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Featured Speakers - Mindfulness Teachers Conference Retreat 2015

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Mindfulness Teachers Conference Retreat 2015

Short biographies of featured speakers and panel moderators


Bhikhu Chan Phap Kham

Bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) Thich Chan Phap Kham
has been a discipleof Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh since 1987. He was ordained a novice monk in 1998, a fully ordained monk in 2000 and a Dharma teacher in 2004. A native of Vietnam, he immigrated to the United States in 1979, studied, and worked as an electronics engineer from 1983-1997. From 1998 to 2004, he practiced at Plum Village’s monasteries in France and in the United States. Since 2005, as member of a team of Plum Village’s Dharma teachers practicing in Asia, he has taught the art of mindful living and helped establish communities of practice in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea, Japan and Australia. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Plum Village Foundation Hong Kong Ltd. and as director of its 4 working units: Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism, Plum Village Mindfulness Academy, Mindfulness Teachers's Association and Plum Village Mind-Body Well-Being Centre.

As a lay person, Thich Chan Phap Kham obtained a BSEE from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in June 1983 and a MSEE from The University of Maryland in May 1986. From 1983 to 1986, he worked at National Institute of Health (in Bethesda, Maryland) and completed his master's thesis on signal processing methods for Evoked Potentials. Fom 1986 to 1997, he worked at Harry Diamond Laboratories (in Adelphi, Maryland), doing research on radar systems. 


 Richard Brady

Richard Brady is a retreat leader, writer, conference coordinator, and educational consultant. He is a founder of the Mindfulness in Education Network, an international organization with 1,400 participants. In 2001, he received lamp transmission from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh to be a Dharma teacher in his tradition with a special focus on cultivating mindfulness in young people. Richard has lead retreats and offered workshops for educators in the US, Italy, and Germany. Richard is an editor of Tuning In: Mindfulness in Teaching and Learning (2009). Other writings of his are available on the Resources page of his Minding Your Life Website. Richard taught high school mathematics at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC for 34 years before retiring in 2007 in order to devote all his energy to supporting mindfulness in education.   

 Li Chong Chan

Professor CHAN Li Chong - MBBChir; PhD Lond; FRCP Lond; FRCPath; FHKAM (Pathology); FHKAM (Medicine)

Professor Chan is the MB Lee Professor in the Humanities and Medicine, Chair Professor in Department of Pathology in Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine; and a Director of The Centre for the Humanities and Medicine at the University of Hong Kong.

Trained as a clinical haematologist in the UK, Professor Chan has been a faculty in HKU since 1989. He has a special interest in curriculum development, problem-based learning in medicine, general education, and mindful practice. He is a Co-Director of the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit, and the Chairman of the Medical Humanities Planning Group responsible for the development and the teaching and learning of medical humanities which is part of the core undergraduate medical curriculum. Though the medical humanities program, students learn to understand and experience who they are beneath the white coat, the nature of suffering and healing, the role of empathy and compassion, and the importance for health care professionals to take care of themselves and to build resilience. He is a member of the Common Core Curriculum Steering Committee of HKU that is responsible for developing a liberal arts education for all students. Professor Chan received an Outstanding Teaching Award (OTA) from the University of Hong Kong in 2009 and OTA (Team) in 2013.

 JennyChan pt ppc

Ms. Jenny Chan is a Registered Clinical Psychologist in Hong Kong. She has many years of experience working in the government and psychiatric rehabilitation institution. She has worked extensively with children, adolescents, adults and families. She is specialized in offering psychological assessment and treatment services for people suffering from depression, anxiety, complex trauma, and parent-child relational problems. She is an Honorary Clinical Supervisor of the Department of Psychology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and The University of Hong Kong. She has been practicing mindfulness with the Plum Village Sangha since 2007 and become a member of the Order of Interbeing since 2010. She has special interest in integrating mindfulness practice with modern psychotherapeutic approaches to enhance treatment effectiveness. She is enthusiastic in bringing the mindfulness practice to those in need through voluntary services (e.g., Tuen Mun Children and Juvenile Home, New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Cancer Link). She obtained a MSc in Clinical Psychology from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

