photographs with plum village sangha: vietnam 2005 by emily whittle
January 9 - 26, 2006
In 2001, I ordained as a lay disciple of the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh and, in the words of the ceremony, the practice of mindfulness became my new career. At that time, I received the name True Wonderful Happiness. My dharma name is not a description of me, but an aspiration. Since then, my challenge has been to discover how to be faithful to my vows in the making of art.
In January of 2005 I was privileged to accompany Thich Nhat Hanh on his historic return to Vietnam after 40 years in exile. These photographs represent my favorite images from that pilgrimage. As there were many television cameras and photojournalists recording key events, I chose to focus my lens in a different direction, capturing whatever caught my eye in the moment.
May these images help in some small way to heal our collective wound from our former conflict with the beautiful, gentle-spirited Vietnamese people.
Updated: Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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