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On a very different note, during our closing Tea Ceremony, a number of retreatants expressed how much they had enjoyed our impromptu campfire the night before. In the late afternoon, a few of the male retreatants, my husband Rhys included, who enjoy building bonfires, created a wonderful setting for an evening campfire under friendly skies.

Our campfire brought us all together as a Sangha again on another level. A level of camaraderie, fun and creativity, which from feedback received, enriched the overall retreat experience for individuals. Joyce Davies. Caboolture Mindfulness Practice Centre.

Dear Friends,. We congratulate her. Sr Luong Nghiem accompanied her for some of her own time at Plum Village after many years. They will both be home in August. And, just as in the two previous years, it was as a wonderful day which the staff took part in as well. It finished with a mindful shared meal that the women had prepared. We celebrated our own Vesak on May 25 th. At the meditation centre, preparations have also started for visitors during the Nhap Luu Spring Opening, including the building of a new toilet block of three, near the Meditation Hall.

We are also looking into some simple accommodation that would allow the Brothers to start coming to stay at Nhap Luu for some months each year. Mostly, however, the Sisters have been quiet, enjoying the three month Winter Retreat which ends on August 17 th.

We hope this edition of our newsletter finds you well, and that you are taking inspiration from it. Traditionally Buddhist Monastics and other teachers, still do depend on the generosity of their lay community for actual livelihood, and the necessities of life. In this way, we ensure that these jewels will continue on into the future.

It can be helpful to understand that costs specified for retreats are usually calculated just to cover running costs. Regular monthly affordable, automatic transfers are also something you could consider setting in place as your way of supporting the continuation of the Practice. The last quarter has been an incredibly busy one somehow, and amidst all the busy-ness, something great happened. She will be a second pair of eyes, and second article or talent scout, as well as editor. Welcome Jenny. This is the first article in a small series to come. Also, it had already been planned to introduce a section where Sangha members could relate their retreat experiences.

In this edition we have the beginning, but with an unexpected bonus. Amazingly, something truly awesome was shared on social media. We take, as part of our mission, to share with you whenever it is possible, information and teachings that may help make the flame of understanding about this subject, and of love for other sentient beings and the planet, burn stronger in the collective heart.

There are plenty of photos. Sister Doan Nghiem has also made her skills available in whatever ways she could to facilitate the spreading of the Dharma, during her stay. Sister Doan Nghiem in the meditation hall. About 30 attended, and more would have liked to get a place as part of it. She also taught what the practice of mindfulness actually means. How it must,and can,be right through our daily existence. These are currently ongoing. For this April Retreat we are noticing quite a few registrations coming from the surrounding area, but from further afield. A smile and a lotus for you all,. My Plum Village Experience.

For my sixteenth birthday, my mum Sandy told me that we would be going to France and spending one week in Plum Village and one week in Paris. I had heard of Plum Village before, through my mum and the Five Mountains Sangha that we had both attended. This opportunity sounded so interesting that I was really thankful that my mum had given it to me!

But to be honest, before I left, I also began to have doubts about Plum Village, thinking that there would be no other people my age there, and that I would rather be spending the week in Paris. Little did I know that one single week would have the potential to change my life!

When Mum and I arrived at the train station, we were picked up to go to Plum Village by some lovely nuns, and one who was Australian! When we arrived in Plum Village, I immediately felt peaceful and safe. It has a beautiful atmosphere - one that you cannot find anywhere else in the whole entire world. Each day that I experienced while on my retreat was unique but equally fulfilling.

I met the most amazing and interesting people, and meditated in a beautiful environment. A regular day consisted of waking up at 5am which was surprisingly easy! After breakfast, we would all have some free time for activities such as drinking tea, reading, writing, or tidying, and then go on a walking meditation through the beautiful French countryside. After that we would eat lunch, sing some songs, participate in a Dharma sharing, then have dinner. After dinner would be some more free time, then a Touching of the Earth.

