Sister Chân Hội Nghiêm

Adornment with Understanding

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Life Story

Sister Chân Hội Nghiêm was ordained by Thầy as a novice nun on December 4th 1999 in the “Cherry” family, and received full ordination as a bhikshuni on January 9th 2003. She received the Lamp Transmission as a Dharma Teacher in 2006.

When Sr. Hội Nghiêm was a child, she admired a monk who stayed at a pagoda in her village. She admired the way he taught her and the people of the village, and she gave rise to the aspiration to become a nun and a teacher. After school, Sr. Hội Nghiêm first decided to become a high school teacher in Vietnam. She continued to search for a way of education that is not limited to schools only, but can help people with their lives wherever they go. She found it in the Plum Village practice.

To Sr. Hội Nghiêm, Thầy is not only her teacher but also her friend, because of the way Thầy relates intimately with her and all his disciples. Sometimes Thầy would invite his disciples to have tea together and share funny stories that made them laugh.

The qualities of Thầy that Sr. Hội Nghiêm admired are simplicity and frugality. One time on Christmas Eve, she left the lights on in the meditation hall so that people could enjoy the decoration. But Thầy asked her to turn off the lights to conserve electricity.

Sr. Hội Nghiêm has been the abbess of Lower Hamlet since September 2014. She teaches the fine manners class for the sisters and aspirants. Her favorite practices are sitting meditation, walking meditation, and writing poetry. The seed of poetry in Sr. Hội Nghiêm was first watered when she listened to Thầy’s poetry while she was in Vietnam. Day by day, the seed ripened, and became a source of inspiration for her poetry. To Sr. Hội Nghiêm, poetry is a medium to share what is at the depth of her inner world. When she feels sad, she would read a poem. After transforming her sadness and suffering, a new poem appears naturally. Now she offers the fruit of her practice in the form of poetry in her Dharma talks.

Dharma Talks

i choose my happiness

I Choose My Happiness

2:31: 🏡 The importance of coming home to oneself, prioritizing happiness, and enjoying lazy days for inner peace and joy. • 7:07: Prioritizing happiness and joy in daily life is crucial for inner peace. • 8:52: Our sister encourages the enjoyment of lazy days for relaxation and self-care. •…

Sr Hội Nghiêm

December 28, 2023

The Art of Happiness

This Dharma Talk was recorded in Lower Hamlet on 10th August 2023 during our Day of Mindfulness. The Art of Cultivating Happiness and Peace through Mindfulness 0:28: 🙏 Practicing mindfulness in daily activities to cultivate happiness and peace. • 0:28: Starting the day with mindful breathing and smiling •…

Sr Hội Nghiêm

August 10, 2023

The Foundation of our Activism

“Mindfulness of breathing is the great vehicle used by buddhas to save beings who are drifting.” – Master Khương Tăng Hội Meditation Master Khương Tăng Hội, the first patriarch of Zen in Vietnam, was a great source of inspiration for our teacher Thầy to practice and develop Engaged Buddhism….

Sr Hội Nghiêm

October 9, 2022

The Three Powers (Compassion, Wisdom and Courage)

Sr Hoi Nghiem talks about going home to take care of ourselves. When the Vietnamese people prepare for the Lunar New Year, they clean up their home to make it spacious and beautify it by planting flowers in the garden. The same is true for our inner home –…

Sr Hội Nghiêm

December 27, 2019

Taking Care of Ourselves in Order to Take Care of Others

Sr Hoi Nghiem starts off the talk by making three drawings representing the things that she loves. She talks about each picture and its importance to her and her practice, covering topics such as being still, taking root in the Sangha, being ourselves, being solid and being vast and…

Sr Hội Nghiêm

November 24, 2019

Stopping, Resting, and Cultivating Happiness

Sr Hoi Nghiem explores the conditions we can cultivate in our lives to have more happiness. In this new year, we can be a new person, and also look at others with new eyes and allow them to begin again. We need to have mindfulness in our lives in…

Sr Hội Nghiêm

January 3, 2019

Awareness of Suffering | English Translation (audio)

This is the English translation of a talk in Vietnamese. Watch it together with the original video here: Watch the original in Vietnamese here: (Tieng Viet) In the fifth talk of the Rains Retreat 2018 sister Hoi Nghiem goes into the fourth of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings:…

Sr Hội Nghiêm

October 14, 2018

Cultivating Ease

Ease, or tranquility is a lightness and peace within. How do we cultivate this factor of awakening? We can find a quiet place, sit down, start by being aware of the body. Feel the skin on our face, feel the pores of the skin breathing. We can breathe with…

Sr Hội Nghiêm

January 14, 2018


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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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