Nov 30, 2019

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 28 Comments

Letter from America: OPEN SESAME! (Thư từ Mỹ Quốc: VỪNG ƠI, MỞ RA!)

Letter from  America: OPEN SESAME! (Thư từ Mỹ Quốc: VỪNG ƠI, MỞ RA!)
Never had I seen a vaster field of greens. Halfway on my flight to Charlottesville, I quietly look down at awe from my window seat. Everything before me appeared in harmony – the mighty forests, winding rivers, and rolling grassland dotted with colorful, tidy country homes. The Southern autumn appeared in the simmering light, graceful and gentle. I felt my heart, anxious and hopeful, like a lonely migrating swallow about to find its promised land. Looking down at the lush green meadows lay beneath the horizon, I wonder if it just rained a recent rain of blessing.
After landing at Albermerale international airport, I took an Uber and headed to the hotel. As we spoke, the taxi driver was a bit surprised that I traveled from L.A. (Los Angeles) for a job interview. Of course, he was; I was surprised myself. I could never guess that in this small city of 48.000 people I know little about, there was such an excellent opportunity awaiting me. I recalled the journey of Dharma brother Mat Hai, Mat Thuy in New Zealand, Mat Khai Nguyen in Canada, Mat Tu in Sweeden, Mat Thai Duong in Japan for their dream training and education. I recalled Dharma brother Mat Tu’s front-row seat at a conference with President Obama despite her humble background in comparison to the elites attendees. They were all unlikely incidents. I told myself with delight, “unlikely but not unlikely.” It was finally my turn to experience.
NEW LAND
The opportunity I mentioned earlier is the brand designer position at WillowTree. For many years, this mid-size mobile product innovation agency had been recognized by many established ranking systems (Forbs, Deloitte, Glassdoor, etc.) among the best places to work, thanks to their innovations and working culture. The more I knew, the more I impressed by the people behind the success of WillowTree and their home city, Charlottesville.
With its small-town vibe and big-city amenities, Charlottesville is one of the country’s favorite mountain towns (Travel & Leisure) and happiest, healthiest places to live (Business Insider). It is home to the third and fifth U.S. President and of course, the prestigious University of Virginia.
As I strolled around the downtown in Lotus walk, following the lyrical melodies of the street musicians, a peaceful yet vibrant nightlife unfolded in front of me. Downtown Charlottesville was well-equipped with art houses, elegant restaurants, rare book shops, furniture & appliances stores, and many more. I stopped by a local confectionery shop for some fresh chocolate, as my own treats and souvenirs for my family.

Downtown Charlottesville

Food court

A local confectionery store

Woven between Western and Colonial styles are the rich and exotic displays of other regions. Asian populations may account for only 7%; yet, on this street alone, I could count no less than five yoga studios and many storefront displays of Asian cultural and spiritual motifs. The arts of Africa, Native America, Latin America, etc. were spotted everywhere, creating a unique exploration of the diversity in this community.

A local art store

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

In this experience, WillowTree gave me an exceptional, heartwarming welcome. From the first connections and call interviews. From the round-trip ticket, the elegant studio room, and other travel allowances all covered by the company. From the welcome letter with great details, even a WillowTree’s app about popular attractions and restaurants in the area. From the technical support and constructive feedback I need to enhance my interview performance…

Elegant studio room

And, like a juicy cherry on a cake, to my pleasant surprise, I realize the subtle indication of the Dharma. I saw the word “Bodhi,” WillowTree’s wifi account, laid neatly between the words of the interview schedule. I had never expected such deep familiarity miles away from home. Intentionally or not, “Bodhi” was, for me, an encouragement that the Guru and the Three Jewels are always beside. “Bodhi” was a reminder for me to keep contemplating on my goals and practice this quintessential principle. Because, as Shantideva Bodhisattva has said, “Mixing all 84000 Dharma methods, the quintessential is Bodhicitta.”

Shantideva Bodhisattva has said, “Mixing all 84000 Dharma methods, the quintessential is Bodhicitta.”

When I received such heartwarming welcome, when my mind was content within myself and my spiritual family, I felt home, as always, even miles away from home.

