A Taste of Plum Village: Practice as a Family Charlottesville, Virginia, June 16-21,1995 During this five-day family retreat, we will practice mindfulness with our children and share energy, experience, inspiration and resources with each other. Teenagers are especially invited. Many members of the core community will be participating.
The retreat will take place in a rustic rural setting and the daily program will be based on the Plum Village summer family retreat schedule. Please plan to attend the entire retreat. Cost will be about $100/person (children 3 and under are free, like the birds). Registration is limited to 80 people and must be secured with a nonrefundable deposit of $100 by April 15. For further information and registration, please contact Fred Eppsteiner, 99 North Street, Naples, FL 33963, (813) 566-1769 or Ashley Cadwell, 69 Arundel
Plum Village Translation Equipment
Over the last several years, Plum Village has been using translation equipment engineered and built by our longtime friend, Chan Sinh, who passed away this last year. And, unfortunately, the equipment he built for us is also, after much transmission of the Dharma from Thay, starting to show definite signs of impermanence. So, plans are underway to design a new system that will hopefully have the capacity and durability to service our multilingual needs, especially during our summer openings, for many years.
Three main requirements are affordability, flexibility, and portability. Because of the former, we want a wired system. And some reconditioned (but guaranteed) used components, if available, could also be helpful in this regard. A versatile system is an absolute necessity due to the constantly changing needs of Plum Village. Lastly, because of how often the system will be moved (daily during summer openings), we want a system that uses European electrical current and is designed for mobility.
Some of you have expressed an interest in helping us with the design of this system, and we would like to encourage you to contact Brother Ivar at Plum Village as soon as is mindfully possible if this type of support is of interest to you. And, of course, if any of you have connections to suppliers, discounts, etc., that would also be helpful.
Also, at this time, we would like to send out a plea for help in funding this much-needed project. We know the system, in whichever form it manifests, will not be cheap. Any size donation would be most helpful, and any fund-raising effort you and/or your Sangha can creatively organize would help us all receive Dharma transmission reliably in the years to come. Please send your tax-deductible contributions to The Community of Mindful Living earmarked "Plum Village/Translation."
Towards a Bhiksuni Order in the West Plum Village, June 25-30,1995
In the last thirty years, women in the West have collectively felt their growing empowerment as they have realized that choices were available to them regarding the direction they wanted their life to take, whether to pursue a career, or combine both career and family, or career and committed relationship, in order to live happily. As we approach the year 2000, the additional option, available for many decades, of living in a spiritual community with others sharing the same values and goals is being reconsidered as a lifestyle for happiness.
A young generation of women now faces these choices. Some have confidence in their capacity to understand themselves and make wise decisions based on their self-understanding. Others are not so sure, and choose a path they think will bring them happiness because it has been followed by their mothers, sisters, relatives and friends for so long. Others are fearful and skeptical that individual peace and happiness are possible, aware of the enormous problems that couples, families and society face, and the suffering everywhere on this good planet, mother Earth. At some point along their path of awareness and growth, many women have realized that often what has held them back from realizing their full potential has been their misperceptions of who they are, what the world is like, and what is possible given the circumstances of their lives. In some cases, a spiritual master, nun, minister, priest, or rabbi, in other cases, a wise relative, kind friend, counselor, therapist, or teacher has assisted them in this growth of letting go of these misperceptions.
For generations, women have chosen the way of "renunciation" as a direction for their life, and have become nuns. In Buddhism, a person who is dedicated to transforming her own fear and suffering, and also helps all living beings do so as well, bringing great joy and happiness, is called a Bodhisattva, an awakened being. The way she or he chooses is the path of service through understanding and love. There are many Bodhisattvas in the world today: women, men, and children who are living in society, raising families, working and going to school, as well as many nuns and monks, helping people in countless ways. But the world needs many more.
This five-day retreat is an opportunity for nuns of all traditions to share their experiences of being nuns, and their aspirations and visions for the role of nuns in the future. We hope that the retreat will offer women of all ages a chance to explore the Bodhisattva path of nunhood as a way to realize their highest aspirations. Anyone interested in sharing her or his experience and learning from others is invited to attend: nuns, monks, laypeople, Buddhists, and non-Buddhists. The retreat program is modeled on the daily life of mindfulness and meditation practiced at Plum Village. For more information and registration, please contact Sister Eleni at Plum Village.
