True Virtue: The Journey of an English Buddhist Nun

Parallax. Aug. 2019. 360p. illus. maps. notes. ISBN 9781946764270. pap. $18.95; ebk. ISBN 9781946764287. REL
True Virtue is the dharma name of author Laity, the first Western monastic disciple of renowned Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, peace advocate, and founder of the Plum Village monastery Thich Nhat Hanh. Laity grew up in England with a desire to become a Catholic nun, but instead studied classics in London. She learned about Buddhism while teaching in Greece and found it to be the spiritual path she had been seeking. After studying Tibetan Buddhism, she met Hanh, became his student, and was ordained as a nun in 1986. Laity traveled the world teaching and learning the dharma and helped to found other Plum village monasteries and centers worldwide. This calm, restrained narrative reflection of her life—some personal insights and turmoil is expressed, but mostly this is a beautifully detailed time line of Laity’s travels and experiences. An understanding of Buddhism and its many terms are assumed of readers.
VERDICT Recommended for communities with a strong focus in Buddhism, women’s spirituality, and/or local connections to this sect; otherwise, an optional purchase.

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