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Please click on the Blog Archive entries below to find out more about our organization, the Unified Buddhist Church.


Weekend Retreat Friday October 14 – Sunday October 16 2011

2011 Health and Happiness Retreat

The Sisters of Nhap Luu, with two of their monastic Dharma Teacher Brothers from Plum Village in France conducted a retreat designed to revitalise the body and mind. In addition to the traditional daily mindfulness meditation practice, the retreat incorporated Tai-Chi, Qi-Gong, as well as a simple nutritious diet to bring freshness and calm to body and mind.
The Brothers who led the retreat in 2011:
Brother Phap Lu, Dharma Teacher at Plum Village in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a former Medical Acupuncturist, graduated from Poitier Medical School, France. 
Brother Phap Lieu, Dharma Teacher at Plum Village in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a former Cardiologist, graduated from Montpelliers and


Spring Retreat - Current Daily Schedule

Posted  Tuesday 20 September

Lazy Day all day until 4.30 Begining Anew Ceremony

5.30   Bhikkhunis Precepts Recitation plus Sitting and Chanting
7.00   Exercise
8.00   Breakfast
9.15   Precepts Study
12.00 Lunch
15.00 Walking Meditation
16.30 Sitting and Chanting
18.00 Dinner
19.30 Personal Practice
21.30 Noble Silence until 8.30 next morning

5.30   Sitting and Chanting
7.00   Exercise
8.00   Breakfast
9.15   Working Meditation
12.00 Lunch
15.00 Walking Meditation
16.30 Sitting and Touching the Earth
18.00 Dinner
19.30 Personal Practice
21.30 Noble Silence until 8.30 next morning

5.30   Sitting and Chanting
7.00   Exercise
8.00   Breakfast
9.30   Walking Meditation
10.30 Dharma Talk
12.00 Lunch
15.00 Personal Practice
18.00 Dinner
19.30 Personal Practice
21.30 Noble Silence until 8.30 next morning

5.30   Optional Sitting
8.00   Breakfast
9.15   Working Meditation
12.00 Lunch
15.00 Walking Meditation
16.30 Sitting and Touching the Earth
18.00 Dinner
19.30 Personal Practice
21.30 Noble Silence until 8.30 next morning

5.30   Sitting and Chanting
7.00   Exercise
8.00   Breakfast
9.15   Working Meditation
12.00 Lunch
15.00 Walking Meditation
16.30 Sitting and Chanting
18.00 Dinner
19.30 Personal Practice
21.30 Noble Silence until 8.30 next morning

5.30   Sitting and Chanting
7.00   Exercise
8.00   Breakfast
9.30   Walking Meditation
10.30 Dharma Talk or 14 Mindfulness Trainings Recitation Ceremony on 1st Sunday and 5 MT Ceremony on the  3rd  Sunday
12.00 Lunch
14.30 Dharma discussion / Total relaxation session.
18.00 Dinner
19.30 Personal Practice
21.30 Noble Silence until 8.30 next morning

For further information contact the Sisters on 0431470172  or nhapluu@gmail.com

How To Arrange A Visit

We welcome all people from any ethnic background and from any faith and no-one is ever asked to renounce their religious traditions.

Every day.  See the daily schedule posting on this blog
We live by a daily Monastery schedule which begins with morning meditation at 5.30 am (6pm in Winter) and includes, silent meals, walking meditation, working meditation, dharma talks and sharing.
On Sundays we hold our Days of Mindfulness to listen to either a live teaching by the Dharma teachers or listen to a teaching of Thay from Plum Village.  The day starts around 9:00 am.  Other activities include walking meditation, formal lunch together with the community, and a discussion of the practice in the afternoon.  Sometimes there might be other activities arranged for the afternoon. The day usually ends around 4-5 pm.  Day guests are very welcome to attend.  Lunch is provided for everyone, so please let us know if you plan to come. 
Our accommodation is very basic and it is best if you call us well before you arrive to make arrangements
There are no fees to visit and stay at Nhap Luu.  Simply come as you are and participate as you can. Donations, or dana, are always welcome but never required.

