A PAIR OF SLIPPERS

Update: 13/11/2020
All of us go through many steps of growth, from crawling, standing to walking. And I am not the one who excludes the case. When I knew how to walk, my parents bought a pair of slippers for me to protect my feet being trampled on sharp objects such as thorns, fragments ... which can hurt my beautiful little feet.
 

A PAIR OF SLIPPERS

 

Thinking about those things, all memories come back to my mind. I still remember that when I was given slippers by my mom. It costs the same as the salary of a hard working day. Yet, I didn’t keep them, I made use of them to play football with friends. After the game, on the way home, I suddenly looked at my feet, I forgot to put my slippers on my feet. It was dark. So, I was scared to come back to the playground to find my slippers. Having lost my slippers, I was very scared and did not dare to go home. Because I was afraid of being beaten or scolded, I hid myself in a pile of straw near my house to sleep. Thinking of the kid was stupid. That is why I have made it much more serious. My parents were worried to looking for me, imagination that their children will be in danger such as being lost, kidnapped or having in an accident ...

After a few hours, I couldn't find a child, anxiety, impatience  that appeared on my face as well as my expression was no longer calm, the arguments in the family were getting louder.Then suddenly there was a dog barking at a pile of straw nearby, my parents ran out to see me, at that time I was very scared, thinking that it was definitely being beaten. But no, she hugged me in her arms and used gentle words full of love, so touching that still remain in my memory until now. Mother said: “My child is very foolish! It doesn’t matter when you lost them. Why are you so scared that you have to hide here to sleep, pitifully being stung by mosquitoes.

Time passes by fast. It has been 40 years. My parents are old, all sons and daughters work far from their hometown, All memories of childhood become the reminiscences  of childhood now. Now, I know the meaning of my feet, the present from my parents. However, the feet were used to kicking a soccer ball, I now know how to show more mindfulness when walking in the Buddhist chanting, when I go to the main hall to recite the sutras, I know how to clean my slippers. Every time I go up or down the hall, I put my slippers on the shelf slowly, gently and neatly.

The slippers used are also very simple, typical in the North. It is a white honeycomb sandal, made of foam material so it is very light and suitable for Vietnamese people.

 They are light and easy being moved, always floating, and they never sink. Having so many holes that they must be very well ventilated. With waterproof, the price is very reasonable.

It is just a pair that contains many precious lessons: "Good practice means happiness: bad practice implies misery". The clear image that shows the purity needs to strive to maintain and promote, as well as the mental contemplation, every day we need to wash away greed, hatred, delusion, crazy illusions, so that the mind will calm down, pure and clean.

 Right now, I'm living in a fairly big temple. On Tet holidays, there are many good men and women coming to visit and celebrate Buddha. Because of the new year, everyone is focused on the Buddhist temple to pray for family peace, good health, and good business. This is a cultural beauty from many generations. Everyone is excited with beautiful and expensive outfits.

 Everyone who comes to the temple wants to search for peace. When entering the Buddha's temple, they have to let the slippers outside, and pray very respectfully. Just after making their vows, they steal a pair of newly bought sandals of several million, unwillingly their afflictions emerge. So happiness has not been attained yet, which the disaster has already arrived. In fact, having been a true Buddhist, there is certainly no such insecure theft. Because of knowing the cause and effect of the sin, they try to preserve the precepts that have been taken. Just because there is a Buddha, there should also be a ghost, but a ghost always does the opposite, causing theft, bringing insecurity to everyone. 

I feel sympathy for those who have encountered this situation. It is very pitiful to see the scene of laughing and crying. The story seems to be the same, but it still happens every day. It certainly makes the monks a headache on the monks. The chief master also gave many options such as: distributing plastic bags, announcing everyone to be alert about the theft, sometimes allowing everyone to wear sandals to minimize the theft. This is only a temporary solution.

The picture of the Buddha sitting solemnly in the front of the main hall, although just being a statue, everyone who looks at Him feels the peace. His life is worth pondering. He identified suffering and pointed out the way for peace and happiness.

He was born in glorious riches. All …… like the jewel-gold palace, delicious food, beautiful clothes. Those are torn sandals. But no one takes the broken sandals, whoever uses them. "He gave up all but achieved  all". Looking at His example, He lived a very simple and poor life. All properties are a bowl of bowls, three robes and going alm-beg on bare feet, sleeping at the root of a tree, eating once a day. So the simpler, the more peaceful, free, and less miserable.

From this, we think that Buddhists who come to the temple should also choose for themselves blisses, simple things, which is not to create conditions for bad people to take advantage and we are always safe and happy, not to be disturbed by the dominated external thought.

Creating suffering to people

Looking forward to gather for yourself

Being bound by hatred

You cannot escape from hostility.

Tam Hoan

Translated into English by Le Thien An.

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