Brother Chân Pháp Liệu was ordained as a novice monk on February 8th, 2003 as a member of the “Walnut” family. He received full ordination as a bhikshu on January 14th 2006, and the Lamp Transmission from Thầy, to become a Dharma Teacher, in January 2010. He has been staying in Son Ha, one of the two residences in Upper Hamlet, since 2010. He studied medicine in Montpellier, France, then worked as a cardiologist in a cardiac rehabilitation for people who had been in a surgery or suffered a stroke, they would get the program of physical exercise and diet in order to live a healthier life. Now he offers and leads health retreats in Plum Village, France and other countries around the world.
Brother Pháp Liệu started to practice in Plum Village in 1995. When he came to Plum Village in 1998, he was sitting under the linden tree in Upper Hamlet when Thầy passed by him and invited him to drink tea in his hut. He asked questions about non-self to Thầy. Thầy said to him “You can ask those questions to the brothers. Just enjoy to drink tea with me. As a true Zen Master, Thầy doesn’t answer theoretical questions. Thầy invited him to enjoy the present moment, the tea, and the presence of one another.
In 2006 he was one of the editors of the Plum Village Newsletter in Vietnamese. His Vietnamese was not very good. Thầy asked him to be the editor because Thầy wanted him to learn more Vietnamese. When he submitted the draft to Thầy in the hermitage, Thầy had to correct it a lot. Thầy scolded him, “You should not come to see me to correct it when it has not really been corrected!” Then, Thầy accompanied him and the other editor to the door to leave the hermitage. Thầy patted their heads and gave them cookies. He was deeply moved by Thầy’s gesture to console them.
In 2009 Thầy was in Paris to apply for a visa to the USA, Brother Pháp Liệu accompanied Thầy , they stayed in Maison de L’Inspir. When they were waiting in the embassy, Thầy told him the story when he was exiled in the 1960’s. Thầy was living in Paris, he felt lonely without a sangha. He saw Notredame Church and the Seine River. When he walked on the river bank of the Seine in the autumn, he wrote a poem about the autumn scenery in Paris and the roof of the Notredame Cathedral. Then Thầy read the poem in Vietnamese to him.
His favorite practices are walking outside in nature at sometimes slow, sometimes fast, stick qigong exercises, and swimming.