THE HARDER THE SUFFER, THE BIGGER THE BLESSING

Interview invitation letter

At this moment, beside me is the official employment contract with a comfortable salary, benefits, and relocation support. I have made it. And this initial victory for me is such a relief to all my worldly concerns risen very recently.

Not a while ago, my mother’s (Mat Bich Lien) illness, a condition known as “frozen shoulder,” went intensified. Thanks to the Dharma, Mat Bich Lien was not upset by her circumstances. Her body was sickened, but her mind was stronger than ever. The Buddha once said, “to be free from sickness is most beneficial, to know how to content is most prosperous.” So we renounced our primary income, give her a break from work, and focus on her treatments. This “unfortunate” incident made me think about the greater world of suffering, “like a buffalo tilling a field of rice in hunger, like a horse being forced to sprint right after a full meal.” And so I prayed, may all sentient beings learn the Buddha’s Path and alleviate all sufferings.
Looking at myself, a newly graduated student who earns very little, I realized this is now the time for me to break new ground and control my life. So I dreamt about moving out of Los Angeles and find an affordable place to settle. The first person who supported that dream was no one else than the Guru.

The first person who supported that dream was no one else than the Guru.

THE WISHING GEM

Many may ask, how could a Guru living in Vietnam give His advice about a situation that happens way across the ocean? Looking at the result, I might have an answer. My fellow designers suggested me to move to those popular design hubs, like New York, San Francisco, Seattle, for high paying jobs. However, living costs in such cities are usually high, and a tranquil, “close to nature” lifestyle I like is far out of touch. My family suggested I live near friends and relatives, where job opportunities weren’t promising to me.
On the other hand, the Guru taught me to separate my primary and minor concerns, to know my priorities and trade-offs, and to make a clear decision at the right time. The exact city? Let the Yidam deity make that decision. Honestly, if I started with determination about some specific locations, I would never know about WillowTree and could have struggled following a mediocre option. From dozens of concerns, my priority was then very simple (1) a good position, (2) an affordable lifestyle, and (3) a quality medical and educational system.
Fortunately, my family quickly agreed with my way of thinking. Prioritization sounds simple enough, but it is surprisingly useful. It quickly untangled my thoughts and others. In one of the Guru’s lesson, “the mediums to apply Boddicita’s vows,” I remember even Buddhist precept practices, the vehicles to liberation, are classified as major and minor, let alone the practices that lead to the benefits in life.

His Holiness the Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche used the wishing gem as the metaphor for a true Guru

In the old days, His Holiness the Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche used the wishing gem as the metaphor for a true Guru. Just a few months back, when things were confused, and I still question myself – what to do, where to go, and even what to wish for exactly, I confided my hesitations to the Guru, the Yidam deity and prayed for an unknown best outcome. Only when things finally settled down, I realize my dreams were realized.

OPEN SESAME!
Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, I drift off into the mesmerizing sunset beyond the golden horizon. Los Angeles – the world’s entertainment capital, adorned with majestic mansions, beautiful beaches, unique art scenes, and of course, rows and rows of palm trees risen to a deep, clear sky, colored with surreal gradients like a heavenly art performance. Yet, LA is far from perfect. Many of the locals here are living an opposite world, a lost paradise, a miserable “city of Angels,” struggling with rising homeless encampment, vicious debt cycles, and painful, broken dreams.
Between those opposite worlds, I follow the Buddha’s teaching, to live a modest life and retain the Path. I’ll be like a block of wood, drift in the middle of the flow, avoiding the river banks along the way to enter the vaster, greater ocean. Legends have that, back in the days in ancient Persia, there was a poor lumberjack named Alibaba. He entered a cave of treasures with the magic phrase, “Open sesame,” and became wealthy after one night. For me, even though I’m just an average looking person as ever, since I started to understand the value of the Dharma and the guidance of a true Guru, I began to realize how I have already entered a world of treasure and changed my life, once and forever.
I am grateful for the teaching of the Guru. Without Him, I might fall into depression easily this very moment, let alone the goal of “self-happiness,” “life disentanglement,” and “career success.” I’m grateful for the opportunity at WillowTree in this time of need. With the spirit of “cherish and requite favors,” I will do my best to fulfill the job. I’m grateful for the support of my family, in every decision I made. Finally, I want to send encouragement to the people my generation, people who are facing difficulty as I did, and especially those with faith in the Dharma, by a promise form the Buddha:
_ I need not live through 500 lives as Chakravarti (the King of four continents) to attain Enlightenment. For this reason, I transfer all those merits to all my disciples – they will never suffer from hunger even when rice costs like jewels and wood costs like cinnamon.”
Dear Holy Guru,