How To Get To Nhap Luu

At the traffic lights in Beaufort, turn north from the West Highway on the Lexton Road. Follow it for 5.2 kilometres and then turn left into Maria’s Lane (Squatters Road on Google Maps). Follow Maria’s lane 2.3 kms until you see the Nhap Luu sign on the left. Enter through the gate and follow the driveway to the car park.
.There are regular train and bus services to Beaufort from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne.
See the time table http://www.vline.com.au/pdf/timetables/ararat.pdf/ararat
There is also a direct bus from Southern Cross to Melbourne Airport

About Our Teacher Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay)

One of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, poet, and peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh (called Thây by his students) has led an extraordinary life. Born in central Vietnam in 1926 he joined the monkshood at the age of sixteen. The Vietnam War confronted the monasteries with the question of whether to adhere to the contemplative life and remain meditating in the monasteries, or to help the villagers suffering under bombings and other devastation of the war. Nhat Hanh was one of those who chose to do both, helping to found the "engaged Buddhism" movement. His life has since been dedicated to the work of inner transformation for the benefit of individuals and society.

In Saigon in the early 60s, Thich Nhat Hanh founded the School of Youth Social Service, a grass-roots relief organization that rebuilt bombed villages, set up schools and medical centers, resettled homeless families, and organized agricultural cooperatives. Rallying some 10,000 student volunteers, the SYSS based its work on the Buddhist principles of non-violence and compassionate action. Despite government denunciation of his activity, Nhat Hanh also founded a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and an influential peace activist magazine in Vietnam.

After visiting the U.S. and Europe in 1966 on a peace mission, he was banned from returning to Vietnam in 1966. On subsequent travels to the U.S., he made the case for peace to federal and Pentagon officials including Robert McNamara. He may have changed the course of U.S. history when he persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to oppose the Vietnam War publicly, and so helped to galvanize the peace movement. The following year, King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Subsequently, Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

In 1982 he founded Plum Village, a Buddhist community in exile in France, where he continues his work to alleviate suffering of refugees, boat people, political prisoners, and hungry families in Vietnam and throughout the Third World. He has also received recognition for his work with Vietnam veterans, meditation retreats, and his prolific writings on meditation, mindfulness, and peace. He has published some 85 titles of accessible poems, prose, and prayers, with more than 40 in English, including the best selling Call Me by My True Names, Peace Is Every Step, Being Peace, Touching Peace, Living Buddha Living Christ, Teachings on Love, The Path of Emancipation, and Anger. In September 2001, just a few days after the suicide terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, he addressed the issues of non-violence and forgiveness in a memorable speech at Riverside Church in New York City. In September of 2003 he addressed members of the US Congress, leading them through a two-day retreat.

Thich Nhat Hanh continues to live in Plum Village in the meditation community he founded, where he teaches, writes, and gardens; and he leads retreats worldwide on "the art of mindful living."


Thich Nhat Hanh's key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live in the present moment instead of in the past and in the future. Dwelling in the present moment is, according to Nhat Hanh, the only way to truly develop peace, both in one's self and in the world.

Writing to Thich Nhat Hanh

If you'd like to write a letter to Thich Nhat Hanh, you can mail it to one of his addresses in Plum Village or send your letter to
pvlistening@plumvill.net This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we will forward your letter to Thich Nhat Hanh.

How do you pronounce Thich Nhat Hanh?

The English pronunciation is: Tik · N'yat · Hawn

However since Vietnamese is a tonal language, this is only a close approximation for how one would pronounce it in Vietnamese. (His name is sometimes misspelled as Thich Nhat Hahn, Thich Nhat Han, and Thich Nat Han.)

By his students he is affectionately known as Thay (pronounced "Tay" or "Tie"), which is Vietnamese for "teacher."

What Is Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. 

It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. 

To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. We bring our body and mind into harmony while we wash the dishes, drive the car or take our morning shower.

