Be peaceful, happy and free in the present moment

A mind-body health retreat with the Plum Village monastics
at the Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism,

Lotus Pond Temple, Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island, HK

Date and time: 18/10/2017@4:00pm - 22/10/2017@2:00pm




Registration is available on line at the Plum Village Hong Kong Online Registration Website

 Sept. 42017

Dear friends,


You are invited to attend the annual autumn mind-body health retreat at AIAB–Lotus Pond Temple. The theme of this retreat to be peaceful, happy and free when we are in difficult situations. How do we deal with the restless energy and the worry when we are looking for employment? How to cope with the feeling of "being needed" and feeling of emptiness when our grown children leave the family nest and we are entering retirement life? How can we embrace the loneliness and the bitterness when our loved ones leave us, with or without any reasons?

In the discourse "Happiness in the present moment", Thich Nhat Hanh wrote: 

"The past has already gone, and the future has not yet come.
Let us not drown ourselves in regret for what has passed or in expectations and worry for the future."
The Buddha has said that "we can be peaceful, happy, and free in this present moment."

Let us hear the Buddha's words and let go of our sadness and anxiety.
Let us come back to ourselves and establish ourselves in what is present right now.
Let us learn to recognize the conditions for happiness that are present within us and around us.
Can we hear the birds singing and the wind in the pines?
Can we see the green mountains, the white clouds, the golden moon?

The Pure Land is available in the present moment.
Every day we can enjoy ourselves in the Buddha Land.
Every mindful breath and step

I am determined to let go of hurrying, competing, being busy and disgruntled.
I shall not run after fame, power, riches, and sex because I know that this does not lead to true happiness.
All it will bring me is misery and misfortune.

I shall learn to know what is sufficient, to live simply, so that I have time to live deeply every moment of my daily life, 
giving my body and mind a chance to heal, and to have the time to look after and protect those I have vowed to love.

I shall practice for my mind to grow in love and compassion so that I have the ability to help beings anywhere who are drowning in craving. 

I ask the Buddhas everywhere to protect and guide me, to support me on my path so that I can live in peace, joy, and freedom every day, fulfilling the deepest aspiration as your disciple whom you trust and love.

We may have read this many times and may have an intellectual understanding of it. But how can we be peaceful, happy and free when we are in miserable situations? The Buddha said we could. So, there are ways out of this situation. As Thay said, "The way out is in".  In this retreat, we will look deeply into these concerns, getting to know our feelings, emotions, perceptions, and consciousness. We will embrace the unpleasant feelings, the anger, the worry and the sadness and transform them into peace, happiness, and freedom. 

This retreat is open to all people, whether they have practiced mindfulness before or not.  There will be an evening outdoor walking and sitting meditation on Thursday, Oct. 19, a hiking session (about 5 km long), along the Nei Lak Shan Trail on Friday afternoon Oct. 20 and an Outdoor walking along the Wisdom Path, sitting & breakfast at the Heart Sutra Platform on Sunday morning Oct. 22.

The mind-body health retreat is organized as part of the Healthy Body Healthy Mind Initiative, started in 2012 by Plum Village Hong Kong. To further bring the benefits of mindfulness into the mainstream, Plum Village Hong Kong established the Breathe and Smile Mindbody Wellbeing Center in 2015, an independent social services organization, to promote the art of mindful living and the art of healing by integrating professional and clinical services with the mindfulness practice.



An approach called “Mindfulness Born Peace and Happiness” (MBPH)1 was adopted to help:

      1.   Cultivating peace and happiness
      2.   Transforming pain and suffering, and 
     3.    Living a healthy and compassionate life.

Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism and Breathe and Smile Mindbody Wellbeing Center, as co-organizers of the retreat, will give out certificates of attendance to those who need them for professional training.

The retreat will be conducted in English with Cantonese and Mandarin translation.

Accommodation and cost: Accommodation for this retreat is limited to dormitory-room. Participants will be housed in dormitories (bunk beds). Pillows, bed-linens, and blankets are provided. The cost per person is listed below.

Room Type (5 days,4 nights) Dormitory   (HKD)
Adults 2,000.00

The tentative schedule is as follows:

Oct. 18
Oct. 19
Oct. 20
Saturday Oc.t 21 Sun.
Oct. 22
5:15   Wakeup
6:00 Sitting & Slow Walking & Reading Discourse Outdoor walking, sitting & breakfast
7:00 10 Mindful Movements & Walking Meditation
8:00 Breakfast
9:15 Working Meditation Packing
10:30 Lecture Lecture Lecture Questions & Answers
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Total Relaxation Closing Circle
Check- in
Group sharing

Group sharing

Group sharing Farewell & Happy Continuation of the practice at home
16:30 Fruit break Hiking Fruit break
17:00 Exercise Exercise
18:00 Dinner
19:30 Lecture Outdoor Walking and Sitting Touching the Earth Beginning Anew/
21:30 Rest - Noble Silence

Working Meditation:
Because the retreat is held in the monastery, all the preparation and cooking will be done by the monastics and some volunteers. During the retreat, we need help from participants in preparation works like setting up the meditation hall and dining hall, washing up after meals… Participants will be grouped into Dharma discussion groups and will work together in the same groups to help with the retreat.

How to register: Registration is available on line at the Plum Village Hong Kong Online Registration Website, on a first-come-first-served basis. Registrations are not final until we receive your payment. Please make payment within one week after you register. If payment is not received within one week, your registration will be placed on waiting list. For means of payment, details will be sent along with the confirmation email to those who completed online registration.

Closing date for registration: October 12, 2017Payment is not refundable for cancellation after October 1, 2017. Cancellation is subject to a 20% cancellation fee. For inquiries, please contact us by e-mail: or by phone from14:30 – 17:00 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday): 2985-5033 (English), 2985-5281(Chinese).

We are looking forward to seeing you at the retreat!

Breathe and smile
Retreat Registration Staff

  1. Mindfulness Born Peace and Happiness: A Way of Wellbeing”, The Mindfulness Bell, issue #71, Winter/Spring 2016.