Mindfulness As Medicine
A Story of Healing Body and Spirit
A Buddhist nun shares her profound journey of healing, plus step-by-step directions for embracing and transforming suffering through mindfulness, meditation, and other techniques
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 in Mindfulness as Medicine. 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.