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A Good Example of Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting

14/05/201511:11(Xem: 10723)
A Good Example of Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting


Phat Di Da 7

A Good Example of
Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting 
(Vietnamese version)


by Thich Nguyen Tang

Amitabha Buddha’s name chanting is an easy method of cultivation in which beliefs are difficult to have, especially in this age of information technology when people care more about material comfort than the spiritual life. However, as in the Buddha’s teachings: Buddhahood is a nature of mind and it’s the mind that possesses the Buddhahood, ringing about enlightenment. Therefore, as Buddhists, we have to believe in Buddha’s teachings. The Flower Adornment Sutra stated: “Beliefs are the mother of all the good merits.”. No other merits are greater than making a vow to be reborn in the Pure Land and to become a Buddha. On the occasion of this year’s retreat, we would like to briefly tell you about an old lady having a belief in Amitabha Buddha’s name chanting. Nothing special but it’s a rare example of Amitabha Buddha’s name chanting that’s worth the appreciation by any religious persons.  

On an early day in May, 2008 during our Buddhism promotion trip to America and Canada, I followed Senior Venerable Thich Nhu Dien, Abbott of Vien Giac Temple, to visit the house of the old lady Dieu Bich who is 90 years old, in Montreal in the South of Canada. On the way, Senior Venerable Thich Nhu Dien briefly told me about this special lady. Upon arrival, it’s surprising to know that she used to be the owner of BIC Pen Company. But the thing I’ve noticed most was that she was doing Amitabha Buddha’s name chanting assiduously which she’s been doing without any day missing for many years. 

This Mrs Duong Xuan Dao, called Hoang Hoa with Dharma name Dieu Bich who was born in a rich family in My Le Quarter, Cho Tram Village, Long An Province in 1919. She had studied in Hong Kong, and came back to Saigon when she was 23 and married Mr. Huynh Hong Giao with Dharma name Minh Chau. They have 3 children (2 son and 1 daughter) living in France, America and Canada. They used to be famous in Saigon in 1975 for BIC pen production. 

In Spring 1975 when the war ended, they left Vietnam with their son Mr. Huynh Phuoc Bang (an engineer, 67 years old) to settle down in Montreal, Canada. Since then, they often came to see their daughter in Paris, France. In 1978, during such a visit, Mr. Huynh Hong Giao suddenly died of heart disease. Until then, they did not know anything about Buddhism. However, Mrs Dieu Bich and her family believed in Buddhism by tradition so she came to Khanh Anh Temple to respectfully invite Senior Venerable Thich Minh Tam to help with her husband’s funeral. On the first visit to Khanh Anh Temple, the family could only see Senior Venerable Thich Nhu Dien who was looking after the Temple on behalf of Senior Venerable Khanh Anh as he was taking care of another Buddhist mission in another continent. Senior Venerable Thich Nhu Dien at that time had settled down in Germany but came to France sometimes to assist Senior Venerable Khanh Anh with lot of work at the temple and in the Buddhist association. They kindly asked Senior Venerable Thich Nhu Dien to run the praying sessions for the man. After that, they kept coming to Khanh Anh Temple to help with the weekly ceremonies. Especially, Senior Venerables Thich Nhu Dien and Thich Minh Tam had conducted a solemn Yearly Ceremony for him in Montreal, Canada.

On her husband’s very first week’s anniversary, Mrs. Hong Hoa took the refuge in the Triple Gem and was given Dharma name Dieu Bich. From then, she wholeheartedly prayed for her husband, wishing him to be reborn into a safe realm. 

Luckily that during that time she was blessed to read the book Pure Land Great Letters that she borrowed from Khanh Anh Temple. Thanks to reading this valuable book, she made a vow to chant the Amitabha Buddha’s name on November 17th 1980 (December by Lunar Calendar, Year of Monkey), right on the occasion of Amitabha Buddha’s Anniversary.  Mrs Dieu Bich has kept record from her first day of Amitabha Buddha’s name chanting up to now by writing in two students’ notebooks. I took photos of these notebooks to keep as souvenir to share with anyone who are related to this school of practice. They are live evidence for 29 years of practice by Mrs Dieu Bich. Every day she has noted down the date and number of rosary by which she knew how many times she had chanted Amitabha Buddha’s name. (Please see the photos).
Guong sang niem Phat_cu ba Hong Hoa Dieu Bich (59)
She revealed that at first she vowed to chant Amitabha Buddha’s name and counted 5 rosary (108 beads/each) day per. The number then gradually increased and up to now (2009) she could count 102 rosary per day. Good thing is she did not miss a day in the past 9 years.

