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For twenty years, Valerie Brown worked as a lawyer lobbyist, persuading politicians on Capitol Hill. But after a chance encounter with the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, she began searching for a deeper sense of meaning and community. Eventually, she quit her job and became ordained as a dharma teacher in the Plum Village tradition. In her new book, Hope Leans Forward: Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace, Brown shares her journey through personal loss and how she has grappled with the question, “Where is hope now?”

In this episode of Life As It Is, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief James Shaheen and co-host Sharon Salzberg sit down with Brown to talk about the distinction between active and passive hope, her unique blend of Buddhist and Quaker traditions, and how she has learned to listen to her soul’s voice.

Life As It Is is a podcast series that features Buddhist practitioners speaking about their everyday lives. You can listen to more of Life As It Is on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

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