How to Meditate

Recently I had the privilege to offer private meditation instruction to a family. At the beginning of the session, the mom had many questions about the goals and techniques of meditation. One of her question was if we should keep our mind completely empty and eliminate all the thoughts during meditation. I think I didn’t…

Be a light in the world

Sunday, November 6th 2017, a group of us was finishing up a multi-day meditation retreat. Our group of Zen meditation practitioners have been here for four days. During those four days, our schedule included long periods of sitting and walking meditation, 2-3 hours several times a day, working meditation, eating meditation, and free-time periods where we often…

Cut this tomato with love

A few years ago, while I was at a multi-day Zen retreat, I wandered into the kitchen of the place where we were staying. Our group always stayed Kairos House of Prayers in Spokane, Washington. It’s a small property hidden in a secluded area surrounded by acres of pine woods, not too far from the city (only minutes…

Put me anywhere, and I will succeed

That’s what my dad told us when we were kids. It is not the cards you are dealt with, but it’s how you play the cards you have. You see, my parents and their parents grew up in a time when there were a lot of fighting and changes of government in Vietnam. We were occupied…

Leadership biases #MeToo

I ignored the #MeToo movement on social media. I labeled it as just another social media hype that would rise and fall in a few days. Even though I was a survivor, I rarely spoke of my experience or mentioned it to anyone. Why? Because just thinking about it brings back painful memories, and because…

All her “would-haves” are our opportunities!

I recently visited Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, Netherland. Walking through her hiding place and reading her diary created such a sad but inspiring emotion in me. If you don’t know Anne, I highly recommend reading her diary: Anne Frank – the diary of a young girl; more than 30 millions copies have been sold around the…

Change Hurts!

I have been through many changes in life, from going away from my birth country as a teenager to moving across states and taking jobs in fields that I have little knowledge of. Although looking back, I can wholeheartedly say that changes are good for me and fuel my growth; changes are always hard. Changes bring about…

Just Keep Swimming

“Sometimes swimming upstream is too tiring that one opts to swim downstream” – one friend telling another friend when he found out that this person had decided to switch job. The repetition of the word “stream” caught my attention and made me think. Upstream … downstream … Regardless of up or down, we all are in…

No Mud, No Lotus

Everyone knows we need to have mud for lotuses to grow. The mud doesn’t smell so good, but the lotus flower smells very good. If you don’t have mud, the lotus won’t manifest. You can’t grow lotus flowers on marble. Without mud, there can be no lotus… If you know how to make good use of the mud, you can grow beautiful lotuses. – Thich Nhat Hanh