Remembering Jayna Gieber

Jayna Gieber, one of my great Dharma sisters and friends on the path, passed away at 12:30 a.m. on October 18, 2017 due to metastasized pancreas cancer. She made her transition with her beloved husband Jonny, daughters, granddaughters, cat, and dog. Her family brought to her home in Battle Ground, Washington. She died peacefully surrounded with love. The speed of her transition has stunned all of us. We are grateful that the spirit carried her with such grace and ease.

Chocolate Meditation: Savoring Life’s Sweetness

We began the practice by placing the unopened chocolate in front of us. We then recited the Five Contemplations together. After the bell sounded at the end of the contemplation, we took a few mindful breaths, bowed to each other, and began to pick up the chocolate with our eyes closed.

Would you like to experience Chocolate Meditation with us? 

Excerpts from Thay's New Book: "How to Fight"

Part of the The Mindfulness Essentials series, in How to Fight Thich Nhat Hanh brings his signature clarity, compassion, and humor to the ways we act out in anger, frustration, despair, and delusion. In brief meditations accompanied by whimsical sumi-ink drawings, Thich Nhat Hanh instructs us exactly how to transform our craving and confusion. If we learn to take good care of our suffering, we can help others do the same...

Thay arrives in Vietnam

"I have arrived, I am home."

We are very happy to confirm that earlier today, 29th August 2017, at 12h35 local time, our dear Teacher landed safely at Đà Nẵng airport in Vietnam. This is his first visit to Vietnam since 2008.

In recent weeks Thay has expressed a strong wish to visit his home country once more, and the sangha is delighted to have been able to realise his wish. Thay’s trip will include a visit to Plum Village’s Root Temple, Chùa Từ Hiếu, in Huế, where Thay began his monastic training in 1942.

Click here to read the full announcement from Plum Village

Walk With Me Film

Walk With Me Film

With unprecedented access, ‘Walk With Me’ takes us deep inside the world-famous monastery of Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, and captures the life of a monastic community who have given up all their possessions for one common purpose – to practice the art of mindfulness.

Filmed over three years, this visceral film is a meditation on a community determined to develop a deep sense of presence, not just for themselves but for all those they love.

As the seasons come and go, the monastics’ inner journey is amplified by insights from Thich Nhat Hanh’s early journals, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Awakening Together 2017 US Tour Dates

Awakening Together 2017 US Tour Dates

In the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village

Join the monastic community founded, ordained and trained by Thich Nhat Hanh as they tour the United States to continue the legacy of the beloved Zen master. Join us for retreats, public talks, and days of mindfulness, and learn how you can bring the miracle of mindfulness into your daily life.  #awakeningtogether

Awakening Together: Healing the Ancestral Heart

Remembering Cheri Maples

Remembering Cheri Maples

Cheri Maples, our beloved sister and Dharma teacher, passed away on July 27, 2017 due to complications of injuries sustained in a September 2016 bicycle accident. Cheri was a member of SnowFlower Sangha in Madison, Wisconsin. She joined the Order of Interbeing in 2002 and was ordained as a Dharma teacher in 2008. She worked in the criminal justice system for twenty-five years and organized a groundbreaking retreat in 2003 with Thich Nhat Hanh and criminal justice professionals. The co-founder of the Center for Mindfulness & Justice, Cheri also taught nationally. She was deeply loved by many people around the world. Interviews and articles by Cheri are available in the Mindfulness Bell’s online archive,

Mindfulness Bell Survey

We are so grateful to those of you who participated in the Mindfulness Bell's survey a few months ago. Your input was invaluable, particularly with helping guide our release of the digital format and brainstorm themes for upcoming issues.  

You expressed a few common themes:

• enjoyment of the magazine

• excitement for digital options

• desire for continued availability of a print magazine

• need for us to keep prices as affordable as possible

• desire for more and better communication, and increased transparency, from us

We will continue doing our best to represent and serve our worldwide Mahasangha and support the practice of our diverse community sisters and brothers.

Please click here to view the results of the survey.

Photo by Lisa LeVasseur

Tanh Thien Great Precept Transmission Ceremony

In February 2017, Thich Nhat Hanh joined the Tanh Thien Great Precept Transmission Ceremony  at the Thai Plum Village International Practice Center. Many of the Most Venerable Monks and Nuns from Vietnam came to witness and give spiritual support and strength to the ordinees (novices who received full ordination). This was the first time the Great Precept Transmission Ceremony took place in Asia with Thay’s presence.