Here at Nhap Luu , we do very much the same things as when we are at home- walking, sitting, working, eating, etc.- except now we learn to do them with mindfulness, with an awareness that we are doing it. 

We practice mindfulness throughout every moment of the day and not just in the meditation hall, but also in the kitchen, the toilet, in our rooms and on the path leading from one place to another.

In practicing together as a Sangha, as a community, our practice of mindfulness becomes more joyful, relaxed and steady. We are bells of mindfulness for each other, supporting and reminding each other along the path of practice. 

With the support of the community, we can practice to cultivate peace and joy within and around us, as a gift for all of those whom we love and care for. We can cultivate our solidity and freedom - solid in our deepest aspiration and free from our fears, misunderstandings and our suffering.

Dear friends, let us try to be intelligent and skillful in our practice, approaching every aspect of the practice with curiosity and a sense of search. Let us practice with understanding and not just for the form and appearance. Enjoy your practice here with a relaxed and gentle attitude, with an open mind and receptive heart. 

The Mindfulness Trainings

The Five Mindfulness Trainings
The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair. If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.

Reverence For Life
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

True Happiness
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming.

True Love
Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.

Loving Speech and Deep Listening
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

Nourishment and Healing
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.

The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings

The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings are the foundation for the core membership of the Order and can be taken by our monastic and lay community. They are the guiding mean for our engagement with the world and the growth of the sangha body

The First Mindfulness Training :
Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, I am determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist teachings are guiding means to help me learn to look deeply and to develop my understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill or die for. 

The Second Mindfulness Training:
Non-attachment to Views
Aware of suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, I am determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. I will learn and practise non-attachment from views in order to be open to others’ insights and experiences. I am aware that the knowledge I presently possess is not changeless, absolute truth. Truth is found in life and I will observe life within and around me in every moment, ready to learn throughout my life. 

The Third Mindfulness Training :
Freedom of Thought
Aware of the suffering brought about when I impose my views on others, I am committed not to force others, even my children, by any means whatsoever – such as authority, threat, money, propaganda or indoctrination – to adopt my views. I will respect the right of others to be different and to choose what to believe and how to decide. I will, however, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness through compassionate dialogue. 

The Fourth Mindfulness Training:
Awareness of Suffering
Aware that looking deeply at the nature of suffering can help me develop compassion and find ways out of suffering, I am determined not to avoid or close my eyes before suffering. I am committed to finding ways, including personal contact, images and sounds, to be with those who suffer, so I can understand their situation deeply and help them transform their suffering into compassion, peace and joy. 

The Fifth Mindfulness Training:
Simple, Healthy Living

Aware that true happiness is rooted in peace, solidity, freedom and compassion, and not in wealth or fame, I am determined not to take as the aim of my life fame, profit, wealth or sensual pleasure, nor to accumulate wealth while millions are hungry and dying. I am committed to living simply and sharing my time, energy and material resources with those in real need. I will practise mindful consuming, not using alcohol, drugs or any other products that bring toxins into my own and the collective body and consciousness. 

The Sixth Mindfulness Training:
Dealing with Anger
Aware that anger blocks communication and creates suffering, I am determined to take care of the energy of anger when it arises and to recognise and transform the seeds of anger that lie deep in my consciousness. When anger comes up, I am determined not to do or say anything, but to practise mindful breathing or mindful walking and acknowledge, embrace and look deeply into my anger. I will learn to look with the eyes of compassion on those I think are the cause of my anger. 

The Seventh Mindfulness Training:
Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment
Aware that life is available only in the present moment and that it is possible to live happily in the here and now, I am committed to training myself to live deeply each moment of daily life. I will try not to lose myself in dispersion or be carried away by regrets about the past, worries about the future, or craving, anger or jealousy in the present. I will practise mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. I am determined to learn the art of mindful living by touching the wondrous, refreshing and healing elements that are inside and around me, and by nourishing seeds of joy, peace, love and understanding in myself, thus facilitating the work of transformation and healing in my consciousness. 

