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Meet Cute #12: The Monk and the Nun —

It was still dark out when Brother Phap Vien woke at 5:15 a.m. for seated meditation. Still night, really. Fingers freezing, he shrugged on his brown robes and his brown hooded sweatshirt.

Outside his room, in the pre-dawn, other figures moved around him. Slow shadows, barely visible in the dark. Their shapes were all the same: Brown robes, shaved heads.

This was his first morning at Mountain Park monastery. He’d arrived the night before from Vietnam. One of the elderly nuns had given him a bowl of rice and tofu. He’d eaten it, huddled in the warm kitchen with her, then gone straight to his room.


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