Noble Silence would be from 9pm until after breakfast the next day. Some days all the lay friends and nuns would go to different hamlets. I was lucky enough to visit all of them, discovering that each one was unique but had an equally peaceful feel to it. When we went to the other hamlets, we would meet everyone from all the hamlets, and also people from the local village, Saint Foy La Grande. At first I was really sad about having to leave all the friends I had made in Plum Village, but then I used my meditation and mindfulness to let go.

Throughout the next week in Paris, Mum and I both used to stop each other every hour to focus on the present moment and our breath. If ever we were going through a potentially stressful experience which happened a lot Mum and I would think of either Plum Village or Thay and feel calm once again. From this experience in Plum Village, I learned more in one week than I have in my whole life. This amazing place taught me how to eat, drink, walk, talk, and live with mindfulness.

I have taken these experiences from Plum Village with me to deal with situations and changes in my life.

For example before going to PV, I would get stressed easily about studying for tests and completing assignments. Now I have the knowledge to stay calm, and focus on the present moment. Already in just one month, I have gone through some major changes, such as moving house and starting a new school. I know that without my time in Plum Village I would not have been able to deal with these changes. Every day I practised mindfulness and focusing on the present moment. I have learnt that it is important to use my mindfulness when walking to and from school, eating my food, and dealing with others.

I definitely recommend going to Plum Village to all teenagers; it will give you the opportunity to look at life from a totally different aspect. Not only will it benefit you, but also others around you!

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Cassie Chalk. We can teach mindfulness to our children using simple daily activities. Here are some ideas for teaching mindfulness in nature:. Find a flower or a leaf and discuss its colours, shapes and textures. Looking very closely perhaps we can also see the sunshine that helped that plant to grow. Go for a short walk, looking closely at the ground. What can you see? Close your eyes and let a friend guide you. What do you notice? Turning in to the property that is home, to Nhap Luu Meditation Centre, and passing the dams and lakes, it is very clear that water is scarce this year.

The Peace House Lake is lower than ever, and when we take a shower, or wash the dishes, we become very, very careful indeed about how much we use. This is not a place where one takes mains water for granted. No rain- no water. The gathas that help us come back to our breath and to the wisdom of valuing and treating water with respect are those we think of spontaneously and first:.

Water comes from high mountain sources in breath ;. As Buddhist practitioners we strive to cultivate our understanding that we actually do have enough conditions to be happy already, that we CAN consume less, and more respectfully and mindfully, and thus be instrumental in helping to reverse the global warming and climate change trends. Thus saving the earth.

We see very clearly in a place like Nhap Luu the need for action, now. No longer hidden or disguised, as they can be when we are in the city, the ravages of the climate change that come about through our own thoughtless consumption are self evident. A while ago, a group of Dharma Teachers from many different places got together, and through One Earth Sangha, they issued and signed their names to a statement about, and commitment to, action against climate change.

It was featured on Earth Protection Here And Now, and here it is, for your inspiration and personal action. The Beginning of Nhap Luu Land. It is a very peaceful and simple home where everyone enjoys the whole day together from 10am till 4pm. My wife and I joined the Sangha at the end of the year As the newest members, we were warmly welcomed by the seniors and whole Sangha. I was appointed right away as treasurer. That was quite a new kind of job for me, a worm farm builder for an environment centre in East Brunswick.

So we went on with our Sangha activities, following the holy pathway of the Buddha without any doubts. Together, with all our lovely brothers and sisters, our practice has been strengthened step-by-step, day by day, especially when some monks and nuns from Plum Village have travelled to Melbourne to visit us and delivered dharma talks to us and others.

After a while the home of brother Chan Tu Tue became too small for the Sangha. One day, our brother raised the idea of establishing a new centre for all future Sanghas to use. This terrific suggestion caused a beautiful mini storm for everyone involved. Where and why? Chan Tu Tue felt we needed to look further than just the immediate, to the idea of a Plum Village being built here in Victoria for all Australian Sanghas.

