|Founder(s)||Thích Nh?t H?nh, Chân Không|
|Location||Thénac, Dordogne, France|
Plum Village (Vietnamese: Làng Mai, French: Village des pruniers) is a Buddhist meditation center of the Order of Interbeing in the Dordogne, southern France. It was founded by two Vietnamese monastics, Thích Nh?t H?nh (a Zen master and Buddhist monk) and Chân Không (a Buddhist nun), in 1982.
After being refused the right to return to Vietnam, Thích Nh?t H?nh formed a small mindfulness community 100 miles southeast of Paris at the village of Fontvannes called "the Sweet Potato" after the food that poor Vietnamese people eat. Following Thích Nh?t H?nh's expulsion from Singapore following illegal attempts to rescue Vietnamese boat people, he settled in France and began to lead mindfulness retreats.
In 1981, the Sweet Potato community held its first summer retreat, which attracted more people than it could accommodate. Thích Nh?t H?nh then traveled south with Chân Không to find a larger site. They found a piece of land in Thénac, Dordogne, which seemed ideal. The landowner, Mr. Dézon, didn't want to sell, so they continued looking. A few days later, on September 28, 1982, Thích Nh?t H?nh purchased a tract of land about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away, which is now known as the Lower Hamlet (Vietnamese: Xóm H?). Later that year, a hailstorm destroyed the vineyards on Mr. Dézon's property and he was forced to put his land on the market. Nh?t H?nh bought the land and called it Upper Hamlet (Vietnamese: Xóm Thng). Initially, these two hamlets were named Persimmon Village (Vietnamese: Làng H?ng), but it soon became clear that plums fared much better on the rocky soil, so it became Plum Village (Vietnamese: Làng Mai).
Each year the community hosts a four-week Summer Opening retreat, which has grown increasingly popular in recent years. Attendance has grown from 232 people in total in 1983 to over 800 guests at a time in 2015. In addition, the community hosts a variety of retreats year round, such as the Wake Up Retreat for young adults, the 21-Day Retreat for more experienced laypeople, and the 90-day Winter (Rains) Retreat.
The following is the schedule for an average day at Plum Village (Làng Mai):
Today, Plum Village is made up of four major residential hamlets. Upper Hamlet houses approximately 65 monks and laymen, as well as being Thích Nh?t H?nh's residence. Lower Hamlet houses over 40 nuns and laywomen. Son Ha Temple houses approximately 20 monks and the New Hamlet, 20 minutes away by bus, houses approximately 40 nuns and laywomen. Non-residential hamlets include Middle Hamlet and West Hamlet, which are used as expansion housing for lay guests during the Summer Opening retreat.
There are also branches in Thailand and Hong Kong.