2017 Monastic Tour - Awakening Together: Healing the Ancestral Heart

2017 Monastic Tour - Awakening Together: Healing the Ancestral Heart

Join the monastic community founded, ordained, and trained by Thich Nhat Hanh as they tour the United States to continue the legacy of the beloved Zen master in their 2017 tour, "Awakening Together: Healing the Ancestral Heart." Join us for retreats, public talks, and days of mindfulness, and learn how you can bring the miracle of mindfulness into your daily life.

Updates from the North American Dharma Teachers Sangha by Jack Lawlor


The Care-Taking Council of the North American Dharma Teachers Sangha (“NATDS”) meets for approximately one week each March at one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastic practice centers. There, we share in practices in confluence with the daily monastic schedule and meet to attend the many details that make possible the Dharma Teachers Sangha and its coordinated activities across the US and Canada. This year’s CTC gathering included interactions with representatives from Wake Up and ARISE.

Wake Up leaders and the CTC gathered at Deer Park Monastery at the same time, enabling members of the Care-Taking Council and the Wake Up representatives to spend time together and learn from each other. Each group shared how our efforts and practices have evolved. We also shared games and even a lazy afternoon at the Oceanside beach with monastics.

In addition, the DTS Care-Taking Council and ARISE representatives connected one evening by phone link and Skype to talk about ways to enhance diversity within the Plum Village tradition. In 2016, ARISE representatives shared in person at the March gathering of the entire NATDS membership, all in a good faith effort to transform our collective understanding about some of our society’s most stubborn challenges related to discrimination.

Somehow, NATDS Care-Taking Council members also found time to work on other organizational matters among Dharma teachers that make these outreach efforts possible.

Care-Taking Council members attending were John Bell, Dennis Bohn (by video link from snowbound New York City), Chan Co, Karen Hilsberg, Kenley Neufeld, Sister Mai Nghiem, Leslie Rawls, Chau Yoder, and Jack Lawlor. Brother Phap Ho, Brother Phap Hai, Brother Phap Vu, and Brother Phap Man also participated. Wake Up representatives attending were Elli Weisbaum, Vanessa Loucky, David Viafora, Luis M. Gil, Thang Nguyen, Marc Jantzi, Bryan Hindert, Rogelio Moreno, Sergio Marin, Alexis-Michel Schmitt-Cadet, Ashley Prang Huffman, and Nhu-Mai Nguyen. ARISE representatives who participated electronically were Valerie Brown, Victoria Mausisa, and Antoinette Gonzalez.


The Dharma Teachers Sangha CTC recently formed a new Meditation Committee, currently with eight members. Why? Many people turn to meditation in challenging times, and there is increased interest today. Nonetheless, without assistance and encouragement, many become too judgmental about meditation practice and sometimes forego the joy, happiness, equanimity, centeredness, compassion, and understanding that can arise as we cultivate mindfulness, concentration, and insight on our cushions.

Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh has offered a broad and deep range of teachings and practices about meditation in his many Dharma talks, books, and sutra commentaries. His teachings meet the needs of both beginners and long-term meditators. The Meditation Committee’s purpose, as articulated thus far, is to:

  • deepen our collective study and practice of Thay’s teachings on meditation;
  • collaborate on making Thay’s teachings on meditation and related techniques better known worldwide; and
  • develop skillful means to make Thay’s teachings on meditation more accessible and relevant to diverse audiences and to local Sanghas, so not only Dharma teachers and Order of Interbeing members but also local Sangha facilitators and long-time practitioners can joyfully and confidently transmit and share Thay’s approach to meditation widely and for the benefit of future generations.

The current Dharma teacher members of the North American Dharma Teachers Sangha Meditation Committee are Mihaela Andronic, John Bell, David Bohn, Terry Helbick, Mitchell Ratner, Andre Vellino, Chau Yoder, and Jack Lawlor. You can help by sending committee members your favorite excerpts from Thay’s teachings on meditation and suggestions for making his approach more accessible and widely known. If you would like to offer ideas, please write to Jack Lawlor at, and he will share your offerings with the Committee.