Cultivating Mindfulness in Education

A Mindfulness Retreat for Educators, School Counselors,
Community Youth Leaders, and Human Resource Professionals

August 8 - 12, 2018 

With the Plum Village Monastics
at the Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism - Lotus Pond Temple, Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island, HK




 Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) leads a walking meditation at a Day of Mindfulness for Educators and Students at Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) on May 16, 2007 

“You cannot transmit wisdom and insight to another person. The seed is already there.
A good teacher touches the seed, allowing it to sprout and to grow.”
-  Thich Nhat Hanh


Online registration for the retreat is available 

June 24, 2018

Dear friends,

You are invited to attend a mindfulness retreat for professionals working in the educational and human resource fields. Human relationship and communication play an important role in these fields. It would be very helpful if we could relate to others in a joyful and pleasant way. Students will be more confident and eager to do homework when being encouraged by teachers. School counselors will be more calm and understanding when they can listen and to look deeply into the student’s difficulties. Community youth leaders are more likely to be considered as pals to the young people, when they can blend in and to be with the young people, understanding their needs and concerns. To be in touch with others, we need to be in touch with ourselves first. We need to be able to cultivate the peace and happiness inside and around us, to be aware of the pain and the suffering which makes us sad and anxious and to transform them into peace and happiness. To cultivate our well-being, we need to have some guidelines for living a healthy and compassionate life. Being able to do this ourselves, then it is possible to bring well-being to others, in all aspects of life.

Thay and Plum Village has been involved in bringing mindfulness into the educational and social services field since the1960s when he established the School for Youth and Social Services in 1966 during the Vietnam War. In 2001, at Thay's suggestion,  the Mindfulness in Education Network was formed by a group of teachers, who were students of Thay,  to help bring mindfulness into schools. In his teaching trip to Hong Kong in May 2007, the first Day of Mindfulness for Educators and Students was organized at the Education University of Hong Kong (formerly Hong Kong Institute of Education) with over 700 attendees. This DOM was also organized in his subsequent HK Teaching trip in 2010 and 2013. Mindfulness in Education was a major theme of Thay's trip to India in 2008. In 2011, Thay started the Applied Ethics Initiative as a Plum Village's approach to bringing mindfulness into education. The first Applied Ethics retreat was held in Plum Village Dec. 29, 2011 - Jan 5, 2012. The Initiative eventually became the Wake-Up Schools. After that,  Thay had led big retreats for Educators worldwide like in Thailand (April 2013), Canada (August 2013), Spain (May 2014), and France (Oct. 2014). Plum Village Hong Kong has held regular monthly DOM at Education University of Hong Kong since 2007 and the annual Educator Retreat at AIAB, Ngong Ping since 2012. 

In this retreat, we will follow the curriculum of the Wake-Up School, Applied Ethics Curriculum 2015 WakeUpSchool.pdf. The curriculum includes teachings and practices for: being present, caring for body, nourishing peace and joy, caring for emotions, caring for our relationships, reverence for life, right livelihood, essential practice for teachers and student in schools, and community building school and the classroom. Today's students face many challenges. If they are not able to cope with these challenges, they may suffer from severe anxiety. The NY Time article "Why are more American teenagers than ever suffering from severe anxiety?" tells the story of two high school students of not being able to deal with the fear "of not being good enough" and of social anxiety which later required them to seek professional help, which include mindfulness practices and facing the anxiety directly.  The teachings and practices learned in this retreat can help teachers and students take care of themselves and to deal with these challenges.

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 and the surrounding area. We will enjoy the presence of our friends and fellow practitioners, who also take time off from the busy daily routines to slow down, to enjoy a walk, to just being there for the present moment, for the preciousness of life

The tentative schedule is as follows:

Wed. Aug.  8 Thur. Aug. 9 - Sat. Aug 11 Sunda        Aug. 12
16:00 Registration 5:15 Wake Up 5:15 Wake Up
18:00 Dinner 6:00 Guided sitting Meditation 6:00 Sitting Med &
20:00 Opening Talk 7:00 10 Mindful Movements & Breakfast outdoor
22:00 Noble Silence Walking Med.
8:00 Breakfast 9:15 Working Med.
9:15 Working Med. 10:45 Dharma Talk
10:30 Dharma Talk 12:30 Lunch
12:30 Lunch Closing circle
14:00 Total Relaxation
15:00 Dharma Sharing Fare well &
16:45 Exercise Happy Continuation
18:00 Dinner of the practice
19:30* Sitting Med/Presentation at home
21:30 Noble Silence and at school


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

Accommodation and cost:  Accommodation for this retreat is limited to a dormitory setting.  Participants will be housed in dormitories (bunk beds) at Lotus Pond Temple and Bamboo Forest Monastery.  Pillows, bed-linens, and blankets will be provided for those staying in the dormitories.

RoomType Dormitory(HKD)
Adults 2000.00

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.  Besides helping with the retreat, working meditation is a good way to apply mindfulness to daily activities, since most of the things we do are activities that we usually do at home.

How to register: There are only 80 spaces available. Online registration for the retreat is available 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 a waiting list. For means of payment,  please refer to the email you received after registering.    If you do not immediately receive an email stating your registration was successful, please notify us at the email mentioned below.

Closing date for registration:   July 25, 2018.  Payment is not refundable for cancellation after August 1, 2018.  Cancellation is subject to a 20% cancellation fee.  For inquiries, please contact us by e-mail: or by phone from 14:30 - 17:00 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 2985-5033 (English) or 2985-5281 (Chinese) .

Looking forward to seeing you at the retreat!

A lotus to you,
A Buddha to be.

Retreat Staff of the Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism