In November 2014 a group of mamas gathered for a women’s mindfulness retreat to strengthen our practice: to meditate, to share together, to nourish our bodies and spirits with silent meals, to stretch and move and hike, to make art, to be in nature, to sleep, and to celebrate our sisterhood and motherhood.
Some of us had been in mindfulness practice community for many years, some of us were neighbors, some were very close friends, some of us were meeting for the first time, and, some of us weren’t able to be there. We came together with a sense of belonging and community because of our connection to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village practice tradition.
The day after our retreat closed, our beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh experienced a massive stroke and went into a coma. Still filled with the depth of our dharma mamas weekend and hearing the shocking news about Thay, I touched impermanence as if it were a solid object in my hands. Nothing is permanent. Nothing lasts or stays the same. And right next to impermanence sat interbeing. The essence that we are all connected and are not independent or separate from one another. Thay was in us. We were in Thay.
I was even more motivated to put energy into this seed: to build community for mothers through mindfulness.
Things got busy. Life happened. Family and work obligations, chores and errands, my father’s chronic illness… all this soon filled up every crack and crevice of free time I had envisioned using for creativity and community-building.