 Jacquenline pt ppc


Ms. Jacqueline Law is a Registered Clinical Psychologist in Hong Kong.
After obtaining a MSSc in Clinical Psychology from The University of
Hong Kong, she worked subsequently at university and government
settings as a psychologist for many years. She is an Honorary Clinical
Supervisor of the Department of Psychology of The Chinese University
of Hong Kong and The University of Hong Kong. She worked with
children, adolescents, adults, and families for their psychological
well-being and various psychological and family issues. She had
experience in learning mindfulness with Dr. Helen Ma, and with the
Plum Village Sangha since 2013.

HaVinhTho pt ppc

Dr. Ha Vinh Tho is the Program Director at the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan. In this capacity, he is overseeing the implementation ofA Call to Care, a curriculum aiming at developing Compassion from kindergarten to University in all the school in Bhutan and in Vietnam. He is also the founder and chairman of Eurasia Foundation, a humanitarian NGO developing educational programs for children and youth living with disabilities, as well as ecological projects in Vietnam. Previously, he served as Head of training, learning and development at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. He is a Buddhist teacher the Tradition of Vietnamese Zen Buddhism ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Dr. Ha Vinh Tho has been a professor of education at several universities in Europe and Vietnam, he has published several books and many articles on topics including curative education, engaged spirituality, intercultural dialogue, adult education and humanitarian action. He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and Education from the University of Geneva.



Christine Cheung is the spiritual trainer (School Development Officer) of the Spiritual Education Project “InSpirEd” (心靈教育計劃) under the HK Institute of Educational Research at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. A former secondary school teacher, she has been practicing mindfulness in the Plum Village tradition since 2001, and is one of the founders of the "Friends of Plum Village Sangha" which was the first lay sangha to bring Plum Village practice to the public in Hong Kong. She has been keen to share mindfulness with a variety of people, including teachers, students, parents, her own family and the general public.



Parry Leung is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at the China University of Political Science and Law. He was the founder and chair of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) during 2006 to 2013. SACOM is a Hong Kong-based anti-sweatshop organization which has been active in uncovering labor abuses. Parry has been a member of the Order-of-Interbeing of the Plum Village Sangha since 2011. He has been keen to share mindfulness teaching in Hong Kong, Beijing, Yangzhou and Chengdu.

 FloritasParagas pt ppc

Florita Paragas is a Registered Social Worker and presently the Executive Director of Save Our Street Children Foundation, Inc. in Baguio City, The Philippines. Sometimes in 1980,she was introduced to ZEN practice by a classmate and friend in college. After graduation, she worked as a Social Worker and Counselor for drug dependents. A year after, she was offered a scholarship and went to Manila and finished her Masters in Social Work at the Asian Social Institute. She came back to Baguio City. For 5 years, she worked as a Program Manager with a non-government organization catering to indigent families and children in a mining community. She eventually, transferred to Project Luke, a non –government organization providing medical missions for indigent cataract and cleft lip patients and community based rehabilitation for visually and hearing impaired persons. While still with Project Luke, she finished her Masters in Public Management at the University of the Philippines-Baguio City. She also taught in St. Louis University for 18 years as a Social Work Professor. In between, she practices Zen and Christian Meditation. When she retired from teaching in the University, she was offered to work with another non-government organization where she is presently the Executive Director. She is also an active member of various networks dealing with the problems on child abuse, adoption of children, child welfare, domestic violence and human trafficking. She is presently finishing her Ph. D in Social Development at Philippine Women's University, Manila.

 SuthidaSuwanvecho pt

Dr. Suthida Suwanvecho graduated from medical school (Siririaj Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand) in 1993. She is American Board Cirtified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, and Hematology. She currently is a consultant physician at Bumrungrad Internatinal Hospital Thailand. She is a member of Order of Interbeing and a core Sangha member of Thai Plum Village.

