No Morning of Mindfulness this month

We won't be hosting a morning of mindfulness in Ojai this month but we hope you might take some time to sit on your own or with a friend. Maybe you will look up a dharma talk on YouTube by Thay or one of the other monastic teachers? Or download the new Plum Village app and do a guided meditation. You can also pratice mindful eating and walking this weekend on your own time. Every morning can be a morning of mindfulness.

An Update from Plum Village on Thich Nhat Hanh's Health and Preparing for the Lunar New Year (Tết) in Vietnam

Dear Beloved Community,

It is a great joy for our sangha to be approaching the Lunar New Year (Tết), with Thay’s presence at the root temple in Huế, Vietnam. This is the first Tết Thay is spending in his homeland since 2005, and his first in Huế since the 1960s.

Thay has been enjoying the festive preparations in and around the temple, and the light and peaceful atmosphere in the grounds, as the young brothers and sisters clean the altar and the halls, cook special dishes to offer to our spiritual ancestors, decorate the temple with an assortment of flowers and budding peach branches trimmed timely to bloom welcoming the New Year. A charming old peach tree, already showing its first delicate pink blossoms, has been planted in front of Thay’s window for him to enjoy as he sips his tea.

Read the full post here.


Every Tết, Thay is always delighted to offer “parallel verses” to inspire the community’s practice and welcome the New Year. Practitioners from around the world can print out the calligraphies and post them in our home or at work, as a small reminder of our aspiration. (It is nice to print them out on red paper!) The verses invite reflection and offer at least one small thing we can do to add wellbeing and happiness to the coming year. 

This year, our community is offering the phrase: 

Harmony in our home
Joy in the world

Is there something we can do, right now, to bring a little more harmony to our home? That home may be within our heart or body, or in our physical home and close relationships. One calming in-breath or out-breath may be enough. Or perhaps a word or gesture of loving kindness to those around us.

The calligraphy challenges us. Do we have faith that there can be joy in the world, in the heart of the present moment? Can we look deeply to see how joy begins with harmony within? In his later years of teaching, Thay would always remind us to come back to ourselves, our loved ones and the Earth. And from that solid ground of connection, we will know what to do and what not to do in order to help the situation.

If we would like harmony in our society, nation and world, then we also need harmony in our hearts and homes. There is joy in doing our best, to cultivate harmony and touch the wonders of life that are available to us, even in this very moment - our two eyes, the presence of our loved one, or even the little miraculous flower by the path. Collective peace and joy are possible in each little wakeful moment. As Thay would say, “It is not enough just to suffer!” in the midst of the challenges faced by humankind and our Earth; if we want to avoid burning out, we also have to nourish and nurture our peace and joy.

A deep bow to you,

Kenley + Leslie

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