About our Community

The Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism is a global community of mindfulness practitioners who follow the teachings of Venerable Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh (a.k.a. “Thay,” meaning “teacher”). The Earth Holder Community is a branch of the Plum Village tree that applies Thay’s core teachings on engaged Buddhism, mindful living, social and racial justice, and inter-being with Mother Earth at this time of ecological crisis.


The Earth Holder Community aspires to weave earth & racial justice into all aspects of our work:


1. We grow an earth-loving community

“The path of brotherhood and sisterhood [and kinship] 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 / Turtle Island, we very much encourage and support the formation of Earth Holder Communities on other continents.



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 Hanh, The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology

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.”


3. We uplift and support the leadership and voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and other marginalized communities


4. 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

In this photo, Earth Holders support youth at the Global Climate Strike in Asheville, NC. A bell rang every minute representing the 11 years humankind has to release fossil fuel dependency. Participants were invited to reflect upon each passing year and how–with love and peace–their immediate actions will help prevent suffering. Photo by Sister Clear Grace

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.






We are the Earth, Walking on Earth

Enjoy the essence of We are the Earth, Walking on Earth–the Spring 2020 Earth Holder Retreat at Deer Park Monastery–in these four Dharma Talks.

Regenerative Action

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 Hien 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