Sep 24, 2015

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 27 Comments

Lesson 4: DO NOT RETURN TO THE LIFE OF A HOUSEHOLDER (Đừng trở lại với đời sống gia đình)

Contemplation on “Fourteen Grievous Failures of a Buddhist Practitioner”


In the Buddha’s time, some bhikkhus sought alms from their family and usually received a warm greeting party. This is a chance for them to meet and have family talk but also poses a risk of losing the Buddhist’s virtue. After such meetings, unenlightened bhikkhus easily fell attached with their family again which is seen as a huge obstacle on their journey to enlightenment. Consequently, many had returned to family life while others resorted to the help of presbyters or senior fellow Buddhists to return on the right track. That’s why the Buddha had warned the Bhikkhus to release by “cutting off” love and family attachment.

On his way to set up the monastery, Tibetan Guru Gampopa had overseen such obstacle and awakened that:” If, after having entered the door of Holy Order, one return to the life of a householder, one resemble the moth plunging into the flame of a lamp; and this is a grievous failure”. He has used a simile to show up the effects of family life on Buddhist practitioners which comprises of two negative attributes: (1) attachment (Sakincana) and (2) clinging ((Parãmãsa or Abhinivesa). These two factors push the practitioner into mental turbidity, just like a moth that resigns itself to death to be near the lamp. We can see the heartwood of Gampopa’s advice lays on the phrase of “enter the door of Holy Orders”. Why so?

There are eight freedoms and ten supportive conditions conducive to practice Dharma.

It is extremely rare to attain a human rebirth that covers all these conditions.

Eight freedoms from being reborn:

1/ in Hell realm

2/ in Hungry Ghosts realm

3/ in Animals realm

4/ in Bhrava and Deva (long-life God) realm

5/ in a barbaric country

6/ as the non-belief in causation karma

7/ in a time when there is no teaching of Dharma available, and

8/ with an impaired or damaged thought that fails to meet with or practices Dharma.

Ten supportive conditions include: 

Lotus Flower Estrade in Song Nguyen Tantra House

1/ One is born in a human body
2/ One is born in a region where the Buddha’s teachings are accessible
3/ All of one’s senses are intact.
4/ One does not have wrong views
5/ One has faith in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

These first five are internal factors. The remaining five are external factors:

6/ One was born in the time when a Buddha has appeared
7/ The Buddha has given teachings
8/ These teachings have been preserved and remained accessible
9/ One grasps and practices these teachings
10/ One meets a Tantric Guru who accepts him as disciple

We should appreciate and rejoice this rare situation to practice Dharma since no one knows in which realms we will enter in our next life. Meeting Dharma, Practicing Dharma, that’s a rare, marvelous predestine, but some recluses (pabbajita) seem undervalue this priceless gift. In stead of “living a plain and simple life to practice Dharma – concerning wisdom as the sole career”, they’ve come back to family life from the lure of wealth, fame and other mundane desires. Such cases are called Bhikkhus who return to worldly life.

At first, such Bhikkhus may feel joyful with secular life. Few years later, many are up to their neck in childcare, housework or earning a living – an image of high contrast to the monastic environment where they peacefully spend all the time on chanting, reciting and meditating. On the other hand, they have caused their relatives suffer from complicated kinship and social relations, as they inevitably should be. Those who have watched the South Korea movie of “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring” (2003)” or the Chinese-made “Lust, Caution” (2007) may perceive this meaningful teaching of ariyas through cinematic language. The Siddhartha by Hermann Hensse (published in 1922) is another instance showing up negative impacts of family life.

A scene from “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter….and Spring”

What is, however, the core meaning of “return to the life of a householder”? We easily find out cases of presbyters or Buddhist dignitaries who have neglected their main role as a leader of the Sangha and followers on the path to enlightenment, but been interested in setting up “records” for polishing their ego by building the largest monasteries or the biggest Buddha statues. In the meantime, they have failed to attain any “inner-spiritual record”.

Building largest pagodas and biggest statutes just to polish their ego

Imposing lecture halls have been put under privileges of some Buddhist dignitaries of individual purposes while rarely opened for sermon delivery to Buddhist followers. Sometimes they were opened for evening chanting ceremonies but few Buddhists attended since they already have their own praying room at home.