Sutthida's poster presentation at the Asia Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care 2015 Conference in Taipei

 ShantumSeth pt ppc

Shantum Seth
is an ordained teacher (Dharmacharya) in the Zen Buddhist lineage (of the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh) and has been leading pilgrimages 'In the Footsteps of the Buddha' and other multi-faith and transformative journeys since 1988.

Shantum is actively involved in social, environmental and educational programmes including work on teacher training through Cultivating Mindfulness in Education, being pioneered by the non-profit trust, Ahimsa.

He is working on setting up a Mindfulness Practice centre in Dehradun, India.

He is a Senior Advisor to the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation on Buddhism and Pilgrimage Tourism and is on the advisory board to the Minister of Culture, Government of India. He worked in the corporate sector and later in social advocacy and development, fifteen years of which were with the United Nations Development Programme, managing programmes on volunteer promotion and artisan support across 16 countries, as also initiating the Endogenous Tourism programme in India.

He has contributed to a number of books including, 'Walking with the Buddha', 'Planting Seeds… Sharing Mindfulness with Children', and 'Volunteers against Conflict'. He has also been a consultant on films including 'Life of the Buddha' made by the BBC and Discovery and 'The Story of India' made by BBC and PBS. There is also a book written about his pilgrimage 'In the Footsteps of the Buddha' called 'Every Day is Magical' by Susan Wiget.

He has had a weekly programme on Zee TV in India, where he offered teachings on Buddhism and Meditation in Everyday Life. He has been a guest speaker at many forums including to the World Presidents’Organization, the United Nations Development Programme executive board, the Confederation of Indian Industries, the Government of India's Buddha Purnima divas and a number of educational institutions, corporations and museums East and West.

Shantum Seth studied at The Doon School and St Stephen’s College in India and then graduated in Development Studies with his thesis in Gandhian Economics from the University of East Anglia, while also graduating in Footwear Technology and Management in England.

His commitment to a cross-cultural and global understanding has led him to travel to more than 50 countries and nearly every state of India. Having lived in England, the USA and France for over 14 years, he now lives with his family in Mussoorie, in the Indian Himalayas.                                                                         

MichelleChoi pt ppc


Michelle Choi is a practicing clinical psychologist and a registered social worker in Hong Kong. Being aspired to live a meaningful life since young, she has developed her volition to become a clinical psychologist since the age of twelve. Before beginning her journey as a psychologist, she served as a medical social worker at the Queen Mary Hospital after obtaining her Bachelor degree in Social Work at the University of Hong Kong in 2009. In 2013, she obtained her Master Degree in Clinical Psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Currently, she is serving individuals and families who are suffering from mental health problems, going through the aftermath of abuses, and facing life’s crisis.

To her, becoming a helping professional offers her the privilege to navigate with other individuals to deepen their as well as her understanding about life. As a young psychologist facing the complexity of life manifestations, she realized the importance of cultivating compassion, solidity and wisdom in her clinical practice. Feeling joyfully connected with Plum Village’s teachings, she has started her mindfulness practice with the Plum Village sangha since 2012 and completed the One-Year Mindfulness Teachers Training Program in 2015.

VicHaoChin pt ppc


Vicente Hao Chin Jr. is the President of Golden Link College Foundation, a theosophical school in the Philippines. He has conducted the Self-Transformation Seminar in eighteen countries around the world, and has served as Director of the School of the Wisdom in India. He has published several books such as the Process of Self-Transformation, Why Meditate?, On Education, and edited the chronological edition of the Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. He has served as President of the Theosophical Society in the Philippines and the Indo-Pacific Federation of the TS. 

