Creating a Sangha Wherever We Go

Hang and I met in 2012 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her loving words, immense knowledge about yoga and joyful outlook on life were magnetic.  Hang later told me that my calmness, openness and healing hands, as her massage therapist, drew her to me. We made an instant connection, which resulted in many delicious vegetarian meals and great conversations.

Hang was born in Vietnam and moved to Canada when she was eight years old. Her active lifestyle started with fitness and mixed martial arts, and later transitioned into yoga.   In 2006 Hang discovered the mindfulness path, which she began to incorporate into her life and into the classroom as a maths and science teacher.   

I grew up in Melbourne and have been living overseas for the past ten years. I am a massage trainer and a Reiki and  yoga  teacher.  When I learned to meditate at twelve years old,  I immediately loved the calmness and the clarity of thought that I experienced. 

Hang's way of introducing mindfulness to me was for us to do sitting and walking meditation together every Saturday morning, then read and discuss Thay's books. This  helped me to "wake up" and live with more awareness.  Getting in touch with the peacefulness and silence within was a transformative experience.  I developed more understanding and compassion for myself and others, found joy in my daily activities and connected to my family in a more loving way. 

In 2013, Hang and I formed "saigon om", a holistic wellness school in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Two years later, we decided to travel between Australia, Vietnam and Canada together to spread our joy for life through yoga and mindfulness teacher training, mindfulness courses, retreats, massage and Reiki training ,and Tai Chi teacher training.  Our motto is "Travel, Teach & Learn."  We love the work that we do and seeing the transformation in our students as they begin to live with more awareness and joy, is  inspiring. We feel it is our duty to share the benefits of  mindfulness practice, because it has helped us so much.

When we are in Australia and Canada we spend time with our families and offer classes, retreats and workshops.  We love practising with Sanghas around the world, including Birrarung Sangha in Melbourne, True Peace Sangha in Toronto and a Sangha we started originally, in Ho Chi Minh City. We feel we create a Sangha wherever we go with our loved ones, students, and practice friends.  

To help us deepen our  practice we visit Thai Plum Village each year.  It is very special to connect with the monks and nuns and be inspired by their dedication to the practice path. We have heard that one week of practising at Plum Village is like one year of practising at home; and we always leave feeling lighter and fresher - walking more slowly, and smiling at everyone. 

Sarah Martin (Mindful Action of the Heart)