In the summer of 2014, cycling out of Porto heading north, I discovered that Thich Nhat Hanh was holding a three-week retreat at his monastery in the Bordeaux region. There were still a few spaces. I would cross the Pyrenees into France in the days before the session, without rushing or slowing. And the theme, “What Happens When We Die?” resonated deeply. It was oddly and excitingly serendipitous. Arriving in Plum Village in June, I traded bike clips for bare feet and sank into a community of monastics and fellow retreatants in rural France. For many of us, we couldn’t bring ourselves to take photos and disrupt the presence of that space. But in the last few days, I got a few.

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