I am still floating on a cloud of gratitude, amazement, and inner smiles. At the temple where Thich Nhat Hanh is staying, his root temple, I ran into Sister Chan Khong. She was surrounded by a few young lay women getting their pictures taken with her. I recognized her instantly as I had just finished reading her book about her life as an activist for children, families, and peace for Vietnam. She and Thich Nhat Hanh (along with many others) worked tirelessly for peace and freedom of religion. My eyes met hers for a moment, and they were so kind and knowing, it was like being greeted by an old friend. A few moments later our driver asked if I could have my picture taken with her. She asked me “you know who I am?” I said “yes! I just finished reading your book!” “Learning True Love?” she said. Yes…I thanked her for her profound work–for me, she is the total rock star of engaged Buddhism. Sister’s face is peaceful, sweet, and oh so beautiful! I am still in awe that this moment in time was gifted to me. This was such a chance encounter, I had no idea she was even in Vietnam.
Afterwards, spent some time offering incense at the pagoda, walking the grounds, and then chatting with a monk in the gift shop who had spent a month at the Deer Park monastery in Escondido. H and I meditated for a bit in a little pagoda by a pond, enjoying moments of flowing light on trees reflected off the water. Breathing in I am calm and peaceful, breathing out I smile. Breathing in I am so grateful for sharing a moment with an amazing human spirit, breathing out I know we share and connect through the same source, the same ocean of light. I bow to the light in you that is the same as the light in me.
Grateful for magic, and the privilege of this travel pilgrimage. Thank you for journeying with me!