Bhiksuni Dr. Long Yun


Bhiksuni Dr. Long Yun is a spiritual care counselor at Stanford Hospital, California, USA. She is also a Buddhist practitioner, and a Buddhist scholar with a Ph.D. degree in Religious Studies. Quite wonderfully, she is the first internationally-born Buddhist to become a Board Certificated Chaplain (BCC) through the Association of Professional Chaplains in the United States of America

Bhiksuni Dr. Long Yun, ordained 30 years, trained as a Zen Buddhist nun in China, her birthplace. She trained in Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in her early monastic life. During her monastic training in Thailand, she translated Theravada Buddhist books from Thai into Chinese. Also, she built an intercultural bridge between China and Thailand by inviting lay and monastic Mahayana practitioners to celebrate Vesākha (Buddha day) ceremonies in Thailand.

In 2001, Bhiksuni Dr. Long Yun arrived in the USA by invitation of a Buddhist organization. She was impressed by the widespread Buddhist mindfulness practice of west2021bhiksunidrlongyun.mderners. She noted similarities between American mindfulness practices and the forest meditation practices which she witnessed in Thailand. Therefore, she conducted research and completed her dissertation on "A Doctrinal Analysis of the Origin & Evolution of the Buddhist, Forest-Meditation Tradition Focusing on Contemporary, Thai-Forest Ajahns." It is the first book to explain the similarities and the differences between the Buddha's original forest meditation teachings from the Pali Canon and modern meditation techniques widely applied in the United States. It provides rich content on the forest meditation tradition both for scholars and practitioners. For more than a decade, Bhiksuni Dr. Long Yun, has served as a palliative, spiritual-care counselor providing compassionate, professional, and effective, spiritual-care service to patients with serious illnesses and those near death. Palliative Medicine is a new term for many Asians. It is a medical specialty dedicated to the treatment and support of people with severe and chronic illnesses. The overall goal is to improve the quality of life of people and their families. The team members are well-trained to address patients and their family members' physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. The palliative care chaplain plays a significant role in the team. As a team member, Bhiksuni Dr. Long Yun teaches meditation and loving-kindness to dying patients by assisting them to have a peaceful death.

Bhiksuni Dr. Long Yun also offers mindfulness and self-compassion courses to the hospital staff and local university students to increase their resilience and to inspire them to live mindfully. She trains new spiritual care counselors. She also works with local Buddhist communities and hospital medical teams to increase Buddhists patients' quality of life, and assist them in dying with dignity and peace, especially Asian immigrants. Bhiksuni Dr. Long Yun travels extensively in the United States and overseas to provide spiritual care, training, and assistance to Buddhist communities which are establishing Compassionate, Buddhist-Care Centers for patients with life-threatening diseases.

According to Buddhism, the type of rebirth one may have after death is determined by two factors: 1.) mental state, and 2.) positive karma. Most people focus on being “born well” and “raised well,” but neglect consideration of the process of “dying well.” Buddhism provides profound spiritual techniques for people to not only live with skillful intention, but also to be mindful of the journey of death. Bhiksuni Dr. Long Yun will devote the rest of her life to inspire people to pursue spiritual well-being. While all the individuals whom she serves are not Buddhist, to her, each person she serves is a Buddha.