Mat Nhat Nguyen – Mat Bich Lien

Thank You for giving me a different life, in the mundane and in the Path. Thank You for opening to me a new world of “self-happiness, life disentanglement, and career success” and “happiness in this life, ultimate bliss in the next,” for my own good and the benefits of all sentient beings. I pray, may the Guru and His Consort have good health for the benefit of all sentient beings. May Dharma brother Mat Tinh Phap overcome all hindrances. May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

Om Mani Padme Hum.
Disciple Mat Nhat Nguyen
—————————————————————————————————————————————–Vietnamese version: Thư từ Mỹ Quốc: VỪNG ƠI, MỞ RA
  1. Tantra Sagovana says:
    Dear Guru,

    My name is Tantra Sagovana.

    Thank you for sharing this article by Mat Nhat Nguyen.

    I am happy to read about the achievement of Mat Nhat Nguyen and I hope his transition to life and career in new city of Charlottesville is successful.

    A true Guru is like a wish-fulfilling gem, that we have such a Guru we should have strong Guru devotion and practice diligently.

    The Dharma is like a shade for the suffering of sentient beings, and especially with a true Guru’s blessings we can achieve all of our legitimate desires.

    May Mat Tinh Phap overcome difficulties at present and get successful in the future.

    May all sentient beings be healthy and well and be free from suffering.

    May Guru be healthy and live long for the benefit of all beings.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan)

     

  2. Tantra Upatissa says:

    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article. I feel good seeing our Dharma brother Mat Nat Nguyen overcome his difficulties and gets a good job in a company. I also pray for Mat Bich Lien for her speed recovery from frozen shoulder. Entire journey of Mat Nhat Nguyen from flight landing to interview completion is described beautifully. Even I feel happy when he could see the Wi-Fi name as Bodhi signalling there was a connection to this place for Mat Nhat Nguyen.

    May Guru and his consort live long for sake of other beings.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum..

  3. Jason Cook says:
    This… this has inspired me to stick with my schooling. I am only as good as I allow myself to be, and if I don’t come to terms with the fact that things happen as they will, I will find myself mired in my own doubt forever. There is reason to follow the flow, and just let be. Thank you sage.
  4. paul yawney says:
    Dear Guru,thank you for another good article. In my own life before I turned to Buddhism i was trapped by the western trappings of life.certain situations occurred and I lost the material things and twice close to losing my Life due to illness. I had been aware of Buddhism and became more involved when i met a monk who shined with peace and tranquility. I wanted that feeling. I have persued that. I am so much more content now living with the basics and teaching others who have approached me. I am at Peace with myself finally. Namaste

     

  5. Tantra Mishataru says:
    Dear Holy Guru,

    I am so happy with Mat Nhat achievements, with your blessings everything works out well for us. His achievement has made me feel like I am also capable of achieving my dreams and passion. Your dharma teaching has improved my life in some areas and I hope much and good results in future.

    May you live longer healthy life for the sake of all sentient beings.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  6. Richie says:
    Am inspired, I believe things are the way it is destined to be.
  7. Aki Thunderpaw says:
    Thank You. 

    Fox Goddess

  8. tantra mahavita says:
    Dear Saint Guru: Your articles so inspiring, full of kindness and compassion. A true Guru is like a jewel that grants all the desires that with a strong Devotion and its Blessings leads us to fulfill our dreams and legitimate desires along with the sacred Dharma. May all sentient beings be free from suffering. May the Guru have a long and good life for the benefit of all sentient beings. Om Mani Padme Hum
  9. Sabina says:

    Dear Guru, thank you for sharing this. I had very similar experiences and i feel the same. Bless you, good luck and Om Mani Pade Hum

  10. Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) says:
    Dear holy Guru,

    my name is Tantra Ashihata .

