Sending Love Letters to the White House

A message from LoAn Nguyen:

Dear Friends, Dear OI Members, Dear Dharma Teachers, Dear TNHF Board Members/Staff, Dear Beloved Monastics:

Thank you for sharing the impacts of the Cluster Bomb that is being considered by the U.S. government to supply Ukraine, and thank you for the ways you have called attention to this harm.

I just wrote to the White House. It was a simple process from this link provided by Susan Poulos. It took no time at all. I saved the message for possible resend elsewhere. I got a response and took a screenshot of it to use in my FB post next.

Continue reading “Sending Love Letters to the White House”

Invitation from Couples Sangha for Sunday 1/29

Dear larger bay area sangha,

Sending you loving energy in this time of hurt with recent violence in our collective consciousness. On behalf of couples sangha, we invite partnered practitioners to come practice with us to build a beloved, intergenerational, mixed heritage, LGBQTIA+ friendly sangha here in Northern Cal. 

We meet virtually Sundays from 7-8:30 pm and in person at a practitioner’s home the last Sunday of the month. Inviting you to come check us out if this peaks your curiosity and if you’re looking to practice with your partners.  Please email me to be added to our listserv and to receive weekly zoom links/updates!

Eric and I will be hosting this Sunday 1/29. A note for younger practitioners: Eric and I have been the youngest couple (age wise) in the sangha for several years and are ready to give up that title. 😉 

Please share with your sanghas!

From our in person gathering in December 2022.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 886 5287 3463
Passcode: together

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,88652873463# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,88652873463# US (Houston)

Looking forward to meeting you,

Kim & couples sangha 

Updated Sangha directory / in-person and online Sanghas

I have just posted the latest version of the NorCal sangha directory. Please share this with your sanghas — and with any friends looking for a sangha in the Plum Village tradition!

There are many updates in this version. And for the first time we have an “online only” section on the second page, for Bay Area-based sanghas that practice primarily online (currently: Sugarplum and Morning Birds).

Several people have been asking recently which sanghas in the Bay Area are offering in-person meetings. Here are a few that meet in person at least occasionally:

  • Heart Sangha (Santa Cruz)
  • Majestic Oak Sangha (Redwood City)
  • Buckeye Sangha (Berkeley)
  • Hella Just (Berkeley)
  • Wake Up SF (San Francisco)

There may be others; these are just the ones I’ve heard about in the Bay Area. Details and contact info are in the PDF, of course.

You can always find the latest version of this document online at:

Invitation for the ceremonies to honor Thay Nhat Hanh at the Compassion Meditation Center

Dear Community of Mindful Living in Northern California, 
We hope you all are in good health. 

In order to continue expressing our Gratitude to Thay Nhat Hanh, Thay Tu Luc of the Compassion Meditation Center (Pho Tu Pagoda) would like to invite you to come to the Compassion Meditation Center to practice mindfulness with the hope to bring benefits to all beings. 

Pho Tu Pagoda (Compassion Meditation Center) 
17327 Meekland Ave
Hayward CA 94541 

Dates and Times:

– February 19, 2022, 10:00 am – 11:30 am; ceremony in Vietnamese. 
**This event will include a Tâm Tang (Heart Mourning) pin to give to whoever wants to wear it to remember and honor Thay Nhat Hanh. 

– March 5, 2022, 10:00 am -11:30 am; event in English. 
** (please see above comment) 
Please bring poems and songs in remembrance of Thay Nhat Hanh to share. You can also bring some small objects to temporary place at the Shrine during this morning to remember Thay Nhat Hanh.

– March 13, 2022, 2:00pm – 4:00 pm, 
**(please see above comment)
Celebration of Life Ceremony in bilingual (English and Vietnamese). 
Tentatively this event will be done in the open space behind the pagoda main building. The program could be sitting with leisure within Thay Nhat Hanh; Chanting Avalokiteshvara and Offering from the Buddhist Youth of America and all attendees. 
If you have any big decoration or exhibit to present at this Match 13 Ceremony, please give them to Thay Tu Luc by March 10. More details will be announced later. Please save the dates and attend. 

– Also FYI our dear practitioner Khoe Bach in Sacramento is making a book of memoirs to remember Thay Nhat Hanh at the 100th day after Thay’s passing; if you have some writings that you want to contribute, please send them to Thay Tu Luc at the address listed above. 

– If any sangha wants some Tâm Tang (Heart Mourning) pins for their sangha members to wear in honoring Thay Nhat Hanh, please email to Thay Tu Luc at with your return address and the desired quantity of pins.

Thank you in advance for your love and practice. 
Hope to see you at these events. 

Memorial Ceremony for Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

Dear community, please see below for an invitation from Thich Tu Luc at the Compassion Meditation Center in Hayward.