The questions were where would it be located and what should the landscape be? It must not be too far away from, or close to, Melbourne.

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So, there were many more talks and meetings. At the same time, and although the whole group was not completely aware, our brother and his wife Chan Hoai Duc, started their own searching for the future spot. One Sunday they asked the Sangha to inspect a place in Daylesford, near Ballarat, where there was a building already, on very nice land. We went to see this land the next week, and loved it - although we could not afford it.

It was up hill land with a bluestone hall powered by solar batteries, green and healthy trees, and a little spring as well, although that, we found, would stay on the other half of the property, not ours. The owner was an Australian nun who only wanted to sell a half of her land, and unfortunately the spring belonged to her side. Brother Chan Tu Tue and his wife were very committed to searching for land.

Therefore we had some other visits in the same area, and in Ballan nearby also - but not everyone was happy with what we saw. Then on one particular Sunday in August he made a historical declaration to all the Sangha members that the dreamland had been found and had actually been purchased from their own pocket. They did not want the money burden on other members' shoulders.

They did not want anyone to have more worries and perhaps, even, it was possible that too many cooks could spoil the broth. We were all very surprised, happy, and also curious about this land. So we arranged a Sunday to go together to this unknown place in Beaufort, more than 45 km from Ballarat, along the Western Highway. We drove slowly on the narrow, muddy potholed road; carefully down the hill to land that must have been untouched for years. Here the atmosphere was totally quiet except for some birds calling. Here the eucalyptus trees were the main residents, and kangaroos the other main occupants as well.

Early visits to our land were often like this Green Bamboo Sangha foundation members picnic at Nhap Luu. We breathed the pure and leafy air, and had a quick lunch before everyone began their own exploration of this beautiful land. We stepped over numerous leaves and branches. Some tiny snakes hurried across our paths. There was plenty of fresh kangaroos poo, and from trees we heard birds repeating their warm welcome songs.

We were bush walking this way, up and down the land, and there were even some traces of old gold diggings here. We dreamed that we might find by accident a big gold nugget. That would make our dream to build a meditation hall soon become a reality. We imagined where the first hut would be, the first hall, the kitchen, the toilet. First of all we had to have a little island at the lowest point of this land surrounded by a dam with lotus lily flowers. Frogs would appear there to add more music to the birdsong and insects. A simple bridge across would make this island more attractive.

Everyone had a plan in their mind. It was like Winter here. The darkness already coming, even though it was only 3pm. In those days we had no mobile phones. Then we used car horns very loudly, and luckily they heard. Then came the unexpected happening which has been unforgettable for all of us. When we drove in, the no name road was downhill, but when we got out it was uphill, and some sections were very muddy and slippery, causing the car wheels to spin and skid without moving forward, while the car engines roared.

We tried different ways, but were unsuccessful. Lastly, we stood right behind the cars and pushed with the utmost effort, red mud spreading on all our faces and clothing. We had to close our eyes and keep pushing as the darkness was falling quickly. After nearly one hour all cars escaped this dangerous section with mud everywhere. We will be here again brothers and sisters. It was dark already as we headed back Melbourne. That was the very first day of Nhap Luu Land.

We had missed each other. We have two Mindfulness Days a month, on the first and third Sundays, from 10am to 4pm. For the past 9 years we have been meeting on our 12 acres at Koonorigan, near Lismore. However, we have a change this year. Different Sangha members are now taking turns in organising the Mindfulness Day for the first Sunday.

On the first Sunday this month, we enjoyed meeting at a local park. Our walking meditation was on a boardwalk in a rainforest remnant with pademelons hopping around and a variety of birds calling in the forest. It was a truly peaceful day. This change in arrangements, although a little daunting for the Sangha members at first, is proving to be popular because people are discovering that organizing a Mindfulness Day is not too difficult and it can involve different activities that can be adapted to suit the physical location. We are also very pleased to have three aspirants for the Order of Interbeing in the Sangha.

