Dear Thây, dear Sangha, This summer in the glorious setting of Rocky Mountain National Park, the monastic sangha presented a five-day retreat entitled Still Mind, Peaceful Heart. Seventy retreatants benefited from the presence of eighteen monks and nuns from all three U.S. monasteries. It was a joyful, profound, healing time. We are blessed to have so many deeply gifted teachers, especially the younger monks and nuns who amaze us with their wisdom and their contagious happiness.
You will notice several changes with this issue of the Mindfulness Bell. The most significant is on the cover, where we are now using the tagline “A Publication of Plum Village.” This change developed through meetings during the Breath of the Buddha retreat, and culminated with Sister Chan Khong’s heartfelt endorsement of the magazine, explaining that the Mindfulness Bell is supported, financed, and controlled by Plum Village. So when you support the Mindfulness Bell, you support the work of Thây and Plum Village. Over the next year, we hope to share that message with all practitioners.
I’m excited about other changes, where we are making more space for you, our readers. We welcome your letters (see page 3) and your writings for the new “Heart to Heart” section (page 34). As always, we encourage submissions of all types—they are the substance of each issue! And I am very pleased to introduce Judith Toy, who is now editing the “Book and CD Review” section; she is a gift as a collaborator and a new friend.
Another change is a personal one; on the last day of the Breath of the Buddha retreat I received the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. Afterwards, there was a Sangha Fair; here’s a picture of me (True Lotus Meditation) with my mentor Sister Dao Nghiem, Thây, and Sister Chan Khong at the Mindfulness Bell table (or rather, bench).
At the retreat in Estes Park, I spoke with Brother Phap Khoi about my ongoing attempt to practice mindfulness—and aimlessness—while editing the magazine. He suggested that I consider each issue a beautiful bouquet of flowers offered to the sangha. Here, then, is our humble offering to you, in wonder and gratitude.
May all beings walk in the Kingdom of God.