Our friend, Jean-Luc, recounts his experience with Plum Village and explains the reason behind his generous donation to us.

“After two periods of burnout, the second of which being particularly debilitating, I discovered the practice of mindfulness during an MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) course. I really benefited from this course and my teacher strongly recommended that I attend a retreat at Plum Village where he was a regular practitioner. I came to Upper Hamlet for the first time in July 2016 and I was so moved that I decided to come back for a second retreat in December 2016. After these two retreats, I managed to keep up a daily meditation practice at home. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life: I have managed to free myself from all my addictions including alcohol, cigarettes, stimulants, sex and drugs.  I feel so happy today to have helped revive Plum Village’s Carcassonne’s Sangha.

I have always had a strong desire to help others and was initially interested in developing countries to see how I could find an effective way to help to most vulnerable. I recalled to myself a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh who said in order to have more peace in the world, one must first start to find peace with oneself. At that moment, I realised it would be better to help an engaged community like Plum Village who have the ability to touch millions of people and sow the seeds of mindfulness throughout the world. This motivated me to help the monastic community buy the new Healing Spring Monastery so that more people will have the opportunity to overcome their sufferings and find peace.

Today, I experience a lot more joy and peace in my daily life. I also have more compassion for others and myself. My perspective on life has changed through practicing mindfulness at Plum Village.”