Stream Entering Meditation Centre – Autumn 2016 Newsletter 
Plum Village Australia
Unified Buddhist Church - Australia
 

From the Editors

Dear Thay, Dear Sangha and friends,

In the wake of the still quite recent 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, and to introduce the New Year of 2016, we decided as promised in December to make one more very practical ‘Earth holder’ offering to you, inspired by our Teacher: ‘We may think that the Earth’s problems, or our own personal problems, are overwhelming, and we may feel helpless. But just by paying attention to our breathing, we can bring about a clarity that will give us insight into what we can do to help ourselves and to help our world’ (Thích Nhất Hạnh). To honour those words in this very specific context, and also with an aspiration to encourage the Bodhisattva in us all, we introduce to you in this edition a bi-lingual section which will run for the whole year, called ‘I’m In Love With Mother Earth’.

Our Five Mindfulness Trainings ask us, amongst other equally important things, to commit to practising in a way that helps reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth, and reverse the process of global warming (Second Mindfulness Training). The First and the Fifth Trainings (http://plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice/the-5-mindfulness-trainings/) are also quite clear that, through the way we live, we should give priority to caring for other sentient beings and the planet. It should not be difficult. But sometimes, for various reasons, we might not all receive the same encouragement to think or enquire deeply about what this really means to us. So we can sometimes miss out on acquiring some background knowledge which, when teamed with mindfulness and concentration,  could translate into us making the needed changes in our personal lifestyle.

The Earth Peace Treaty (http://deerpark.libsyn.com/earth_peace_treaty_commitment_sheet) was recommended to us recently as our guide to the sorts of practical commitments that we might make, to contribute positively to the future of Mother Earth and her inhabitants. It is a big list of possibilities, but to get started, we actually don't need to do so much.

These days it is an assumed thing, a given, that we all recycle. We know it is the bare minimum that we should do.  So all that is needed now is to take on board some of those other changes that affect the everyday, constantly repeating activities and habits that we find in a very ordinary week. What matters is that they are taken on board  with heart, with understanding, and with commitment.

We only have four editions of our Newsletter in the year, and the ‘I’m in Love with Mother Earth’ section needs to be small: after all, we still want to offer you other wonderful things such as the beautiful  poem from Tam Chanh Dao, offered at the last Spring Opening Retreat.  Also Anthelia Bond's article on ethical divesting; and Saigon Om's contribution. Not to mention, of course the Dharma talk, which comes from Thay's  book " The World We Have".  So in each of the four editions for this year, we  will present you with just a small sample of  the possible commitments we can make, together with the understanding of why it is that each of them is a mindful and significant choice to make. We've been blessed to have the help of our own environmental expert Esther Alloun (Caring Equanimity of the Heart) and two extremely dedicated translators, DangTrinh Le and Thanh Quy Tran Thi so that we can make the whole section bi-lingual.

May you find our offering helpful, and embrace the opportunity for change. When we choose to make commitments like these, we start to truly take responsibility for consuming mindfully and in accord with the Buddhist understandings of interbeing, compassion, and generosity.

Susan Wirawan,
Chân Nguyện Lưu
For the Editorial Team.

Kính thưa Sư Ông, thưa Đại Chúng và các bạn hữu, 

Tiếp nối Hội Nghị Paris 2015 về Chủ Đề Biến Đổi Khí Hậu vừa diễn ra, và để mở đầu Năm Mới 2016, như đã hứa trong tháng 12, Ban Biên Tập quyết định mang đến cho quý vị thêm một chuyên mục “Earth Holder”, tạm dịch là “Tổ Chức Bảo Hộ Trái Đất”, được khởi xướng bởi Sư Ông: “Chúng ta có thể nghĩ rằng những vấn đề của Đất Mẹ, hay những vấn đề của chính chúng ta, là quá lớn, và ta cảm thấy tuyệt vọng. Nhưng chỉ cần để ý đến hơi thở, chúng ta sẽ có được tuệ giác về những điều ta có thể làm để giúp cho bản thân và thế giới” (Thích Nhất Hạnh). Để vâng theo những lời dạy của Sư Ông và cũng để thức tỉnh tâm Bồ Đề trong mỗi chúng ta, Ban Biên Tập xin được giới thiệu đến Đại Chúng một chuyên mục song ngữ trong năm nay, mang tên “Con kính yêu Đất Mẹ”.

