Cultivating Our Garden of Love: A Day of Mindfulness with Dharma Teacher Michael Nguyen
Sat, December 16
Sat, December 16, 8:45 am– 3:30 pm
Michael Nguyen's path to becoming a Dharma Teacher is unusual. His family came to the US from Vietnam as immigrants when he was two years old. Thirteen years later, in 1989, he met Thich Nhat Hanh at a retreat and took the Five Mindfulness Trainings. However, rather than continuing in a spiritual direction, at the age of 17 he joined the Navy. He served in Iraq during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, from 1991-1995.
Michael's return to civilian life was difficult. As mentioned in a Huffington Post article about him, “when he went to sleep he returned to the combat zone, battling ghoulish enemies in dreams that were so intense that while he was sleepwalking he would punch out the walls of his bedroom. ‘I would be constantly fighting, kicking, screaming, swearing, having to patch up my walls pretty much every single week.’” Suffering from PTSD, it was difficult for him to keep a job or maintain a relationship.
Eventually, he found his way back to a spiritual path. He attended a retreat at Plum Village in France in 2002 and stayed on as a monastic, receiving full ordination in 2007. He was ordained as a Dharma teacher in 2010. In 2015 Michael left the monastery and returned to lay life, so he could dedicate more time to working with veterans and their families, sharing mindfulness and trauma releasing exercises they can use each day. He was the primary organizer of a 2014 veterans retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery in New York called "Welcome Home, How to Truly Come Home." He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
During our Day of Mindfulness, in addition to guiding our sitting, walking, eating meditation, Michael will share about his own transformation and his work with veterans. He also would especially like to offer the Touching the Earth practice, which allows us to release our worries, suffering, and anxieties.
Our Day of Mindfulness with Michael will be in the Octagon at Blueberry Gardens in Ashton, Maryland. The suggested dana (donation) is $50-$90. Dana is a gift from the heart that supports the community and the teachings; please feel free to contribute less or more depending on your circumstances.
We hope you can join us! All experience levels, including no meditation experience, are welcome. If you have questions, please email our registrar, Gene Klinger, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-731-3732.
In additional to this Day of Mindfulness, Michael will be offering a workshop on TRE (Trauma Release Exercise), which are especially helpful for veterans and others suffering from deep trauma. The TRE workshop will be on Sunday, December 17, 2017, at the Yoga Center of Columbia,1 to 5 pm. Michael will also be sharing his practice at the Still Water group at Crossings in Silver Spring on Thursday evening, December 14, 2017, 7:00-9:00 pm and at the Still Water Columbia Group on Sunday, December 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Blueberry Gardens: A Center for Yoga, Growth, and Healing
237 Ashton Road
Ashton, MD 20861