Practice Guides

Mindfulness Practice Pages on Plum Village.org

A number of mindfulness practices are explained on the plum village.org website.

Gathas

These are short practice poems which we can learn and recite to help us to practise mindfulness throughout the day.

Many are provided on this page.

The gathas and commentaries are also featured in the book, Present Moment, Wonderful Moment.

The Sutra on the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore (New Heart Sutra)

On 11th September 2014 Thay completed a profound and beautiful new English translation of the Heart Sutra, one of the most important sutras in Mahayana Buddhism.

A print-friendly one-page pdf of the new English translation

The sheet music of the new English translation The sheet music of the new English translation

A recording of the new translation

Thay’s explanation of why he made the new translation(pdf)

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 Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore

Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five Skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realisation
he overcame all Ill-being.

“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is Emptiness
and Emptiness itself is this Body.
This Body is not other than Emptiness
and Emptiness is not other than this Body.
The same is true of Feelings,
Perceptions, Mental Formations,
and Consciousness.

“Listen Sariputra,
all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;
their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death,
no Being no Non-being,
no Defilement no Purity,
no Increasing no Decreasing.

“That is why in Emptiness,
Body, Feelings, Perceptions,
Mental Formations and Consciousness
are not separate self entities.

The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena
which are the six Sense Organs,
the six Sense Objects,
and the six Consciousnesses
are also not separate self entities.

The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
and their Extinction
are also not separate self entities.
Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
the End of Ill-being, the Path,
insight and attainment,
are also not separate self entities.

Whoever can see this
no longer needs anything to attain.

Bodhisattvas who practice
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
see no more obstacles in their mind,
and because there
are no more obstacles in their mind,
they can overcome all fear,
destroy all wrong perceptions
and realize Perfect Nirvana.

“All Buddhas in the past, present and future
by practicing
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
are all capable of attaining
Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.

“Therefore Sariputra,
it should be known that
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
is a Great Mantra,
the most illuminating mantra,
the highest mantra,
a mantra beyond compare,
the True Wisdom that has the power
to put an end to all kinds of suffering.
Therefore let us proclaim
a mantra to praise
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!”

 “The Insight that Brings us to the Other Shore” translation by Thich Nhat Hanh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Five Mindfulness Trainings Booklet

Steve Sant has produced a Five Mindfulness Trainings booklet in PDF format that you can download and print on two sides of a sheet of A4 to make an A5 booklet. For best results, download the PDF file and then print.

For Meetings

Meditation before a Sangha Meeting

Dear Lord Buddha and teachers over many generations:
We vow to go through this meeting in a spirit of togetherness as we review all ideas and consolidate them to reach a harmonious understanding or consensus. We vow to use the methods of loving speech and deep listening in order to bring about the success of this meeting as an offering to the Three Jewels.

We vow not to hesitate to share our ideas and insights but also vow not to say anything when the feeling of irritation is present in us. We are resolutely determined not to allow tension to build up in this meeting. If any one of us senses the start of tension, we will stop immediately and practice Beginning Anew right away so as to re-establish an atmosphere of togetherness and harmony.
Pre-meeting contemplation

Alternative Contemplation

When I look at you, I see you as a flowing stream and not a separate self to reproach or to praise. Looking into you, I see your ancestors, your lineage, your parents, our homeland, your culture, the things that are great and beautiful, and the things that are not yet great and beautiful. You are a wonderful manifestation, a flower in the garden of humanity. I am aware of your presence and I cherish your presence. I also hope that you see me as a flowing stream, and not a separate self to reproach, to criticize or to praise. We are brothers and sisters of each other in this Sangha. Therefore, I have you in me and you have me in you. We must support and encourage each other to cultivate further the things that are great and beautiful in us, and to transform those that are not yet so great and beautiful. If I said something to help you transform, it is not a reproach but it is my hope for you. Looking into me, you also see the things that are unskillful and imperfect, and if you said something to me, it is not a criticism or a reproach, but it is only a hope for me to transform. When you transform, I can be happier, and when I transform, you can be happier. We support one another on the path of practice. We need each other. I deeply cherish your presence in our community.
With grateful thanks to Teri West who sourced this contemplation.

The Third Earth Touching – Land Ancestors

The Five Earth Touchings give us a chance to connect with our blood, spiritual and land ancestors.

This version of the Third Earth Touching has been adapted for the UK by Murray Corke and Paul Rees.

I see that I am whole, protected, and nourished by this land and all of the living beings who have been here and made life easy and possible for me through all their efforts. I see Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Fry, William Wilberforce, Emmeline Pankhurst, Alexander Fleming and all the others known and unknown who have struggled so that we could live better lives. Should your own ancestral origin be different from that as implied here, please bring to mind names of inspiring figures that may be more meaningful to you. I see all those who have made this country a refuge, for people of so many origins and colours, by their talent, perseverance and love – those who have worked hard to build schools, hospitals, bridges, and roads, to protect human rights, to develop science and technology, and to fight for freedom and social justice.
I see myself touching my far ancestors of Celtic origin who have lived on this land for such a long time and have known the ways to live in peace and harmony with nature, protecting the mountains, forests, animals, vegetation, and minerals of this land. I see my other ancestors of Norse, Germanic, and French origin that introduced such diversity into our land. I feel the energy of this land penetrating my body and soul supporting and accepting me. I vow to cultivate and maintain this energy and transmit it to future generations. I vow to contribute my part in transforming the violence, hatred, and delusion that still lie deep in the collective consciousness of this society so that future generations will have more safety, joy, and peace. I ask this land for its protection and support.

Murray Corke – True Great Practice
Paul Rees – True Essential Insight
November 2012

Learn Mindfulness

Get a grounding in mindfulness with our introductory courses and retreats

Practice with a group

Integrate mindfulness into your life with the help of a supportive community

Immerse yourself

Experience the transformative impact of practising the art of mindful living on a retreat