A LETTER OF ASPIRATION AND AN INVITATION TO PRACTICE GENEROSITY
Dear Friends and Family,
I have been blessed to receive a scholarship from the Loving Work Foundation to attend the 2018 retreat in Viet Nam to build community and be of service. We will travel throughout Viet Nam, planting trees, visiting orphanages and mindfulness centers, attending the dedication of a new vegetable garden, and building community while doing service work.
Also, we will be attending the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre of civilians during the Viet Nam War. We will be there to witness the continuing suffering from war and practice deep listening.
This is a wonderful opportunity for me to build community with Vietnamese people and devote energy to healing for myself, my family, my ancestors, and the people of Viet Nam. I think it will be a life-changing experience. With my dad having served three tours of duty in Viet Nam, I think that this is a wonderful opportunity for healing and transforming the suffering of the past, both individual and collective.
As many of you know, my teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) is from Viet Nam, and while living there he started the School of Youth for Social Service. He and other monastics risked their lives to help others in the countryside during the war. Their compassion and activism inspire me and also inspire many other people to engage in loving service.
After Thay was permitted to visit Viet Nam after a 40-year exile, one of the Dharma teachers in his lineage returned to Viet Nam to continue this work. The Loving Work Foundation was born. The foundation’s mission is to support humanitarian programs that help disadvantaged Vietnamese families, and to offer retreats that support global community-building and engaged service.
Part of our responsibility is to raise funds for the Loving Work Foundation. It is a wonderful organization and I strongly believe in its mission, so I invite you to help me support their work. I am including the link to the Loving Work Foundation, so you can donate online with your credit card directly to the foundation. All the money will go directly to the Loving Work Foundation and the work they do.
The donations will be pooled together then divided up equally between the groups/places we visit. At each place, a different member of our group will offer the donation, giving us the opportunity to connect with Vietnamese communities.
I have wanted to attend the Loving Work Retreat ever since I first learned of the foundation. I am happy that I will be going on the trip with Susan, my blood sister and Dharma sister. I will bring all of you donors with me in spirit and I'm very grateful to be traveling with a sangha. When I return home, I will email an update on my experience on the Loving Work Retreat in Viet Nam.
Thank you for being part of one of my dreams.
Love and hugs,
Chân Quang Uyên
True Garden of Light
Santa Cruz, California, USA