Brother Contemplation

One of the matters I discussed with the monks I met at Blue Cliff Monastery in 2014 – such as Brother Fulfillment – was whether their residence was a lifelong calling. It isn’t always, of course. In fact in traditionally Buddhist cultures, it is not unusual for young males (it tends to be a gender-specificContinue reading “Brother Contemplation”

Dang Nghiem [Huynh Thi Ngoc Huong]

At Blue Cliff Monastery outside Pine Bush, NY, Sister Dang Nghiem tells me people call her Sister D. She is Vietnamese by birth The Vietnamese language is tonal, and there is an element of that tonality in the way in which she speaks English. “My mother passed away by the time I was twelve, andContinue reading “Dang Nghiem [Huynh Thi Ngoc Huong]”

Brother Fulfillment

The work coordinator at Blue Cliff monastery at the time of my visit in 2014 was introduced to me both as Brother Phap Man and as Brother Fulfillment, the English translation of his name.I ask how he is normally addressed, and he tells me he is trying to retrain people to call him Brother Fulfillment.Continue reading “Brother Fulfillment”

Brother Phap Vu

The last movie my wife and I went to see before the corona-virus outbreak was “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a movie which is less about Mr. Rogers than it is about the reporter who wrote a cover story about him for Esquire magazine. In the film, the reporter is portrayed as a fairlyContinue reading “Brother Phap Vu”