The order of Interbeing
The Order of Interbeing was created by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1964 for practitioners who have committed to a deeper level of practice. Over 100 people in the UK have joined.
Foundation of the Order of Interbeing
Thich Nhat Hanh founded the Order in the Linji tradition of Buddhism and it emphasises the Four Spirits. These are: non-attachment to views, direct experimentation on the nature of interdependent origination through meditation, appropriateness, and skilful means. The Order, Tiep Hien in Vietnamese, is an international community of monastics as well as lay people. Order members have committed to living their lives in accord with the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, a distillation of the Bodhisattva teachings of Mahayana Buddhism.
How to become a member of the Order of Interbeing in the UK
To become an Order member you first have to become an aspirant. To apply to be an aspirant to the Order you need…
- several years’ experience of the practice,
- to be active in your local sangha (eg facilitate meetings)
- to have received the Five Mindfulness Trainings at least one year ago
- a commitment to sangha building
- to feel a close connection to Thây’s teachings and the Plum Village tradition
- ideally, to be active in the national sangha
Becoming a member of the Order of Interbeing is neither a qualification nor an indication of authority. It is a further commitment to Thây’s teachings, made by people who have benefitted from the practice and wish to share it with others.
A handbook explaining the path to become first an Aspirant and then an Order member is available from the Secretary to the Ordination Guidance Group at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Handbook offers information and guidance for both aspirants and mentors. Sections include the Aspirant Application Process, the Ordination Application Process, and also, Becoming an active member of the OI sangha. The appendices include recommended resources e.g. the Charter of Interbeing.
Additionally, a number of UK Order members have received Dharma-teacher initiation from Thich Nhat Hanh. Currently (2016) the Dharmacharyas (Dharma Teachers) are :
Martin Pitt, Murray Corke, Jane Coatesworth, Vari McLuskie, Dene Donald, Lesley Collington, Barbara Hickling, Teri West and Susanne Olbrich.