Năm Phép Thực Tập Chánh Niệm kêu gọi chúng ta cam kết thực tập giảm thiểu khổ đau cho muôn loài trên Trái Đất, và chuyển ngược quá trình nóng lên toàn cầu (Phép Thực Tập Thứ Hai). Phép Thực Tập Thứ Nhất và Thứ Năm (http://plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice/the-5-mindfulness-trainings/) cũng nói rõ, chúng ta cần ưu tiên chăm lo cho mọi loài và cả hành tinh qua cách sinh hoạt hằng ngày của mình. Điều đó cũng không khó. Nhưng đôi khi vì lý do nào đó mà chúng ta chưa thấy được tầm quan trọng của vấn đề. Thế nên chúng ta có thể đã không tìm hiểu để có thêm kiến thức về bảo vệ môi trường và hành tinh xanh. Một khi có hiểu biết, cùng chánh niệm và định lực, chúng ta sẽ có thể thay đổi cách sinh hoạt cá nhân để phục vụ cho lơi ích của muôn loài và Trái Đất. 

Hiệp ước Hòa bình Trái Đất (http://deerpark.libsyn.com/earth_peace_treaty_commitment_sheet) được đề ra gần đây như một hướng dẫn về những cam kết thiết thực dành cho mỗi cá nhân, nhằm đem lại những chuyển hoá tích cực cho tương lai đất Mẹ và muôn loài. Đây là một danh sách khá dài, nhưng chúng ta có thể bắt đầu từ những bước đi nhỏ.

Như ta đã biết, tái chế đã trở thành một hoạt động không thể thiếu trong xã hội ngày nay. Tái chế là hành động tối thiểu mà ta có thể làm để góp phần bảo vệ hành tinh xanh. Bây giờ, chúng ta hãy cùng xem xét những hành động tương tự—những hành động hàng ngày, hàng tuần tuy nhỏ nhặt nhưng có khả năng đem lại những chuyển hoá lớn lao. Chúng ta sẽ cùng cam kết thực hiện những hành động ấy, với chánh niệm và sự thấu hiểu.

Mỗi năm chúng ta sẽ có bốn bản tin, và chuyên mục “Con kính yêu Đất Mẹ” không thể quá dài, vì còn phải dành chỗ những nội dung tuyệt vời khác, chẳng hạn như bài thơ do (Tâm Chánh Đạo sáng tác trong khoá tu mùa Xuân vừa qua, và bài viết của Anthelia Bond về ethical divestment (tạm dịch: đầu tư có đạo đức), cùng với pháp thoại “Tâm Tình Với Đất Mẹ” của Sư Ông. Vì vậy, trong mỗi bản tin trong năm nay, Ban Biên Tập sẽ chỉ giới thiệu một phần nhỏ của Hiệp ước Hoà bình Trái Đất, kèm theo diễn giải ý nghĩa chánh niệm quan trọng của từng hành động. Chúng tôi xin cảm ơn sự giúp đỡ của chuyên gia môi trường Esther Alloun, và hai dịch giả Đăng Trình và Thanh Quý  đã hỗ trợ việc chuyển ngữ.

Hy vọng bạn sẽ gặt hái được những lợi lạc từ món quà này, và tận dụng cơ hội này để thay đổi. Khi chúng ta chọn thực hiện những cam kết này, nghĩa là chúng ta bắt đầu thực tập tiêu thụ có chánh niệm, đúng với tinh thần tương tức, từ bi và quảng đại của đạo Bụt.

Susan Wirawan,
Chân Nguyện Lưu
(True Aspiring Stream)                                                                                                                    
Từ Ban Biên Tập.                                                                                                        
 

 
Nhap Luu Meditation Centre-Vietnamese New Year, 2016: The New Year Commitments.

