Since the first teaching trip of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thầy) and of the Plum Village International Sangha to Hong Kong in the year 2001, followed by the second trip in 2002 and the third trip in May 2007, many practitioners have kept the practice going by participating in the twice-a-month Friday night practice at Yau Ma Tei, the monthly Day of Mindfulness at Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) in Tai Po, and the quarterly retreat at The Kadoorie Institute in Yuen Long. Since 2006, a group of practitioners also went to Prajna Monastery in Bao Loc, Viet Nam for the yearly week-long retreat during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Many practitioners wish that a practice center in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh be established in Hong Kong to guide them deeper in the practice and to offer ways to slow down and to deal with the fast pace of modern life in Hong Kong.
After Thầy’s first return trip to Viet Nam in 2005, a group of senior dharma teachers from Plum Village came to Viet Nam to help train the young monks and nuns in Viet Nam practicing in the Plum Village traditions. They have also been teaching the Art of Mindful Living in Southeast Asia and in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, they have led quarterly retreats at Kadoorie Institute, held workshops for social workers and health care professionals, teaching mindfulness to young people at local elementary schools, intermediate schools and high schools. Ven. Thich Chan Phap An led a seven-day retreat for an in-depth teaching about Buddhist Psychology in May 2008. Since November 2006, a group of dedicated lay practitioners have worked with the Plum Village monastics planning to open a practice center in Hong Kong. The Plum Village Foundation (Hong Kong) Limited was officially incorporated as a charitable, religious and educational organization on November 10, 2008 and was recognized as a tax-exempt charity by the Inland Revenue Department on November 27, 2008. In December 2008, the Plum Village Foundation signed a contract to lease a premise in Tsim Sha Tsui to operate as Plum Village Mindfulness Practice Center (PVMPC). Practices at the Center will be guided by the Plum Village monastics. The Center also operates as a monastery for training monastics and a campus for Plum Village’s European Institute of Applied Buddhism (main campus in Waldbröl, Germany).
It is with much joy and happiness that we would like to announce that starting from Monday February 2, 2009 the mindfulness practice center will be open to the public for mindfulness activities, practices and trainings. At this time, the Center offers the following activities:
- Morning “Joyful Sitting” sitting meditation from 5:30 – 6:30 (Tuesday – Sunday)
- “Happy Walk” walking mediation from 18:00 – 19:00 (Monday – Friday)
- Evening “Joyful Sitting” sitting meditation from 19:30 – 20:30 (Monday – Friday, except the 1st and the 3r Friday of the month)
- The twice-a-month Friday night practice on the 1st and 3rd Friday from 19:30 – 21:30.
- Day of Mindfulness for Vietnamese speaking practitioners (The 1st Sunday of the month from 9:00 – 17:00)
- "Be Free where you are” Day of Mindfulness at the Center (The 2nd Sunday of the month from 9:00 – 17:00)
- “Community Be-in” - Various activities such as tea mediation, book reading, panel discussion, community work … are planned (The 3rd Sunday morning of the month from 9:00 – 12:00)
- Day of Mindfulness at HKIEd in Tai Po (The 4th Saturday of the month from 9:00 – 17:00)
We continue to have quarterly weekend retreats and occasional longer-term retreats at Kadoorie Institute in Yuen Long and the week-long yearly retreat in December in Viet Nam
We hope that you can join us for the above activities. You do not have to – and for sure you do not have the time - to attend all the activities. Choose ones which fit you and make it a regular practice. For example, if you can not come for sitting 5 nights a week, but you can come on Tuesday evening, then make it a regular thing to do on your list. You will be amazed on how such “little” mindfulness practice can make your life happier. When you have more time, you can join more activities.
Thank you for your practice and your support of the mindfulness practices in Hong Kong.
A lotus to you,
A Buddha to be.
Bhikkhu Thích Chân Pháp Khâm
For the Plum Village Hong Kong Sangha