Dear Thay, dear Sangha,
Throughout this year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Order of Interbeing by exploring the theme of interbeing. Thich Nhat Hanh’s Dharma talk from 2012 elegantly explains the concept, reminding us that we are intimately part of all: “You cannot be by yourself; you have to inter-be with us, and with the light, with the plants, with oxygen, with water, with other species. … Each has to lean on the other in order to be. That’s why we use the word inter-be.”
Interbeing is expressed beautifully in articles on our kinship with Mother Earth. Thay Phap Dung reflects on the Paris Climate Conference, which “has made our inseparable connection to one another clear to the world, whether we choose to accept it or not.” He warns us to practice restraint, compromise, and cooperation—our only options in the face of the climate crisis. Also in this issue, we find out why climate change may be “just the right size challenge” and how it can serve as a door of awakening. And we learn news from the Plum Village Happy Farm, where farmers and interns lovingly grow organic produce while nurturing heart-to-heart connections.
How we tend the Earth is intertwined with how we treat one another. An essential part of honoring and healing human relationships is to “keep the conversation of racial and social equity alive in our international Plum Village practice communities,” as Victoria Mausisa writes in a compelling piece on the Plum Village Racial Equity Sangha. Sister Peace and Peggy Rowe Ward offer a beautiful essay on the history-altering friendship between Thay and Martin Luther King Jr.—a brotherhood that not only transcended cultural differences but also modeled the greatest kind of shared aspiration. A companion article describes the creation of a commemorative statue of these two noble peacemakers.
In addition, these pages offer insights on family and workplace practices: parenting as a spiritual journey, joyful sharing of the practice by mothers and their monastic sons, and the magic of mindfulness in the workplace for software developers and a filmmaker.
We’d also like to share some transitions. We bow in gratitude to Brandon Rennels, who has stepped down from the Mindfulness Bell Care-Taking Council after three years of generous service. We gladly welcome two new Council members, Alipasha Razzaghipour and David Viafora, whose bright energy and passion for Sangha building are already deeply enriching the Mindfulness Bell. And exciting news: we have launched a new website! Please visit mindfulnessbell.org to explore a beautiful portal for Dharma sharing and Sangha building, created by devoted volunteers and linked with a family of websites in the Plum Village community.
May these offerings light our path with understanding, joy,
With love and gratitude,
True Ocean of Jewels