 GeoffreyTan pt ppc

Dr Geoffrey Tan is a clinician-scientist resident in psychiatry in Singapore under the National Healthcare Group and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.  He completed his MBBS-PhD at the University College London in 2012 working on characterising inter-individual differences through brain imaging and genetics and is currently at the Institute of Mental Health practicing psychiatry and psychotherapy.  He has been practising with the Plum Village Sangha since 2011.  He is a member of the Joyful Garden Sangha and an Order of Interbeing aspirant.   He is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which mindfulness practice improves mental health and applying them across mental health interventions.


GraceTam pt


Grace Bruneel was educated in Rosaryhill School in Hong Kong and received her Bachelor Degree of Arts in York University in Canada. She was a Human Resources professional, working in various multinational companies including Cathay Pacific Airways, American President Lines, and a freelance trainer/facilitator in personal development, teambuilding and leadership programs. She retired in 1998 because of ill health. In year 2000, after a sudden loss of three very dear friends in several months, she started to question about life and became a Zen Buddhist practitioner. In 2007, Grace encountered Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings and has taken 14 Mindfulness Trainings in 2010. She is currently a volunteer in Rosaryhill School  helping to share mindfulness with students, teachers and parents.

   LeeSengTeik pt


Prof  Lee Seng Teik holds an Emeritus Senior Consultant position in Singapore General Hospital and he is on the Faculty of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.  He is semi-retired and spends most of his spare time in humanitarian medical missions in the region like Hainan province, China, Laos PDR and Cambodia.  Last Nov, he organised the inaugural International Conference on Humanitarian Medical Missions which attracted over 300 attendees from 17 different countries. In his own specialty of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, he is a mentor to surgical trainees and also to researchers working in the areas such as epidermal stem cells, skin tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

He is an active member of the Joyful Garden Sangha in Singapore.  He has been with the PV tradition for 5 years and acts in an advisory capacity to JGS which is a new fledgling Sangha community .  However, the Sangha has an energetic and vibrant core group which is active in the wake-up movement and in organising regular DOMs and retreats. One of our Sangha members has now been ordained as a novice nun resident in Plum Village, France, Sr Linh Cac, and 6 have been take up the OI order.  Prof Lee is interested to introduce Mindfulness training into the medical curriculum.  He is currently working closely with the Duke-NUS GMS to explore the ways in which this can be done in a secular manner


Dr. Shuk-wah Helen Ma (Registered Clinical Psychologist, HKPS; Registered Psychologist, Australia; Chartered Psychologist (Clinical), UK)is a Certified MBSR Teacher (Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts) and an Associate Mindfulness Teacher at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, U.K. Shereceived her doctoral degree from the University of Cambridge, U.K. Her doctoral research was on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy(MBCT) and was supervised by Dr John Teasdale, one of the founders of MBCT. Since 1987, she has served as a clinical psychologist in hospitals and private practice, including the Castle Peak Hospital, Nam Long Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Centre for Buddhist Studies, University of Hong Kong from 2002 to 2014. Since 1997, she has been conducting mindfulness training programmes forhospitals,governmentdepartments, corporations, schools and voluntary organizations. She is the Founding Teacher of the Hong Kong Center for Mindfulness, and is devoting her time to training MBCT and MBSR teachers.



Dr. Katrina Tsang is a  mindfulness practitioner with the the Plum Village Hong Kong Sangha since 2011. She received the 14 Mindfulness Trainings in 2014 and is a core member of the PVHK Healthy-Body Healthy-Mind health and social professional sangha. She is an assistant professor at the School of Public Health and Primary Care in the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care since September 2011. She is conducting a randomized controlled trial to study the effects of Mindfulness-based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) on mothers-to-be, fathers-to-be and their newborns in Hong Kong. Katrina is also interested in research and application of mindfulness in children, end of life and palliative care, and medical education and training for students and health professionals.

Katrina obtained her medical degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and holds a Bachelor of Science in International Health from University of Leeds. She received her post-graduate medical training at University of Virginia Medical Center and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Katrina completed a fellowship in Maternal and Child Health in Chicago, worked with pregnant women with high obstetric risks, and performed normal and operative deliveries including cesarean sections. She also has an interest in global health and has practiced medicine in Cambodia, China, The Gambia, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania. During her family medicine training at University of Virginia, she worked in the International Family Medicine Clinic to provide healthcare for refugees from different regions of the world.


