The Monks and Me
How 40 Days in Thich Nhat Hanh's French Monastery Guided Me Home
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012 / September 15, 2012
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing
Mary Paterson’s The Monks and Me
is about finding a true home within ourselves. This wise and witty account of her life-enriching journey is a joy to read.
“Death can be a destabilizing force. And when it touches you closely, you must somehow discover a way to find and rebuild your secure home,” Mary writes. With the passing of her father, she became an orphan. At age 40, she felt as if she had lost her home. To find peace, Mary embarked on a pilgrimage to Plum Village, the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s retreat in France. From his opening words as he greeted the newcomers—“In the stormy ocean of life, take refuge in your wise self”—to her transformative experience and the 40 Buddhist precepts that she learned, you’ll be swept up in Mary’s 40-day journey. Written with a sensibility that’s grounded, realistic and engaging, you’re sure to find yourself in chapters such as The Lesson in a Bad Fish, The Man Who Nicked My Headphones and How a Monk Washes His Face.
This wonderfully honest and often humorous chronicle of Mary’s 40-day sojourn will touch your heart, and perhaps even inspire you to “take refuge in your deepest self” and find home.