This strengthens the group. The third Sunday will still continue in our little zendo on the 12 acres at Koonorigan. This day begins with a meeting of the Study Group at 8. The Sangha members have been happy to buy the book. So, to get the most value from it, this year we are continuing with the other chapters in the book.

One new chapter each month. Altar- Five Mountains Zendo. A summary of the chapter is emailed to Sangha members at least a week before, with some focus questions to encourage people to find the relevance of the teachings to their daily lives. This also gives the opportunity for those who cannot attend the Group to do their own study. On the day, we sit for a few minutes, then have a summary of the chapter, again, and questions are posed to the group.

It is not too long before the sharing begins to flow. The Study Group members take turns in leading the group each month. Our other activities planned for the year are two weekend retreats in May and August. We give preference to Five Mountains Sangha members, and our space is limited, but visitors who have already attended a Mindfulness Day at another sangha are welcome if we have room. This is a practice I heard about at Plum Village in We have adapted it to suit our needs.

Sangha members each select a month in the year, and for that month, each Tuesday, one person sends an email to our Sangha list. This little exercise engages us more deeply with the teachings and in applying them in our everyday lives.

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It also gives each of us the opportunity to share our understanding and wisdom. It is an empowering and beautiful practice. May you be peaceful, happy and light. Jenny Pittman True Shore of Virtue. This email address is being protected from spambots. Thich Nhat Hanh: "The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.

I went looking and found her in the laundry checking out my sewing box. She was holding a box of brightly coloured buttons. Offering our presence takes so little effort, and rewards us with so much. A contribution from Mindful Path Sangha, Adelaide. Our Mindful Path Sangha in Adelaide meets each Sunday morning for a two-hour session of sitting and walking meditation, chanting and sharing of the Dharma. Then each member has the opportunity to respond, while others listen with open heart and mind.

In response, the following week, someone else offered a presentation on the subject of constant awareness of breathing. It was well received and brought a range of observations from the group. Someone suggested that we could share the presentation with the wider Sangha, through the Nhap Luu Newsletter. Life-experience and breathing. Although extreme stress, such as the sort that factory farming imparts to animals, can damage natural functioning.

But for mammals, including humans, physiological patterns can vary greatly, influenced by things like lifestyle and emotional and psychological experiences. A completely healthy, well-functioning infant can become a physiological wreck by age 12 if the environment is negative.

Breathing is amongst the first of the functions to be affected, then heart, blood supply, oxygenation of cells, and the health of other organs. However, Shakyamuni Buddha taught that body and breath awareness is essential. This is the most fundamental and important teaching for a Buddhist practitioner to understand and to apply, and it is stressed in all the great traditions. Being aware of the movement of the breath produces immediate body awareness.

At the same time, it anchors our mental activity in the present so that our thoughts, plans and fears are not stealing our mind. Without this starting point, we cannot achieve stopping shamatha , stillness and ease. The breath as an object of meditation is also taught in all the great traditions.

When establishing ourselves in meditation, it can be useful, at least initially, to focus on a chosen object. Meditating on the breath also cultivates our awareness of impermanence. Every in-breath alters our bodies in a multitude of ways, every out-breath in a multitude of other ways. No breath is the same as the one before or after. We can also examine the river of objects of our minds. That is, everything that flows in through our senses or arises from our store consciousness. Interestingly enough, cultivation of full diaphragm control breathing, through awareness of the lower abdomen, is also considered a powerful factor in emotional stability and coordinated physical activity in Qi Gong and many Asian martial arts.

But often we wonder whether constant awareness of breath possible. Feelings come and go, like clouds on a windy sky. Mindful breathing is my anchor, in the present moment. For some of us, learning about awareness of breath later in life could be the chance to set some manageable targets on the road towards actual full awareness of breathing. We can get there, and we should aim to do so. In the context of explaining a gradual or targeted approach to adopting a yoga-based breath awareness exercise he offered the following:.

