Supporting Our Sisters at Deer Park

Clarity Nuns of Deer Park Monastery

Clarity Nuns of Deer Park Monastery

Dear POC Retreat Sangha,

Happy pre-retreat days leading up to this week’s Together We Breathe, Together We Heal mindfulness community building retreat!

I hope this message finds you well as you make any final preparations for your journey up to Deer Park Monastery in the Great Hidden Mountains of Escondido, California. Wishing you safe travels and joyful arrivals!

I am writing briefly to share about a precious opportunity to learn about how to support the Sisters of Deer Park in the effort to build safer, more sustainable living spaces for nuns and laywomen retreatants.

The Sister of Clarity Hamlet at Deer Park, along with the larger community, have launched an effort to raise support for rebuilding a much needed Nunnery and a hut for dear Thay.

We receive endlessly from the Sisters, and also from all who have come before us to create our practice center.  

This is a joyful invitation to participate, however may be appropriate and in whatever manner may inspire, for us to step into the circle of Sangha giving by SUPPORTING OUR SISTERS & BUILDING CLARITY HAMLET TOGETHER!
  • More specific details about the Nunnery Project and ways to get involved will be available at the POC Retreat as well as this website.
On behalf of the Nunnery Outreach Team, many thanks already for having read this invitation and we wish you a restful, spacious, healing, nourishing, smile-filled, well-hydrated retreat upcoming!  See you up there in a few days!
A lotus for you,
Fellow POC Retreatants from the
Nunnery Outreach Team


Registration is now open!

Dear friends, let us walk together, let us breathe together, let us find stability in the seats of our experiences in the moment… together during this five day retreat for People of Color.  In the hidden mountain valley in Escondido, come learn and deepen in mindfulness practices at Deer Park Monastery.

Registration is now open on the Deer Park Monastery Website.  Click here to register.




“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”  
- Thich Nhat Hanh

valleySkyBrushpixabayWe warmly welcome you to participate in the coming People of Color Retreat here at Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, CA.

The Retreat will be offered and led by monastics, lay Dharma Teachers and Order of Interbeing members from the Plum Village Tradition.

This five-day retreat honors the potency of space for people of color to heal, nourish and celebrate ourselves, our communities and our ancestors through learning and cultivating mindfulness practices together. In support of multiracial families to practice together, limited attendance may be available to Caucasian partners/family members of People of Color, depending on space vacancy.

Through the practice of mindful living offered during this retreat we will reconnect with the sources of joy, peace and freedom for ourselves, our communities, and our ancestors. We will learn concrete ways to embrace, transform, and heal our own suffering, ancestral suffering, and institutional oppression. Join us as we continue our path of healing to build a beloved community together.

Registration opens online March 15th.  Mark your calendars!

Join us on Facebook and follow this blog for updates and resources.

Dharma Talks & Q/A podcasting!

The Most Venerable Suhita Dharma, Rev. angel Kyodo williams & Sr. Huong Nghiem

Listen, listen to these wonderful teachings.

Podcasts of dharma talks from the 2012 POC Retreat Weekend at Deer Park Monastery are now here for dharma download, listening and sharing!   Much appreciation to the Deer Park Dharmacast team for making available the Saturday & Sunday morning dharma talks and question & answers session.

Saturday, July 28, 2012: Saturday morning introduction and dharma talks.

Listen to Rev. Angel and the Venerable Suhita Dharma’s talks inspired by the retreat theme, Transforming Suffering: Touching Peace & Freedom.

POC Retreat Saturday Talks. Length: 1 hour

Click here to download mp3. (to download, right-click and save)

Sunday, July 29, 2012: Closing dharma talks and Question & Answer panel.

Giving the final talks, Rev. Angel and the Most Venerable Suhita Dharma speak of our responsibility to transform our anger and suffering, as well as our call to bear witness. The closing talks are followed by a Q/A panel session where they are joined by Sr. Huong Nghiem of Deer Park Monastery. The panelists answer written questions submitted by the POC retreatants, moderated by Br. Phap Hai of Deer Park Monastery. This July 29 morning session is available in two parts:

POC Retreat Sunday Part One: final talks. Length: 55 min.

Click here to download mp3. (to download, right-click and save)

POC Retreat Sunday Part Two: question & answer panel. Length: 1 hr 9 min.
Click here to download mp3. (to download, right-click and save)

Click here to listen to the podcasts on the Deer Park Dharmacast Website.

#POCRetreat2013!? The seed for next year’s POC Retreat Gathering!


