last updated: 06/12/2005
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
The photos included in the albums below cover Feb 16 through April 11, 2005 of The Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and his International Buddhist Entourage of Plum Village Sangha.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and 100 monks and nuns were the key part of the recently ended Plum Village Entourage to Vietnam - a group of about 200 people that traveled to four major population and spiritual centers in Vietnam. There was an continually changing 100 or so lay students of Plum Village practices that were included on the tour also. These participants represent about 35 countries in the world.
The group visited many temples, monasteries and villages, and organized activities and talks to promote unity and decrease suffering. Everyday there were opportunities for visits to nearby pagodas, villages, and historically, culturally and scenically interesting places to contact more people, to learn more about life in Vietnam today, and share the peaceful practices of Plum Village. The tour began January 7 and continued until April 11, 2005.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh gave several talks each week; some were open to all, some to monks and nuns only and a few were special presentations for officials. Talks were mostly in Vietnamese, and all talks including simultaneous translations to French, English and Vietnamese, as appropriate for the audience. Thay Nhat Hanh's talks were recorded and are available today from La Boi Publishing (email: firstname.lastname@example.org or website: www.laboi.com) and at http://vnt.tiephien.org/ChuyenDiVietNam2005/PhapThoai.htm.
Chau joined the tour on February 16, and stayed until the end. She traveled to Saigon, Hue, Hanoi and Quy Nhon with the tour group, participated in all the activities and was involved in some organizing efforts for lay people. She reports that there were several special once in a life-time events during this tour. She had many joyful moments in witnessing Thay (Thay means Teacher in Vietnamese, a friendly way to refer to the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh) handled questions and answers sessions. He demonstrated so much wisdom, clarity and courage in his answers to some very difficult and controversial questions.
Chau reports also that the reception to the talks by audience members appeared to be excellent, and many good and honest exchanges occurred during question and answer sessions. The lasting impact of this experience for the many people involved cannot be determined by us, but we can say that good seeds were planted and that, with care, flowers and trees will flourish.
The seeds that Thay planted were for three segments: High ranked Officials in the Vietnamese Government, The Buddhist Organization Leaders, and the monastic and lay communities. Chau reports Thay shared the Wisdom of Buddhism, and Renewed Buddhism. Pagodas and the monastic communities need to be the locations for the troubled families to come for help. This is a way to help build harmonious and happy families, so the children will not try to escape their families and get into troubles. Thay encouraged the Buddhist Universities and the Buddhist Middle Schools to reduce theoretical teachings and increase practices on mindful living based on Buddhism teaching. Thay emphasized Practicing Mindful Living and / or follow the Precepts to gain Concentration and Wisdom. Thay told stories of the Ly and Tran Dynasties that applied Buddhism practices to build a strong and healthy country.
Thay encouraged Brotherhood spirit and this was demonstrated on February 20, 2005, two days after Thay and the Plum Village entourage arrived in Hue. The Higher Monks of Thua Thien Hue District and Thay agreed that all monks of both Unified Buddhist Association and current Buddhist Association will recite the precepts together twice a month. The first two sessions were at Tu Hieu Temple and from then on at the Linh Quang Temple. This had not happened during the last 13 years.
Click here to review our photo albums of the trip:
Order of Interbeing friends
Visit to Thanh Trung Village
Pagodas in Hue Area
Pagodas in Hanoi Area
Visit to Ha Trung Village near Quang Tri
Pagodas in Binh Dinh
Bo De Pagoda in Hanoi
Phap Van Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City
Den Hung and Quang Trung Temples
Yen Tu Mountain
Quy Nhon Beaches