Monastic Trust Fund
By Sister Chan Khong in June 2014
By Sister Chan Khong and Sister Chan Thoai Nghiem
This year, thanks to our spiritual ancestors, we are blessed to still have Thay. At the age of eighty-seven, he is still able to give a Dharma talk each day! In 2013, not only did he lead multiple retreats wherever he went, but also he gave additional talks to influential leaders and his monastic spiritual children at Plum Village Thailand, the Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism in Hong Kong, the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Germany, Plum Village in France, and all three monasteries in the United States. Thay offered teachings to audiences as big as eight thousand in Thailand, twelve thousand in Hong Kong, and even thirteen thousand in Korea. He led a Day of Mindfulness for staff of the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and spent a whole day with administrators of Google, who directly transmitted his teachings to hundreds of their centers all around the world.
Wherever he goes, Thay always brings a community of monastic brothers and sisters with him to help produce a strong collective energy of mindfulness and joy that is able to address all manner of difficult or complicated situations. All Thay’s audiences, large or small, appreciate the presence of Thay’s disciples who are really a good continuation of him.
Currently, there are over 750 Plum Village monks and nuns practising, under the guidance of Thay, in the various practice centers mentioned above, as well as in Australia and Vietnam. By offering retreats and sharing the Dharma and practices of mindfulness with many people, the monastic Sangha has helped many people to transform and bring positive and beneficial practices into their lives. Even without the physical presence of Thay, these Sanghas have been able to bring the teachings of mindfulness to many more countries, including Italy, Spain, Israel, Palestine, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, mainland China, India, Bhutan, Japan, Brazil, Botswana, and Liberia. Every year, the monks and nuns travel (without Thay) and reach out to more than 200,000 people all over the world.
The Plum Village brothers and sisters across the globe humbly request you to support them by contributing to the Monastic Trust Fund, which was set up to ensure long-term provision of the monastic community’s most basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, health care, training, and other fundamental necessities. Only the interest generated by this fund is used, which means that support for the Sangha will endure for a very long time. In years to come, Thay will have at least 750 disciples to continue him, and the disciples of his disciples will continue to benefit from this kind support.
In 2013, a lay donor in the United States promised to contribute an extra two dollars for every one dollar given to this trust fund by any other donor that year. This means that a donation of $50 generated $150 in the trust fund. Thanks to the generosity of this donor, in 2013, donations to the Monastic Trust Fund of $61,683 became $185,049.
In 2012, the Monastic Trust Fund disbursed its $67,600 in interest to support 175 monks and nuns at the International Plum Village Centre in Thailand for four months in 2013. Hopefully, the interest generated from 2013 will be enough to support them for six months of 2014. For the remaining six months, they will have to rely on funds collected from the sales of Thay’s calligraphies and donations from lay practitioners attending retreats. But this year there are no big tours like in 2013. We hope that our US donor will continue to be successful in his business and so be able to continue his very generous two-for-one match.
Supporting the monastic Sangha is a way to express deep gratitude to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, our beloved and respected teacher, for his continuation in the world. The security of the worldwide monastic Sangha’s continuation is Thay’s dearest personal wish. Please be assured that you have made a good investment in the future generations of monks and nuns by contributing from your heart whatever you can to the Monastic Trust Fund.
With sincere gratitude,
Bhikshuni Chan Khong
Bhikshuni Chan Thoai Nghiem
All donations may be sent to: ThichNhatHanhFoundation.org