„Relieving suffering“

During her time as a medical student and a doctor Shifu Simplicity saw a lot of suffering. “My job gave me a great deal of pleasure, relieving suffering was my goal.” Soon she realized “As a doctor, I can only relieve suffering to a limited extent. Often the suffering is not in the body but in the mind.”

   „Becoming a doctor of the mind“

Becoming a doctor of the mind was clearly the best way. Shifu Simplicity’s initial contact with Buddhism came from the books of ancient Chinese Chan Masters. She was fascinated that the Chan masters had found a truth beyond logic, beyond psychological or emotional explanations. She studied Sinology and Traditional Chinese Medicine and travelled to Taiwan several times.

   „Finding inner peace“

During her travels she also visited the monastery of Lingquan near Taipei and immediately felt that she belonged there. Her first visit coincided with a retreat, giving her a sense of inner peace, and as a result of this she started to meditate regularly. During her second visit, which lasted two months, she took part in monastic life, and thereafter became officially a Buddhist.

   „Slowly maturing True wishes “

The desire to devote herself completely to Buddhist practice slowly matured over the years. Shifu Simplicity knew that to be able to help others requires an intensive study of one’s own mind. The truth of life appears only if you let go of all the familiar patterns and open yourself up to a new life. She decided to leave everything behind and devote herself completely to the spiritual life.

   „Do not meditate alone“

Shifu Simplicity knew that she needed an experienced guide. You cannot learn to meditate by yourself, and the best Buddhist teachers are monks or nuns. She found her first spiritual home in the monastery at Plum Village, France, and it was there that she was ordained as a nun by Master Thích Nhất Hạnh. During her six years at Plum Village she got to know the practice of the monastic community. The main lessons of that time were the importance of communication, reconciliation, compassion and mindfulness. She learned how everyday life can be improved through Buddhist practice.

   „Learning from the source – studying the tradition“

Because she wanted to study the sources in Asia and to penetrate the Dharma more deeply, Shiffu’s path led her to Chan Master Wei Chueh in Chung Tai Chan Monastery, Taiwan. The guiding idea behind her search was: who knows the tradition understands the present. In Taiwan, she studied the writings of the ancient Chan masters and the Buddhist sutras in Chinese, seeking the truth, on the path to Enlightenment.

   „Bringing the wisdom back to the West“

After fourteen years in the monasteries of Chung Tai and Lingquan, the time came to bring her findings back to the West. As the director of the Miao Fa Centre, Shifu Simplicity is now using her experience to help people who are searching for answers.

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