IN THIS ISSUE

 

Dates for your diary

Nhap Luu March/April Public Weekend Retreats

Nhap Luu Meditation Centre, Victoria: Friday 15/4- Sunday 17/4 (see flier below) 

Brisbane: Friday 29/4 - Monday 2/5. Enquiries: Joyce Davies This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sydney: 4pm Friday 25/3 - 3pm Monday 28/3 at St Joseph Conference Centre, 30 Tyson Road, Bringelly. Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Phone: Khanh (0411 311 474) or Ngọc (0414 588 538)

Sunday May 15th : Public Day of Mindfulness, lead by the Nhap Luu Sisters, inMelbourneFleming Park Hall, 98-100 Victoria Street, Brunswick East. Enquiries: June Savage (0413 911 026) or Susan Wirawan (0434 827 028)

22nd of May. Bathing the Buddha (Buddha's Birthday)  Nhap Luu Meditation Centre. Check www.nhapluu.org, closer to the date for detail.

Following this, the Sisters commence their three month Winter Retreat, and on completion of it will  celebrate the Rose Ceremony, on the 14th of August at Nhap Luu Meditation Centre. Check our website www.nhapluu.org closer to the date. 

September 16th - 21st  Third Plum Village Australia Spring Opening Retreat, at Cave Hill Creek, Raglan, Victoria. Details on the website www.nhapluu.org from about May.

 

Dharma Talk

THE BUDDHA OF OUR TIME

Everything, even the Buddha, is always changing and evolving. Thanks to our practice of looking deeply, we can realise that the sufferings of our time are different from those of the time of Siddhartha, and so the methods of practice should also be different.  That is why the Buddha inside of us also needs to evolve, so that the Buddha can be relevant to our time.

The Buddha of our time can use a telephone, even a cell phone, but she is free from that cell phone.  The Buddha of our time knows how to help prevent ecological damage and global warming; she will not destroy the beauty of the planet or waste all her time competing with other people.

The Buddha of our time wants to offer the world a global ethic so that everyone can agree on a good path to follow. Global harmony isn't possible if we don't have a global ethic. The Buddha of our time wants to restore harmony, cultivate brotherhood and sisterhood, protect all the species of the planet, prevent deforestation, and reduce the emission of toxic gases. 

Since you are the continuation of the Buddha, you can help offer the world a path that can prevent the destruction of the ecosystem, one that can reduce the amount of violence and despair. It would be very kind of you to help the Buddha continue to realize what he began 2,600 years ago.

Thay at Tu Hieu Pagoda. Photograph: Paul Davis (*CHÂN PHÚC ĐƯỜNG True Hall of Merits)

THE BELL TOLLS

All of us know that our beautiful green planet is in danger

The bells  of mindfulness are sounding. All over the earth , we are experiencing floods, droughts, and massive wildfires. Sea ice is melting in the Arctic and hurricanes and heat waves are killing thousands. The forests are fast disappearing, the deserts are growing, species are becoming extinct every day, and yet we continue to consume, ignoring the ringing bells. 

All of us know that our beautiful green planet is in danger. Our way of walking on the earth has a great influence on animals and plants. Yet we act as if our daily lives have nothing to do with the condition of the world. We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Mother Earth. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps. We have to hear the bells of mindfulness that are sounding all across our planet. We have to start learning how to live in a way that a future will be possible for our children and our grandchildren. 

Thich Nhat Hanh.  “ The World We Have. A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology”, Parallax Press. 2008

 

Sangha Contribution

THE FIVE MINDFULNESS TRAININGS  GUIDE MY EVERYDAY CHOICES

Dear Sangha,

Whenever I read the Five Mindfulness Trainings I feel happy because I understand that by practising them I can make a difference in the world. 

I feel happy and grateful when I think of people all over the world who practise these same Mindfulness Trainings and also people who are unfamiliar with themyet are following a similar path. 

With the Five Mindfulness Trainings as my guide, when I make every day decisions about what I will eat or how I will spend my time or money, I like to think about which choice will take the best care of myself, other people and the world.  Of course there are many times when I do not make a wise choice.  Frequently I forget to be mindful and to stop and consider my options. Often I am swayed by social pressure or fear and many times I don’t even realise there is an alternative way to act. Nevertheless, last year I was able to make two big changes to the way I use my resources.