Many pagodas and monasteries have made neutron-consuming calculations on charity activities (donor aids, vegetarian meals, etc.) just with a sole purpose of making themselves well-known. Should they forget that these charity activities can be done by anyone, even by non-Buddhist persons, whilst the spirit or motto of Buddhism regards “wisdom as the supreme mission”? Shall a vegetarian meal satisfy the Buddhist’s aim of a real training? Many have mistaken vegetarian meals for Dharma training and thus become a merely traditional practitioner for their whole life.

Building and casting of pagodas, statues and bell. Should they be set up everywhere?

As mentioned above, those activities are merely outward and cannot be done without the donor from rich benefactors, who, in some cases, have ironically turned out to be a “savior” of the clergy. The Buddha had asserted that Dharma giving is much more valuable than almsgiving. Should the Bhikkhus have lowered their spiritual status just for trivially acquisitive wishes? Such evidence might be found in “someone’s testament” which said that the name of a rich donor must be put on boards of merit in every Khmer pagodas, pleading Khmer’s tradition of “Remembering the source of water when you drink it.”

That’s the story of Buddhist dignitaries. For monks, some have been trying to strike up an acquaintance with the giver just for almsgiving, of whom some are even adopted as their foster parents or foster brothers. These monks, in return, have obviously become a “special chanter” for their foster family in such events as funerals and wedding parties.

Great Master of Tibetan Buddhism, Padmashambhava. He is a layman and has two spiritual wives, one of whom is Tsogyal Yeshe

What about laymen who have been living a family life? What is the use of Gampopa’s advice for this type of practitioner? Let’s see the teaching of H.H the 12thGyalwang Drukpa during his visit to Vietnam, saying “Buddhism is not a religion but rather a way of living a meaningful, helpful life. The best way to practice Dharma is to make yourself be helpful to your fellowman. “From this point of view, we may understand that “return to the life of householder” is when a layman fails to integrate Buddha’s teachings into his daily life. Below is another answer of H.H the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa as being asked to differentiate a layman from a monk:

Q: Will it be more easily for a monk to get enlightened? How can an ordinary person shelter from the flames of desires in their daily life? (Truong Hoang An, aged 33)

A: The first question is not quite true. If your insight is strong enough, then that’ll be great to be a layman. You will achieve much better once you overcome cravings. 

April 24, 2014
Phuoc Thanh Village

Translated by Mat Hue Phap

Original Vietnamese post: Bài 4: ĐỪNG TRỞ LẠI VỚI ĐỜI SỐNG GIA ĐÌNH

Russian version: Урок 4: НЕ ВОЗВРАЩАЙТЕСЬ К ЖИЗНИ ДОМОХОЗЯИНА (Đừng trở lại với đời sống gia đình)

Related posts:

Lesson 1: PREFACE 

Lesson 2: The Bitter Taste of the Drug



Lesson 5: To Die of Thirst on the Shore of a Lake


Lesson 7: Contemplation on “Fourteen Grievous Failures of a Buddhist Practitioner” – LITTLE BOM AND THE HYPOCRITE

Lesson 8: Contemplation on “Fourteen Grievous Failures of a Buddhist Practitioner” – A PARROT SAYING A PRAYER 

Lesson 9: Contemplation on “Fourteen Grievous Failures of a Buddhist Practitioner” – TO WASH A SHEEPSKIN COAT IN PLAIN WATER



Lesson 11: A CAT LYING IN WAIT FOR A MOUSE (Mèo giết chuột)

Lesson 12: THINK ABOUT THE TEACHING OF MASTER GAMPOPA FROM THE SCANDAL OF BO DE (BODHI) PAGODA (Từ sự kiện chùa Bồ Đề suy ngẫm lại lời dạy của tôn giả Gampopa)




