• With precious few Buddhist political, spiritual heroines to inspire us, Chan Khong stands among the most compassionate, persistent and brave. Her book has the pace and excitement of an adventure story and the depth of a spiritual inquiry. —Tricycle

  • Return to Vietnam

    On January 11, 2005, I stepped on to Vietnamese soil for the first time in more than forty years. Accompanied by Thich Nhat Hanh and many members of the Plum Village community, we went for three months to our previous homeland.

    For so long the political situation there had made it unthinkable to me that we could return and that Thay would be given a chance to speak freely. I had given up on the idea of returning to Vietnam and seeing old friends and family. I don’t mean that in a negative sense that I was missing something. But even though I yearned for Vietnam, I just kept trying to live in the present moment. I know that in each and every moment that I was living in France, I was still deeply connected to the people of Vietnam. Deep in the present moment, I can connect to the suffering of the children, of the destitute, of those who sit in prison and who are treated unfairly and who are hungry, and I know that I can help them. When we would organize humanitarian projects for Vietnamese schools, I would feel like I was home. I have arrived, that is all. That’s why I don’t see myself as somebody in exile and that’s why I wasn’t homesick. Also, I have very many friends here and in other countries. For the sake of myself, I wouldn’t have traveled to Vietnam, and Thay felt the same way. He enjoyed each step that he took all over the world, he enjoyed each young shoot in springtime, and he was satisfied. “