This invaluable devotional resource, previously published as The Plum Village Chanting and Recitation Book, draws together the verses, chants, ceremonies, and discourses used regularly by the monks, nuns, and laypeople of this Buddhist monastery and lay practice center in southeastern France. It was established in 1982 by Thich Nhat Hanh and his community. All of these practices can be used with your community, your family, or on your own.
The first section "Daily Practice" contains an incense offering; silent meal practice for serving food, sitting down, and washing the dishes; gathas (short poems or verses to help us dwell in mindfulness) for lighting a candle, sweeping, and cleaning the meditation hall; and other recitations. The words of the refuge chant are: "I vow to offer joy to one person in the morning, and to help relieve the grief of one person in the afternoon. I vow to live simply and sanely with few possessions, and to keep my body healthy. I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free."
The next section presents 20 ceremonies including ones for New Year's, a wedding, support of the sick, the Buddha's birthday, praising of ancestral teachers, and remembering the deceased. In the "Rose Ceremony" Thich Nhat Hanh celebrates the love and gratitude we have for our parents: "The work of a father is like a great mountain. The loyalty and love of a mother are like clear springwater."
Another section includes more than 20 discourses of Buddha and his enlightened students including the Heart Sutra and the Discourse on Love. This new edition concludes with the words and sheet music for numerous chants for times of day, the four gratitudes, the four recollections, invocation of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and more.