Flowers in the Dark: Reclaiming Your Power to Heal from Trauma with Mindfulness
“Profound and hopeful . . . Sister Dang Nghiem integrates the neuroscience of trauma, effective treatments, and mindfulness training. Highly recommended.” —Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha's Brain
Learn the accessible and deeply compassionate practices for healing trauma, known as the Five Strengths of applied Zen Buddhism. More than a philosophy, these body-based practices are backed by modern neuroscience research, and they can be applied by anyone suffering from trauma to begin experiencing relief.
Mindfulness teacher Sister Dang Nghiem, MD, is an inspiration for anyone who has ever suffered from abuse, life-changing loss, severe illness, or the aftermath of war. In Flowers in the Dark, she brings together her lived experience as a survivor, certified MD, and ordained Buddhist teacher to offer a body-based, practical approach to healing from life's most difficult and painful experiences.
Offering insights from Buddhist psychology and simple somatic practices for tapping into our Five Strengths—our inner faculties of self-trust, diligence, mindfulness, concentration, and insight—Sister Dang Nghiem’s approach to trauma is radically accessible; it begins with awareness of our breathing. With each chapter containing a progression of guided reflections and exercises, this book can be read as an adjunct to therapy and a helpful guide for moving through trauma in the body. With the practice of mindfulness, we can access our strength as survivors and our joy in being alive.
SISTER DANG NGHIEM, MD, ("Sister D") was born in 1968 in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive, the daughter of a Vietnamese mother and an American soldier. She lost her mother at the age of twelve and immigrated to the United States at the age of seventeen with her brother. Living in various foster homes, she learned English and went on to earn a medical degree from the University of California - San Francisco. After suffering further tragedy and loss, she quit her practice as a doctor to travel to Plum Village monastery in France founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, where she was ordained a nun in 2000. She is the author of two books: a memoir, Healing: A Woman's Journey from Doctor to Nun (2010), and Mindfulness as Medicine: A Story of Healing and Spirit (2015). In 2019 she was honored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Global Studies program to deliver the T. T. and W. F. Chao Distinguished Buddhist Lecture on "Mindfulness as Medicine."