Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Sangha
A Community of Mindfulness Practice for Health Care and Social Service Professionals
in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Sangha consists of health care and social service professionals, practicing mindfulness in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (1926 - ) and Plum Village France. It was founded in February 2013, under the guidance of monastics from Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism – The Plum Village Foundation Hong Kong.
Body and Mind are one. When we take care of our body, we also take care of our mind. When we take care of our mind, we also take care of our body. Physical and mental exercises help keep our body and mind strong and healthy. In Buddhist tradition, mindfulness of breathing has been used as exercises by meditation practitioners to nourish body and mind for thousands of years. Thich Nhat Hanh has utilized the teachings of the Buddha based on the “Discourse on the Full Awareness of Breathing (Anapanasatisutta)” 1 and “Discourse on The Four Establishments of Mindfulness (Satipathanasutta)”2 to make these time-tested methods relevant to the contemporary world.
It is essential to know how our mind works to help make the practice easier. In 1990, Thich Nhat Hanh composed “Fifty Verses on the Nature of Consciousness”3, making the complex Buddhist teachings on philosophy and psychology more accessible and connected to our daily life. These verses are based on the Twenty and Thirty Verses on the Manifestation of Consciousness (Vijñaptimatrata-vimshatika-karika and Vijñaptimatrata-trimshika-karika), composed by the 4th century Indian Buddhist monk Vasubhandu; and on later works by Indian Buddhist monk Sthiramati (470-550), Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang (600-664), and Chinese Buddhist monk Fazang (643-712).
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Sangha’s studies and practices of mindfulness are based on the above mentioned works of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Even though the teachings are from Buddhist tradition, the practices are non-sectarian and are open to people of all faiths. After all, Buddhism is not a religion, it is a way of living that cultivates compassion and wisdom, helping people transform their suffering into peace and happiness. See The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh on practicing mindfulness in daily life.
Activities of Health Body, Healthy Mind Sangha includes of:
- Practice with and give support to the Day of Mindfulness for Health Care Professional and Social Services Professionals at The University of Hong Kong, co-organized by the Centre on Behavioral Health and Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism.
- Give support to the training on “Mindfulness-Born Peace and Happiness (MBPH)”, an 8-day in-depth mindfulness training course for Health Care Professional and Social Services Professionals, conducted by Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism.
- Monthly practice on the 4th Sunday of the month at Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism – Lotus Pond Temple in Ngong Ping, Lantau Island
- Integrating the practice of mindfulness in the health care and social services fields by members of the Sangha, which include medical doctors, clinical psychologists, nurses, social workers, yoga teachers, health care educators.
1 “The Path of Emancipation”, Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press, 2000.
2 “Transformation and Healing”, Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press, 2006.
3 “Understanding our Mind”, Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press, 2006.
Mentor: Bhikkhu Thich Chan Phap Kham,
Director, Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism, Hong Kong
- Jenny Chan, Clinical Psychologist
- Josephine Cheng, Social Worker
- Katrina Tsang , Medical Doctor
- Brian Lau, Medical Doctor
- Venus Wong, Teaching Consultant in Behavioral Health
- Wai Ling Tse, Yoga Teacher
Bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) Thich Chan Phap Kham has been a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh since 1987. He was ordained a novice monk in 1998, a fully ordained monk in 2000 and a Dharma teacher in 2004. A native of Vietnam, he immigrated to the United States in 1979, studied, and worked as an electronics engineer from 1983-1997. From 1998 to 2004, he practiced at Plum Village’s monasteries in France and in the United States. Since 2005, as member of a team of Plum Village’s Dharma teachers practicing in Asia, he has taught the art of mindful living and helped establish community of practices in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea, Japan and Australia. He currently serves as Director of Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism in Hong Kong, a center for Applied Buddhism Studies and Practices in the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village.
As a lay person, Thich Chan Phap Kham obtained a BSEE from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in June 1983 and a MSEE from the University of Maryland in May 1986. From 1983 to 1986, he worked at National Institute of Health (in Bethesda, Maryland) and completed his master’s thesis on signal processing methods for Evoked Potentials. From 1986 to 1997, he worked at Harry Diamond Laboratories (in Adelphi, Maryland), doing research on radar systems.