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  • Guoying Stacy Zhang

Between Hong Kong and London: Finding a Spiritual Vocation at Home

When the renowned Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh made his first visit to China in 1999, he brought with him a newly published Chinese translation of his book Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha as gifts for his followers and friends there. Drawing from ancient sources in Pali, Sanskrit, and Chinese, this book presents the life stories and teachings of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. The Chinese translation of the book, 故道白雲 by Dorothy Ho Wai Yee (何蕙儀), recognized for its truthfulness to the original in both meaning and style, has been reprinted widely in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Wai Yee herself did not expect any of the praise and recognition her translation earned. Before working on this book, she had spent most of her adult life as a housewife, devoting herself to family and parenting. Now, looking back, it seems rather serendipitous how a vocation in Buddhism unfolded for her. Wai Yee was born in Hong Kong in 1950, to a time and culture where women were not expected to have a career beyond the household. However, she was a very bright student and earned a place at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Wai Yee’s father, the late industrialist, philanthropist, and art collector Ho Iu-Kwong (何耀光; 1907–2006), was very supportive and funded her studies in economics.

Editions of 故道白雲. From

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