|Following is the email sent to the larger Sangha from Plum Village regarding the death of our Beloved Teacher:|
Plum Village, France10:30pm
21st January, 2022
Dear Beloved Community,
With a deep mindful breath, we announce the passing of our beloved teacher, Thay Nhat Hanh, at 00:00hrs on January 22, 2022 at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, at the age of 95.
Thay has been the most extraordinary teacher, whose peace, tender compassion, and bright wisdom has touched the lives of millions. Whether we have encountered him on retreats, at public talks, or through his books and online teachings–or simply through the story of his incredible life–we can see that Thay has been a true bodhisattva, an immense force for peace and healing in the world. Thay has been a revolutionary, a renewer of Buddhism, never diluting and always digging deep into the roots of Buddhism to bring out its authentic radiance.
Thay has opened up a beautiful path of Engaged and Applied Buddhism for all of us: the path of the Five Mindfulness Trainings and the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing. As Thay would say, “Because we have seen the path, we have nothing more to fear.” We know our direction in life, we know what to do, and what not to do to relieve suffering in ourselves, in others, and in the world; and we know the art of stopping, looking deeply, and generating true joy and happiness.
Now is a moment to come back to our mindful breathing and walking, to generate the energy of peace, compassion, and gratitude to offer our beloved Teacher. It is a moment to take refuge in our spiritual friends, our local sanghas and community, and each other.
We invite you to join our global community online, as we commemorate Thay’s life and legacy with five days of practice and ceremonies broadcast LIVE from Hue, Vietnam and Plum Village, France, starting on Saturday January 22nd. Please see our website for more details coming shortly: www.plumvillage.org/memorial
Let us each resolve to do our best over the coming days to generate the energy of mindfulness, peace, and compassion, to send to our beloved Teacher.
Over the coming hours on the Plum Village website, we will publish some inspirational chants, texts, and mindfulness practice resources, to support you to come together with your local sangha to generate a collective energy of mindfulness and compassion, and create your own ceremony or session in tribute to our Teacher. As Thay has always taught, nothing is more important than brotherhood and sisterhood, and we all know the power of collective energy.
We invite you to share your messages of gratitude or personal transformation and healing on our website: plumvillage.org/gratitude-for-thich-nhat-hanh
With love, trust, and togetherness,
The Monks and Nuns of Plum Village, France
Sharon Salzberg in her wonderful book Lovingkindness, The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, writes “Without the rigidity of concepts, the world becomes transparent and illuminated, as though lit from within. With this understanding, the interconnectedness of all that lives becomes very clear. We see that nothing is stagnant and nothing is fully separate, that who we are, what we are, is intimately woven into the nature of life itself. Out of this sense of connection, love and compassion arise.”
Then she quotes Susan Griffin from Woman and Nature saying that it is a beautiful expression of our unity:
“We say that you cannot divert the river from the river bed, we say that everything is moving and we are part of this motion, the soil is moving, that the water is moving, we say that the earth draws water to her from the clouds, we say that the rainfall parts on either side of the mountain like the parting of our hair, and the shape of the mountain tells us where the water has passed. We say that this water washes the soil from the hillsides, that the rivers carry sediment, that rain when it splashes carry’s small particles, that the soil itself flows with water in streams underground, we say that water is taken up into the roots of plants into stems, that it washes down hills into rivers, that these rivers flow to the sea, That from the sea and the sunlight this water rises to the sky, this water is carried into clouds and comes back as rain, comes back as fog, comes back as dew as wetness in the air, we say everything comes back, you cannot divert the river from the river bed, we say every act has its consequences, that this place has been shaped by the river, and the shape of this place tells the river where to go, we say look how the water flows from this place and returns as rainfall, everything returns we say, and one thing follows another, there are limits we say on what can be done, and everything moves, we are all a part of this motion we say, in the way the river is sacred, and this grove of trees is sacred, we ourselves we tell you are sacred.”