Mindfulness Conference Retreat 2020

Short biographies of featured speakers and panel moderators

Speakers's Short Videos about the Conference: https://www.facebook.com/JoyfulGarden.SG/videos/


Bhikhu Chan Phap KhamBhikkhu (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.

In 2012, Phap Kham established the Mindfulness-Born Peace and Happiness (MBPH): A Way of Well-being as a systematic approach for bringing  mindfulness to professionals in a non-sectarian way. The MBPH has evolved into a psychotherapy method for physical, mental and social well-being. He conducted two one-year-long train-the-trainer mindfulness teachers training program (mTeachers Training) based on the MBPH approach in 2015 and 2018 in Hong Kong. In 2015, he organized the first Asian-Mindfulness Conference Retreat to bring knowledge and practice of mindfulness together under one roof to emphasize the fact that mindfulness is a way of living, and  studying, teaching and practicing mindfulness go together. 

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.

See video of Phap Kham  on the 2nd Conference Retreat:  https://www.facebook.com/JoyfulGarden.SG/videos/437486030270015/ 


Yusuke pt 2020

Yusuke Takamiya. M.D.

Professor, Depart ment of medical education

Showa University, School of Medicine(SUSM),Tokyo, Japan

1957 Born in Japan,

1985 Graduated from SUSM,Entered the Department of Surgery at SUSM

1989 Studied at Hospice, UK

1992 Established Palliative Care Team, Showa University Hospital

2001 Opened a new Palliative Care Ward, Showa University Yokohama Northern Hospital

2007 Medical Education Office, SUSM

2018 Professor, Department of medical education, SUSM

I have lectures about palliative care and life through death to medical students and medical professionals.Since 2015, I have given lectures about selfcare and mindfulness of medical professionals.

[Society  Activity] Representative of “The Association for palliative care at university hospitals”. Representative of “The Japanese Association of Clinical Research on Death and Dying”

SuthidaSuwanvecho ptDr. 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

WendyWong 2020
Dr Wendy Wong
works as an Associate Consultant Paediatrician at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital and Honorary Clinical Assistant Professor at Department of Paediatrics at the University of Hong Kong. After obtaining Membership of Royal College of Physician of the United Kingdom (UK) and Fellowship of Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, she developed her special interest in Community Paediatrics. Currently she oversees Comprehensive Child Development Service and Medical Social Collaboration under Children & Family Platform of Community Service Committee at Hong Kong East Cluster.

Wendy has been a mindfulness practitioner with the Plum Village Hong Kong Sangha since 2016 and graduated from One Year Mindfulness Teachers Training Program (2017/18) organized by Plum Village Mindfulness Academy. She is also a Mindful Parenting Instructor certified by University of Amsterdam. Her husband and two children are supportive companions on her mindfulness journey.

Dr Geoffrey Tan  works as a Clinician-Scientist in Psychiatry.  His clinical work is based at the Institute of Mental Health , the tertiary centre for psychiatric care in Singapore, as an Associate Consultant, where he runs clinics in General Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.  He is a supervisor in Psychodynamic therapy. 

He completed his MBBS-PhD at the University College London in 2012 working on characterising inter-individual differences through brain imaging and genetics.  His research is conducted across IMH, the Clinical Imaging Research Centre at the National University of Singapore, and the Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences at the Agency of Science, Technology and Research and focuses on relationships, depression and neural mechanisms for therapeutic interventions. 

He coordinates mindfulness activities at the Institute of Mental Health involving a diverse range of mindfulness modalities including Mindfulness-based Cognitive therapy, Mindful Self-Compassion, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and informal mindfulness activities for patients as well as staff.

He has been an OI with Joyful Garden since 2015 and is part of the caretaking committee for the Mindful Helpers group, which comprises mental health professionals, caregivers and anyone who sees themselves as a mindful helper.

JennyChan 2020 pt
Ms Jenny Chan is a Registered Clinical Psychologist of the Hong Kong Psychology Society. She obtained a MSc in Clinical Psychology from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has many years of experience working in the Social Welfare Department and psychiatric rehabilitation institution. She was an Honorary Clinical Supervisor of the Department of Psychology of The University of Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. 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, trauma, adjustment difficulties and parent-child relational problems.

