A full day program: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
Become an invisible monk
July 12 – 21, 2026

A Special Retreat Led by Cuong Lu
A 10-Day Intensive Training for Invisible Zen Monastics
You will learn:
At this retreat, you will undertake a sixteen-day intensive training and receive formal ordination. The training includes the study in the Three Baskets of sacred Buddhist literature: Sutra, Sastra, and Vinaya (teachings of the Buddha, commentaries on the teachings, and monastic rules).
No Word Zen Invisible Monastic Training

A 10-day intensive course led by Zen master Cuong Lu

Our planet of 8 billion people and countless other species is in peril. It will take the wisdom of a million wisdom-keepers for our species to survive. A No Word Zen monk has the capacity to inspire each person they meet, and to join together in wisdom and skillful means to stop the many crises we face today, including global climate change, which we humans continue to exacerbate with our emissions, plastic production, and so many other pollutants to the air, land, and sea.

Cuong Lu is a lineage holder in an uninterrupted line transmitted to him by Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh. He trained as a monastic at Plum Village, and he is now offering training to “invisible monastics” to bring wisdom and compassion to the world through mindfulness and activism, creating a peaceful revolution.

An invisible monastic is always practicing. Every moment is an opportunity to be deeply present and share your wisdom and compassion without drawing attention to yourself. This is a way of cultivating peace within and well-being in society.

It is not the robes that make the monk. It’s wisdom that makes you a peaceful person. The No Word Zen movement is a seed, which when watered will grow a million compassionate flowers engaged to help all who are suffering.
July 12 - 21, 2026
Arrival Time: 2:30-5:30 p.m. (CET)
Departure Time: 1:00 p.m. (CET)

2, Le Mont
87190 Magnac-Laval

$1,192 (in double rooms) - $ 1,026 (camping), incl. accommodation, services, and food. Fees DO NOT include a donation to the teacher.

Register now

July 12 - 21, 2026
Arrival Time:
2:30-5:30 p.m. Central European Time
Departure Time:
1:00 p.m. Central European Time

2, Le Mont
87190 Magnac-Laval

$ 1,192 (in double rooms) - $ 1,026 (camping), including accommodations, services, and food. Fees do not include a donation to the teacher.

Register now

Our Program

From the first moment you arrive at our center, you will feel the energy of generations of Zen teachers and students—food that can help you be solid in the practice and in life. Our program is designed to help invisible monk-trainees strengthen their concentration and benefit from short- and long-term support. Our center is a home where you can always return.

Cuong Lu practiced as a monk for 16 years under the guidance of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. Based on his direct experience, he will transmit the most profound teachings of Zen. Over the course of 16 days, he will offer basic and some advanced instructions from the Linji Zen school that he received from his teacher.

During his monastic training, Cuong Lu helped Thich Nhat Hanh compose the book Stepping into Freedom as guidance for novices, and as a senior teacher, he offered classes on Buddhist psychology for people from all over the world.

An “invisible monk” is someone who practices engaged Buddhism. Since leaving Plum Village, Cuong Lu has spent 14 years living in the world, applying engaged Buddhist teachings and practices in society. Thich Nhat Hanh brought engaged Buddhism to the West, and his student Cuong Lu will transmit his experience applying engaged Buddhism in this course.

Program Details

  • The four positions in which we practice mindfulness of the body: standing, walking, sitting, and lying down
  • Sutras that contain the teachings of the Buddha
  • Sastras that contain the teachings of enlightened Buddhist teachers
  • Vinaya, which shows us the way monastics live in harmony and awareness
  • Applied mindfulness in the practice center and in society.
  • Concentration on many levels to cultivate the depth of your wisdom.
Guidance with Compassion

Cuong Lu will guide you to be an invisible monk with each breath and each step. He will offer his unique training methods, so that when you return home, your spiritual practice will continue—awakening energy and manifesting the Buddha’s teachings. It is not the robe that makes you a monk but the compassion within you.

As an invisible monk, you share your wisdom not just with words but with your presence, which is the most beautiful gift you can offer those in your life and future generations.

You are invited to enter the path to becoming an invisible monk, to play an essential role contributing to world peace.

Costs for 10-Day Retreat

$ 1,192 (in double rooms) – includes accommodations, services, and food.
$ 1,026 (camping) – includes accommodations, services, and food.
Dana Paramita – Fees do not include a donation to the teacher.


The registration fees cover food, accommodations, and services. They do not include dana for the teacher. In the Buddhist tradition, an offering for the teacher is left to the discretion of the student or individual. Please consider a donation at the highest rate on the sliding scale that can afford (generally from 35% to 50% of the registration fee). Your generosity allows others to attend who might not be able to donate. This offering is to keep the Dharma alive and bring light to our society.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel your registration for a full refund up to 6 months before the start of the program, less a $ 50 administrative fee. If you cancel during the course, there will be no refund.

If a program, for whatever reason, cannot take place, we will notify you as soon as possible and refund the full participation costs to your account. No Word Zen accepts no further liability for retreat cancellations beyond refunding the retreat registration fee. We cannot, for example, be liable for funds spent on travel arrangements, such as airline tickets or visas.


This event will be in English.
For Dutch events, please visit www.nowordzen.nl

Please email us
“I look forward to meeting you and practicing the path of insight and compassion together. Let us do all that we can to build a world of peace.”
Cuong Lu