Dear Trish, Trang, Linh and Be’,
As I reflect back on the fabulous two weeks that you created for us, I feel fortunate to have been part of this wonderful group. I am grateful for the four of you and the family you created for us.
Capturing the experience of our retreat in Vietnam is like trying to capture crossing a busy street in Hanoi: a richness of people circling with different vehicles and colorful personalities; streams of sounds grabbing attention as paths intersect in a continuous dance; all around are places of beauty and delicious foods as one encounter flows into the next- until miraculously the other side is reached with feelings of being fully alive and awe at the energy of life.
Thanks for creating an exhilarating retreat.
From the first class lodgings to the gourmet vegan food to the eclectic events, the trip was curated to show the best in Vietnam. Each place we visited was magical. Hanoi had the most energy of any city I have visited. Being there for the anniversary of its independence was a treat. Hue was spiritual, especially at the hut of our teacher. Hoi An was the spectacular beach and architectural history lesson. Ninh Binh was inspiring nature with birds. Yen Tu was transcendent panoramas. Sightseeing was balanced by meditating. Exposure to the wounds of history was matched by encounters with people providing healing with love.
Our visits to the schools were powerful-I haven’t played like that in years. All our needs were met including fans for cooling, the Loving Works bags for collecting comfort, and the Practice From the Heart book treasure which contains instructions, Gathas, sutras, songs-everything needed for practice. The outward adventure was balanced with an inward journey of learning more about the Plum Village heritage and our own habit energies. I experienced growth in understanding myself, mindfulness and the amazing world we live in. The opportunity to renew the five mindfulness trainings in Vietnam was very meaningful.
Through the days, all of you responded to the unexpected with grace and tolerance. Whether it was the appearance of Covid or the disappearance of a person on Yen Tu mountain, you maintained equanimity. You inspired all of us with your love for the practice and Vietnam.
Grateful to all of you for facilitating friendship and memories,
Peaceful Reflection of the Source