Firstly, I rolled over my old superannuation account into a more ethical one, which avoids investment in companies that harm people or the environment. Then I switched my electricity provider to one which only invests in renewable energy. Although it did not go perfectly smoothly, I am really glad that I was able to do this and to act in a way that is directly connected to my values.

As well as the Mindfulness Trainings, there were many other things that helped get me to the point where I could make these changes. One that I would like to share with you is the information about ethical choices provided by websites likemarketforces.org.au and greenelectricityguide.org.au .   

In the past when making these kinds of decisions I have had to do a lot of the research myself and there were fewer companies providing ethical alternatives. Now I think we are so lucky to be living in Australia, where we can get information easily and often we have several good options from which to choose.

Annie Bond
(Compassionate Guardian of the Heart)
Annie practises with the Loving Kindness Sangha in the Adelaide Hills (SA)

(Editor’s note:  I experienced a similar happiness to Annies', seeing my son divest: he recently took his banking away from one of the “big four” (a major investor in- amongst other things- fossil fuels) and moved to an ethical competitor, which supports both our ethnically diverse community, and environmentally progressive and responsible projects.)

Goldfinch in Winter. Paul Davis  CHÂN PHÚC ĐƯỜNG ( True Hall of Merits)
.

I'm in love with Mother Earth

When we decide to make any of the changes talked about in this section, we know we are significantly reducing our personal *carbon footprint". 

*CARBON FOOTPRINT  is the total sets of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, event, product or individual. 

GREENHOUSE GAS -any of various gaseous compounds (such as carbon dioxide, and methane) that absorb infrared radiation (IR) and radiate the heat in all directions.  Greehouse gases in the earth's atmosphere, absorb infrared radiation (IR)  from the sun and release it to be trapped in the atmosphere.  This contributes to the greenhouse effect, or “global warming.”
 

*Replace paper napkins (serviettes/ tissues) with cloth ones. 

Where and when can we do this? At home, at practice centres, on picnics, for public Days of Mindfulness and Retreats.

Why should we do it? The production of paper napkins, like other paper-based products, requires trees to be cut. This leads to deforestation. Yet trees and forests are an essential part of our beautiful environment. They absorb carbon dioxide (one of the most problematic greenhouse gasses), release oxygen, stabilise soil, help with the storing of rainwater and regulate underground water tables. They also provide habitat and food for many animals.

When we destroy trees, we release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This contributes to, and worsens,  climate change and its effects. Deforestation also increases soil erosion and significantly disrupts water flows which increases the risk of flood and drought. (For more info on this go to:http://rainforests.mongabay.com/0902.htm)

By switching to cloth serviettes, we lessen our contribution to this damage. It is also cheaper to choose cloth napkins because they can be used for many years. They can be bought new in department stores, stitched at home, or purchased secondhand at opportunity shops - thus also supporting the re-cycle/re-use ideal. 

This commitment was introduced at the 2014 and 2015 Plum Village Australia Spring Opening Retreats.

*Using recycled paper products like recycled toilet paper or printer paper. 

Where and when can we do this? At home, at our practice centres, on retreat, in the office.

Why should we do it? Most toilet, or photocopy and other paper, is made from freshly-cut trees, and a lot of water and energy are consumed in their production.

[As we already know, trees are very important for a healthy and thriving planet, as they soak up carbon dioxide, and release fresh oxygen - amongst other things.]

By choosing toilet and other papers made from 100% recycled fibre, we can help save both trees and water. So we reduce the greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide that are usually brought about in paper manufacture, and we help conserve our valuable water resources.

Toilet paper made from recycled fibre is available very easily at all major supermarkets.

This commitment was introduced at the  2015 Plum Village Australia Spring Opening Retreat.


Khi chúng ta quyết định thực hiện những thay đổi như đã nêu trong chuyên mục này, chúng ta biết rằng mình đang giảm thiểu lượng khí thải các-bon của bản thân một cách đáng kể.

LƯỢNG KHÍ THẢI CÁC-BON là tổng lượng khí thải nhà kính từ một tổ chức, sự kiện, sản phẩm hoặc cá nhân.

* KHÍ THẢI NHÀ KÍNH- là các loại hỗn hợp khí (chẳng hạn như khí các-bô-níc hay khí mê-tan) hấp thụ bức xạ hồng ngoại (IR) và toả bức xạ nhiệt ra ngoài theo mọi hướng. Khí thải nhà kính trong bầu khí quyển trái đất hấp thụ bức xạ hồng ngoại (IR) từ mặt trời và giữ lại lượng bức xạ này trong bầu khí quyển.  Hiện tượng này góp phần tạo ra hiệu ứng nhà kính, còn gọi là “sự nóng dần lên của trái đất”.
 

Thay thế khăn giấy bằng khăn vải. 

Tại nhà, thiền viện, các buổi dã ngoại, Ngày Chánh Niệm và các khoá thiền.

Vì sao chúng ta nên làm điều đó? Trong quá trình sản xuất khăn giấy và các sản phẩm từ giấy khác, rất nhiều cây xanh đã bị đốn hạ, dẫn đến thu hẹp diện tích rừng. Cây xanh và rừng là một phần thiết yếu của thiên nhiên tươi đẹp. Chúng hấp thụ khí cacbonic (một loại khí nhà kính tai hại), cung cấp khí oxy, ngừa xói mòn đất, lưu giữ nước mưa và điều tiết mực nước ngầm dưới lòng đất. Chúng cũng cung cấp môi trường sống và thức ăn cho nhiều loài động vật.

Khi chặt cây, chúng ta đã giải phóng một lượng lớn khí cacbonic vào khí quyển, góp phần khiến cho hiện tượng biến đổi khí hậu trở nên tồi tệ hơn. Nạn phá rừng cũng làm tăng xói mòn đất, tác động đến các dòng chảy ngầm làm tăng nguy cơ lũ lụt và hạn hán. Để biết thêm chi tiết, mời bạn ghé thămhttp://rainforests.mongabay.com/0902.htm

Bằng cách chuyển sang sử dụng khăn vải, chúng ta sẽ giảm bớt thiệt hại cho môi trường. Khăn vải cũng giúp bạn tiết kiệm nhiều hơn, bởi chúng rất bền và có thể được dùng trong nhiều năm. Bạn có thể tự khâu khăn vải tại nhà, hoặc tìm mua tại các cửa hàng bách hóa và các cửa hàng bán đồ cũ (một cách để thực hiện lý tưởng tái sử dụng đồ vật). 

Cam kết này được nêu ra tại khoá tu mùa xuân năm 2014 & 2015 của Làng Mai Úc.

Sử dụng các sản phẩm giấy tái chế, như giấy vệ sinh tái chế hoặc giấy in tái chế. Tại nhà, thiền viện, trong văn phòng hoặc các khoá thiền dài ngày.

sao chúng ta nên làm điều đó? Hầu hết giấy vệ sinh, giấy photocopy hoặc giấy in được làm từ gỗ mới, và quá trình sản xuất chúng cũng tiêu thụ rất nhiều nước và năng lượng.

[Như chúng ta đã biết, cây xanh rất cần thiết để xây dựng một hành tinh xanh, bởi chúng hấp thụ khí cacbonic, giải phóng khí oxy, cũng như mang lại nhiều lợi ích khác]

Bằng cách chọn dùng giấy vệ sinh và các loại giấy khác được làm từ 100% giấy tái chế, chúng ta có thể giúp tiết kiệm được cả cây xanh và nước. Từ đó, chúng ta giúp giảm bớt các loại khí nhà kính (như khí cacbonic) từ quá trình sản xuất giấy, và giúp bảo tồn các nguồn tài nguyên nước quý giá.

Giấy vệ sinh tái chế có thể được tìm mua dễ dàng ở tất cả các siêu thị lớn.

Cam kết này được nêu ra tại khoá tu mùa xuân năm  2015 của Làng Mai Úc.

Esther Alloun (Caring Equanimity of the Heart)  Master of Environment (M. Env.).  Tutor and research assistant School of Geography, University of Melbourne from 2012.. 
Translators: Trinh Le and Angela Tran ( Tan Quy Tran Thi).