Assiduous Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting is a popular method of Pure Land School. The requirements are: chanting Amitabha Buddha’s Name clearly and firmly; with single mind and wholeheartedness; count the rosery to know exactly the times of chanting (one bead one time); keeping the record after each time of practice; being honest to yourself imaging that you are under the supervision of the Triple Gems and Defenders of Dharma; showing the record to a Monk to be certified on the occasion of Repentance or Bodhisattvas Practice Day. The certification is just the encouragement for the practitioners so that they would be more devoted to the practice. Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting can be supported, reminded and supervised by the Buddhas, Maha Bodhisattvas and especially the Monks. Senior Venerable Thich Nhu Dien had provided the certification for Mrs Dieu Bich when he visited Canada. Senior Venerable Thich Nhu Dien is one of the famous overseas Pure Land practitioner for his Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting and Prostration Doing. He did prostrations for to each word of Lotus Sutra (about 700,000 prostrations) and he is currently performing prostrations for Mahaparinirvana Sutra (approximately 1,500,000 prostrations). On our visit, Senior Venerable Thich Nhu Dien HT certified her record of Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting.

Cu Dieu Bich

Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien HT was certifying the record of Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting for Mrs Dieu Bich (taken on May 8th 2008)


To be honest, this is the first time in my life I’ve seen such an example of Assiduous Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting. Many others have made vow to do this but because of adversity or sickness, they stopped. Only Mrs Dieu Bich has been persistently doing it and been determined to do it until the end of her life. She is 91 now (2009) but her appearance is great. She is fit. She can walk with deliberate steps and speak clearly. She’s got a good memory. All thanks to her assiduous Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting.
 

Her favourite work is to make rosaries to give to Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanters. She also advised people to practice Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting and contributed to the reprinting of Pure Land books so more people know about this school of practice. She and her son Huynh Phuoc Bang (Senior Venerable Thich Nhu Dien disciple by Dharma name) were two of the 23 founding members for Quan Am Temple in Montreal, Canada (Venerable Truong Phuoc being the Abott)

Mrs Dieu Bich has a firm and deep belief in Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting, that is to be reborn into the Pure Land. This is the first condition of this method. She said: “Belief, Practice and Vow Making is the three key factors that should be enhanced by the Pure Land practitioners. We must develop our beliefs in the Buddhas’ teachings, the law of cause and effect and the existence of the Ultimate Bliss Land established by Amitabha Buddha. And then keep practicing Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting until the mind is unmoved by anything else. And we have to make vows to be reborn into such Pure Land”. She added that without a firm belief, she would not be dedicated to this method until now. She asked that starters should read Pure Land Great Letters (translated by Senior Venerable Hanh Tru); Ten key factors for Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting (translated by Senior Venerable Thien Tam) and Pure Land School by Senior Venerable Tri Thu. These three valuable books will help them to have a strong belief in this method of practice before starting Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting.

cudieubich-ventang

The author and Mrs Dieu Bich (taken on May 7th 2008) 

Mrs Dieu Bich has made the offering of 200 Canadian dollars to buy rosaries to give to Buddhists at our Quang Duc Monastery in Australia to advise them to do Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting. Hope that Buddhists at Quang Duc Monastery and any other Dharma fellows, upon reading this story of a good example for Amitabha Buddha’s Name Chanting, will practice assiduously so they can have peaceful and happy lives and be reborn into the Pure Land, as expressed from the bottom of the heart of Monk Linh Nhu who was ordained at the age of 70 and has being practicing Pure Land School:

From the bottom of my heart

Chanting Amitbha Buddha

On the Jewel pond Lotus throne

Being an incoming home

To the dust and the earth sand

Leaving behind such remains

On the eternally tranquil Land

Returning to the original man.
(translated by Tam Tinh)

Mt lòng nim Pht Di Đà
Đài sen ao báu là nhà t
ương lai
Huy
n thân tr li trn ai
Cõi th
ường tìm li hình hài năm xưa. 


Homage to Amitabha
Written at Phap Bao Temple during the yearly retreat, 2009
Thich Nguyen Tang (Vietnamese version)

Translated into English by Hoa Chi

  

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