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Lions Roar : January 2016
EVENING, LIKE MANY THINGS, arrives slowly and gently here at Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Zen retreat center in southwest France. As the light shifts to a lavender gray, field after field of sunflowers bow their heads to the west, having spent their day following the arc of the sun. The donkey down the road brays a goodnight to his most constant friend, a horse who shares the same field. More than eight hundred people, many of whom traveled thousands of miles to be here, are quietly walking, pot washing, watering the garden, and drinking tea. A day of sitting, working, and eating is com- ing to a close. The evening is so cool and peaceful, so relaxed in its arrival, that I can easily forget how improbable is Plum Village’s very existence. When Thich Nhat Hanh RACHEL NEUMANN is publisher of Parallax Press and the primary editor of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings. She is the author of Not Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic’s Journey to Mindfulness. Evening light shines on the bell tower at Plum Village as retreatants settle into their tents. PHOTOS BY PAUL DAVIS One Buddha Is Not Enough A mindful community, Thich Nhat Hanh has said, may be the teacher of the future. In the Plum Village sangha, says RACHEL NEUMANN, the practice is trying to live every day with mindfulness and compassion. Brother Chan Phap Dang leads walk- ing meditation in the poplar grove. SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2016 66