Esther Alloun ( caring Equanimity of the Heart) practiced with the Birrarung Sangha in Mmelbourne, but starts her PhD at Woolongong University in NSW this year. 

Building fund update

In early 2015  we started raising funds to carry out the local Council's requirements that we replace two temporary huts, erected a long time ago as a kitchen and sleeping quarters.  Emails and newsletter articles were sent to the wider Sangha, as well as presentations made at the last National Retreat. The outcome so far is two-fold GOOD NEWS:  

Firstly,  our Architect, Tim Sullivan, has been successful in gaining approval for our Bush Fire Emergency Plan,  a pre-requisite to being able to apply for anything else at all.  Subsequently, he has  now received  the all important Planning Permit( which is for the whole larger project, not just for the first stage).   This means that  final detailed drawings can now be done, and an application for the actual  Building Permit for stage one( lay, and visiting brothers', accommodation)  lodged.   

Secondly, that we now have, both through your generosity and that of the Hong Kong Sangha ( who offered a $100,000.00  ten-year interest free loan) more than $176,000 towards the estimated $250,000 required to complete that first stage.  (You can see  the graphic barometer with breakdown at http://nhapluu.org/en/events/coming-events/72-fund-raising-updates)

There is much appreciation of everyone's generosity so far,  and also an understanding that our efforts need to be ongoing. We  need to  go as a big river, and to become quite self-driven and creative in going about this. Our love for and deep gratitude to, Thay, are all the motivation we need.Whether we give our energy, creativity, and time to help create funds,  or the funds themselves directly, this is a practice  for us of the First Paramita – Dana: Generosity or Giving ( TNH “ The Heart Of The Buddhas' Teaching” ch 25. )

Our Council has so far proven generous in allowing us some ‘space’ to make the first two new buildings materialise; and we in return, also  need to show them we are serious in having this project realized.

Building fund donations

BUILDING FUND DONATIONS ARE BEST MADE USING:

http://nhapluu.org/en/events/coming-events/68-donation-form-building-pv-australia-phase-i

 

Sangha Contribution - poem

(offered at the 2015 Spring Opening Retreat)

THE TRANQUIL SKY OF CAVE HILL

My mind still as the waveless lake
Letting go of my illusions, dwelling in solitude
I am free from all worries
My heart welcomes the calming breeze.

Cave Hill is like a beautiful dream
yellow flowers, the blue mountain, the shimmering lake.

Suddenly I am filled with nostalgia
tomorrow this place will be a memory

Still my heart is bound with love
I bow to the Buddha within
And return to the present moment.

Tam Chanh Dao

Translated: Trinh Le and Angela Tran
Edited: Tony Mills (True Forest of Light)

Khung trời tĩnh lặng Cave Hill

Lặng lẽ trong tâm hồn yên lặng hồ thanh tịnh
Để tâm thoát cõi mê nhìn lại mình hiu quạnh
Bao nhiêu nỗi lo âu đều tiêu tan
Mở lòng theo cơn gió hắt hiu

Cave Hill khung trời tưởng như mộng
Hoa vàng núi xanh mặt hồ gương lung linh
Lòng bâng khuâng gửi lên một hoài niệm
Mai đây mình sẽ xa rồi nơi khung trời mộng

Chỉ còn những kỷ niệm đẹp nên thơ
Sao lòng vẫn thắt chặt một yêu thương
Chắp tay kính cẩn hỏi tâm Phật
Phút giây hiện tại thật kỳ diệu

Tâm Chánh Đạo

 

Sangha Contribution

CREATING A SANGHA WHEREVER WE GO

Hang and I met in 2012 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her loving words, immense knowledge about yoga and joyful outlook on life were magnetic.  Hang later told me that my calmness, openness and healing hands, as her massage therapist, drew her to me. We made an instant connection, which resulted in many delicious vegetarian meals and great conversations.

Hang was born in Vietnam and moved to Canada when she was eight years old. Her active lifestyle started with fitness and mixed martial arts, and later transitioned into yoga.   In 2006 Hang discovered the mindfulness path, which she began to incorporate into her life and into the classroom as a maths and science teacher.   

