The Monks and Me by Mary Paterson
How 40 Days at Thich Nhat Hanh's French Monastery Guided Me Home

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"Death can be a destabilizing force. And when it touches you closely, you must somehow discover a way to find and rebuild your secure home," popular yoga instructor Mary Paterson writes. With the death of her father, she felt as if she had no place to stand. She had lost her home.

Paterson's response to this life crisis, was to embark on a pilgrimage to Plum Village, the retreat of Nobel Prize-nominated Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. This wonderfully frank and funny chronicle of her 40-day sojourn offers readers the 40 Buddhist precepts that she learned. The primary theme is the necessity of discovering how to "take refuge" or find a permanent home within ourselves--without taking oneself too seriously.

With chapters such as The Lesson in a Bad Fish, The Man Who Nicked My Headphones, How a Monk Washes His Face, and How Not to Be Sneaky, this lyrical, wise, and witty personal journey book is inspirational and a joy to read. Paterson's sensibility is grounded, realistic, and engaging.


About Mary Paterson

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Mary Paterson the Founder and Director of Toronto's Lotus Yoga Centre, a mecca for yoga and meditation instruction that has been operating since 2000. She has studied and taught internationally in India, England, France, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the U.S. Mary Paterson resides in Toronto, ON. Her website is
Published September 1, 2012 by Hampton Roads Publishing. 258 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Biographies & Memoirs, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Trying to find “home” as embodied in the Buddhist idea of taking refuge, Paterson seeks guidance from Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh at his monastery in rural France. Her 40-day retreat pr

Jul 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Monks and Me: How 40 Days...

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