Sister Luong Nghiem is one of 11 nuns – all of Vietnamese origin – who currently live at Nhap Luu Monastery.
They are followers of a Vietnamese teacher of Zen Buddhism who has updated the teachings in recent decades to make them more relevant to the modern world.
She says mindfulness is a key practice in the nuns’ lives.
“We practise mindfulness in our every movement in our daily life, like walking, working, singing and playing too.”
She describes mindfulness as being aware of whatever is happening inside your body and mind, but also what’s happening outside of you.
“If I have a sad feeling or happy feeling I know that I have these feelings and if my body has got pain somewhere, I know it’s there.”
Sister Luong Nghiem advises patience when attempting to learn the practice.
“Everything needs time, it’s not a one night matter.”
Brother Phap Hai is leading the retreat that’s attended by about 70 people. He’s been a Buddhist monk for 18 years and lives in a monastery in southern California.
He says mindfulness is more relevant today than ever.
“I think it’s important that we choose one thing that can be a little reminder for us, a moment of non-stress in our day.
That might be whenever we hear the telephone ringing we take a moment just to breathe in, to breathe out and to relax.” Continue reading >>