The Eighth Mindfulness Training:
Community and Communication
Aware that lack of communication always brings separation and suffering, I am committed to training myself in the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech. I will learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting and refrain from uttering words that can create discord or cause the community to break. I will make every effort to keep communications open and to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small. 

The Ninth Mindfulness Training:
Truthful and Loving Speech
Aware that words can create suffering or happiness, I am committed to learning to speak truthfully and constructively, using only words that inspire hope and confidence. I am determined not to say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people, nor to utter words that might cause division or hatred. I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain nor criticise or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will do my best to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten my safety. 

The Tenth Mindfulness Training:
Protecting the Sangha
Aware that the essence and aim of a Sangha is the practise of understanding and compassion, I am determined not to use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit or transform our community into a political instrument. A spiritual community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and injustice and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts. 

The Eleventh Mindfulness Training:
Right Livelihood
Aware that great violence and injustice have been done to the environment and society, I am committed not to live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. I will do my best to select a livelihood that helps realise my ideal of understanding and compassion. Aware of global economic, political and social realities, I will behave responsibly as a consumer and as a citizen, not investing in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. 

The Twelfth Mindfulness Training:
Reverence for Life
Aware that much suffering is caused by war and conflict, I am determined to cultivate non-violence, understanding and compassion in my daily life, to promote peace education, mindful mediation and reconciliation, within families, communities, nations and in the world. I am determined not to kill and not to let others kill. I will diligently practice deep looking with my Sangha to discover better ways to protect life and prevent war. 

The Thirteenth Mindfulness Training:
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing and oppression, I am committed to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants and minerals. I will practice generosity by sharing my time, energy and material resources with those who are in need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but will try to prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other beings. 

The Fourteenth Mindfulness Training: Right Conduct (for lay members)
Aware that sexual relations motivated by craving cannot dissipate the feeling of loneliness, but will create more suffering, frustration and isolation, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without mutual understanding, love and a long-term commitment. In sexual relations, I must be aware of future suffering that may be caused. I know that to preserve the happiness of myself and others, I must respect the rights and commitments of myself and others. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to protect couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. I will treat my body with respect and preserve my vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of my bodhisattva ideal. I will be fully aware of the responsibility for bringing new lives in the world, and will meditate on the world into which we are bringing new beings. 

Our Order

Photo courtesy of Order of Interbeing member Cilla Brady

The Order of Interbeing was formed by Thich Nhat Hanh and his associates in the mid-1960s at a time when the Vietnam War was escalating and the teachings of the Buddha were desperately needed to combat the hatred, violence, and divisiveness enveloping his country. 

From its inception and into the present, the Order has been comprised of all four membership categories of the original Buddhist community: monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.

One meaning of the word tiep is "being in touch with." What are we to be in touch with? The answer is reality, the reality of the world and the reality of the mind.

To be in touch with the mind means to be aware of the processes of our inner life-feelings, perceptions, mental formations-and also to rediscover our true mind, which is the wellspring of understanding and compassion. . . To be in touch with the reality of the world means to be in touch with everything that is around us in the animal, vegetable, and mineral realms.

If we want to be in touch, we have to get out of our shell and look clearly and deeply at the wonders of life-the snowflakes, the moonlight, the songs of the birds, the beautiful flowers-and also the suffering-hunger, disease, torture, and oppression. 

Overflowing with understanding and compassion, we can appreciate the wonders of life, and at the same time, act with the firm resolve to alleviate the suffering.

One meaning of the word hien is to realize or realization. Hien means not to dwell or be caught in the world of doctrines and ideas, but to bring and express our insights into real life. First of all, realization means transforming ourselves. 

If we wish to share calmness and serenity, we should first realize these qualities within ourselves. 

Working to help people who are hungry or sick means to be peaceful and loving during that work. Hien means making it real here and now.

Thay's Dharma Talks Online and Live