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From the Editor

It seemed ironic that as I began editing this issue on Sangha Dynamics, discord began to surface in my own Sangha. As we worked together to reach harmony and understanding, the writings and practices explored in this issue helped tremendously-from Shining Light as discussed by Thich Nhat Hanh in his Dharma talk, "Taking Care of Each Other," to simple awareness that difficulties are part of any Sangha and can be opportunities to deepen our practice, as discussed by Jack Lawlor, Richard Brady, and Rowan Conrad. In other articles-Karl and Helga Riedl, who lived in Plum Village for many years, share their insights about the elements necessary for a healthy residential Sangha. Vinh Nguyen explores the beauty of sharing experiences with his Sangha, and Wendy Johnson, Lyn Fine, and Larry Ward offer readers specific suggestions grown from the seeds of their experiences.

No issue on Sangha Dynamics would be complete without those dynamos of our Sanghas-the young people. The entire Family Practice Section in this issue is the work of children and teens. And Thay offers a treat for both children and adults in "The Story of the Red Tree."

Changes are also unfolding within the larger Sangha.  The Community of Mindful Living merged into the Unified Buddhist Church in March. In a second Dharma talk, Thay shares his vision of the unified community. And in letters written earlier this spring, Sister Chan Khong shares the history of the merger and explores ideas about how we might work with the unfolding vision, asking for feedback regarding possible implementation of these ideas.

For over thirty years, Thich Nhat Hanh has lived in exile from Vietnam. During the past few years, friends have tried to help Thay return home. In "When Will Thay Return to Vietnam?" Dharma teacher Phap An explains the problems encountered in the ongoing efforts to facilitate Thay's trip to Vietnam.

I would also like to welcome the new Advisory Board established this spring, whose efforts will shine forth in future issues.

Please remember that The Mindfulness Bell welcomes your submissions about the experience of mindfulness practice in daily life. Topics for upcoming issues, deadlines, and guidelines for submission always appear on this page. Each issue also presents many articles not specifically focused on the issue theme.

In gratitude,

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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