I grew up in Melbourne and have been living overseas for the past ten years. I am a massage trainer and a Reiki and  yoga  teacher.  When I learned to meditate at twelve years old,  I immediately loved the calmness and the clarity of thought that I experienced. 

Hang's way of introducing mindfulness to me was for us to do sitting and walking meditation together every Saturday morning, then read and discuss Thay's books. This  helped me to "wake up" and live with more awareness.  Getting in touch with the peacefulness and silence within was a transformative experience.  I developed more understanding and compassion for myself and others, found joy in my daily activities and connected to my family in a more loving way. 

In 2013, Hang and I formed "saigon om", a holistic wellness school in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Two years later, we decided to travel between Australia, Vietnam and Canada together to spread our joy for life through yoga and mindfulness teacher training, mindfulness courses, retreats, massage and Reiki training ,and Tai Chi teacher training.  Our motto is "Travel, Teach & Learn."  We love the work that we do and seeing the transformation in our students as they begin to live with more awareness and joy, is  inspiring. We feel it is our duty to share the benefits of  mindfulness practice, because it has helped us so much.

When we are in Australia and Canada we spend time with our families and offer classes, retreats and workshops.  We love practising with Sanghas around the world, including Birrarung Sangha in Melbourne, True Peace Sangha in Toronto and a Sangha we started originally, in Ho Chi Minh City. We feel we create a Sangha wherever we go with our loved ones, students, and practice friends.  

To help us deepen our  practice we visit Thai Plum Village each year.  It is very special to connect with the monks and nuns and be inspired by their dedication to the practice path. We have heard that one week of practising at Plum Village is like one year of practising at home; and we always leave feeling lighter and fresher - walking more slowly, and smiling at everyone. 

Sarah Martin (Mindful Action of the Heart)
www.saigonom.com

 


From the Nhap Luu Sisters

Dear Thay, Dear Sangha,

The Sisters have had an eventful and productive quarter, since our last report in December. And there has been a real reaching-out mood  in a lot of that busy -ness, too.  Taking Thay's practice to another temple in the western part of Melbourne, Sisters Thin Quang, and Tuu Nghiem, accepted  an invitation to facilitate a Day of Mindfulness for about 70 people, in January. There was a follow up Day of Mindfulness at the same Temple in February  for about 50 , this time facilitated by five of the Sisters together.  Also in February, all the sisters  paid the traditional  Vietnamese New Year Season visit to several other temples in Melbourne.

Definitely the highlight of the quarter was the TET festival  at the Meditation Centre on February 14th,  which you can read about in the local newspaper article we've shared here. It was a first for Nhap Luu,  inspired by something the younger sisters had already done before in Vietnam, and fully helped, encouraged and supported by the older sisters. A crowd of visitors from the local region and from Melbourne, as well as  practitioners (maybe 100 in all) came through that day,  and  were able to enjoy  about 15 different dishes to eat, as well as Tea Meditation and  Oracle Reading, and toy books and calligraphies to take away. We held it mainly with the purpose of raising some money towards the Building Fund,  and to share with the public in a way we had not done before:-).  A few days before we did this, we'd also bee very busy making the traditional TET sticky rice “earth cakes” as we always do here. 

Amidst all of the activity the sisters have been enjoying regular English Classes with Ron & Daya Jepsen, and, there have been a lot of guests to Nhap Luu this quarter.  On  28th February, we held a Vietnamese Day of Mindfulness here for 140 first time visitors, some of whom have already been back.

On March the 17th, three of the younger Sisters will go to Plum Village Thailand, to take their Full Ordination in the grand ceremony there.  They'll be back by the end of March, in time to support the remaining sisters for the last two of the three Easter Season weekend Retreats that are scheduled; and for after the Retreats, but before Winter Retreat commencement, there is also another Day of Mindfulness in the city planned, with Birrarung Sangha as the organisers. That will be another opportunity for the wider public to come into contact with the Practice. 

The mood at Nhap Luu is alive, and active in the Practice, and we look forward to seeing all of you here at some point in time  suitable to you.

The Sisters. 

Earth Cake production. Nhap Luu Meditation Centre. February 6th 2016
 
 

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