All many years long, we have travelled the whole states of the USA and provinces of Canada, from west to east, from north to south; we have already visited hundreds of Vietnamese Buddhist temples including big, medium and small ones; with monks or with nuns and even with Buddhist-layman or laywoman; also including temples belonging to Northern Buddhism, Southern Buddhism and Mendicancy sect…
Despite in the USA, in Washington D.C or in a remote village in Minnesota, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Louisiana (USA) or in provinces Ontario, Québec or Vancouver city (Canada)…Vietnamese Buddhist Temple is easily recognized from a distance.
In the long way history of Buddhism, an ancient and profound religion which has been constantly developing and modernising, Buddhist architecture has been changing increasingly both in form and content. From small buts for some monks in early times, they have gradually become large monasteries or Pagodas for a community of monks, together with dome-shaped or multi-faceted stupas enshrining holy Buddhist relics, subordinate structures, stele houses, statues, religious decorations and musical instruments….Today, one can see in a typical pagoda a harmonious and original combination of various characteristic of Buddhist architecture.
Huyen Quang was 77 years old when he received from the Venerable Phap Loa the mission of directing the Thien sect (Dhyana, Zen) of Truc Lam, thus assuming the title of Third Patriarch. In view of this age and his love for solitude, one could imagine how reluctant he was when he accepted such a charge. Huyen Quang was eager to return to nature as shown in his following poems
In the early 80s, I had the occasion of reading the French version of Zen doctrine by the Japanese professor D.T. Suzuki, a book lent to me by writer Nguyen Huu Dang. A volume of that work, "Satori" catches my attention. I have consulted many French and Vietnamese dictionaries in my possession and acquired a clear enough explanation of that key-word of Buddhism.
This article is a comment and not a critique of the "Vietnam Buddhism" website. It will point out some inaccurate information in the context in hope to share with the authors some accurate facts to clarify the ill-information related to the history of Buddhism in Vietnam that contained in that web.
When Buddhism spreads to Vietnam, the Dharma, adapting to the times and the capacities of the people, consists of two traditions, the Northern and the Southern. The Southern tradition (Theravada) emphasizes everyday practical realities and swift self-emancipation, leading to the fruits of the Arahats or Pratyeka Buddhas. The Northern tradition (Mahayana, or Great Vehicle) teaches all-encompassing truths and stresses the goal of liberating all sentient beings, leading to the complete Enlightenment of the Tathagatas. With both traditions now existing in Vietnam, we can explain how Buddhism came to Vietnam.
Vietnam has a population of about 25 million inhabitants, a fifth of which is imposed of mountain tribes. It is believed that of the rest at least three fourths, that is to say 15 million are "cool or warm Buddhists," according to a very accurate term of a French author - the reason is that the "Light of Asia" spread over the country in the very early days, from the beginning of the second century of the Christian era