Taking Care of Ourselves While Taking Care of Our Loved Ones

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: 17/10/2018@4:00pm - 21/10/2018@2:00pm






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

August 27, 2018

Dear friends,


You are invited to attend the annual autumn mind-body health retreat at AIAB–Lotus Pond Temple. The theme of this retreat is learning to take care of ourselves while taking care of our loved ones.  We take care of our loved ones in the roles of parents, children, siblings, aunties, nieces, etc. ... We carry out these roles naturally, not only because of responsibilities but also because of love. However, at times, things seem to go out of hands. We become frustrated and hopeless while having to take care of our parents, who are getting sicker, losing memories and are pretty much depending on us for their peace and happiness. Things like this are becoming more familiar to many of us, as our society is becoming aged, as is the case in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and elsewhere in the developed world. We need to learn how to take care of ourselves while taking care of our loved ones so that our cares are filled with love and understanding, which will help us to go on the caring and with our lives.

When we are worrying about the well-being of our loved ones, we are not being calm ourselves, this may make the matters worse. The Buddha gave an example of a pond being walked upon by a heard of buffaloes, which made the water muddy. We can't see the bottom of the pond no matter how hard we try. The best thing to do is to let the muds settle down and the water becomes clear. Then we can see the bottom of the pond without trying. Our mind is like the muddy water when we are in the state of worry, anxiety or anger. We need to be able to sit still and let these emotions settle down. Be still and heal. The best gift that we can give to a worrying person is the gift of non-fear, of being able to see the situations the way they really are, thus causes of fear can be removed. Our well-being consists of physical, mental and social well-being. They are interconnected. Having a clear mental and a healthy social well-being helps us to have a good physical well-being. 

We will practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, and pleasant smiling. We will go back to the present moment, enjoying the beautiful scenery of Lotus Pond Temple. We will enjoy the presence of our friends and fellow practitioners, who also take the time off from the busy daily routines to slow down, to enjoy a walk, to just be there for the present moment, for the preciousness of life.

This retreat is open to all people, whether they have practiced mindfulness before or not.  To help us getting in touch with the wonders around us, i.e nature and friendships, there will be a hiking session (about 5 km long) on the Nei Lak Shan Trail in the afternoon and a small group tea mediation  in the evening of Oct. 20,  and an Outdoor walking along the Wisdom Path, sitting & breakfast at the Heart Sutra Platform on Sunday morning Oct. 21.

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. 17
Oct. 18
Oct. 19
Saturday Oct. 20 Sun.
Oct. 21
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 Touching the Earth Tea Meditation 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 online 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 11, 2018Payment is not refundable for cancellation after October 1, 2018. 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