2024 Plum Village Chinese New Year Parallels

2024 Plum Village Chinese New Year Parallels

These are the verses for practicing. We can print and post in our home or office, as a reminder of the practice.

Plum Village practicing centers in the world will post these calligraphy, stick on the color paper and hang them in the dining hall, meditation hall and living area, as to celebrate the New Year.

Download the parallels here.


Sister Chan Duc (also known as Sr. True Virtue / Sr. Annabel) shares how she will practice with this year’s parallel verses.

Spacious Mind – Inclusive Heart

At this new year we have a chance to look at how much room there is in our heart and how much space there is in our mind. We can practice to enlarge the capacity of our heart and mind every day. We may notice that there is someone we have not yet allowed into our heart and we begin to look deeply to see how we can allow that person a place in our heart.

We need a spacious mind in order to deepen our understanding and with more understanding we grow the capacity of heart to include all.

Sometimes we tell ourselves: “I must forgive,” but forgiveness is not possible without understanding. I learn to forgive myself. I acknowledge the mistakes I have made and the harm I have done in order to look deeply into my ignorance and my situation when committing the act. When I recognize the pressure I was under or my needs at the time, I feel compassion for myself and I forgive myself, vowing not to make the same mistake again.

By learning to forgive myself, I learn to forgive others who have made mistakes and caused harm. I see the situation they are in and I feel their suffering that arises from their ignorance. Only then can I feel compassion, forgive them and allow them into my heart.

Learning to open my heart more and more is a gentle and gradual process. It needs perseverance and a daily practice of mindfulness and looking deeply. The practice of mindfulness recognizes when I close my heart and the practice of looking deeply allows me to understand myself and others. Love is not possible without understanding and understanding is not possible without love.

Inclusiveness is taught as bringing us to the other shore (kṣānti paramita 忍辱波羅蜜多). It is the ability to be patient in times of adversity. The understanding which brings us to the other shore (prajñā pāramitā) goes along with the inclusiveness that brings us to the other shore.

Just as the sun shines on everyone without discrimination and the earth nourishes us all, we do not run away from our suffering or people we do not like but use understanding to look deeply and so be liberated from our aversion and the pain of division, fragmenting ourselves, our communities and the world.

The Buddha taught: “Even though robbers and murderers should be severing your limbs and joints with a saw and you should give way to anger, you would not be following my teachings.”It is a good reminder, when we see the seed of anger beginning to arise, to recognize, embrace and look deeply into it with understanding and compassion. This sincere practice has the power to transform, to heal division and water seeds in the collective consciousness that help us all live in greater harmony with ourselves, others and the earth.

Plum Village wishes one and all a safe, peaceful and harmonious Year of the Dragon. 

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