Friendship in practicing

Update: 07/08/2020

Friendship in  practicing



Hoang Phap Pagoda is well known as a center of propagation, the beginning source of the knowledge of Buddhism, bringing wisdom to everyone from everywhere.
In the meantime, Hoang Phap Pagoda has big effects not only on the Buddhist community, but also the social life of everyone.
It is because everyone at Hoang Phap pagoda is guided to the holy way of a peaceful, happy life.
There have been many events of big ceremonies, practicing courses for many levels in social life. From summer courses for children, who are young buds of the future of this world; to  students who are ready to step into life; and also the practicing courses for the middle ages, parents, grandparents, ect: All for one purpose of leading themselves to be a better, better family, better community.
Because of these above purposes, all of the monks and the Buddhists always practice, strengthen Dharma. Being a small member of Hoang Phap Pagoda, we always dream of widely proclaiming the Buddhist’s truth to benefit all beings. Our ambition began the first time we knew about Hoang Phap Pagoda, and became our motivation.
However, since our being monks until now - the time is neither long nor short to acknowledge new things day by day.
Our progress in practicing, along with bringing Buddhist’s Dharma to life is not easy. It’s tough with challenges, when our mind is not stable for anyone to be supported.
This way is not like someone’s thought, in which they enter the pagoda for practicing in a peaceful way, ignoring everything, or just only reciting sutras.

No, it’s all wrong with our choice from Hoang Phap Pagoda. Beside studying and practicing, we are also working, meeting other people because of one purpose of contributing to a better life.
 Therefore, beside basing on the teaching from Buddha and masters, the most important thing is that we are based on each other, who are fellows, who own the same direction. It is a kind relationship which is worth appreciation.
This is proved in many times by the Buddha, in the sutràs, for example via the conversation between Arya Ananda and the Buddha as below:
Arya Ananda came and visited the World’s Honoured One, prostrated to him and said:
-      “Dear Buddha, the World’s Honoured One, this is half of the pure living, the kind friendship, the good fellowship.”
-      “No, it’s not, Ananda! It’s not! This is the whole pure living, the beautiful friendship, the beautiful fellowship. When a monk has a good friend, a good fellow, it is expected that this monk will develop and study Arya stangika marga (the eightfold Path).
-      And hey, Ananda, a monk who has a good friend, a good fellow, how will this monk study Arya stangika marga (the Eightfold Path)? Hey Ananda, this monk studies Right Understanding, based on being secluded, greed and cutting off everything, getting the result of being rescued. This monk studies Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration., based on being secluded, greed and cutting off everything, getting the result of being rescued. Hey Ananda, by this method, a monk gets a good friend, a good fellow, this person also develops and studies Arya stangika marga (the eightfold Path)… (Tương Ưng Bộ Kinh V, phẩm Vô Minh 2. II, trang 10 -12).
By the above conversation, we can see that the path of self study, self development, friendship or fellowship affects not only the studying progress but also the pure living. Whether our lives are strengthened or not, are developing or not, it is because of the above things. If we only know ourselves, when our studying and practicing progress is not fluent, we hardly see our daily mistakes, even the smallest one, or the biggest one…
And, we are not the exceptions. We also have our precious fellows that we respect, even we know that we cannot be with each other till the end of the cultivating course because each of us enters the studying process with different destiny. If our destiny has been experienced in the previous lives, we can meet each other more. If it is not destiny, we choose our various paths. That path can be that we continue studying the sutra, practicing the sutra, or coming back to our daily life. Whatever path we choose, we always remember that we used to have each other, which, one day, we can meet again and continue our studying path, bringing Buddha’s ways to our lives. At this moment, what I can think about is our fellows, who are with me from the very first day till today.
Even, someday, we can be apart, but it allows me to borrow two verses to motivate myself, also wish all the best to my friends, my fellows, that, in the future, we can continue our path together:
 “I wish you will diligently cultivate venerable,
Your stages of practice will be cleaned off any suffering dirt of the saha world".

Tâm Bá
Translated into English by Nguyen Thi Mai Thao    

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