Christmas time, decorations, snowmen, snowflakes and singing together

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The Christmas and New Year celebrations at Plum Village begin the week before with each of the Hamlets preparing decorations – the monastics leading teams of visitors making wreaths, hanging branches and paper snowflakes. It gets nice and creative –

Snowman is a new visitor this year : ) and here, a small tree was picked out from a shaded part of the village’s pine forest for the main hall.

On Christmas day morning the community take a quiet walk down to Thenac Church, of the local village, just outside the PV grounds and have an hour with some prayers/meditations, songs and a reading. Alongside Silvie’s beautiful ‘Ave Maria’, Gabriel, Karim and Sergio’s kind words and readings, I was on the programme leading 2 carols ‘Silent Night’ & ‘In the Bleak Mid-Winter’ and ‘Imagine & ‘What a Wonderful World’ – so good to sing with everyone including Debbie dog who came to lie down at the front (pat for you debs)

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back in the Village in the afternoon for dinner, a film and some music…

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Quiet holiday week in the recording room, though a song here from after Phap Lai’s talk last week on ‘Right Action’.

Phap Lai (meaning Arriving in Vietnamese, Thich Nhat Hanh’s mother language) – known also to some as Brother Ben, is an English monastic who has been here now for around 10 years. Good to sing with you and teach you to play the song in the few days after Phap Lai 🙂

‘Lay Down’ comes in the last few minutes here.

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Those that asked after a recording,  this one was from my Mother’s cottage in Cornwall not long after writing the song (if you listen in at the end of this one you can hear the birds flying to and from the roof.)  Feeling to do another now in the New Year that I’ve come to know it more.

With love and best wishes for the first few days of New Year

Joe

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