LECTURE (free and open to the public)
March 7, 2019
5:00 – 6:30 PM
followed by reception
Building E14, Room 674
75 Amherst Street
WALKING MEDITATION (free and open to the public) Led by Sister Dang Nghiem and Sister Truc Nghiem
March 8, 2019
Zesiger Sports & Fitness Center
Meet at the Customer Service Desk in the Lobby
120 Vassar Street
Registration required. Details below.
Sister Dang Nghiem is a monastic disciple of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Sister Dang Nghiem’s story and teachings leap to life in her books Healing: A Woman’s Journey from Doctor to Nun, and Mindfulness as Medicine: A Story of Healing Body and Spirit. With joy and humor, she explores the interplay between Western and Eastern medicine, her trials with neuro-Lyme disease, and her healing from abuse and losses.
“Usually, when we think about the past we yearn for it or regret over it, and we suffer because of that yearning or regret. But when we learn to live deeply in the present moment with kindness, with love, then this present moment becomes the past that has that kindness, that love. With mindfulness practice, we can actively build a past that’s not something we regret over or yearn for, but something that we create by living this very moment. It’s proactive. Also, we know that the past is not gone. Whatever we do, however, we think or are in this moment, it reflects the past. The past is right in the present moment. If there are wounds, we don’t need a time machine to go back and change things; we can heal our wounds in the present moment. If you’ve been abused, hurt in some way, you heal the wound by the way you say things to yourself, positively, and by the way you do things for yourself and for others, with more kindness, affection, and forgiveness. When you heal in the present moment, the past is healed. It’s something very concrete that we can do.”
—Sister Dang Nghiem.
During her visit at MIT, Sister Dang Nghiem will share with us about her journey to healing, as a child of the Vietnam War, as a medical doctor, and as a Buddhist nun. She will also share concrete mindfulness practices that can help us to embrace difficulties and live most deeply and beautifully in each moment so that we, too, can bring mindfulness into everything we do and pro-actively build a beautiful past for ourselves and help make a positive difference in our community and the world at large.
Born during the Tet Offensive and part of the group of Amerasian children given amnesty after the Vietnam War, she arrived in the United States penniless with a younger brother and lived in foster homes. She went on to graduate from high school with honors, earn two undergraduate degrees, and receive her medical training at UCSF School of Medicine. In 2000, Sister Dang Nghiem left medicine and became a Buddhist nun in the Plum Village tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
In 2011, Sister Dang Nghiem contracted neuro-Lyme disease, a rare and severe form of the disease that affected both her physical and cognitive abilities. Strongly determined, she applied her mindfulness practice and medical knowledge to heal her illness and, subsequently, wrote the book Mindfulness As Medicine.
Sister Dang Nghiem is a motivational speaker and an inspiration for anyone who has ever suffered from childhood abuse, trauma, life-changing loss, severe illness, or chronic disease. She currently resides at Deer Park Monastery.
Sister Truc Nghiem is a monastic disciple of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh since 2002. She had been trained as a nurse in Vietnam before she came to the United States. She currently resides at Deer Park Monastery.
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED
Co-sponsor: MIT Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS)