This is a response by Bhikshuni Chan Tung Nghiem (Barbara Newell), also known as Sister Pine, to a commentary by Lisa Kemmerer published in the Summer 2008 issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, regarding Kemmerer's experience of attending one of Thich Nhat Hanh's mindfulness retreats in Estes Park in September 2005. Sister Pine notes that "The nuns whom Ms. Kemmerer encountered most likely felt Ms. Kemmerer was focusing too much on theoretical, political rights and wrongs, and missing the purpose of the retreat, which is to practice getting to know and understand ourselves and the world around us in a direct and deep way." "True freedom, as well as real change in the behavior of human beings," Sister Pine adds, "is realized not through mere intellectual criticism and debate, but by a change of heart that comes from touching the profound interconnectedness of all things. We sincerely wish Ms. Kemmerer peace and happiness in this very moment, and all the fruits of realizing true, deep understanding and compassion for herself and all the beings she encounters on her path. This is the real heart of engaged Buddhism."

[Additionally, Lisa Kemmerer prepared a reply to Bhikshuni Chan Tung Nghiem (Barbara Newell), which appears in a later issue of Human Architecture (vol. 7, issue 3).]



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