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White Lotus

Update: 02/06/2014
At night, he quietly strolled around the place he belongs to!
 

White Lotus

 
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Silence of the night made his mind have a clear look at\r\npagoda’s setting: still a solemn main hall, a supernatural ancestry shrine, a\r\nstatue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with spiraling incense smoke, etc.;\r\nthe different thing was that charming call from this world was absent! He kept\r\nwandering, letting his mind be into that silent space and slowly felt the\r\nhappiness of a Buddhist. Yes! That is it! He has lived a life free of sorrow or\r\nworry for nearly one year. Recalled for that time, he had sometimes lived\r\nunsteadily and regardless, but then he found love after wild day’s right at\r\nthis place. He was reminded on the first day of being a Buddhist novice, of\r\nbeing called by a religious name, of living with his fellows and of being\r\nreserved and shy when wearing monk’s brown clothes to welcome people operating\r\nmerits, etc. Only with his reminiscence, he seemed to feel that sweet relish\r\nhas rushed, crowded into every place of his inner feelings, making him smile\r\nunexpectedly.

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 However, his mind was restless. From time to time,\r\nthose images disappeared. Instead, quarrels, anger faces continued to flicker\r\nand loom resoundingly, pulling him back to his secret pain hiding behind the\r\nunworried face. Is he so emotional when just a sigh from this place also makes\r\nhim worried? Yes! It is this place where he witnesses the noblest affection;\r\nthis place helps drying hearts feel love. However, it is also this place where\r\nit took away his belief, which had been built, by this place… 

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He closed his eyes and slept tiredly in his dream so as not\r\nto be disappointed nor love to understand that wherever he stays, it was still\r\na miniature society. Suddenly, a strong wind blew through; he stunned and awoke\r\nfrom his dream with two different tears rolling on his cheeks, with an\r\nanguished feeling among all of pleasure, anger, love, hatred in the past year.\r\nPerhaps, still not escaping from these feeling, he asked himself in a haggard\r\nmood: “What do I leave home and cultivate for? What am I doing here? Why is\r\nthat? The more I cultivate, the more I return to greed, hatred, ignorance. The\r\nmasters do not teach anything wrong. I still cultivate regularly, but why do my\r\nbehaviors become like that? Why don’t I think less about surrounding things?\r\nWhy do I have to make clear to things of good, bad, right, and wrong?”

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That thinking wandered and obsessed in him many times. Once,\r\nhe had forced and insinuated himself into thoughts about four magnanimous vows,\r\nbut for a short time, it seemed to have a “second person in him” retracting:\r\n“Who can you rescue when you are lazy to recite the Buddhist sutra to pass your\r\ndays? Does your sorrow become lesser when you keep quarreling stupidly, distressing\r\nyourself if things happen not as your expectation?” Honestly, he could not\r\nescape from these questions although he knew that they were useless, harmful\r\nand time-wasteful. They existed as if nothing could change them\r\nin his mind. Once, he confided the problem to his older disciple, the disciple\r\nreplied only one saying: “Every one experiences it some time! You should\r\ncultivate as usual, study as usual, and then everything will pass!” He nodded\r\nhis head in agreement to the disciple, but honestly, he did not believe!

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Everything seemed to be hard for him because he still\r\nstudied, cultivated, but there was seemingly something obstructing and\r\npreventing him from cultivation since he felt that he was a useless person.

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Until this afternoon, he listened to the Master’s story\r\nabout a younger’s heart for Buddha-dharma. The younger’s name is Tran Phuoc\r\nDat, an intermediate student studying major in pharmacology at Dong Thap.

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At first, he paid not much attention because he thought:\r\n“There is nothing special, just a small thing. I used to do things like that\r\nwhen I had not left home yet! And then, he will be like me!” However, somehow,\r\nthe Master wanted him to have a direct call to talk to that guy. He obeyed and\r\ncalled him. There was a reserved voice of the younger from the other line:

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-  Hello! Who is calling? Dat listening.

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- Namo Amitabha! Hello, I am calling from Hoang Phap Pagoda!\r\nI know that you sent a letter to the pagoda, and could I know more about your\r\nsituation?

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- Yes! Namo Amitabha! I did send a letter! But could I know\r\nwhy you ask me about my situation?

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- Well, because we know that you are a student, and you have\r\nto care for many things related to your studying, but why do you make an\r\noffering with pious intent?

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- Yes! Namo Amitabha! Dear Master! My offering is not much!

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- Friend! I do not mention how much the money is. I just\r\nwant to ask that why do you offer that money while there are many things in\r\nyour daily life needed to be handled with that money?

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- Yes! Honestly, I saved that money in a quite long time\r\nbecause I am a student and have no part-time job. Therefore, when my mom gave\r\nme allowance, I built it up gradually until that money was round; I sent it to\r\nthe pagoda since I was afraid that I might use it if I keep it too long.

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- But why did you use it to offer to pagoda, not for other\r\nissues? You still can do other good things.

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- Yes! That is because I have participated in cultivation\r\ncourses at the pagoda for 2 times. Those times have changed my way of thinking\r\nand actions, helping me are better. I made an offering with pious intent to\r\nbuild pagoda since I thought that if there are many pagodas, many people could\r\ncultivate like me, making their life better, just like what I am feeling now.\r\nMoreover, I heard the Master lectured that pagoda is of Three Treasures, but to\r\nhave pagodas for cultivation, it needs helps of all people. Therefore, I think\r\nthat each person contributes a little, there will be a pagoda really bringing\r\nbenefits to all.

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- Yes! Thank you! The Master and Monks really appreciate\r\nyour spirit for religious. On behalf of the pagoda, It is like to thank you!

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- Yes! However, we only can contribute material to build the\r\npagoda, and whether or not the pagoda can be operated to bring benefits to\r\npeople is thanks to the Masters and monks, so can you send my wish for a\r\npeaceful cultivation season to all of the monks?

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- Yes, of course. Good bye, friend.

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He hangs up, silently thinks about the last words of that\r\nperson. What that friend said is right! Suddenly, he feels ashamed of himself.\r\nHe is a Buddhist, but why does not he believe in his Buddha-Nature. He keeps\r\nthinking about unattainable Buddhism somewhere without thinking about the easy\r\nteaching of Masters. He is still as young as a sprout, so it is impossible to\r\nstep out to confront nature overnight. This time is for him to study, practice\r\nmind, moral with Masters, and then, when being mature, he can be as if older\r\ndisciples, like Masters – maintaining an interpretation of partake. It is no\r\nneed for him to pay much attention to find or pray for something. Happiness is\r\nhere, when he has deep affection of fellows, protection of the Order, teachings\r\nof Masters, and blessing of Buddhas of the ten directions! That is really the\r\nmost precious “luggage” for him to, one day, head for the open sea, advance\r\ntowards evolution, etc. Anyway, all of these things are just in the future, so\r\nhe should please with his present happiness!

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At the outside eaves, the summer rain suddenly rushes down!\r\nHe smiles, reaches hands out to catch the rainwater. Perhaps, sorrowful feeling\r\nshould have not had at the place where his sorrow is dispelled. 

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Translated into English by Huynh Thi Thao.

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