A Smile Grower

Update: 28/03/2024

A Smile Grower


Hoang Phap, date…month…year

In a blink of an eye, it's been two years since she met the Master who changed her life. From a carefree and naive young girl, she only knew that staying at the temple was for fun and doing meritorious deeds was to alleviate suffering in the next life. 

That's what she heard from the older women, but she didn't understand anything in her twenties. After the late-night practice, it's time for breakfast. Then, performed Buddhists affairs, performed Buddha   rituals, meditated, performed Buddhists affairs, had an afternoon meal, and practiced in the evening. Days after months passed by like that. She was still naive. Fortunately! In every breakfast session, the Abbot shared a short Dharma to water the Bodhi seeds of the crowd to sprout. 

However, at that age, how could she fully understand the meaning and the Master's heart?

Maybe the accumulated blessing of many kalpas made her so obedient! She practiced and performed Buddhists   affairs regularly without skipping a single day. Thanks to that, the streams of Dharma were also absorbed day by day. Moreover, living under the pure and solemn roof of the pagoda together with the precepts, boundless compassion of the Master, the Bodhi tree in her heart also sprouted and grew. She smiled at everyone who she met by chance, since she saw that the Master always smiled kindly at everyone. She did everything well such as walking, standing, bowing Buddha was behaving gently... because she saw her Master doing these things every day. 

Although the Master is a monk of high virtue and morality, he always maintained his dignity and was kind 

to everyone. "As the Master is, so is the disciples," she told herself not to betray the Master's teachings and love.

 As days and months passed; when she directly saw, heard, and felt the Master's virtuous qualities, she cherished and believed more in the Buddha. She believed that genuine, virtuous, and moral monks did exist, 

and that they were still present in this world. The Bodhi tree inside her grew stronger each day. She was happy, 

smiled more, smiled brighter, and smiled more fully. When joy was full, it would be expressed by smiles on the lips. Master! Thank you! You planted a genuine smile in my heart. 

She always shared with everyone she met about the Master, the abbot of Hoang Phap Pagoda, the one who was full of compassion and wisdom. Especially, his virtues and his precepts were true to the Dharma, Buddha's teachings, and the reality. Anyone who used to meet and interacted with him would totally agree because of those sincerity and kindness. The Master did what he said, and he said what he did. This was one of the virtues of the World-

Honored One. How beautiful it was to be a monk, Buddha!

 As she grew older, she began to understand more about things through the events happening in the pagoda. She still remembered that there was a Bhikkhu who requested to return to secular life; the Master tried his best to dissuade him.  When not being able to persuade, he also gently gave advice. The story did not stop there. When the Master knew the monk's family was in   difficulties, and his father was ill, he called for support from the mass of   Buddhists; He himself was the first to contribute to this. In addition, when the Buddhists at the pagoda got sick, the Master also took care of medicine and paid full hospital fees to make everyone secure. Why was the Master so good? She asked herself, "Why could he do such things when he was not their relative? There was no guarantee their relatives would do it?” 

That question was already answered by time. The person who practiced the correct dharma, the true teachings of the Buddha, and the true path that the Buddha walked would act the same. Compassion would spread to all without any hindrance.

A smile suddenly bloomed upon her lips; how happy and lucky she unexpectedly felt! The person who planted that smile is now over sixty years old, and his health has greatly weakened; however, the work of spreading the Dharma and benefiting all sentient beings does not age. He always brings love and joy to the places he comes. Thank you, a thousand times, for planting my smile! 

The Most Venerable Thich Chan Tinh

When I’m here, this is my homeland,

When I leave, it becomes part of my soul


Phuoc Hue

Translated into English by Huynh Vo Cao Tri

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