Keep silent.

Update: 21/06/2021

Keep silent.


In the period of the Covid-19 epidemic that has been raging for many weeks in Saigon, people seem to be more "wary" and "distant" from each other to survive.

Keeping silent is what we need right now literally and figuratively…

The space of an abyss is a deep hole that will be hard to measure; a person who falls into the abyss but gets up, it may not be easy to climb up.

It is arduous to crawl up from the bottom of the abyss, so the best way is not to fall!

Many times we also fall into such abysses caused by ourselves. Some people just let it go ... lying there waiting, and then waiting forever for help.


"But having conquered one ’s own self

One would surely be supreme in battle.

Conquest over self is better than that over other people"

 (Dhammapada 103)       

Surrender is part of letting go, letting go of the real world. In fact, we have parents, brothers, friends and even lovers; we deny responsibility and obligation to our own living.

It is ominous to talk about "responsibility" and "duty", because for a long time, we have fantasized about our living with beautiful images of prospects far away, means that we have abandoned the present, so when reality "appears at here and now", we will find a way … to escape.

What is the meaning of concepts, ideas, opinions if not verified by our own reality?


"One may speak a thousand verses

Consisting of useless words,

Better  is one verse of Dhamma,

Hearing which one is brought to peace."

 (Dhammapada 102)

Hey you! Do not compare yourself to anyone or to any great individuals, because: "I am myself, I will be a beautiful one" (Master of Plum Village).

Recalling the silence of the title, it has the meaning of not wavering outside and inside of a person. You let your thoughts be silent, is that inward of the inside? is it right? When consciousness touches the object, this consciousness is the subject of the object, is the outside. Then, inside - outside are only relative concepts in all relative situations.

People try to meditate to get absolute silence (quietness), it's a good idea, if being done successfully is more wonderful!

What we need is caution - concentration - observation, but people practice suppression - restraining - destruction of what is considered bad, evil, and unwholesome.


"True people surely everywhere renounce,

They do not talk of desiring sense-pleasures;

When touched by pleasure or by suffering,

They show neither elation or depression”

 (Dhammapada 83)

The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment teaches: knowing is illusory then leaves away. Abandoning the illusion is instant enlightenment, or the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng taught that is not afraid of arisen thinking, just afraid of slow enlightening. Once the mind is dissatisfied with what we consider bad - evil - unwholesome, then we immediately fall into a state of anger, delusion or sorrow (domanassaṃ); or wishing for luck, or good things to appear, it is also a state of greed (abhijjhā).

Therefore, we need to properly use the function of Effort - Mindfulness - Awareness, then naturally everything will be fine, as the Buddha taught in the Satipatthana sutra:

“ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ"

Effort, mindfulness, and awareness will subdue all greed and worry in the world.

The result of that practice is outside is not infected by the objects, means that practice in abandon, inside is not delusional, means concentration (Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng); This concentration has precepts and wisdom, freedom without repression. Quiet but still clear, smooth and bright. We should "blockade", "isolate" the unwholesome things, it is an inevitable result of the right practice, but does not come from trying, suppressing your best to achieve....

And that is what silence really is!


The 4th Covid season in Saigon (2021)

 Tam Cung

Translated into English by Lien My

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