So Science itself seems to concur with the deepest teachings of the Buddha. I felt frail, shaky, with an aching head as I waited for the train. As I stepped into the carriage I was assaulted by a massive noise. The carriage was crowded with about 80 primary school children, all talking, restless, laughing, yelling. Immediately I attended to my breath, and consciously breathed deeply into the lower abdomen.

This steadied me enough to find a seat among the wild young animals. For several minutes I concentrated on following the breath all the way in and out, and doing a body-scan from top to toe, smiling at every part, to settle my body and mind. Mentally, I expanded my body to encompass the noise and hold it gently within, so that it was no longer outside me as an alien force. Then, still following my breath, I looked closely at the children and cultivated positive thoughts and feelings.

They were enjoying themselves on their trip to the city. They were enthusiastic and excited, their faces mobile and alive. They were interacting with each other happily. I began to feel their joy.

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May they grow up well and happy and help to make a better world. After ten minutes, I felt relaxed and stable. I settled into a nourishing meditation for the next twenty minutes and felt much better at the end of the train ride. Another Sangha member recently told of catching the wrong train with her three year old daughter. Getting home proved to be a long and difficult process. She had to walk a long way, made worse by aching joints caused by an illness, which made it very hard to carry her child.

She told us:. Then I recalled Thay's teaching: breathing in, breathing out, each step blossoming, each step smiling, and I laughed aloud. My baby woke up and helped me. She walked so that my arm would not hurt so much. May all readers be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit. Registrations are open for the Nhap Luu Spring Opening. It is 20 minutes from Nhap Luu itself.

The Opening is timed for the school holiday period of September. There will be programs for children years and teenagers years. Discovering Beaufort town- April We hope you are as inspired and happy as we. There is more from him further on about additional land just purchased. I have both opportunity and reason to spend quite a lot of time at Nhap Luu myself- and the more time I spend, the more I want to. This body of mine is not at all young- but somehow it has not seemed important that Nhap Luu conditions are still basic. I would be the first to tell you that I have a very long, long way to go in developing my own practice.

It is happening at every level. So beautiful. Jenny Pittman for example, who received the Lamp of Wisdom Transmission from Thay earlier in the year, shares some of that day in the form of a very special photo. But we do still have our first small bilingual entry - with the help of Kenny Nguyen, from Melbourne. We hope all these offerings will nourish, and inspire joy in, the hearts of our Sangha. To set the mood, here is a most beautifully poignant and mindful sharing in this "Tuesdays with Thay" contribution.

Dear Friends. You become the moment. This poem by a Buddhist monk describes active concentration. The wind whistles in the bamboo. And the bamboo dances.

We welcome contributions to Nhap Luu News.

When the wind stops,. The bamboo grows still. The wind comes and the bamboo welcomes it. The wind goes, and the bamboo lets it go. A silver bird flies over the autumn lake. When it has passed,. To hold on to the image of the bird. As the bird flies over the lake, its reflection is lucid. After it is gone, the lake reflects the clouds and the sky just as clearly. When we practice active concentration, we welcome whatever comes along.

When the object of our concentration has passed, our mind remains clear, like a calm lake. Enjoy the moment Dianne Howard. Recently, we re-instituted the tradition of once monthly working bees at Nhap Luu. This month, local friends joined in, organised by our Beaufort friend Judy Nugent. We encourage the Sangha to come - and to enjoy the day with us as well. No special invitations needed. We are looking forward to it. The resort is just 20mins away from Nhap Luu Monastery. The retreat will be held over six days and six nights, and is scheduled during the school holidays.

One early morning last September, as I was practicing ten mindful movements on the lower floor of the Peace House at Nhap Luu Monastery, a group of Kangaroos were having their morning grass outside. Wanting to have a picture taken with them, I went out of the house, and quietly walked toward them from behind, hoping that they would not notice me.

