July 20, 2020
Dear Beloved Community
We hope this message finds you peaceful and well.
With consternation, sorrow and concern, we have been following the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the US and the world. We are witnessing a new era in the history of humankind – the era of global lockdown and “safe at home” in order to “flatten the curve.” We sincerely hope this measure achieves its goal of reducing suffering and saving human lives. We are acutely aware of the immense suffering of all those directly affected by the virus – those who are struggling to breathe, those who have died or are dying and those who have lost loved ones, and we send our peaceful, compassionate and healing energy to them. We are equally aware of the immense suffering of peoples all over the world suddenly deprived of a livelihood, and of the basic necessities of life. As always, the most precarious and vulnerable populations are the ones who are hit the hardest. The poor, the young, the disenfranchised, the elderly. We hold them all in our hearts and send them our love, support and compassion.
And we send gratitude to all the dedicated people who selflessly continue to offer their time, expertise, and skills within the health-care system, as well as all those who are working to keep us all alive by producing food, medical and other essential supplies and services.
In view of the developing situation and the continuing lockdown, our monastery will remain closed till the November 30, 2020, or until further notice.
Naturally we hope to re-open as soon as possible to welcome all our friends back again to practice with us but our decision to re-open will be guided by official recommendations.
Aware of the nature of impermanence, we are also figuring out ways
for the monastery to be more safe and friendly for everyone, which will take much time and patience. We want to insure that when the time comes for us to open again, we will be able to have an environment where everyone is comfortable and safe.
With the development of our weekly online sangha, we have been able to grow even further as a community. We appreciate all of those that do participate with us whether it be just once, twice, or every week. Your presence is important to us and we are always grateful for your time. We do have aspirations to further develop our “online monastery”. The Brothers and Sisters are taking the time to train and learn more ways to be available online. We hope that in the near future we will be able to host online
retreats and talks for your convenience.
In the meantime, let us all continue to apply the healing and transformative practice of mindfulness to our daily lives. Let us make it real and not theory. Let’s put the practice into action today to reconnect with ourselves, with others, and with our dear, suffering planet.
It is in times like these that we can more tangibly experience what it means to be a global community, to touch more deeply the reality of interbeing. As Thây teaches us, my health and happiness depend on your health and happiness, and your suffering is my suffering.
In the meantime, we encourage you to continue your practice of mindfulness at home by joining an online sangha.
Dharma talks by Plum Village teachers are uploaded regularly to plumvillageonline. You may also like to download the free Plum Village App which offers guided meditations, deep relaxations, guidance in the basic practices of mindfulness and talks by our teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.
The Plum Village website also offers an online Survival Kit to help you maintain your practice and stay healthy in body and mind. We hope you find it helpful.
We thank you for your trust and understanding and send you our loving thoughts and support at this challenging time for our world.
Wishing you gentle breaths and steps,
The Sisters and Brothers of Magnolia Grove Monastery