Plum Village 7th August, 2005 Dear friends,
Today, from Plum Village, Thay has ordained ninety-one monastics. Eighty-four of them were ordained via the Internet at Tu Hieu Temple, where Thay grew up as a novice, and Prajna Temple in the Highlands of Vietnam, where many of you joined Thay during the Vietnam trip.
For the first time, Thay has asked us to write you to ask for your support of our two monasteries in Vietnam, Tu Hieu and Prajna. When Thay returned to Vietnam after almost forty years, millions of Vietnamese people had not met Thay in person, but their respect and love were overflowing when they had the opportunity to spend three months with the Plum Village delegation of monastics and lay practitioners from thirty nations. Everyone had the opportunity to walk with Thay and touch the wonderful reality of the land that had nurtured Thay’s insights—the insights which have helped millions of people to transform their suffering and to overcome their many difficulties in life. Now hundreds of young Vietnamese men and women have made the courageous decision to follow Thay’s example to practice in order to transform themselves and to help bring wellness into their families and society. They are willing
to leave behind their diplomas, money, possessions, parents, sweethearts, mobile phones, e-mail accounts, and scooters. They vow to go as a river with the Sangha, and whatever offerings they receive, whether food or material things, they will offer up to the Sangha, so that everyone can benefit together.
Presently, our root temple, Tu Hieu, has 101 monks and male aspirants, and Prajna temple has 120 monks, nuns, and female aspirants; all practicing in this spirit. Both monasteries are guided by fourteen monks and nuns from Plum Village. The Prajna temple is on a mountain road, eighteen kilometers from the closest market, so the brothers and sisters cannot use bicycles for shopping.
We very much need your financial support, so that we can purchase the necessities for our two new monasteries. We need beds, blankets, pots and pans, and scooters. Each day, 221 persons in two monasteries use up to eighty kg of rice. Right now, each room holds twelve to fourteen sisters on bunkbeds. We are in great need of a computer, a fax machine, and a photocopier in each monastery.
In the past, some of the monks and nuns attending public school became distracted, neglected their practice, and eventually lost their monastic path. Now we offer classes in the monastery instead. In addition to learning sutras and concrete ways to transform suffering, each week there are two periods each to learn English and Chinese, and one period to learn Vietnamese. We believe that training in this way, within four years these monastics will be ready to lead retreats, both inside and outside Vietnam.
Please show your kindness by choosing the items you would like to donate and send the appropriate funds to one of the addresses below:
___ Beds: $30/bed. Donate 20 beds x $30 = $600
___ Bunkbeds: $60 each
___ Blankets: $8 each
___ Sweaters: $8 each.
___ Rice: $25/100kg. The two monasteries need 24 tons x $25 = $600 per month
___ Mosquito nets: $3 each.
___ Donate 100 mosquito nets x $3 = $300.
___ Old scooter: $1,000 each
___ Photocopy machine: $500 each
___ Computer: $500 each
___ To sponsor a monastic (food, medicine, toiletries, electricity, water, etc.): $25/month
WHERE TO SEND MONEY:
- USA: make check to UBC Deer Deer Park Monastery, 2499 Melru Lane, Escondido, CA 92026 or transfer directly to account of Deer Park Monastery 029-1314078, Wells Fargo Bank, 145 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido CA 92025; Routing Transit Number 121-04-28-82
- In France: make check to EBU Village des Loving Kindness Temple, 13 Martineau, F 33580 Dieulivol, France. Att: Sister Chan Khong.
- In Europe and Asia, please transfer your gift to the bank: UBS Bank, Aeschenvorstadt 1, CH Basel, Switzerland; account of Sister CAO P.F.Chan Khong for the Unified Buddhist Church, attn Mr. Guy Forster 0233-405 317 60 D in USD, 405 317 01 N in Swiss Francs and 405 317 61 F in Euros, SWIFT Code: UBS WCH ZH 40A.
Each day, young people come to our two monasteries and ask for ordination. However, our living quarters are too crowded, so we have to build more. We depend on you to continue this beautiful and noble service. Yours truly,
Thay and the Plum Village Sangha