Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves

Lying still
Breathing in, breathing out
Healthy cells grow all by themselves
I am free of cancer.

This poem came to me in a guided imagery session on the vernal equinox of 1997.

It was a life changing experience to see so vividly that I was going to heal from cancer.

When I told this poem to Sister Chan Khong 9 years later, she said, “I like healthy cells grow all by themselves!”

She said this when I was having breakfast with her and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (known as Thay to his followers) in Thay’s room in New Hamlet, Plum Village in the Dordogne region of Southern France.

You may wonder why I’m bring this up to you today.

Thay Phap An with Jerome FreedmanThe reason is that the new issue of The Mindfulness Bell came out today and my article, Healthy and Free was featured on page 49.

Not only that, Brother Phap Dung, one of the senior monks, placed a special message containing the link to the 30th Anniversary of Plum Village website, which I played a major part in designing and kick starting.

The site features many of my own photographs and a few of my stories.

In fact, Healthy and Free is an edited version of My Breakfasts With Thay.

Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves

There are a couple of main points in the article that I wish to include.

One of them was our discussion of healthy cells grow all by themselves.

The discussion went something like this:

…answer Sister Chan Khong’s question about cancer, starting with the famous Zenrin mentioned above. I spoke about the transformation I had had during the guided imagery session and recited my transformation of the famous Zenrin. I said that my purpose in teaching the class on Mindfulness in Healing was to inspire people to take charge of their own healing and use mindfulness practice to tune into their bodies to allow “healthy cells grow all by themselves.” I said that I would recommend guided imagery, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and supplements, deep relaxation, Feldenkrais, movement, and other adjunct methods to further their healing experience. The conversation drifted away for a while and Sister Chan Khong later said with a delightful smile, “I love the idea of ‘healthy cells grow all by themselves’”.

Another significant discussion related to the dharma talks (lectures about Buddha’s teachings) that I had heard on previous days in Plum Village.

I then told Thay that I thought the dharma [teachings of Buddha] was in good hands with the likes of Brothers Phap Yu and Phap An teaching as well as they did. He said to me, “I think you are doing very well yourself!” – and this from the Zen master himself.

Well, dear friends, now I am not only a blogger; I am also a writer of magazine articles and soon, you will be offered to order my books from Amazon and Kindle!

Please take some time to investigate The Mindfulness Bell and other teachings of Thay on the Plum Village website.

Connect with Meditation Practices

Connect with

Or enter your name and email address below.