Caring for Our Dear Monastics and Practice Centers

An email from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation:

Dear Friends of Breathing Heart Sangha,

As you arrive in each moment, we hope you can rest in the knowledge that you are surrounded and embraced by community. The international Plum Village monastics and the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation are with you as friends along the path during these challenging times.

Recently, one of our staff members, Tram, shared her experience living for seven months with the monastics at Magnolia Grove Monastery.

“When I went to Magnolia Grove I was feeling lost, depressed, having health issues, and struggling through difficult times. The monastics welcomed me as a woman, a person of color, and as a lesbian with acceptance and love. We were all able to grow together and to learn from each other. Their daily practice inspired self-compassion, mercy, and love.

Even now, they are tending to the monasteries and holding a space for us to come home to. They remind us, as Thay teaches, that we inter-are; we are interconnected. Healing for one means healing for the entire Mahasangha – the community of practitioners of the present and the past, back to the time of the Buddha. That healing ripples out to the whole, through space and time.

For me, returning to the monastery feels like coming home to brothers and sisters, to family. When someone is lost or suffering, our dear monastics embrace us like a child and offer unconditional love. The monasteries are our collective homes. Even if we have never visited, they are there for us and remind us to sit and to know, to find ourselves, and to awaken to our interconnectedness with nature and all beings everywhere.”

Stories like Tram’s are so beautiful and illustrate why it is so important to support our monastics and sustain our places of shared refuge, now and for future generations.

This is why I am also writing to ask for your help.

Our monasteries in the US and overseas used to have two main sources of income: retreat fees and donations. With the monasteries being closed, they’ve lost the income from retreat fees. Now they are entirely dependent on our generosity for even their basic needs.

On average globally, $750 a month ($25/day) provides the food, housing, utilities, and taxes for one monk or nun. We currently have 600 monastics living at 10 monasteries around the world. With the monasteries being closed through December, the total need from March through December is $4.2 million (approximately $1M in the US alone).

Thanks to friends like you, we have raised $3,598,809 to date.

We are aware that unprecedented numbers of people find themselves in financial difficulty and are suffering deeply. But if you do have the ability to help, we hope you will consider giving to support our dear brothers and sisters and shared places of refuge. Your gift, at any level, is deeply appreciated.

We also know that many people prefer to give at year’s end. If it is possible to give earlier, it would be helpful this year as we need to provide for our monastics every month.

No matter your decision, please know that we hold you in our hearts.

Thank you for your deep commitment to transforming suffering, awakening compassion, and nurturing peace. You are the continuation of Thay’s lifelong work.

In love and trust,

Denise Nguyen
Executive Director
Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation

P.S. If you have already given a gift, please accept our heartfelt gratitude. We hope you will enjoy this teaching, an excerpt from America’s Racial Karma by Larry Ward available through Parallax Press at

As we say in the Plum Village tradition, “You are, therefore I am. We wish you and your loved ones safety, health, and ease.
For practice tips and Dharma talks, please visit our 2020 Resources.