It’s a buzzing time on the land as council carriers from around the globe have convened for the Council Immersion and the International Gathering to share and exchange experiences and wisdom to take back to their home communities. Jack Zimmerman, educator and TOF elder, invited those gathered in an opening circle to reflect on the term ‘inter,’ the root of such words as international, intergenerational, interconnected, and finally the term ‘Interbeing,’ coined by Vietnamese poet, peace activist and Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh.
Thay, as he is known by his students, taught beneath The Ojai Foundation’s Teaching Tree in the late 80s, and as another TOF elder, Marlow Hotchkiss, shared this week, Thay introduced the practice of the Mindfulness Bell to the land. As an interchange for this practice, Thay offered to carry the practice of council to to his monastic community, Plum Village.
Marlow also shared that Thay instilled the importance of intergenerational presence in his retreats and expressed that he would not lead TOF retreats if children were not included. The convergence of ages and cultures these days has truly been a sight to behold and we are grateful for this global community united by the practice of listening and speaking from the heart.
"The insight of Interbeing will help remove discrimination, fear, and the dualistic way of thinking. We inter-are — even suffering and happiness inter-are — and that is why the insight of Interbeing is the foundation of any kind of action that can bring peace and brotherhood, and help remove violence and despair. That insight is present in every great spiritual tradition. We need only to go home to our own tradition, and try to reveal that, to revive that." -Thich Nhat Hanh
There are a few upcoming weekend workshops to experience the age-old practice of council and learn ways to use it enrich all your relationships. Details here.