Big Summer-Retreat and day of mindfulness
with the monks and nuns from the EIAB and Plum Village

Services

Staff members are requested to be the leader of the following services together with the monks and nuns. This service will be explained thoroughly before the retreat. Please, click on the link to see the details

whenWhat to do
before breakfast
  • prepare serving tables for breakfast
  • cook oatmeal, heat soya milk, roast sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
  • cut bread and wash and cut fruit
  • put out jam, honey, margarine, dry oats, raisins, peanuts, etc. on serving tables
  • wash and put away all pots, boards and other utensils used to prepare breakfast
after breakfast
  • clean and tidy the kitchen when finished preparing breakfast
  • refill food and condiment containers in the kitchen to prepare for next day (oats, sunflower seeds, tahini, salt, sugar, yeast etc.)

 

whenWhat to do
there are 4 pot washing families that will rotate each meal Rotation:
  1. Breakfast
  2. Lunch
  3. Dinner
  4. Rest
before each meal
  • prepare 5 basins of hot water to wash dishes on each row of tables
  • fill 4 large tubs with hot water for washing pots and pans
  • get clean hand towels and tea towels from laundry room (ground floor) and put out near basins for drying dishes
after each meal
  • cover and put leftovers in the cooler or other designated areas. After breakfast: put jam back in the fridge in the dining hall
  • clear and wash all pots and dishes from the serving tables
  • dry or stack all pots and pans in designated areas (Please do not pour soapy water on the plants- there is a drain outside the dining hall,near the last sink)
  • empty and clean all water basins in pot washing area
  • put dirty towels into the blue basket in the sanitizing room near kitchen
  • empty all trash cans & compost in the pot washing areas, bring to the big garbage bins in the pot washing area and put in new bags when necessary. At the end of each day, refill detergent bottles with detergent from the last room on the left, at the end of the corridor on the ground floor.

 

whenWhat to do
during working meditation
  • sweep and clean meditation halls + big meditation tent
  • clean altars, making sure that there are enough candles, incense, fresh flowers and fruits
  • arrange mats and cushions for activities throughout the day
  • water the flower and when necessary replace them
before dharma talks
  • arrange mats, cushions and chairs for dharma talk
  • set up Thay’s podium (after each activity please tidy all amts, cushions and chairs)

For the meditation hall work coordinator: please turn off all lights and put out all candles and incense at the end of each activity

  • Please be aware of the daily program in order to prepare the meditation hall for all activities (e.g. deep relaxation, transmission of the Mindfulness Trainings, presentations, activities in Asoka building…)
  • Please be flexible enough so to respond to eventual changes in the schedule
  • Please be also mindful of the number of participants so there are enough cushions, mats and chairs set up (not too few nor too many because this would cause a dispersion of energy).

whenWhat to do
before working meditation
  • get equipment ready, such as cutting boards, peelers, knives, basins and storage containers
during working meditation
  • sort, wash and cut vegetables and store them in the cooler in covered containers
  • wash all utensils and equipment used
  • bring all peels and vegetables to the brown compost bin located in the recycling area.
  • pour water used to wash vegetables in the white buckets in the sanitizing room
  • clean up and tidy dining hall after finish cutting vegetables

 

whenWhat to do
after dharma talk and dharma discussion
  • help to bring food from the dining hall/kitchen area to the serving tables
  • prepare the food heaters
  • place the descriptions of the dishes on the serving table
  • 30 minutes after the lunch bell has been invited, help to bring food on the express serving table to one of the other 8 serving tables

 

whenWhat to do
First thing in the morning

Turn all water boilers on

Before Dharma talks and before each meal
  • stock tea tables with enough tea, coffee, sugar, hot water and other necessary items
  • fill basins with clean water for washing tea cups
  • put out dry towels near basins for drying tea cups
throughout the day
  • keep tea tables neat and clean
  • refill water in boiler when necessary
  • change the water in the basins when necessary
  • bring dirty towels to laundry room on ground floor of GCP
last thing in the evening
  • turn the water boilers off and refill with water for morning
  • empty all garbage bins in the tea table areas and put in new bags when necessary – bring trash & recycling to the shed.

 

whenWhat to do
During Working Meditation
1. Outdoor portable toilets & showers
  • Clean the toilets, basins and showers and sweep and mop the floors.
  • Change the hand towels, restock toilet paper and hand soap
  • Empty trash and recycling and leave near containers in the recycling area. The family will sort out
  • Help teams in GCP to sweep and mop stairs and vacuum hallways
During Working Meditation
2. EIAB Big Building
  • Clean the toilets, basins and showers and sweep and mop the floor on first, second and fourth floors
  • Change the hand towels, restock toilet paper and hand soap
  • Sweep the corridors on each floor. (Do not go into the 3rd floor. This is reserved for monastic brothers.)
During Working Meditation
3. EIAB Underground floor
  • Clean the toilets, basins and showers and sweep and mop the floor.
  • Change the hand towels, restock toilet paper and hand soap
  • Sweep and mop (without soap!) stairways leading from the basement to the 4th floor
During Working Meditation
4. Great Compassion Pagoda
  • Clean the toilets, basins and showers and sweep and mop the floors.
  • Change the hand towels, restock toilet paper and hand soap.
  • Sweep and mop the stairs and vacuum the hallways
  • Put trash and recycling in containers at collection point on ground floor

