This past August, Lois Petty, Jean Huba and I attended a week-long retreat with renowned Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. The retreat was held at UBC with nearly 1000 practicing Buddhists.
The setting was exquisite, the teaching sublime and the experience was life-changing.
Upon re-entry into our “normal” lives back in Ashcroft, we found people were interested in our experience and the knowledge we had gained while attending. So we gathered one evening with friends to try and describe the experience of being immersed in teachings and different meditation practices for a whole week with Thich Nhat Hanh, age 86, and the monks and nuns he brought from Plum Village.
Plum Village is a monastery where Thay, as he is called by his devotees, settled in France after many harrowing and traumatic life occurrences. The monastery has grown and several other monasteries have been founded in other countries, including the US.
One of the treasures of the retreat for we three was the experience of group meditation. Remember there were nearly 1000 of us gathered together, all with the same intention of being in the Presence of the Universal Energy, the Source, God or whatever you want to call It. To experience something like that is life-altering. And the people with whom we spoke wanted to experience it, too.
So we gathered together in St Alban’s Hall meeting room and spent some time learning about meditation and then practicing it together. It was a rich experience.
From that, a group decision was made to gather together the last Friday of each month for further learning and practice. We have DVDs and CDs of Thich Nhat Hanh’s talks at the retreat as well as many of his books; the primary intention of gathering is to sit in meditation together.
This is YOUR official invitation to attend the Plum Village Group Meditation Practice, to learn about and practice group meditation. We meet the last Friday of each month at 7 pm at St Alban’s Anglican Church Hall meeting room and we welcome your curiosity and participation.
Our next gathering is this Friday, Nov 25, at 501 Brink St. – we meet after the Boy Scouts finish their group. If you want more information ahead of time, you can call Lois, Jean or me and we will be happy to talk with you. Hoping to see you there.