The Peace Walk, which began on December 10th at Auschwitz, is proceeding into as many areas of conflict as it can. Led by Japanese monks and nuns whose practice is chanting and beating the drum, the walkers go through towns and cities which have suffered the devastation of war. In each area of conflict, the walkers hold a fasting day of chanting and prayer in an open area such as a town square. The group of walkers normally numbers about 70, composed of a core group of 30-40 and others who join for a portion of the walk.
Since leaving Vienna, the walk has gone into Bosnia, Croatia, Israel, and Jordan. In Mostar, Bosnia, the walkers held two fasting days, one on each side of a city whose bridges were blown up, dividing it into two cities, one Moslem and one Christian. The walk was supposed to proceed on the West Bank, but permits were denied. The walk from Amman, Jordan to Baghdad, Iraq was also cancelled because entry into Iraq was denied. In March, the walk will continue in India, Vietnam, and Hiroshima.
The Zaltho Foundation is seeking contributions to sponsor Vietnam War veterans to walk from Saigon to Hanoi in June. Please send tax-deductible donations to the Zaltho Foundation, c/o 321 Bedford Street, Concord, MA 01742. Checks should be payable to the Community of Mindful Living, earmarked "Peace Walk." For more information, contact Andrew Weiss, 64 Winslow Road, Belmont, MA 02178, (617) 484-6499.
In the Footsteps of the Buddha
Shantum Seth, a longtime student of Thich Nhat Hanh will once again lead pilgrimages to the sites of the life of the Buddha in India and Nepal in December 1995 and February 1996. The pilgrimage will start in the monastic ruins of Nalanda and travel through Rajgir, Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Kushinagar, Kapilavastu, Lumbini, Sarnath and Sravasti. For further information, contact Aura Wright, 3439 N.E. Sandy, Suite 207, Portland, OR 97232, (503) 335-0794.
Jim Buglione, a resident of West Saugerties for twenty years and a student of Thay for many years, died on February 18 of heart failure at the age of 47. He is survived by loving parents, James and Jenny Buglione, a 102 year-old grandmother, aunts, uncles and many dear friends. The funeral and burial took place in Brooklyn, the original home of the departed. He was a Vietnam veteran, active in Veterans for Peace, and a participant at the Omega Institute for many years. Anyone who wishes to make a memorial donation in Jim's honor should send a contribution made payable to: The Committee for Hungry Children of Vietnam to Anh Huong Nguyen, 10431 Adel Road, Oakton, VA 22124.
Mindfulness on the Mediterranean
A Sangha member, currently living in Germany, invites members of the community to use his home in Greece for mindfulness retreats. He plans to return to Greece in two years and help build a local Sangha there at that time. His wonderful home can accommodate about 20 people. It is located three hours outside of Athens, a ten-minute walk from the sea. For more information, please contact Walter Hundt, Droste-Hulshoff Str. 14, 57078 Siegeu, Germany.
Right Livelihood Directory
Jonathan Maxson, a college student in Albany, New York wants to spend the spring and summer gardening and practicing right livelihood. He suggested the idea of a "Right Livelihood Directory" listing employers, workers, job openings, internships, and volunteer positions that maintain the spirit and integrity of the precepts. This could be an important step in encouraging mindfulness in one of the most critical dimensions of our daily lives. He believes it would be a blessing to many young people and careerchangers who believe that only a lucky few are ever able to do the work of their hearts and conscience.
Faculty Position in Engaged Buddhism
The Department of Religious Studies of The Naropa Institute is establishing a new M.A. concentration in Engaged Buddhism in the fall of 1995 and has an opening for a full-time faculty appointment. They are looking for someone who has a "seasoned Buddhist meditation practice, knowledge of Buddhist scholarship, direct experience in hospice or similar setting, and appropriate professional qualification." For more information, please contact Spencer A. McWilliams, Vice President for Academic Affairs, The Naropa Institute, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, CO 80302-6697, (303) 444-0202, fax (303) 444-0410.