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha
Dear Respected Hi-Venerables
Dear dharma friends and all sanghas
Dear Buddhist Youth leaders and members

In order to show our deep gratitude to Su Ong Nhat Hanh who had great love and grand merit in many years to teach meditation and translate the grand sutras, the Compassion Meditation Center, working with the Vietnamese and American Sanghas in our area, would like to offer ceremonies to remember Su Ong at the Compassion Meditation Center, 17327 Meekland Avenue, Hayward, CA 94541:

Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 10:00 am for English-speaking community.

Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 11:00 am, (right after the weekly online Google Meet program at 9:30 am of “Xa Mặt Nhưng Chẳng Cách Lòng” – “Our hearts are together even though we are apart”)

Respectfully following the teaching in the Will of Su Ong, we would like to ask sanghas to follow the three vows below:

  • Diligently practice mindful living in daily life to manifest peaceful and awakening life.
  • Earnestly nourish brotherhood and sisterhood in monasteries and sanghas to show your gratitude in following the Plum Village practice and tradition.
  • Last but not least, sincerely contribute financially to TNH foundation (with memo: Monasteries to support the three monasteries that Su Ong established in the United States; or memo: Memorial Donation to support the activities of Su Ong’s memorial services)

In addition, we will have a bilingual (Vietnamese and English) ceremony on Thursday night, January 27, 2022 at 7:00 pm “Lighting the Candle Prayer Night”

All ceremonies will be livestreamed via FaceBook of the Compassion Meditation Center (Pho Tu).

When you come to the Compassion Meditation Center, please happily be mindful to protect each other‘s health by following the guidelines of the Health Department on vaccination, wearing masks and keeping distancing.

Please see the attached PDF for the full invitation from Thay Tu Luc. 

Thay’s Transition – Opportunities to Practice Together

From Plum Village:

With a deep mindful breath, we announce the passing of our beloved teacher, Thay Nhat Hanh, at 00:00hrs on January 22, 2022 at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, at the age of 95.

Now is a moment to come back to our mindful breathing and walking, to generate the energy of peace, compassion, and gratitude to offer our beloved Teacher. It is a moment to take refuge in our spiritual friends, our local sanghas and community, and each other.

We invite you to join our global community online, as we commemorate Thay’s life and legacy with five days of practice and ceremonies broadcast LIVE from Hue, Vietnam and Plum Village, France, starting on Saturday January 22nd.

More information and livestream links:

We invite you to share your messages of gratitude or personal transformation and healing on our website:

You may want to sign up for email updates here: (this is “The Raft” newsletter from the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation)

Read the full post.

Ceremonies for Thay

Ceremony for Laying Thay’s Body in the Casket

Please follow your breathing as high monks and Thay’s senior disciples accompany Thay’s body to the Full Moon Meditation Hall at Từ Hiếu Temple, in Huế. This short ceremony will be in Vietnamese.

This ceremony will begin at 8AM on January 23 in Vietnam (2AM CEST; 5PM on January 22 PST).

More information and livestream link:

Deer Park Monastery offered a ceremony on Friday evening. Here is a recording of it. There is currently a livestream of an altar honoring Thay at Deer Park. They may also be offering additional livestreamed events, in Pacific time zone. Check their website for more information.

Here are some local practice opportunities for the Norcal community:


The Heart Sangha in Santa Cruz will gather Saturday morning at 9:30 for outdoor walking meditation and a sharing circle to honor Thay’s life and continuation. All are welcome.

Saturday, January 22nd
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Mission Plaza Park, 103 Emmett St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

You may like to bring flowers or mementos to place on the altar.

Please bring a chair, blanket, or cushion and warm layers of clothing. OI members are respectfully asked to wear their brown jackets.

Nathaniel, Liz, Bodhi, and Amias will be hosting a short gathering of walking meditation and ceremony of 108 bells to honor the passing our beloved teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, today, Saturday 1/22, in the Ragle Park Peace Garden, Sebastopol (500 Ragle rd, Sebastopol) from 3-4pm.  

Please wear shoes that are conducive to walking on dirt paths and grass.  Please also bring a mask to wear, as I am not sure how many will join on short notice.  Children are welcome, of course.  Please feel free to share with friends that may like to join.


San Mateo Sangha will be meeting in person outdoors for sitting and walking meditation, and dharma sharing, at Central Park in San Mateo (near the flagpole), 8:30am Sunday.

Potluck Sangha is meeting via Zoom, 9:30-11:30am Sunday. For Zoom information, contact Caleb,

Flowing Waters Sangha is meeting via Zoom, 9:30-noon Sunday.

Wake Up SF is meeting in person outdoors at Precita Park, San Francisco, 11am-1pm Sunday. We’d like to invite you with open arms and hearts to our beloved Wake Up SF community in-person this Sunday (1/23) at 11am – 1pm to honor and celebrate the life of our dear root teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. We will meet at Precita Park in San Francisco for stationary meditation, walking meditation, and sharing about Thay’s impact on our lives.