Since 2007, Jenny started practicing mindfulness of Plum Village tradition founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She started teaching mindfulness to children and adults since 2009. Moreover, she has completed the first Mindfulness Teachers Training Program of Plum Village Mindfulness Academy in 2015. In 2015, she assisted Plum Village to establish the first independent social services organization “Breathe and Smile Mindbody Wellbeing Center” to promote the art of mindful living and art of healing.  In 2016, she has designed and developed 8-session Mindfulness Born Peace and Happiness (MBPH) Program to help people embrace the art of mindful living.

See video of Jenny on the 2nd Conference Retreat:  https://www.facebook.com/JoyfulGarden.SG/videos/2703858999681069/

LawrenceGogh pt 2020
Lawrence Goh
 works as a senior counsellor in a community based counselling agency in Singapore. His work involves providing therapy services to individuals, couples, and families facing diverse problems. He used to work in the corporate IT field since 1995 before changing career in 2007.

His experiences include volunteering with Action for AIDS, an NGO providing anonymous HIV testing service, and is currently a pro bono clinical supervisor for Oogachaga, an agency providing counselling services for the LGBTQ community.

In 2014, he was ordained into the Order of Interbeing in the Plum Village tradition and serves in Joyful Garden Sangha in Singapore.

See video of Lawrence on the 2nd Conference Retreat: https://www.facebook.com/JoyfulGarden.SG/videos/2211561562470907/

VenusWong 2012Dr. Venus P.Y. Wong B.Soc.Sc.; M.Soc.Sc.; Ph.D. (HKU)

Lecturer - Department of Social Work and Social Administration and Centre on Behavioral Health

Acting Program Director – M.Soc.Sc. (Behavioral Health), Centre on Behavioral Health

Associate Director - Centre on Behavioral Health

The University of Hong Kong

 Dr. Venus Wong is the Lecturer at The University of Hong Kong. Her teachings focus on behavioral health, spirituality, holistic clinical practice and wellbeing for healthcare professionals. Her research interests include holistic intervention, mindfulness practice and medical humanities. 

Dr. Wong is a seasoned training consultant, specializes in strength-based body-mind-spirit approach integrating the indigenous wisdom and evidence-based practices from both the Eastern and Western teachings. She has been actively involved in wellbeing training for medical students, healthcare practitioners and other human service professionals, including the collaborations with Hospital Authority and NGOs serving local populations and ethnic minorities. Training programs were offered to participants from different countries including mainland China, US, Korea and Hong Kong. She is currently a voluntary member of the Plum Village Mindfulness Academy supporting the professional program development under the Plum Village tradition and the teaching of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Mindfulness Training background:

  • Graduate of Mindfulness Teacher Training – Plum Village Mindfulness Academy
  • Graduate of Foundation Course for Teaching Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, MBCT (Co-organized by the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and the Hong Kong Center for Mindfulness)
  • Graduate of Mindful Practice workshop facilitator training – University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry


AnhLe pt 2020Ho Gia Anh Le has worked as a lecturer in the National University of Singapore (NUS) since 2007. Before moving to Singapore, she was a lecturer in Vietnam National University, Hanoi. She had also been employed as a research assistant for a number of Non-Governmental Organizations and United Nations Agencies in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Le has published a number of research on Vietnamese language studies, social media in language studies, and intercultural pragmatics in reputable academic journals in Singapore, Belgium, Australia and the United States.
She has been a speaker at various international conferences in Singapore, France, Germany, Japan, England, Thailand, Scotland and Vietnam.

Le has been active in building communities of mindful living in Singapore. She is the founder and main facilitator of the National University of Singapore’s Mindfulness Interest Group for faculty and students. She has co-organized a number of bi-annual international mindfulness retreats as well as monthly days of mindfulness in Singapore.

Since 2010, she has mentored a number of NUS students’ interest groups, including Vietnamese students’ association and University Scholars Programme’s international programme Buddhism in Asia. Since 2017, she has been an adjunct mentor for students in Singapore University of Technology and Design. She is currently the mindfulness trainer for Yale - NUS College in Singapore to offer short courses and facilitate weekly mindfulness trainings for faculty, staff and students.

Since February 2017, Le has been a founder and director of Le Hoang Pte Ltd., a Singapore-registered company that specializes in mindfulness training and consultancy. Le is also a senior advisor of Happiness-Based Education Integrated Schools in Ha Tinh province, Central Vietnam. Since July 2017, Le has trained about 600 teachers in cultivating happiness and well-being in schools by integrating mindfulness and social emotional learning in private and public schools in Vietnam.

