindfulness in Healing was to inspire people to take charge of their own healing and use mindfulness practice to tune into their bodies to allow “healthy cells grow all by themselves.” I said that I would recommend guided imagery, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and supplements, deep relaxation, Feldenkrais, movement, and other adjunct methods to further their healing experience. The conversation drifted away for a while and Sister Chan Khong later said with a delightful smile, “I love the idea of ‘healthy cells grow all by themselves’”.

Most of the time, I noticed Thay sitting quite calmly in a posture of complete equanimity. He was really enjoying his breakfast. The food he was served look scrumptious – all the delights one would find at a typical Dim Sum meal, but totally vegetarian! At other times, other subjects were discussed, but when Thay finished his breakfast, he began to get tired and needed to rest before walking meditation. I left feeling the joy of being with such remarkable beings. And guess what happened? Brother Phap An was across the hall and invited me into the New Hamlet office to tell me that the configuration of the network was successful. He did, however, have a problem, which we could solve after walking meditation.

Thay is a man of peace and he inspires me every day. His loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity, and generosity have penetrated my being as it has the monks and nuns of Plum Village. I encourage anyone who has not read or listened to him speak to do so as soon as possible.

Plum Village is an amazingly beautiful place. It is spread out over 25 kilometers into three fairly large hamlets in the Dordogne region of Southern France. The hamlets provide a practice center for the monks and nuns in Plum Village. Thay gives weekly dharma talks and hold retreats every year.

I was there during the Winter retreat. Even then, by the Spring equinox, the daffodils were in bloom.

Some of the thousands of daffodils, Upper Hamlet, March 21, 2006

Some of the thousands of daffodils, Upper Hamlet, March 21, 2006

Page 1 2 3

Speak Your Mind