I did not have any luck. They were aware of my presence and jumped away. I guessed that they liked to have their morning meal undisturbed. They were really in the present moment, enjoying their breath and their grass. While doing so, they were also aware of my approach. I did have a good time observing them from inside of the house though. It was a wonderful feeling for me that morning, being so close to nature and its inhabitants - and being a part of it.

Since then, I've had chances to come to Nhap Luu more often. On the April trip with Brother Phap Hai, I helped lead the retreats in Sydney and Brisbane, and got to know more about the Sangha members there as well. Nhap Luu has grown a lot since the first rain retreat in May There are 11 nuns now at Nhap Luu, and activities there have become regular. The Sisters have also been to Adelaide to build new Sangha at the request of local practitioners, who hope to establish similar activities to those in Brisbane and Sydney.

The Nhap Luu of today is like Plum Village of 30 years ago, actually. I remember coming to Plum Village for the first time in the summer of as a lay person, where I and several fellow practitioners from France and Norway stayed in the back room of the Red Candle building, behind the current registration office of Lower Hamlet. We slept on beds made up of 4 bricks and a wooden panel. Friends and members of Sr. And there were not enough toilets. Thay himself had to wait for the use of the toilet in that building.

This reminds me the sharing of a friend, who said that because of lack of space, homes in France often do not have many toilets. Some members of the family have to form a toilet queue, giving themselves a chance to see each other. My first overnight stay at Nhap Luu was in the yurt upon the hill. It was cold during the day and even colder at night. But the cold was offset by the warmth of the care taken by Sangha members, who prepared hot water bottles for me to keep warm until morning. Sangha building means building brotherhood and sisterhood, and it does not require fancy facilities.

In my experience, the simpler the facilities, the more time we have for Sangha building. There will be no retreats held in other locales during that time, thus allowing the maximum people to come to the annual Spring Opening. In the same way, people from all over the world come to Plum Village France every year for its annual Summer Opening.

Conditions are not there yet to hold all activities at Nhap Luu itself, but there will be a Day of Mindfulness held there. Big retreats were held at the University of California in San Diego for the first three years. But that all depends on us. We are not losing ourselves in the future though. Taking good care f the present means taking good care of the future. We are looking forward to see you there. Peace is every breath,. Phap Kham. Final pricing, and registration details, will be made available to you early in the New Year, by email and on the new website when it is up and running: www.

We are looking for expressions of interest from Sangha members to join the retreat coordination team, filling the following positions. There will be more than one person in all of the positions mentioned. MORE: The links below give you more details about the venue, and also the region we are in. There is a dedicated Facebook page for the retreat.

An old silent pond A frog jumps into the pond,. Silence again. This story was sent from Plum Village to friends back home, by Retreatant Emyo Wang- just right at the end, as we were finalising the newsletter. It was too lovely a story to pass up, despite this being a big issue already- so here it is- shortened a little, and with photos. She sends you all her love, mindful hugs, and is truly grateful for your shared practice. While she has limited access to internet, she wished to let you know that she is practising for you.

In Buddhist legend, the udumbara flower blossoms once every years, symbolizing true rarity. The sound of the name also harks to Sayadaw U Ba Kin, and Sister Uu Bat is delighted about that, as Sayadaw was one of her first influences on this path. It was timed so that 19 aspirants in Thailand ordained with the eight in Plum Village. Not available in stores. The following ISBNs are associated with this title:. ISBN - On the Content tab, click to select the Enable JavaScript check box. Click OK to close the Options popup. Refresh your browser page to run scripts and reload content. Click the Internet Zone.

If you do not have to customize your Internet security settings, click Default Level. Then go to step 5. Click OK to close the Internet Options popup. Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. And whenever we have feelings of peace, calmness or joy, it's experienced not in our head, but in our heart. So what makes the heart so special?

How can our heart help us in our daily life? What is the spiritual meaning of the heart?