Thenac, FR  13 July -  At last! After 4 years of searching & planning, in early October we will be the owners of a small French family farm near Plum Village.


It is ~3.5 acres, hill top surrounded by vineyards, great views in 3 directions, picture postcard neighborhood with chateau (Russian owned) & historic chapel next door, vineyards galore & small towns nearby for basics. Simple stone house/barn from ~1840s, sitting & vegetable gardens, orchard, grapes, hay field, more out buildings. Almost across the road from PV (1/2km from the entrance.)


The house is old fashioned inside, large kitchen & dining rooms, entry hall, 3 large Brms, (ugly) modernized bath & WC – abt 1500 sq ft. The outside walls (70’x70’) encompass both the House and the Barn under a single roof (another 2500 sq ft, lofts to expand into…) It sets right on the quiet road! Has cherry, peach, plum, apple figs & olive tree around the grounds, chicken, duck, rabbit coops. It was a family’s self reliant farm – see brownish photo of 1980’s, below. It has tons of potential. My first plan is to use it for a gathering place for lay visitors coming to PV, and see where it goes from there.


The town is Thenac in Dordogne (24240 area code.) 60 miles East of Bordeaux, 7 miles from railroad (Ste Foy la Grande) 10 from Bergerac airport (Ryan Air) the Dordogne River valley, 50 miles from Les Eyzies/Lascaux. It is about 100m East of the village “center” of Thenac, headed towards Segoules. You can get easily to anywhere from here. I call it: nowhere in the middle of everything.


Both these Google coordinates should get you there or close, on the road in front of the house. Tour around the neighborhood with street view, satellite views, etc. We expect to take possession around October 15.  It needs entirely new electric & septic system to make it conform – no problem, just money. Come help clean & renovate.


Click here to see:  Map of surrounding areas ... and ... Streetview.


Love ya all



Several people have asked, Who is the “we” that just bought the farm? I meant to explain that. It’s all of us, including you.

First it’s my parents, who worked diligently all their lives and left some of their unspent dollars to me! Then it’s my kids, who’s inheritance I just spent! Then it’s all my friends who’ve endured my endless harping about this vision, who actually encouraged and supported this behavior; Paul Jefferson here in Eymet who I recruited 4 years ago to hunt real estate with me; Jean Grondin & Mel Fancy in Cahors who helped get my whole trip organized last summer. Then it’s my many brothers & sisters from Plum Village, especially Frederic Bitoun, the remarkable Marie-Hellene!! Brothers Phap Lai, Phap Lu, Phap Trii, Phap Linh & Phap Luu, and all my Sangha family in Eugene and in PV who were my inspiration to create a special meeting place. All my friends and family who I hope will come visit, to experience this wonderful country and the specially enlightened Village des Pruniers. Then, it’s Annie Amiel (nee Mazeras) - who’s parents left her the farm after 4 generations of Mazeras habitation – and husband Jean Francios who’s labored readying the place to pass on to a willing buyer who unexpectedly came knocking at their door. And, ultimately, it’s Thich Nhat Hanh, who has taught us, the world, about Mindfulness and Interbeing – the deep webs of interrelation that weave through it all, our minds, our emotions, our spirit.      And…as near as I can tell, everyone’s happy!  


The Buyer; Sellers: Annie & Jean Francois

Contemplating The Work

Inspecting The Patio Garden


There were lots more, of course, but these were the first that come to mind. My desire has always been to help create connectivity, a realization of Interbeing, and a rewarding ensemble of rising spirits to help lift the World out of it’s competitive, hateful, destructive identities. Connection, cooperation & creativity seem healthier, productive, fun alternatives to that other stuff.


After immediate renovation of septic & electrical systems, we want to offer a meeting & gathering space for Lay visitors to Plum Village; to maintain connection, inspiration & support of their practice after the return home; to encourage realization of inter-being in lifestyle, work, & creativity; to cooperate with Plum Village in their Laic relations.  We hope to form an advisory board of four-fold monastic & lay practitioners with small live-in staff for management & caretaking; eventually to offer dorms & camping for short term visitors, a drop in center w/ café, internet, event space & possibly, appropriate bookstore/gallery.


Myself would spend part of the year here and part in the USA. My visa has expired & the French escrow process takes 2-3 months anyhow. I hope to return in October to take possession and begin renovations – to be functional by next Spring. There’s lot’s of hand work, cleaning & painting for everyone! Book your flights to Bordeaux, train to Sainte Foy la Grande, call and we’ll pick you up.

I will be back in Eugene Wednsday, 7/15



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