using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : May 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2012 89 a fishing boat in Thailand, dressed up like a fisherman, and went out to sea to “fish” the boat people. Every time she and her team came across a refugee boat, they gave them food, fuel, and directions to the nearest refu- gee camp. In an interview with Alan Senauke and Susan Moon, which appeared in Tu r n - ing Wheel, Chan Khong said: “Meditation allowed me to transform the garbage, the suffering, in me into a mercy fishing boat. On the seas, I was fearless, even when faced by pirates, and I was even joyful because I knew I was going in the direction of beauty.” IN 1988, CHAN KHONG formally ordained as a nun. “Shaving the head, all attach- ments are cut off,” Thich Nhat Hanh said as he snipped her hair. Of being a monastic in the West, Chan Khong has written: “I do not carry under- nourished babies in my arms, but teenagers and adults do cry silently as they share the stories of their childhoods of sadness and abuse. By listening attentively to their pain and helping them renew themselves, I am able to help heal many of these wounded ‘children,’ and this is very close to my ideal of holding the village children in my arms. I am grateful to be able to help in this way.” As a nun in the West, Chan Khong has played a key role in developing Thich Nhat Hanh’s international community. In 1982, they moved to what is now known as Plum Village, two bucolic parcels of farmland in France. For the center’s first retreat, the 107 attendees used wooden planks as beds and sleeping bags for blankets, and they did not have a sufficient number of restrooms. In a dharma talk published in the book I Have Arrived, I Am Home, Chan Khong said: “There was only one restroom for the entire Lower Hamlet, one for both shower- ing and using the toilets! It was the same at the Upper Hamlet. Seeing the situation, the male retreatants took up shovels and dug two ‘combat’ latrines.” Yet attendees were not put off by the conditions, and at subsequent retreats the numbers grew exponentially. Today Plum Village is less rustic, but still simple, and people from all over the world go there to practice. They also go to other centers in the Plum Village tradition: Deer Park Monas- tery in California, Blue Cliff Monastery in New York State, and the European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Germany. In 2005, the Vietnamese government permitted Sister Chan Khong and Thich Nhat Hanh to visit their homeland for the first time since the sixties. While there, they traveled the country accompanied by mem- bers of their sangha and made connections with the Vietnamese people, especially the young. Two more visits were permitted— one in 2007 and the other in 2008. Since then, however, they have not been welcome. The Vietnamese government felt threatened by the large number of educated youth drawn to Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings. According to Nhat Hanh, Chan Khong came to him as a student but she also has been a teacher for him. When the Vietnam War was raging, Nhat Hanh was so preoc- cupied with how to stop the fighting that it became difficult for him to eat. One day, Chan Khong was preparing herbs to serve with rice noodles, when she asked Nhat Hanh if he could identify them. “Looking at her displaying the herbs with care and beauty on a large plate, I became enlight- ened,” he has written. “She had the ability to keep her attention on the herbs, and I real- ized I had to stop dwelling only on the war and learn to concentrate on the fines herbes also.” They spent ten minutes talking about the herbs of Vietnam, and that encounter took Nhat Hanh’s mind off the war, allow- ing him to recover the balance he needed. “A single person is capable of helping many living beings,” Nhat Hanh said in his book, Be Free Where You Are. “My col- league Sister Chan Khong has been work- ing with poor people, orphans, and the hungry for many years. She has helped thousands and thousands of people, and because of her work these people suffer less. This brings her a lot of joy and gives her life meaning. This can be true for all of us anytime, anywhere.” ♦ ANDREA MILLER is a deputy editor of the Shambhala Sun and the editor of the recently released anthology Right Here With You: Bring- ing Mindful Awareness Into Our Relationships. Sister Chan Khong continued from page 41