    Thank you for this wonderful article you have given to us for the benefits of our suffering and good thing that are about to come most especially if one keep to Guru advice and practice dharma. May Guru in his infinite mercy come to our aid anytime there is trouble around us and give us the strength to bear our suffering and help us to overcome it .

    May Guru live long for the seek of happiness of all sentient being, and may all sentient being free from suffering

    om mani padme hum.

  11. Neerajkumar Sumaran says:
    Dear Dhamma Guru,

    Thank you very much for this inspiring article, thank you Mat Nhat Nguyen for sharing.

    Buddhism is a discipline & way of life that encourages people to follow curtain guidelines to help them conquer suffering.

    We have five great Gifts, which was given to us by the Blessed Lord, Original, Long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from beginning- that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion & are faulted by knowledgeable contemplative

    Here is the case where a disciple of the Noble Ones, abandoning the taking of five, abstains from taking life, In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, animosity, oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, animosity, oppression to limitless numbers of beings, He gain a share in limitless freedom from danger, animosity & oppression. This is a great Gift for human beings given by the Blessed Lord.

    Thank you again Dhamma Guru,

    The Triple Gems bless you all my dear Dhamma friends, & bless all beings of your province, country and world live with peace and harmony.

    Yours

    Tantra Niwakuwa

  12. Anand Vimukto says:
    Dear holy Guru,

    thank you very much for this post. Very facilitating, comforting etc…May I and all beings be able to transform our impure body, speech and mind into pure exalted body, speech and mind of a Buddha. Thank you dear Guru.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  13. Ralph Keating says:
    Yes, Guru is a blessing to all beings, near and far and you are fortunate to have his advice.  Praying for continued blessings for you!!!

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  14. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mishataru sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Con vô cùng hoan hỷ với thành công của huynh Mật Nhất Nguyên. Nhờ ơn phước từ vị Thầy, mọi hanh thông đến với chúng con. Những thành công mà huynh ấy đạt được giúp con có động lực và con tin rằng con cũng sẽ viên thành những ước nguyện chính đáng. Những bài pháp Thầy ban đã giúp cuộc đời con tốt hơn và con tin rằng con sẽ đạt được thành công trong tương lai.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  15. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của ban đọc Anand Vimukto sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Con chân thành cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con đọc bài viết này. Bài viết lợi lạc, ý nghĩa.

    Con cầu nguyện cho con và hữu tình được chuyển hóa hành vi thân ngữ tâm bất tịnh thành thanh tịnh của chư Phật.

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy!

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  16. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con là Tantra Ashihata.

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết lợi lạc này. Con hiểu rằng nếu học trò tuân theo lời dạy của Thầy và tinh tấn hành pháp thì sẽ vượt qua mọi khó khăn và đạt được thành công.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy với lòng từ bi vô hạn để tâm đến chúng con khi chúng con gặp khó khăn, ban cho chúng con sức mạnh để đối mặt với khó khăn và vượt qua mọi trở ngại.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì hạnh phúc của tất cả chúng sanh, cầu nguyên tất cả chúng sanh đoạn trừ mọi khổ đau.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  17. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mahavita sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Bài viết này tạo cảm hứng cho chúng con, thấm đẫm lòng từ bi, bồ đề tâm của vị Thầy. Một vị Thầy chân chính là viên ngọc như ý, giúp chúng con viên thành mọi ước nguyện chính đáng khi chúng con sùng kính vị Thầy và chính cơn mưa ơn phước từ vị Thầy sẽ giúp những nguyện vọng chính đáng của chúng con được thành hiện thực khi chúng con tinh tấn hành pháp.

    Con cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đoạn trừ khổ đau.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy thân tâm an tịnh, trụ thế lâu dài vì sự lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  18. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của bạn đọc Sabina sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con đọc bài của huynh Mật Nhất Nguyên. Con cũng đã có những trải nghiệm thời kỳ khó khăn như huynh ấy và cũng có những cảm nhận như huynh ấy.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy thân tâm an tịnh.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  19. Dr C H Lakshminarayan says:
    Namaste Gurudev.

    Just like Allauddin and his followers used to enter the tressure house by using password ” open sesam” and looting the gems present there, the disciples of Guruji at Song Nguyen Tantra House,enter the spiritual treasure house of Guruji by using the password word of any one of Seven Dhamma practices characteristics of Song Nguyen Tantra House and looting the gems of spiritual Knowledge of Guruji.

    Om Mani padme hum.

    Dr C H Lakshminarayan

    (Tantra Nirvadeva)

  20. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Dear Mat Nhat Nguyen,

    I am delighted to read your sharing. I am happy with your achievement you have got thanks to Guru’s advice and guidance. I have learnt the lesson that it is Guru who is the wish- fulfilling jewel. And only pure devotion deserves it.

    We are human beings walking around many livesin samsara and having got stuck in suffering for countless lives. We are fortunate to meet Guru and follow his teachings. We should try to do our best to diligently practice dharma to get inner peace,  successful  in worldly life and spiritual achievement.

    What you have attained today is a magic, which only happen with the blessings of Guru. Thank you so much for your sharing. It inspires me to be strong on the path of liberation.

    I hope to read more of your writing.

    May Guru and his consort have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    May Mat Tinh Phap overcome all difficulties and get successful in the future.

    May your wish come true soon due to your good deed and diligence in practicing dharma.

    May all sentient beings be surrounded by the blessings of the Three Jewels.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  21. Vivek RS (Tantra Kasila) says:

    Dear holy Guru

    Wonderfully written article and highly motivating.It teaches us the value of patience and belief.If we have a strong belief that after ascending a tall mountain there will always be something great waiting for us at the top.

    Let the Guru live long and all the sentinel beings have the peacefulness and calmness attained by Buddha.

  22. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Nirvadeva ( CH Lakshminarayan) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Giống như Ali Baba và những người đi cùng đã mở được kho báu bằng câu thần chú “vừng ơi mở cửa ra” và lấy được châu báu; thì hiện tại, đệ tử của Mật gia Song Nguyễn, bước vào ngôi nhà đầy châu cháu tâm linh và mật khẩu chính là một trong lục diệu pháp môn do Thầy phát kiến để nhận ngọc báu từ kho tàng tri kiến xuất thế gian của vị Thầy tôn quý.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Con – Tantra Nirvadave (CH Lakshminarayan)

     

  23. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Kasila (Vivek S) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Bài viết thật tuyệt vời và tạo động lực cho con. Con học được giá trị của sự kiên nhẫn và niềm tin. Chúng con nên có niềm tin kiên cố rằng sau khi lên núi cao sẽ luôn có những điều tuyệt vời đang chờ đợi chúng con trên đỉnh núi.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đạt được bình an và thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.

     

  24. Mật Diệu Hằng says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của bạn đọc Ralph Keating sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Đúng như huynh đã viết, Đạo sư chính là nguồn ơn phước cho tất cả hữu tình khắp nơi và huynh may mắn được nhận những lời giáo huấn của ngài. Cầu nguyện huynh luôn được thấm đẫm ơn phước của ngài..

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

     

  25. Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Sagovana sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con là Tantra Sagovana.

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết của huynh Mật Nhất Nguyên.

    Con hoan hỷ với những thành công huynh Mật Nhất Nguyên đã đạt được và con cầu nguyện cho huynh ấy gặt hái nhiều thành công khi sống và lập nghiệp tại thành phố mới Charlottesville.

    Vị Thầy chân chính là viên ngọc như ý và chúng con đã may mắn theo học vị Thầy như vậy, do đó, chúng con nên sùng kính vị Thầy và tinh tấn hành pháp.

    Giáo pháp giống như bóng mát ngăn khổ đau luân hồi của chúng sanh và đặc biệt với ơn phước từ vị Thầy chân chính, chúng con viên thành những ước nguyện chính đáng.

    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Cầu nguyện đạo hữu Mật Tịnh Pháp vượt qua khó khăn hiện tại, hanh thông tương lai.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh khỏe mạnh và đoạn trừ mọi khổ đau

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    Con – Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan)

     

  26. Tantra Mashinaga says:
    Dear guru,

    Thank you for sharing this article. I am very happy for our dharma brothers and sisters doing so well In life because of Guru’s advice and blessings. I know that my situation will be turned around soon thanks to the teachings and blessings of the guru.

    May guru live a long and happy life

    May all beings be free of suffering and attain happiness

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    Tantra Mashinaga (Mark Hamilton)

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