See video of Anh-Le on the 2nd Conference Retreat:  https://www.facebook.com/JoyfulGarden.SG/videos/2211561562470907/

novita pt 2020Novita Lestari, BECS, M. Ed., CHt. has been studying and working with children for the past 10 years. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Studies and Master Degree in Education. For the past three years, she has been dedicating her life in a school, Nanyang Zhi Hui School (http://www.nanyang.sch.id/). The school, initiated by her mom, focuses on the development of children’s character, and upholds the  motto “The End of Education is Character”. The school has realized that one of the tools to build children’s character is through the practice of mindfulness.

Since 2010, the school teachers have been introduced to mindfulness gradually. And since 2016, the school has consistently conducted mindfulness retreat for all its teachers and school members every year. Currently, all the school members including the students are practicing mindfulness in daily basis, through meditation, BIBO bell and Mindful Eating.

While being part of the school management, Novi is also actively working in helping families and teachers on how to guide young children to know themselves and to develop good characters. She also works with children of all levels regularly to get to know them and guide them in their life.

JoanneChung 2020
Professor Joanne Chung,
Peter T C Lee Chair Professor of Health Studies, Department of Health and Physical Education, The Education University of Hong Kong.  Professor Chung is a pain specialist in both research and clinical practice.  She has been researching and developing integrative pain management protocols for patients afflicted with cancer, chronic, or
idiopathic pain. 

 All these activities led her to many international awards in past years.  Professor Chung practises mindfulness and has extensive experience in the application of mindfulness in pain management, wellbeing and resilience building projects.  She is a Certified Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction courses.  She is also a Mindfulness Teacher (mTeacher) which is conferred by the Plum Village (Hong Kong). Currently, she is working with primary school teachers, nurses, adolescents, children and clients with cancers in mindfulness in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Hai 2020Hai Nguyen Phuoc is a Project Manager of Eurasia Foundation & Association. His work with Eurasia spans the fields of education, special education, social therapy, ecology, and Gross National Happiness - GNH. Eurasia Learning Institute for Happiness and Wellbeing (ELI) offers experiential programs leading participants from inner transformation to engagement for a happy and sustainable world.

Hai loves to connect people, and he helps Eurasia connect to many young people, NGOs in Vietnam and around the world to get in touch with the needs and aspirations of the younger generation.

Hai is Eurasia Learning Institute (ELI) representative leading the Happy Schools Project in Hue. Together with his team, ELI is developing a 3-year Happy Schools Project with Education Department of Hue Province.

The program has grown from 6 schools and 130 teachers with a focus on “Care for self, Care for others and Care for Nature”, to now 9 Schools with 240 teachers.

Hai is also involved in a three-year process to bringing happiness and wellbeing to the company culture of Biti’s, one of the leading shoe manufacturers in Vietnam.

HaiDai pt 2020

Hai Dai, Ph.D. is best known as a life long learner; student of life, that is why he loves to teach! Also known as a "professor/guru" in the academic circle, Hai Dai’s greatest passion is to share what he has learned. “It is the fastest way to complete our learning experiences!" Hai Dai shared. His latest efforts this past year has been to share his research to the higher education research consortiums (IASPER, APCORE, IHERF) and Intergovernmental organizations (SEAMEO, Education Commission); including signing MOU with the Ministry of Education in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Haidai‘s "social emotion learning" framework, aka the “human’s biodiversity” framework coined by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity of the Philippines, has been presented at the intergovernmental levels (UNWTO, APEC, APO, ICRAF, FEALAC) and casestudied by the Presidio Sustainable Management Graduate School in San Francisco for its human's center design in community development. Hai Dai's research on Ecotourism for optimal community development has been published in a Harvard Review publication, IASPER’s Multidisciplinary Research Journal. His human's transformative framework, “WOW Dynamics”, is best known for collaborative networks development within an ecosystem design thinking model; via social emotional learning integrated with education technology.

This year Hai Dai joined Plum Village Academy and Joyful Garden 2nd Asia Pacific Retreat Conference 2020 in Singapore as a speaker and guest of Brother Phap Kham. In California, he grew up with the family whom printed Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh's books; therefore, Hai Dai is excited he finally gotten the opportunity to share with Thầy Hanh's organizations. “I’m excited to share our social emotional framework at the “mindfulness” of daily living; at the simple relatedness in connections. YUM! This is where all of our dynamics start!” Hai Dai says with big smile on his face. https://www.facebook.com/JoyfulGarden.SG/videos/593296938145967/