ALAN CLEMENTS was one of the first Westerners to ordain as a Buddhist monk in Burma where he lived in a monastery during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1984, Clements was forced to leave the monastery by Burma’s authorities, with no reason given. Subsequently, he returned to the West, and as an independent teacher, led numerous mindfulness-based silent meditation retreats in the US, Australia and Canada.

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