There will be an altar with flowers and offerings for our teacher. Please feel welcome to bring something to add if you’d like.

After our formal practice, we will have an opportunity for lunch together. Please bring lunch or you can purchase one at a nearby cafe.

SF Sangha will host Outdoor Walking Meditation in Thay’s honor on Sunday @ 3pm.  Would love to practice together with all for whom it would be beneficial.  Meet at the Coleridge Mini Park in Mission/Bernal. Walking starts at 3:15 pm, up the stairs to the summit of Bernal Hill. Maybe walk the Labyrinth together at the top.

At 5pm, or so, we will be graced by the setting sun. What an apt way to honor Thay.

We’ll close with a standing circle of sharing our hearts and reflections on Thay and his transition, his life, and his continuation in us.

Peaceful Heart Sangha will have a Ceremony to honor Thầy’s transition, on Zoom, Sunday 3pm-4:30pm. We hope you stay peaceful with your compassionate heart in loving memories of Thầy. Please invite friends as you wish. 

Here is the PHS Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 811 0280 2509 Password: connection 

Family Sangha (Sally and Beem Wilder): You are  welcome to join us at our Sunday Night “Family Sangha”, starting at 7:00 pm PT on Zoom. Maybe you would like to share your own experience from reading his books, watching one of his videos, listening to his talks, or seeing him in person. This will be a time to meditate, experience the true meaning of Sangha, community, which holds us together in our grief and gratitude.
If you would like to include others to join in this memorial, please feel free to share this email and zoom link. 
Here is the link to the Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 854 4384 7704
Passcode: 594043


photo of bare feet walking on the ground and flowing robes, with the words "Walk as if you were kissing the earth with your feet" - Thich Nhat Hanh

Gathas and Teachings for Peace in Troubled Times

When we walk with a lot of tenderness

and happiness on this beautiful planet,

we are living peace.” 

—Thich Nhat Hanh


Dear Friends,

Please join us for a Peacemakers’ Tea Ceremony.

This ceremony is an opportunity for us to come together as a sangha, to hear gathas whose aim is to support our practice of peace—both inner and outer, and to be nourished by our shared practice.

Date: October 10, 2021

Time: 7:00-8:30 PM

Place: On zoom. Please see zoom link below:

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 878 7815 4041

Passcode: 121348


Please RSVP:


Coordinating Committee: Jim Scott-Behrends, Lennis Lyon, dana lee mcfadden & zachiah murray


With the darkness of night sky holding the presence of the full moon and a bow of gratitude,


A Call In to Service

Dearest Sangha,

It is with much sadness that I am leaving the Bay Area after over 10 years and 4 years organizing Wake Up SF. Sometimes, you have to make tough decisions that put your health first. 

As a parting offering though, I am bringing forth a “Call In” (the opposite of the Call Outs we have so many of these days!) to service for the sangha. 

Practitioners new and old are needed to keep the practice fresh for the entire four-fold sangha. Whether lay, OI, Dharmachaya or monastic, we can take the time to recommit to our community, to join hands in the spirit of Thay and realize his vision of the Sangha as a Buddha (or was it the Buddha as a Sangha?). 

The strength of the Bay Area sangha has been a joy to witness – the largest Road Retreat on the tour! – a community in the midst of flowering. 

A few things really stuck with me over the retreat. After experiencing the peace and ease we felt in the urban forest, one person asked, “Is this always available?” Another retreatant expressed how lonely she felt on the path. 

These two sufferings are not unrelated. It is much easier to experience the joy of the practice with kalyana-mitta, spiritual friends. Noble friends allow us to give and take refuge at any time. Together, we can create the space for True Peace, True Love and Social Justice in ourselves and in the world around us. 

It is just like sitting back-to-back with a friend while enjoying the sunshine and listening to a cool breeze between the trees, much easier for both to be in the present when each has someone to lean on. (If you have back pain, you know what I’m talking about.)

If you weren’t at the retreat in Oakland this weekend, I’d ask that you take the time to listen to Dylan’s speech at the Closing Ceremony. If the recording is poor, it is only because my hands were resonating too much with what he had to say while holding the phone. 🙂

When you sit on your cushion next, please look inside for that bodhichitta, that small voice that calls you to service. I know it is there, if only you would listen. Even if you think you have nothing to offer, be assured that your stable presence and kind words can be more than enough to nurture someone else’s bodhichitta. Over time you can grow that warmth and expand it, until the refuge it creates encompasses you and the sangha. And, if your experience is anything like mine, when the storm comes, the sangha will also be there to provide refuge for you.

As Dylan, Elm, Gary, Steve, Sophie and many others continue the work of sangha-building here in the Bay Area, I know that they will need your help. Young flowers are as fragile as they are fragrant. The sangha needs you now. Will you answer the call?

May You Be Free,

Compassionate Refuge of the Heart