Before she became a Buddhist nun in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, Sister Dang Nghiem was a doctor. She’d traveled far in her 43 years. Born during the Tet Offensive and part of the amnesty for Amerasian children of the late 1970s, Dang Nghiem arrived in this country virtually penniless and with no home. She lived with three foster families, but graduated high school with honors, earned two undergraduate degrees, and became a doctor. When the man she thought she’d spend her life with suddenly drowned, Sister Dang Nghiem left medicine and joined the monastic community of Thich Nhat Hanh.
It is from this vantage point that Dang Nghiem writes about her journey of healing. Devastated by the diagnosis and symptoms of Lyme, she realized that she was also reliving many of the unresolved traumas from earlier in her life. She applied both her medical knowledge and her advanced understanding and practice of mindfulness to healing. Through meditation she finally came to understand what it means to "master" suffering.
In Mindfulness as Medicine Sister Dang Nghiem leads readers through her profound journey of healing and shares step-by-step directions for the techniques she used to embrace and transform her suffering.
"Suffering can be transformed and cured at its roots...Suffering is an art that can be learned and mastered...We do not have to run away from it anymore...The art of suffering can bring about deep appreciation for life as well as profound peace, joy, and love for ourselves and other beings."—Sister Dang Nghiem
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Sister Dang Nghiem is the author of the critically acclaimed Healing: A Woman’s Journey from Doctor to Nun, a Buddhist nun, a motivational speaker, and an inspiration for anyone who has ever dealt with severe illness or chronic pain. She was a practicing doctor at UCSF Medical Center before she became a Zen Buddhist nun in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. In 2011 she contracted Neuro-Lyme Disease, which affected both her physical and cognitive functioning. Using mindfulness practices, she has had what doctor’s termed a "miraculous" recovery. She continues to successfully manage her illness and pain with mindfulness practice. Sister Dang Nghiem lives in Magnolia Grove Monastery, outside Batesville, Mississippi.
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