Dear Retreat Family,

Many thanks again to all of you who have contributed to the retreat feedback survey process and other retreat follow-ups. More info here if you would like to check in about that. 

And, all the goodness continues as there are already some seeds being planted for a 2013 POC Retreat Gathering at Deer Park Monastery!  Nothing final yet, but sending positive thoughts for that process to manifest!   Save The Date details for #POCRetreat2013 will be announced through the retreat blog and through your email.  Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh will also be at Deer Park Monastery on the 2013 North American teaching tour, so those details will also be shared when available.


Thanks for keeping in touch.

We know you are there and we are happy.

Present moment, wonderful moment…





Mindful Evaluation and Retreat Follow-Up

This posting was originally sent to the emails of retreatants on Monday morning, August 6th.  Please take the retreat survey (details below) when you have a moment.  Thank you!

The Organizing Committee feels so much gratitude for your presence at the 2012 People of Color Retreat. Each of you being there made the retreat a true expression and manifestation of interbeing, the living sangha and the community we all wish to see in the world. We send you deep breaths as we all integrate and “retreat back” into our daily life, our families, relationships, communities, work life…moment by moment. Let’s all commit to allowing our breaths to have our backs! Bowing to your down-the-mountain practice…

47 breathe

Below are follow-up retreat announcements and resources to share. We hope you find them useful.

When you get a moment, we invite everyone to share your feedback about the retreat experience to assist us with future retreats.
This anonymous survey may take about 15-20 minutes to complete. This survey will close on 8/21/2012, 12am.

Please take the survey here:

Many thanks again for your contributions to our Dharma Teachers to support their livelihood, and to the Deer Park Nunnery project. We appreciated all the forms of offerings you gifted that lend support to the people and places sharing these priceless teachings of freedom, wholeness, true happiness and liberation. We thank you for offering your presence to the retreat to co-create a community of practice, healing and peace. Thank you for your working meditation service. Thank you for volunteering to assist with the next POC gathering. Thanks to all who offered rideshares and carpools. Thanks for all your smiles and acts of kindness. Thank you for breathing Love into our world. Thank you for your practice. _/|\_ Anumodana! Rejoicing Together!

Check out some photos from the retreat here:
We invite you to share your photo streams and collections. Send an email to with the link(s) to where you have posted retreat photos so we can share with the larger sangha body!

Also, we would very much like to see, read and feel, with the Eyes of the Sangha, the abundant voices, experiences, insights and moments which made up this weekend. This is a simple, open invitation to express the “poetics” of your practice and experience of the retreat through creative expression! Writing or engaging in artmaking of any sort is an act of meditation too and can assist with the experience of integrating the learnings, transformation, healing and new seeds of Being that you experienced inside and outside of you. C’mon y’alls…if you feel inspired, we definitely wanna hear from you! A poem, a rhyme, a line, a haiku…what have you!? Thank you to those who have already sent in pictures, poetry, reflections, etc. The intent is to gather all submissions into a simple, cut and paste memory e-booklet (pdf file) of sorts that will be sent out upon completion. Submit contributions to

Check out the sangha directory to connect with others in your area practicing mindful living.

Also, if you have started a sangha, or you assist in facilitating a sangha, send a message to indicating: sangha name & brief description, meeting location, meeting day and time, contact person info, etc. so we may publish this information for our retreat family!

The Saturday and Sunday talks by Bhante and Rev. angel will accessible as audio files once they are uploaded to the Deer Park Dharmacast website. We will post the link on the retreat Facebook and blog.

In the meantime, check out the following links for numerous dharma talks from Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh and other teachers in the Plum Village tradition.

Rev. angel received requests for the texts shared during dharma talks (Warrior Spirit Prayer and the opening poem by David Whyte.) You can find the texts here:

Thanks to all the friends who signed up and expressed interest in helping with the next POC retreat/gathering! You will be receiving another email regarding volunteers. If you did not have a chance to sign up at the retreat and are interested in volunteering, you can still send us your name, contact info (email, phone) to

After retreat surveys and evaluations are gathered, we will inform the sangha of possibilities for the next POC gathering. Thanks for staying connected!

UPCOMING POC RETREATS (outside of Deer Park Monastery)
Living Beautifully, Living Solidly: People of Color Retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery (Oct 24-28, 2012)

Check retreat blog for other practice and retreat opportunities.

Download various meditation timers, bells and reminder-tools for your computer, laptop, phones!


We’re all in this together!

A lotus for you,
2012 POC Retreat Organizing Committee

P.S. You may like to listen to the Thank You song and the Great Compassion Chant while you are taking the retreat survey :)