We hope to offer concrete practices based in the teaching of mindfulness, concentration and insight to help us have a collective awakening. As a Fourfold Community (monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen) in the Plum Village Tradition we practice mindfulness in order to nurture understanding and love.
Our basic practice is to return to the present moment and to experience life deeply. In the present moment we wake up to the fact that we are not here on our own, we interare with everyone and everything. We want to live in such a way that we contribute to the happiness, peace and wellness of people, animals, plants and minerals. We know that we cannot be on our own.
Today with so much information about climate change, destruction of habitats, natural disasters, pollution, consumption and waste, war and devastation, economic hardships, it is not easy to face the suffering in our lives and in the world with open eyes and loving hearts. Here is an excerpt of our prayer to the land ancestors that we read for Thanksgiving celebrations at Deer Park:
Knowing that our practice of mindfulness is our greatest protection, we are determined to practice breathing, walking and consuming with awareness and compassion, in order to offer protection to this land and to all living beings residing on this land. We vow not to deplete the energy of the land and her resources with our careless actions, but rather to contribute to the regeneration of this beautiful land, bringing freshness, peace and happiness to all who come here.
We resolve to plant our understanding, our love and our equanimity on this land with our light and peaceful steps. Deer Park’s conversion to solar energy is one concrete way that we hope to lighten our steps on the Earth and truly arrive as responsible and loving children of the Earth. Moreover, we are determined to practice wholeheartedly in every aspect of our lives, so that the door of understanding, love and freedom may be opened for each one of us.