“I was like a ﬁsh out of water, a tree without roots… Since then that tree has grown. It’s taking root, blossoming and bearing fruits.”
Developing Mindfulness is a powerful way to reduce life’s suffering, and develop greater peace and contentment on a daily basis.
My Buddhist childhood
Buddhism has been in my blood and my veins since I was a little girl. I grew up in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam as a Buddhist. I took part in strong formal practices and meditations in the morning and evening at home with my father and my little brother.
Straying from the path
When I came to the West in my youth, I lost touch with my Buddhist practice and did not explore it deeper to go beyond my basic understanding of its wisdom: love, compassion, joy and equanimity. Whist living by its principles helped me to overcome life’s challenges, I was still unhappy and caught in my sorrow, worries and anxieties. My understanding was not deep enough to free me from suffering until I encountered the teachings of the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. I came to realize that love and compassion were not enough, I needed to develop awareness as well. Like a bird, you can only fly with two wings – wing of awareness and wing of love.
Finding my own path
I studied with the Zen Master at his centre, Plum Village in France and other Buddhist teachings. I also explored Western psychotherapies such as Mindfulness-Based-Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Life Coaching. Now my approach contains a healthy balance of Eastern practice adapted for the Western way of life. Read the full extract of my interview with Louisa Cadman about my Mindfulness practice for research on The Everyday Urban Spiritual by the University of Glasgow.
Can you explain what brought you to Plum Village and Mindfulness meditation practice?
You say the event changed your life – in what ways?
Prior to Plum Village did you see yourself as a religious or spiritual person? What, if any, was your religious or spiritual upbringing?
How central is mindfulness meditation to your life? How has it affected you? What does mindfulness mean to you?
You say Mindfulness is a continuous practice for you and a way of life. Can you tell me a bit more about what you mean by this?
Read more about my approach to Mindfulness in my blog.
“Mindfulness is not just a practice; for me it is a way of living. Living with peace, love and happiness. Living in freedom – free from my own afflictions: fear, anxiety and sorrow.”