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59. Gratitude to the Spiritual Master (Thich Nu Hanh Tri)

17/06/201408:44(Xem: 5130)
59. Gratitude to the Spiritual Master (Thich Nu Hanh Tri)


A half a century ago a teenager left his life of pleasure.

He entered an empty gate to cultivate monkhood.

Dawn and dust he practiced, through the seasons.

After all his hard striving, victory is his, indeed.

He is a True Spiritual Master.

On the 28th of June 2014, my Teacher will have reached his 50th anniversary of his ordination as a monastic Buddhist monk. The achievement is of immeasurable value and virtue, and shows his diligence and steadfast practice of Buddha Dharma with his notably perfect life as a Buddhist Master the most venerable Thich-Như-Điển of the Vien Giac Pagode in Hannover and Vien Duc Monastery in Ravenburge in Germany.

To my Teacher: “I joined my palms and wish you longevity, health and continued strength and resilience in the constantly changing universe. I beg you to stay in this world of 5 defilements for a long time, so that all of us look at you as an icon and as a stable pillar for a refuge milestone mark. You are a spiritual teacher, an example of an island in the mid-ocean of samsara, of birth and death, of riddles up and down, of storms and winds. You are always stable, strong and solid and give us a refuge with confidence and peace in time of practice, study, work, happiness or difficulty. “

Before I become monastic, I did mundane works, wasted energy and depleted all merits and lead a worldly life with constant cravings, aversions and delusions. I was fortunate to have met my monastic master who tonsured my hair under the Bodhi Tree, the most holy place where the Buddha was enlightened, and he later transmitted the precious Dharma to me. He helped me to change to live a life with deepened understanding and yearning for liberation. After that moment I was awakened from ignorance to reach wisdom. I vividly remember the time I kneeled under the Holy Bodhi Tree in front of me, and a monastic high venerable master who personally performed the tonsure. After my hair was shaved, my joyous tears dropped down to the white marble floor under the Bodhi Tree in front of many venerables who witnessed the holy transmission. I arose just like a person in a coma for a long time and suddenly was awake, full of energy and alertness like a new person. I experienced happiness and was more joyous than ever before. I became a totally new human being after the monastic ordination. My teacher gave me a new Dharma name, a new saffron color robe and new rules of virtue and conduct for living in this very life and at that very, very precious fraction of a moment I entered the holy spiritual dimension.

I wonder how could I ever repay my parents for my birth and upbringing or my master for guiding me on the spiritual path?

My human body was sprung out to life and raised to become a useful human being by my biological parents. And, as for the Spiritual Teacher, whom has compassion to ordained me under the Holy Bodhi Tree in Buddha Gaya, India and so I was reborn to the Holy Buddha’s family and His Teachings lead me in my spiritual life to become an instrument of the Dharma. Whenever I think about these things, I wonder: “How could I repay such debts that are so vast?” My parents and teacher never asked me to repay them, but I always remember them and be silently thankful in my heart.

I think about my teacher every day, when I finish my daily meditation practice at the dawn. After I have completed prostration, meditation and chanting all mantras and sutras, I close the book titled: "Daily Dhyana Door Chanting" which was prepared and printed by my teacher and published by his Vien Giac Pagode in Hannover, Germany. It has Vietnamese and German languages in that thick book which my teacher brought from Germany to America and gave to me for my daily spiritual practice.

It is very meaningful if you do as I do. Every day, after having finished chanting, I close the book and hold it in my hands, place the book on top of my head and think about my teacher silently: "Thank you sư phụ (master) for your compassion and kindness". I have been doing this since I received the book. It was a good way to think and to thank my teacher for his kindness to his disciples. I hope my thankful thought will reach him.

I always carefully return the book to its place and I will do that again after each chanting. Every time I do that, it assures me that I am always keeping in touch with my Master, even though I live a great distance away, in America. But I never feel or worry that I have parted from my teacher. It always gives me a warm feeling that I have been blessed by him.

Far away from him, I cannot do much to serve him, but I can make sure that I listen to him and to do what he taught, and to do within the Buddha Vinaya (rules of conduct). I have been pretty busy, however. I was trying very hard to focus on the Buddha Dharma, so five years ago I became a Dharma teacher at my Peace Temple. We have four meditation classes, two for parents and children, and two for adults. All of the above classes are in English. I also teach Dharma and meditation at the Thai Budhanusom temple nearby since more than a year ago. All of these will surely help me to practice the Dharma consistently. Additionally, for the past 13 years I have been visiting frequently thousands of prison inmates and giving them Dharma and meditation teachings and leading them to take refuge in the Triple Gems as well as ordaining them for Five Precepts. I teach them to develop compassion, patience, tolerance, giving and forgiveness, to help them to be happier and be calmer, not fighting among themselves and to have peace of mind and more positive thoughts in life.

Many of them have become Buddhist and changed. Dharma heals all.

We also have charity works, such as building classrooms for two schools, which are holding more than 200 students, and we have finished nine concrete bridges in Southwest Vietnam, near the Cambodia border. We grant scholarships to poor and illiterate children. We also help people who have no money in Tibet, Cambodia, India and Nepal. One result of all the hard work of charity is that we are receiving an award from Bengal Buddhist Association and Kolkata Dhammakur of India. The name of this award is “Social Service Excellence” which recognizes organizations or individuals that are of humanitarian benefit. India, which has more than one billion population, has recognized the I’m for World Peace Foundation as being humanitarian benefit and worthy of their award.

I hope to return to Germany, Vie Giac Pagode, in the very near future, to pay homage to my master and all my Dharma siblings and to pay respect to the venerable Sangha of Europe.

I pray for my teacher to live with longevity, good health, and mental wisdom, to benefit many other living beings. I join my palms and bow.

Your disciple, Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Hanh Tri`, 2014.

Peace Temple, Fremont, California, USA

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