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The Birth of Blue Cliff Monastery

An Opportunity to Support the New Retreat Center in New York

Dear Friends,

It is with great joy that we, the brothers and sisters of Plum Village with the support of Thay, announce to you that we have finally found a property for establishing our monastery near one of the biggest and most turbulent cities of the USA, New York City! Seventy miles from New York City and one hour’s drive from Newark, New Jersey, it is located in Walker Valley, Sullivan County, close enough for our lay sangha members on the East Coast to come practice regularly. We have been doing that successfully on the West Coast in Deer Park Monastery.

The deepest wish of Thay, our 81-year-old teacher, is to be able to offer effective Dharma doors to bring about the collective awakening that will produce much more peace and happiness and less violence in the world, and save our planet earth from destruction. We already have a center on the West Coast, we wish to be able to have a center on the East Coast. We can only do this with the cooperation of you, our lay friends.

During our summer family retreat and our Christmas holiday retreat on the East Coast, the monks and nuns of Green Mountain Dharma Center and Maple Forest Monastery are nourished by the presence of many hundreds of lay friends, among them many young adults, teens, and children. We can share and learn more about the practices of deep listening, loving speech, and reconciliation in order to bring them into the world. Our two above-mentioned East Coast centers are, as you may know, not allowed to offer retreats. When we have to rent a venue it makes a much greater expense than when we organize in our own practice center. Often there are lay friends who cannot afford this. This is why with the support of Thay, the Plum Village monastic sangha has decided to purchase a new property on the East Coast.

The property is 80 acres, 65 of which are forest. It is a former conference and retreat center (where we can receive guests) with forest, a creek, and two small ponds. It includes thirteen buildings with thirty-five rooms. Each room can accommodate four to six people, and has a private bathroom. The dining room holds about 200 people. The owner is selling it to us at the sum of $2,650,000. This new practice center is certainly much less rustic than Green Mountain Center! We have borrowed $1,442,000. Part of this is money with which the Upper Hamlet of Plum Village was planning to build its large meditation hall, part is from Deer Park, and part from kind friends. We need to raise the rest in cash and welcome your donation in any amount.

Thay has named this center Blue Cliff Monastery. On top of a hill, it has magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. We know that with our love, peace, and joy this place will become a Pure Land for the fourfold sangha. Thay and the Plum Village Sangha are calling on you to help this Pure Land manifest. We very much need your spiritual and financial support. We are going to organize our OI retreat and summer family retreat there in June— we hope to see you there!


The Sangha of MFM & GMDC

For more information, please contact: Green Mountain Dharma Center, P.O.Box 182, Hartland-Four Corners VT 05049 (802) 457-9442 (for Br. Phap Dang, Br. Vo Ngai) (802) 436-1103 (for Sr. Annabel, Sr. Thieu Nghiem, Sr. Gioi Nghiem)

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Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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