The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings offer clear guidance for living simply, compassionately, and joyfully in our modern world. They are a concrete embodiment of the teachings of the Buddha and the Bodhisattva ideal. Anyone who wishes to can live his or her life in accord with these fourteen trainings.
To formally join the Order of Interbeing means to publicly commit oneself to studying, practicing, and observing the trainings and, also, to participating actively in a community which practices mindfulness in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh.
The best place to begin is with a local sangha (find a sangha) where you may be able to connect with other Order of Interbeing members. Order members can serve as guides to you, explaining in more detail how the process works and how to get started. They may also serve as mentors to you later, in the formal aspiration process.
The minimum requirements for joining the Order of Interbeing, as established by the Charter of the Order, are that the aspirant:
- Be 18 years or age or older
- Has received the Five Mindfulness Trainings and the Three Jewels at least one year ago
- Practices with a local Sangha in this tradition
- Is committed to observing at least sixty days of mindfulness a year
- Has been mentored by members of the Order of Interbeing for at least a year, with the support of one or more monastic or lay dharma teachers who either have been directly mentoring the aspirant or who have been working with the OI mentors and,
- Is ready to begin the work of an Order Member: Sangha building and support, explaining the Dharma from personal experience, and nourishing the bodhichitta (the mind of love) in others while maintaining a regular meditation practice in harmony and peace with one’s family.
To promote consistency in mentoring and ensure that mentors and aspirants are supported, the North American Plum Village Dharma Teachers Council asks that everyone in North America who is pursuing formal acceptance as an Order of Interbeing aspirant use this application. Please do not start with this application: It is meant to be a tool that you use, together with our local Sangha and supporting Dharma Teacher, as they begin formal mentoring with you. But please speak with your sangha and/or Dharma Teachers first. In deciding whether conditions are ripe for formal acceptance and mentoring to begin, your mentoring Dharma Teacher may use this form and consult with your sangha and any other OI mentors as appropriate.
In regions other than North America, procedures for mentorship and aspiration may differ from what’s included above. Please consult with your local Order members to determine the process.
In a region in which the Order of Interbeing has been established for many years, Dharma Teachers and Order Members may be available to train and support aspirants; and a community of Order Members that meets regularly for recitation ceremonies, study, and days of mindfulness. In other regions an aspirant may have to travel a considerable distance to practice with an Order Member or Dharma Teacher and the training of aspirants may function differently.
If a local sangha does not exist and you are still uncertain where to begin, you may comment below or write to us using our Contact Form and we’ll do our best to provide direction and support.