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Letters from the Editors

Hong-An Tran-Tien
Hisae Matsuda

Dear Thay, dear Sangha,

At the beginning of the year, our senior editor Brother Phap Luu and I had a nourishing discussion about how some of our international Sangha friends practiced in the midst of political impermanence. This inspired the editorial team to explore how to practice joyfully and diligently in the midst of a pandemic, breathing through impermanence in our lives and in our countries using Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings.

We continue with part two of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Dharma talk “The Art of Transforming Suffering,” where Thay talks about practicing Right View and Right Diligence. In the first section of this issue, “Transformation Roots,” we learn about trusting the unknown from Kaira Jewel Lingo, using gathas to help live our lives mindfully, and a friend’s transformation with organic gardening. In “Social Active Challenges,” our international friends share their practice in the midst of political turmoil and the movement for social justice. “Living Harmony” reflects on focusing on the present moment and navigating suffering. In “Caring Together,” our international friends tell us about being present for our Sangha, school students, and our Dharma teachers’ talks. “Sangha Initia- tives” offers updates about our worldwide LGBTQIA+ community, sharings from worldwide Wake Up Schools teachers, and gratitude from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation.

On the topic of gratitude, I would like to introduce Hisae Matsuda, the publisher at Parallax Press, who’s been supporting The Mindfulness Bell ever since the merger between The Mindfulness Bell and Parallax Press took place in early 2020.

May you be safe and healthy,

Hong-An Tran-Tien

Conscious Aspiration of the Heart, Managing Editor

Dear Thay, dear beloved community,

In the autumn of 2019, the entire staff of Parallax Press visited Plum Village France during the annual Rains Retreat. It did rain almost every day, and through much deep conversation and walking meditation along the beautiful muddy fields and yellow-leaved woods surrounding the monasteries, we came to the idea of rejoining The Mindfulness Bell to Parallax Press to share our resources as sister institutions. After all, the two were both cofounded by Thay in the 1990s, and after many years apart, it made sense to come together again.

Everything that happened in 2020 made us delay the creative collaboration between our crews, but our national and global crises have made us both patient and inventive. I’m happy to say we will be offering new annual sub- scriptions in fall 2021—thirty years after The Mindfulness Bell’s first issue in January 1991—with a special addition from Parallax Press in the form of book packages for subscribers only. We plan to keep pub- lishing The Mindfulness Bell while making some changes in keeping with how we enjoy reading today. We’ll make some website updates and offer two issues a year (at each spring and autumn equinox) and more pages per issue for a deeper contemplative reading experience. Look for The Mindfulness Bell’s new appearance in spring 2022.

In this busy age when almost all our information comes to us through a screen, we’re faced with the question: can we still share the Dharma through the pages of a magazine? People who love to read would heartily say yes. The Mindfulness Bell represents a unique space in our lives, where monastic and lay practitioners share their experience thoughtfully, writing from their hearts about their deepest discoveries and insights. Taken collectively, it is a living written record of thirty years of our community, our stories, our joys and sorrows, and the teachings of Thay, the most influential teacher of mindfulness in the world today. There’s nothing else quite like The Mindfulness Bell. Let’s enjoy this next step on the path together.

With gratitude,

Hisae Matsuda

Perfect Absorption of the Heart, Publisher

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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