Author Archives: Brian Kimmel

Replanting A “Forest of Interbeing”: Spiritual Community As Food

light-forestSeveral months ago, four young friends living in three different countries embarked on a journey together to replant a deforested rainforest in the south of Mexico. The “Forest of Interbeing” project includes the purchasing of 9 hectres of land, roughly 900 acres, in Los Tuxtlas region, in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Formerly home to several varieties of trees, shrubs, and endangered wildlife. Now only 20% of this bio-diverse land remains, deforested for the production of meat through cattle grazing. What we have discovered in the process of creating this project is that replanting forests takes a whole community.

Our teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, talks of the Four Nutriments. The Four elements needed for life. These are Edible Food, Sense Impressions, Volition, and Consciousness. Community is also a kind of food. Community brings together many beings across genders, ethnicity, spiritual beliefs, sexual orientations, race, abilities, socio-economic status, and languages, to find where we meet. At the center of these differences is actually a common need for connection, love, and understanding. Continue reading

Welcome to New Order Members

A warm welcome to all newly ordained members of the core community of the Order of Interbeing. It has been a great joy in these past months to witness the transmission ceremonies whether through online discussions or in-person across the US and Canada. The presence of Thay, our beloved teacher, the Sangha, both lay and monastic together, and all our ancestors are deeply felt.

When let in and put to practice the transmission of the fourteen trainings waters many seeds of happiness, peace, and freedom. Every time the brown jacket, the half robe of the Order is worn the true colors of the heart shines through. With the touch and weight of the fabric against the skin the support of many generations who have diligently and wholeheartedly worked to bring the teachings out into the world fills us once again. This, our OI family, can be a continual source of inspiration, friendship, and communion. May we continue to practice with all our heart and to find the true refuge of Sangha within and around us.