Monasteries and Initiatives

Plum Village Practice Centers

Thre are currently a total of eleven practice centers and monasteries in the Plum Village tradition. The centers are open throughout the year, for short or long stays, to learn the art of mindful living and practice alongside the monastic brothers and sisters. There are often “themed” retreats that are widely attended (30-300 participants) with a great deal of structure surrounding a holiday or a particular community (WakeUp, Health Care Providers, Cooking, Recovery, US Tour of PV Monastics, Vietnamese, etc.). Additionally, there is most always the option to schedule a “personal” retreat (sometimes now called “seasonal” retreats) for individuals, families and small groups to practice with the monastic community during a time when there are no themed retreats.

Four Lakes Sangha highly suggests visiting a monastic practice center and offers scholarships to assist Sangha Members to go on retreat. Scholarships are available for all regular members to go to regional retreats in the Plum Village Tradition, and visits/retreats to national Plum Village Monasteries. Please visit the Events Page for more details.

Magnolia Grove Meditation Practice Center (Batesville, MS)

Magnolia Grove Monastery is a both a residential monastery and Mindfulness Practice Meditation Center in the tradition of Plum Village, founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 2005 in Batesville, Mississippi. Today, more than thirty monastics disciples of Thich Nhat Hanh are in residence. It is situated on 120 acres and is about 1 hour south of Memphis TN. Many Four Lakes Members regularly attend retreats at Magnolia Grove.

Blue Cliff Monastery (Pine Bush, NY)

Blue Cliff was formerly a family-owned summer resort, in operation since 1939. Today, the various residences have been renovated and winterized, including a wheelchair-accessible room. Plans are underway to add new dining and common areas. The Great Togetherness Meditation Hall, built in 2008, can accommodate up to 800 people for meditations and teachings. Blue Cliff is nestled on 80 peaceful acres of woodland in the southern Catskill region about two hours northwest of New York City. Blue Cliff is home to a thriving community of monks, nuns, and lay practitioners who share the art of mindful living with thousands of adults and children every year.

Deer Park Monastery (Escondido, CA)

Deer Park Monastery was established in July 2000 by the Plum Village four-fold Sangha. Now, it is a safe and serene refuge for many practitioners to come and learn the art of mindful living and to practice with a community, a Sangha. At Deer Park, the residential community of over thirty monastics and lay practitioners, live and practice together year-round in the tradition of engaged Buddhism, practicing mindfulness throughout everyday life. Deer Park consists of two hamlets and is nestled in a 400-acre sanctuary in the Chaparral mountains of southern California.

Plum Village Initiatives

Earth Holder Community – Earth and Racial Justice

The Earth Holder Community is a mindful earth justice initiative. The community is a branch of the Plum Village tree that applies Thích Nhất Hạnh’s core teachings on engaged Buddhism, mindful living, social and racial justice, and inter-being with Mother Earth at this time of ecological crisis. Earth Holders aspire to embody the teachings and methods of Plum Village, to be representatives of the living Dharma, listening deeply to the cries of the most vulnerable and the cries of the Earth. Earth Holders stop and actively resist the unwholesome ways of living that are leading to the destruction of life on earth. The fruit of the practice–insights and actions–are bells of mindfulness ringing loudly, helping to awaken others, especially local communities, to the reality of inter-being and the beauty and wonder of life.

ARISE Sangha – Racial and Social Justice

The ARISE Sangha (Awakening through Race, Intersectionality, and Social Equity) is a community of mindfulness practitioners and monastics who come together to heal the wounds of racial injustice and social inequity, beginning with looking deeply within ourselves and using the energy of compassion, understanding, and love in action. Marisela Gomez co-founded the ARISE Sangha in 2016 and it is rooted in the Plum Village Tradition.

The ARISE Sangha has the following Mission and Vision

  • Co-create a network within the Plum Village community for practitioners who are interested in racial justice and social equity issues
  • Co-create a sacred, courageous space for discussion and exchange as well as the sharing of resources on bridging mindfulness and social justice work
  • Encourage diversity and leadership by people of color within the mahasangha and Order of Interbeing (OI)
  • Serve as a resource and offer presentations and workshops on race, intersectionality, and social equity at retreats, sangha gatherings, and other mindfulness events

Wake Up Network – Engaging the Young Adults

Wake Up is an active global community of young mindfulness practitioners, aged 18-35ish. If you are a young person inspired to cultivate mindfulness and compassion in your life, we invite you to join a Wake Up Community. Wake Up offers a way to pool our energy and act collectively, to create the world we want to live in! Anyone can get together and form a Wake Up group wherever they are. If interested, please visit their websites. The closest Wake Up group that we are aware of is in Milwaukee at the current moment.

Scroll to Top