Dharma Talk by Sister True Vow

posted May 28, 2020, 7:31 AM by Willow Branch   [ updated May 28, 2020, 7:32 AM ]

During our weekly virtual Sangha sitting on 5/17/2020, we had the honor of having Sister True Vow from Blue Cliff Monastery provide a discussion on handling of difficult times with equanimity.  Please see the link below for a recording of the talk by Sister True Vow.

We will add other Dharma talks as available.

In the Footsteps of Thich Nhat Hanh

posted Mar 22, 2020, 4:11 PM by Willow Branch

Dear Friends,

Lion’s Roar Magazine and the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation present a very special free 5-day online summit from March 25-29, 2020. In the Footsteps of Thich Nhat Hanh offers a rare chance to learn directly from the heart and home of our Plum Village tradition, with intimate guidance from Dharma teachers who have dedicated their lives to cultivating and sharing Thay’s tradition of mindfulness, community, and peace.

Register for free and join nine of our Plum Village teachers for:

  • 5 days of empowering insights 
  • 14 inspirational talks
  • 28 new guided meditations, exercises, and reflections
  • Select video teachings by Thay from the Plum Village archive

This first-of-its-kind online event is for anyone who wants to learn more or dive deeper into the inspirational teachings of Thay and our Plum Village tradition.

Over the 5-day summit you will learn to:

  • Practice simple ways to take care of your mind
  • Live in the present moment with mindfulness
  • Discover the true meaning of happiness 
  • Develop peace in yourself and in the world
  • Transform your suffering into understanding and compassion
  • Cultivate seeds of wisdom and skillful behavior in your life and in relationships

Thay and his students teach that living with peace and compassion is a sure path to true happiness. In this transformational event, you’ll explore how to bring this dream to life in your own heart, for the happiness and benefit of all.

With deep bows of gratitude,
Deer Park Monastery Registration Office

Willow Branch Sangha to Host Virtual Sittings

posted Mar 20, 2020, 5:24 PM by Willow Branch   [ updated Mar 29, 2020, 2:46 PM ]

Due to the Coronavirus, Willow Branch Sangha will be hosting our next 7 weekly sessions as virtual sittings.  

Starting this Sunday, March 22, and continuing for the next 7 Sundays until May 3, Willow Branch will host a 1-hour ZOOM virtual sitting practice from 6 to 7.  All are welcome.  

Our first program and the ZOOM invitation to attend the session on Sunday, and for the following 6 Sundays, is below.

1.  Welcome - Bell Host
2.  Opening Verse - Chanted by Rebecca
3.  The Heart Sutra - Chanted by Sr. True Vow
4.  A Brief Reading - Selected by the Bell Host
5.  20 Minutes of Sitting Meditation
6.  Dharma Sharing
7.  Closing Song: "Happiness is Here and Now" Chanted by Rebecca and sung silently by all!

Join Zoom Meeting
to receive an invite to our Zoom meeting, please provide us a message through the website.

You may join with computer or phone audio  

Topic: Willow Branch Sangha Weekly Sitting
Time: Mar 22, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
        Every week on Sun, until May 3, 2020, 7 occurrence(s)
        Mar 22, 2020 06:00 PM
        Mar 29, 2020 06:00 PM
        Apr 5, 2020 06:00 PM
        Apr 12, 2020 06:00 PM
        Apr 19, 2020 06:00 PM
        Apr 26, 2020 06:00 PM
        May 3, 2020 06:00 PM

Blue Cliff Monastery's Schedule of Events

posted Jul 1, 2016, 12:59 PM by Willow Branch   [ updated Sep 11, 2019, 5:28 PM ]

For a schedule of events taking place at Blue Cliff Monastery:

New Documentary on Thay and Plum Village

posted Jul 1, 2016, 12:55 PM by Willow Branch

Thanks to kind volunteers in the Philippines and the UK, we now have a beautiful four-part documentary about Thay and Plum Village,

Thich Nhat Hanh's Biography

posted Nov 16, 2014, 6:40 PM by Willow Branch   [ updated Mar 6, 2017, 5:08 PM ]

To learn more about our teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, please see his biography at:

New Heart Sutra Translation

posted Sep 14, 2014, 6:20 AM by Willow Branch

On 11th September Thay completed a profound and beautiful new English translation of the Heart Sutra, one of the most important sutras in Mahayana Buddhism.

This new English translation is based on the new Vietnamese translation that Thay made three weeks ago at the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Germany.

This new translation will now be used in all Plum Village chanting sessions and ceremonies, and it will appear in the next edition of the Plum Village Chanting Book. The chant is being set to music and will be available soon.  

To see the link below for new translation and Thay's explanation of why he made the new translation.

New Contemplations Before Eating

posted Feb 9, 2014, 3:32 PM by Willow Branch

Thay has just announced a new version of the Five Contemplations before Eating, after receiving a letter from scientists recommending replacing “global warming” with the more appropriate term “climate change.”

This change is a chance for us all to reflect deeply on what we buy and what we eat. What we buy and eat can contribute to climate change, or it can help stop it. Eating is a chance to nourish our own body with the wonders of the cosmos, knowing that we are not destroying the earth by doing so.  The new contemplations are:

New Contemplations before eating:
This food is a gift of the earth, the sky, numerous living beings, and much hard and loving work.
May we eat with mindfulness and gratitude so as to be worthy to receive this food.
May we recognize and transform unwholesome mental formations, especially our greed and learn to eat with moderation.
May we keep our compassion alive by eating in such a way that reduces the suffering of living beings, stops contributing to climate change, and heals and preserves our precious planet.

We accept this food so that we may nurture our brotherhood and sisterhood, build our Sangha, and nourish our ideal of serving all living beings.

Go to for the full story: 

Area Mindfulness Training Programs

posted Jan 4, 2014, 5:33 PM by Willow Branch   [ updated Jul 1, 2016, 1:04 PM ]

The following are two of Philadelphia's non-denominational programs for mindfulness training:

Revised Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings

posted Mar 23, 2012, 11:05 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 13, 2013, 6:23 PM ]

The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings were revised and presented by Thay for the Great Ordination Ceremony in February 2012 at Plum Village.  Visit the "Our Practice" page for the link to the revised recitation ceremony write-up.

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