 AlfredWong pt ppc  

Dr Alfred C C Wong works as Consultant Vascular & Endovascular Surgeon and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor in Surgery in The University of Hong Kong (HKU), Department of Surgery, Queen Mary Hospital. He developed his interest in photography since his medical student's day back in early 90's in HKU. After his return from vascular surgical overseas training in Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia in 2007, C C met Mr Alain Yip (葉青霖), a talented and renowned portrait photographer in Hong Kong. Apart from being a commercial photographer, Alain was also a devoted buddhist student who conveyed buddhist teachings and zen messages through his photography. Alain's work touched C C's heart deeply and then he became a student of Alain and learned the art of zen photography from him. Moment came when Mr Alain Yip let go everything and became Venerable Chang-lin (常霖法師) in 2010, C C continued to follow his teacher, learning mindfulness and zen practice. Conditions matured and Venerable Chang-lin appointed CC as Alain Yip's 8th photographic disciple during Winter retreat in Plum Village in France in 2013.

Knowing continued and life-long mindfulness practice in daily living is essential for body and mind well-being, C C applies mindfulness practice clinically during day-in day-out patients encounter as well as during surgery in operating room. He is also one of the co-organizers of Venerable Chang-lin's "Zen of Photography 攝影 禪" retreat camp in Hong Kong and Taipei since 2012. Since 2014, C C become honorary teacher in mindfulness workshop in Medical Humanities Curriculum in HKU, sharing his application of mindfulness practice in clinical setting.



Larry Ward

Director: The Lotus Institute.
Adjunct Faculty, Claremont Graduate University, University of the West
International Corporate Consultant, Executive Coach and mindfulness Trainer
Dharmacharaya, Order of Interbeing, Ordained by Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh
Ph.D. Candidate, Religious Studies, Major in Buddhism, University of the West (2015)
Co-Author (with Peggy Rowe-Ward), Love’s Garden: A Guide to Mindful Relationships (Parallax Press, 2008)

Together We are One, contributing author (Parallax Press 2010) recent presentations: Spirituality and Neuroscience Conference, Claremont School of Theology (2009). Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, UCLA (2008), The Mind and Society, Pitzer College. (2010). American Buddhism, Claremont School of Theology (2010). Psychology of Mindfulness and Wellness, Scripps Clinic (2011) Buddhist Contemplative Traditions and Western Science (2012), Leading Mindfully: Bringing Presence and Wisdom to Action, Mindfulness Week, Sweden (2013)

Consultant, Professor and Social Artist

Larry Ward was deeply inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and has spent his life committed to non-violent social change, healing, and transformation on a global level.   He served on the staff of the Ecumenical Institute and Institute of Cultural Affairs for twenty years as director, academy dean and master teacher. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Organizational Behavior and established his own firm providing consulting services with multinational clients He has successfully designed, sold and facilitated executive education over twenty years in the private sector.  

Larry received his Christian ordination in 1972 and now serves as a 43rd generation lineage holder of the Lam Te Dhyana School having received Dharma Teacher Transmission in 2000 by Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a leading proponent of Buddhism in America and leads retreats around the world (i.e. Vietnam, China, Korea, Canada, Mexico, France and the United States). Larry mentors ministerial students and Zen priests in the Order of Interbeing founded by Thich Nhat Hanh. Love’s Garden: A Guide to Mindful Relationships, co-authored with his wife Peggy Rowe-Ward were acknowledged as one of the best Buddhist writings of 2009.

Larry is currently completing his doctoral studies in Religious Studies majoring in Buddhism. He is currently completing his dissertation on Meditation as self-directed neuroplasticity. In his leisure time, Larry enjoys playing with Charlie their dog and a round of golf. Contact information: (909) 621-9302



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