Dear Friends,

 We hope that you are safe and well.

 Today's meditation celebrates Thich Nhat Hahn's 95th Continuation Day.

 We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in the church, in healthcare, in the workplace--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.

In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that it is God's economy of abundance: when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.

We hope and pray that you find peace, healing, hope and the infusion of joy in your life!

With our love and care,

Ron and Jean

MEDITATION 494: Thich Nhat Hahn's 95th Continuation Day Celebration

Celebrating Thich Nhat Hanh's

95th Continuation Day

Dear friends,

October 11 is Thich Nhat Hanh’s 95th continuation day (birthday). Born on October 11, 1926, Thay has made immeasurable contributions to help transform suffering, create peace, build Sangha, and care for our Earth. Reflecting our gratitude to our teacher, we have many special sharings for you today.

We would like to start by sharing with our international community how Thay and our sangha at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam have been doing. The monastics at Plum Village Monastery have written a beautiful letter for you on this topic, which we hope you take the time to enjoy.

Thay visiting the Từ Hiếu Temple grounds one morning earlier this year (2021).

Read the Letter

Continuing Thay's Legacy:

Deep Listening Around the World

As an expression of our gratitude to Thay, and as a concrete way to continue his legacy, we asked our worldwide community to practice deep listening to yourselves, your loved ones, and Mother Earth, and to submit photos, art, and poetry inspired by your deep listening practice.

Over 200 people shared beautiful pieces and reflections for Thay’s continuation day this year. We are happy to share a selection of your submissions below, and through this posting. Thank you to all of you who generously submitted your contributions.

When the wind winks

And the leaves laugh

I see how soft a second is

- Chalon Bidges, California, USA

Urban life busy

Look close and find beauty

The simplicity.

- Mina Aquino, Philippines

"When I sit in stillness, I can learn to accept myself as I am right now. Mother Earth teaches me that I do not have to keep rushing through my life, but I can enjoy each part of it. I can see that Mother Earth accepts me and all beings as we are." - Holly Fogle, Pennsylvania, USA

Mother Earth Is in Me

Breathing in, breathing out

breathing in, breathing out

I sit with stability like a rock

I am being peaceful as the air

I listen deeply when others talk

and I hug them tenderly like a bear

I stand rooted like a tree

I grow patiently as a plant

I service collectively like a bee

and I walk gently like an ant

I am free

Breathing in, breathing out

breathing in, breathing out

I am forgiving as the land

I flow without resistance like a stream

I am one with the animals like a band

and I am light as a cloud in my dream

I am a child of Mother Earth

empty of a my

I continued even before birth

and I will re-manifest when I die

- Brother Babu, Singapore

A Lotus for You

Part of it blossoms

Part of it dies

Isn't it a miracle

Its spirit touches mine?

Búp sen hé nở

Cánh sen héo tàn

Phút giây chánh niệm

Sen là tâm an.

- Tâm Minh Như, Vietnam

The trees whisper

The rocks speak

The flowers sing to me

I listen to Mother Earth

And I smile.

I sit here in silence.

I listen to myself

And I smile.

My loved one speaks to me

I listen with all my heart

And he smiles.

- Fionnuala Brennan, Paros, Greece

"Inspired by the meditation on the four elements."

- Alfonso Montellano Lopez, Cambridge, UK

See More Art and Reflections

How Thich Nhat Hanh’s

Books Are Published

"I write a book because there is a need inside to tell what is in my heart."

- Thich Nhat Hanh

There are many different ways that Thich Nhat Hanh’s more than 100 books have come to be. Each book is rich with his insights, practices, personal stories and deep understanding of Buddhist teachings, and each book carries his gentle, lyrical prose.

Thay has been writing articles, sutra commentaries, Buddhist practice manuals, books on engaged Buddhism, short stories, poetry and fiction since his days as a young monk in Vietnam in the 1950s. Many of Thay’s earliest and most well-known books he wrote longhand in Vietnamese, including those now published in English as A Rose for Your Pocket, The Miracle of Mindfulness, Fragrant Palm Leaves, The Sun My Heart, and Old Path White Clouds.

All of Thay’s poetry and fiction were first written in Vietnamese and later translated into English. Some of Thay’s more poetic recent books on mindfulness, including Inside the Now (2015) and Peace is Every Breath (2011), were also written longhand in Vietnamese and subsequently translated into English. All of Thay’s sutra commentaries were translated from Vietnamese, and he often reviewed the English translation himself.

Thay visiting the Buddhist bookshelves in a bookstore while on a teaching tour in the United States in 2013.

Over his teaching career, Thay has given thousands of Dharma Talks, both on teaching tours around the world (when he would teach in English) and in Winter Retreats in Plum Village France (when he would teach in Vietnamese his profound commentary on key sutras in the Buddhist canon). Thay intended these series of talks to become books, and he actively directed his monastic and lay students, and the team at Parallax Press, to help collect and edit his talks into books, focussing on key themes he wanted to address.

We are grateful for the many generations of editors, translators and copyeditors who have contributed to this incredible endeavor. The monastic community continues this work today, preparing translations from Vietnamese into English, and overseeing the translation of Thay’s work into over 40 languages. At Thay’s request, the monastic editorial teams continue to edit his still-unpublished talks into books, to make his precious teachings widely available for future generations. We are grateful to our teacher for offering such a rich Dharma legacy for us all.

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