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Healing: A Woman's Journey from Doctor to Nun
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Healing: A Woman's Journey from Doctor to Nun

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  15 reviews
This extraordinary story takes the reader from the rice fields of Vietnam to the peaceful surrounding of Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastery in Plum Village. Healing traces a young woman’s path from an abusive childhood in a war-torn Vietnam, to a promising career as a medical doctor and poet, to finally finding true happiness as a nun. With humor, insight, and an irrepressible se ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Parallax Press
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Community Reviews

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Linda Walters
I have had the distinct honor of meeting Sister Dang Nghiem when she was at Deer Park Monastery. She is such a delightful, happy, and peaceful person, one would never suspect the terrible suffering that she has encountered in her life. Now that I know, I wish she were near so I could practice hugging meditation with her and tell her that I will always be her for her.

All the myriad books that comment on and analyze the sutras are fine and they are a necessary part of the practice, but if you wan
...more
Carolyn
excellent. made me want to pack my bags and go to plum village. you feel peaceful just reading her story and insights. she has had quite a journey from wartime viet nam to medical school to buddhist nun.
it shows you that anyone can heal for past experience if you allow yourself.
Alexa
Sister Dang Nghiem's story really touched me. It taught me that we're all always improving and healing ourselves, and that there isn't a singular "point" we need to start from or achieve in order to be "okay." We can start from wherever we are, and as long as we keep working to improve ourselves, that's all that matters. There's so much more to this memoir than just that, but this is just what I've found as the most important lesson offered here. =)
Nikki Myers
I learned about Sister Dang Nghiem in a recent Prevention magazine article. Nghiem and her brother came to the United States from Vietnam. Enduring a painful childhood of abuse in Vietnam and rejection in the US, she graduated college, Medical school, and found a wonderful boyfriend. She was unable to escape the horrific memories that haunted her mind. When her boyfriend was unexpectedly killed in an accident, she found solace and healing in a monastery. She became a Buddhist nun with a healing ...more
JT
"Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional"

Taking care of the present moment is taking care of the past. A beautiful present moment becomes a beautiful past.

When we encounter a situation in which our mind is strongly stimulated - such as when we are experiencing fear, anger, provocation, or excitement - the brain will release a large quantity of neurotransmitters and hormones related to emotions. The sense organs become extremely sensitive; the skeletal muscles contract; the heart and lungs
...more
Laura Pham
This book is an excellent book about a women's journey from a doctor to a nun. Sister Dang Nghiem's story is so inspiring. I even got the honor to meet her when I was at Blue Cliff Monastery. When I was at blue cliff, I always knew her as one of the brothers and sisters who ran the teens program and is always graceful, happy, and loving. Being so loving and graceful, I would never think that she had so much suffering in her. I absolutely love Sister D and her book. I felt a deep connection with ...more
Denise Tarasuk
Reading sister Dang Nghiem’s Healing A Woman’s Journey from Doctor to Nun was such an honor! It filled my heart with love. I shall visit her words again and again. One time reading her touching words is not enough. I have cherished the story with in and feel so blessed to be able to read about her life. Thank you, for sharing Sister Dang!
Jen
Just finished this. It is a very simple book with a very heavy premise. I think I loved it for it's ability to make Buddhism and Buddhist study...accessible. Sister Dang Nghiem's tone in the book seems at first very childlike, simple, yet the more I contemplated it, the more I think I loved it. It reminded me that we, most of humanity, have strayed so far from simple ideas, simple clear speech, even in my own world I make things more complicated than they need to be...this was a lovely little qu ...more
Vicki
A lovely book by Sr. Dang, one of Thich Nhat Hanh's monastics. Her story is compelling as she survived conflict, cultural and familial, and abuse growing up. Coming to the US, she adjusted to life here, but carried with her the traumas. Her decision to enter monastic life provided her with the means to heal. She describes this process honestly and with clarity. I thought it was a wonderful reminder of the ways we need to be mindful and to be with ourselves and others compassionately, whether in ...more
Genpren
"I don't want to grow into an old woman whose nightmares and losses are her sole companions."(81) A book for anyone who would like to claim this line as their own intention.

I interviewed Sister Dang Nghiem several years ago after hearing her recount part of her story. I asked her to use her story to help explain the concept of a "Hungry Ghost". What I feel is missing from the short video is the knowledge that her mother died while Sister Dang Nghiem was a child.

http://vimeo.com/100549
Janice
I have been so inspired by Sister Dang Nghiem's dedication and courage to her healing. A wonderful book.
Breanne
I just loved this frank account of one woman's journey to becoming a nun. It inspires me to think that someone from such a rough background can find healing and peace. As with most auto-biographies, I find wisdom in being able to put myself in the shoes of another and understand their lives, their pain, and their healing.
Shelley
Good addition to biographies (in this case, an autobiography) of contemporary Buddhist women. Born in Vietnam during the American war, Dang Nghiem is sent to the USA where she earns two medical degrees--only to leave medicine in order to become a Buddhist nun.
Corinne
I met her at Blue Cliff Monastery in 2012. She is delightful, a joy to hear speak.
Blts
Time well-spent.
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“When I missed the physical body of my partner, I meditated on its parts, tossed by the waves, torn, dispersed, and deteriorated. When memories of our lives together became acute and intense, I breathed. I breathed through each wave of yearning, of regret, of guilt, of what-could-have-been. Every time I asked him, “Where are you?” A quiet voice immediately responded, “I am here. I have never left you.” I did not only lose a partner. I lost my childhood all over again. I lost my soul mate. I lost the accepting father and the gentle mother that he was to me. I lost the dream of a “normal life,” which I had tried so hard to achieve. Now I had to face my own mind.” 4 likes
“This is, because that is. This is not, because that is not,” the Buddha taught. All the conditions have come together in such a way that we are where we are, and we are what we are. To hold on to feelings of regret is to lose the present moment.” 2 likes
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