Let the Light Shine up Your Life
During the Daffodils Great Ordination Ceremony in our root center in France, Plum Village, we gathered together as a community of monks, nuns, men and women from four directions. Around 300 of us where gathered in the wine country of south west France for this yearly transmission of the Five & Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, the Precepts for Fully Ordained monks and nuns (Pratimoksha) and the lamp transmission for new Dharma Teachers.
From Deer Park a group of us including Sisters Quynh Nghiem (new Dharma Teacher), Dac Nghiem (mother of Br Phap Uyen-new Dharma Teacher) and Brother Phap Ho (new Dharma Teacher) traveled to return to the monastery where we where ordained and lived as young monk and nuns. As our trip progressed our delegation grew and arriving at Bordeaux airport there where 8 of us. At the airport two brothers were waiting for us together with my mother who had flown in from Sweden. What a great happiness to come together as a large family for such a special occasion.
Traveling the roads of rural France toward the end of a cold and snowy week, you have to take it slow...but we arrived safely. The cold humid air of winter in France seemed so familiar and the dark open space of Upper Hamlet (one of the monks temples) located on the hill of Thenac is certainly one of my dear homes. I have arrived. I am home.
In the morning of the 12th the community gathered for the opening ceremony and we walked in order of ordination from the Transformation Hall to the newly enlarged Still Water Hall (of Upper Hamlet). As we were approaching the Hall the Bell and Drum of Wisdom started their chant. The concentration of the community was a continual thunder in the cold and quite morning. Chanting the incense offering and the Heart Sutra with around 150 monastics and numerous friends that know the chants well was enough to bring the bright and unshakable light of awareness into my heart.
For the next 8 days I enjoyed ceremonies in the morning and afternoon, tea drinking and sharing with brothers, sisters and friends at midday and long evenings and walks with my mother in between. The power of joy, peace and togetherness were growing and flowing! I call the 9 days back in Plum Village - "peacefully intense".
To receive a lamp you have to offer Thay and the Ancestral Teacher an insight gatha, a poem on your insights and practice. This year 34 monks, nuns and layfriends received a lamp, the light transmitted from the large lamp of the ancestors. On of the most touching aspects of the lamp transmissions for me was that the gathas were offered in so many languages: French, Dutch, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Hebrew, Swedish, English, Laotian, American, Japanese. This reflects our world wide community. Thay offered a gatha and encouraging words about our practice so far. Helping us see clearly the direction for our continual path of practice. How wonderful to have people practicing understanding and love all over the planet. May we practice with joy and energy, so we can really be a source of healing for the planet, people, animals, plants and minerals.
As you can see our Deer Park brothers, Phap Luu and Phap Thanh are happy and healthy, now Plum Village brothers, even though it is very clear that we are all one family on the path of goodness, truth and beauty.
More photos from the Ceremonies can be found by clicking HERE.
Thank you for allowing yourself to learn and grow, to bring more happiness and peace into your life and thus into the life of us all!
In joy and togetherness! Brother Phap Ho (Br Protection)