Towards a Bhikshuni Order in the West

The following article is from the Spring, 1995 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

Dear Friends,

We are a group of twenty-five nuns of Vietnamese, American, and European origin, studying and practicing under the guidance of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. For many years, we have been developing community practice life here in France, and we feel the time is ripe for us to share with others on similar paths our practice and the issues of monastic life for women which have been encountered. For this reason, we would like to invite nuns of various traditions (within Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions) and others (women and men) to come together to practice meditation, look deeply, and discuss about the future of a Bhikshuni Order in the West and how communities of nuns may be able to flourish in the West. Anyone interested in sharing her or his experience and learning from others is invited to attendnuns, monks, laypersons, Buddhists, non:Buddhists.

The retreat/seminar will take place June 25-30,1995, at Plum Village, two hours' drive from Bordeaux in southwestern France. The main language of the gathering will be English, with translation into French, Vietnamese, and whatever other languages are needed (possibly German and Italian). The basis for the retreat/seminar will be the daily practice of Plum Village, and discussions and presentations will be based on each person's own practice experience. Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh will participate in the retreat/seminar. Senior nuns of Plum Village will lead the retreat/ seminar and nuns of various traditions will be invited to address the gathering. For the communal strength of the practice, all participants are required to attend the entire retreat^seminar.

A registration form, sample proposal of issues and questions to address, and a daily schedule is available. Please inform us of issues or questions you would like to see discussed. Please let us hear from you soon, so we can begin to make the necessary arrangements.

We very much look forward to hearing from you. Please state clearly on the envelope Nun's Re-treafseminar.

Yours sincerely,

Sister Jina Chan Dieu Nghiem

Plum Village, Meyrac, F-47120 Loubes-Bernac, France. Tel: (33) 53947540 Fax: (33) 53947590.

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