When finished, put all the cleaning material back to its original place.
GCP: Great Compassion Pagoda

whenWhat to do
during working meditation
  • Collect trash & recycling from:
    1. Bathrooms in EIAB on each floor
    2. GCP: from collection point on balcony of ground floor
    3. Camping area
  • Bring to the trash depot and sort into appropriate bins
  • Flatten all recyclable items and rinse glass & can containers
  • Bring recyclable items from outside of kitchen to the shed and sort them into appropriate bins
  • Bring compost bin from the kitchen out to the compost area near the vegetable garden
  • Empty all garbage bins in the kitchen, dining hall, pot washing and dish washing areas and put in new bags when necessary

 

whenWhat to do
During working meditation EIAB Building hallway
  • Sweep and mop the hallway on the ground floor of the EIAB building
  • Return the mops and brooms to the storage

 

whenWhat to do
After every meals
  • Please turn the machine on 15 minutes before starting the work
  • Bring all spoons, forks, and chopsticks from the washing areas outside into the sanitizing room. Then sort forks, spoons and chopsticks and return them to the different serving tables.
  • Sort bowls and plates from the sanitizing room and bring them back to the serving tables outside
  • Cleaning up the sanitizing room

 

whenWhat to do
During working meditation
  • Weed the flower beds
  • Plant flowers and trees
  • Water flowers and trees
  • Carry the water from vegetable washing area to the different gardens
  • Remove moss and grass growing between the bricks on the pavement (in front of Great Compassion Temple, in front of Asoka stairway, other places)
  • Sweep the ground around the bell tower
  • Take care of composting vegetable waste (peels, rotten leaves, etc.)

 

The Program is open for children between the ages of 6-12 years. If you have love for and experience with children, would like to tell stories, play, be in nature, and have fun with them, you are welcome to join us.

The role of the staff is to share mindfulness practice with the children in a peaceful, joyful, friendly way. Being with young people is a great opportunity to connect with others, and learn and grow in our own practice. We are helping young people to experience their own inner wisdom and peace. So rather than giving them something or teaching them something, we create the conditions for them to touch it for themselves. We very much need our own personal practice in order to do this well. If we are stressed, tired or unhappy, we will transmit this to the young people. If we are calm, happy and fresh, we will transmit this.

As a staff member we work with the monks and nuns. During the retreat the children’s program staff usually miss part of the Dharma talks.

Here are some of the mindfulness activities and games we do with the children. If you have a particular talent or ability you could be invited to facilitate one or several of these:

  • Recognizing our in- and out-breath
  • Listening to the sound of the bell and learning how to invite the bell
  • Playing cooperative games to be able to trust each other
  • Learning ways to understand and be compassionate to people, animals, plants and minerals,
  • Singing songs about animals and nature
  • Spending time in nature, hiking...
  • Practicing and sharing about pebble meditation
  • Practicing and sharing about the Two Promises
  • Enjoying snack meditation
  • Making cards and painting
  • Deep relaxation for children
  • Touching the Earth for children
  • Learning how to embrace strong emotions …

Click here to learn more on the basic practices

The Teens’ Program is for all young people from the age of 13 to 17.In the teenagers’ program the monks and nuns and the lay staff work together to create a happy and peaceful space, where the teens joining the retreat feel they can be themselves and at the same time learn about mindfulness practice. We are not trying to teach them the right way or change them, but rather we want to be there and listen deeply without judging.

With the foundation of our brotherhood and sisterhood and our capacity to take care of ourselves as adults we facilitate mindfulness games and activities with the young people, including:

  • Short guided meditations
  • Deep relaxation
  • Touching the Earth
  • Tai chi, Kung Fu, other sports
  • Service to the community
  • Questions and answers
  • Singing
  • Sharing about topics such as friendship, love, career and how to protect the planet, the Five Mindfulness Trainings, how to embrace strong emotions…
  • Arts (including calligraphy)
  • Tea meditation
  • Hikes in nature…

Click here to learn more on the basic practices

If you have a special talent to guide one of the activities above you may be asked to do so once or twice a day. Even if you are not facilitating, we usually prefer you to stay with the group of teenagers and the Brothers and Sisters during the scheduled activities so as to create a family feeling in the group. It is important also to be able to remain open and fresh throughout the retreat so these kinds of qualities can be transmitted to the young people. Of course, if you meet a challenge, we can as a team share and help each other.

These are the general outlines of the work. Depending on the circumstances there may be minor changes.

We shall do our best to assign you to the work you have chosen, bit if necessary we may need to assign you to a different service than the one you have chosen.

Thank you for your understanding.