The Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism is a global community of mindfulness practitioners who follow the teachings of Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (a.k.a. “Thay,” meaning “grandfather teacher”). The Earth Holder Community is the branch of the Plum Village tree that applies Thay’s core teachings on engaged Buddhism, mindful living, racial and social justice, and inter-being with Mother Earth at this time of ecological crisis.
- Read more about Engaged Buddhism here.
- Discover Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings and videos about Earth holding and protecting here.
- Read what Thay says about our namesake, the Earth Holder Bodhisattva, here.
The Earth Holder Community practices to transform suffering and cultivate clarity and peace in four strategic ways.
1. WE GROW AN EARTH-LOVING COMMUNITY
The path of brotherhood and sisterhood is more precious than any ideology or religion.–Thich Nhat Hanh
The Earth Holder Community is growing. What began in 2014 as a small weekend retreat at Plum Village’s Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California is blossoming into a diverse, global distributed leadership network of mindful advocates. While the organization’s Care Taking Council is based in North America, we very much encourage and support the formation of Earth Holder Communities on other continents.
- Find out how you can practice with the monthly online Earth Holder Sangha here.
- Join the “Mindful Hub”–the online platform where Earth Holders keep each other informed, engaged, and inspired–here.
2. WE SHARE EARTH-BASED MINDFULNESS PRACTICES
The Earth Holder Community offers Earth-based Plum Village mindfulness practices that relieve suffering, deepen understanding, and inspire us to engage in the world with love and compassion. Transformation at the base heals not only our individual and family life but society and the planetary situation.
Peace in Oneself
Our own life has to be our message.Thich Nhat Nhan, The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology
- Learn how to take refuge and cultivate healing with Mother Earth here.
- Embrace a spiritual path of simple, ethical, happy living here.
- Grow your awareness of your interconnection with Earth here.
- Tune into the impermanence of this precious planet here.
Peace in the World
Earth Holders take inspiration from the embodied teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh and also the Bodhisattvas Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Joanna Macy. Their collective insights for social transformation include three distinct strategies: constructive programs, obstruction programs, and transforming consciousness.
Here are different expressions of Earth Holders’ aim to “bring mindfulness, compassion, healing, and non-violence to protecting ourselves, each other, all beings, and the Earth.”
- Developing a Mindful Approach to Earth Justice Work–an article published in Kosmos by Dharma Teacher John Bell
- Climate Crisis Moment Closing Comments–video from the Climate Strike Rally in Charleston, SC featuring Heather Lyn Mann
3. WE ADVANCE EARTH-HEALING COMPASSIONATE DIRECT ACTION
A student asked me, “There are so many urgent problems, what should I do?” I said, “Take one thing and do it very deeply and carefully, and you will be doing everything at the same time.”Thich Nhat Hanh
Give Mother Earth the Next 18 Months
The next 18 months contain key events that will most likely have a huge influence on the shape of the future. This means there are an infinite number of ways to get engaged. How we take action as a Plum Village community is best determined by each local sangha or group of sangha members.
- Read about the upcoming global climate events and ideas for practicing sustained, peaceful, and effective action here.
4. WE UPLIFT AND SUPPORT THE PRESENCE AND VOICES OF BLACK, INDIGENOUS, PEOPLE OF COLOR, AND OTHER MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES
- Explore the intersectionality of racial, social, and environmental justice in the Earth Holder Community here.
The Better Way to Get Arrested
In this video, Sr Anabel (Chan Duc) talks about the power of love, non-violence, and the better way to get arrested. CLICK HERE to watch.
Extinction Rebellion is organizing non-violent action around the world to bring compassionate attention to the climate crisis. In this video, Plum Village monastics–Br Phap Linh and Sr Hein Nghiem–discuss their experience with the rebellion, strategies for non-violent action and continuing beautifully. CLICK HERE to watch.
CLICK HERE to learn about Earth Holders’
Mindful Way Forward