  1. Mật Kính says:
    Dear my vajra brother Mat Hue Phap ,
    I already read and take great delight in your translation. Throught the lesson 4 on 14 Contemplation on fourteen grievous failures of Buddhist Practitioners – to return to the life of a householder after having entered the door of holy orders and this is grievous failure. But we the I really impress with the answer of Gyalwang Drukpa 12 “If your insight is strong enough, then that’ll be great to be a layman. You will achieve much better once you overcome cravings” , so we are the laymen who have been living a family life , its better if we apply the Dharma into the daily life
    Once again, thanks for your translation
    May our Guru and Dakini long live for the benefit of all sentient beings.
    May all beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.
  2. Mat Dieu Hang says:
    I rejoice in your good deed of translating the Guru’s discourse on “DO NOT RETURN TO THE LIFE OF A HOUSEHOLDER” into English which is one of the most important articles in this site of
    For those who have entered the door of Holy Order by means of living a monastic life, they have made cultivation of peaceful mind resulting from a release from suffering, worldly pleasure as well as Three Fires or Three Poisons so that they can get the peace in this lifetime and attain the ultimate liberation of the Pure Land after death. They will make the grievous failure if they return to the life of householder which causes their suffering and attachment to the temporary life and they will not know where they go in the circle of rebirths and deaths when they die.
    For the lay people who practice Buddhist teachings for the purpose of giving up the ego, the ignorance and afflictive emotion so that they get the ultimate happiness. If they do not practice Dharma because of the attachment to worldly pleasure, temporary happiness with family, wealth and friend, they must say farewell to their wealth and friend after death and they have no assurance that they will not go to the lower realms. On other hand, when they work so hard to have wealth, reputation, family and all of that in this life, they create a lot of harmful karma in the process of doing so. At any time, when the karma comes with them, they will get trouble in your life from suffering to failure in family and working. At the time they die, they separate from all these things, and the karma comes with them leading them to the circle of rebirths and deaths.
    Dharma itself is the act of modifying our behavior according to the law of cause and effect. The result of some virtuous action – the cause – can only be happiness; this cause does not bring suffering. The result of some non-virtuous action – the cause – can only be suffering; this cause does not bring happiness.
    In short, it is the grievous mistake if whoever has good chance to enter to the Holy Order for Dharma practice which helps them change black Karma collected for many lives into white karma resulting in temporary happiness in this life and everlasting happiness in the next life, returns to the life of householder dragging on the suffering and affliction resulting in the rebirth of lower realms.
    I am thankful for your translation.
    May you have good health and make progress in the path to enlightenment.
    May our Guru and Dakini long live for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings be free from suffering and its cause.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.
  3. Mật Tuệ Phúc says:
    Kính bạch Thầy!
    Con đã đọc bài này ạ!
  4. JeongGeun Mok says:
    more I learn more I feel I need to learn more

    So I can adopt them into my daily lives practically.

    Because although I love them when challenges ( that feels right opposite to what I have learned as Truths so far), I feel weak alone out in the world 🌎 then feel angry that I may have been deceived by wrong kind of teaching.

    I wish My insight is strong enough so I can be responsible myself and do not need to feel deceived again.

    Thank You for great article 🍀 Blessings

    • Dear JeongGeun Mok,
      Welcome to
      The Guru teaches me to write some words with you.
      The Guru said that you feel deceived by the wrong teaching because you did not learn the teaching “Dharma should integrate into daily life”
      And you should let nature take its courses in which the fact should not be seasoned with any further qualities or characteristics based on your own way of thinking. For instance, you look at the lamp, you see it as the lamp, you should not think the lamp is beautiful or the lamp is bad. The lamp is only used to light.
      Hope you read more posts to get more understanding that no teachings deceive you, all are up to your own way of thinking, you do not let nature take its course. Because all Buddhist teachings lead us to the path to liberation.

  5. Sonam norbu says:
    Dear holy guru,
    I am here again to pay my homage for your omniscient discourse on lesson not return to the life of a householder. I am really impressed with your gracoius preachings. I feel i am lucky for having the golden chance to read and learn the buddha dharma through your holiness preachings. So i liked that it is not good to return to the life of a householder once practitioners have taken the holy order. Its really a failure for the dharma practitioners to get attached with the pressures of worldly life. The life of beings in the cyclic existence of samsara is really a suffering, there is indeed sufferings of suffering that drag one again and again to the ocean of suffering. The obstacles of attachment and clinging to the illusionary life can stop one from getting enlightened. So the wisdom of gompopa really inspired me. When one has eight freedoms and ten supportive conditions to practice dharma, its necessary to practice the true dharma. The dharma should be actually practise in the way of dharma, so not to be for popularity and personal gains. The 12th Gyalwang Drukpa said the inner insight and thought is important for it to be wise. So as i pass my two eyes over the preachings of holy guru, it gets into my heart, so well enough with my mind with heart , i believe i can do more better things to benefit sentient beings in a better way. I am really assured that those individuals that get access to the holy guru’s preachings can always be a better humane. So with gratitude i pray, may the holy guru live long for the benefit of sentient beings, may the buddha dharma spread throughout the worlds of all realms. May the sentient beings attain peace and enlightenment…🙏🙏🙏
    • Chanh tri says:
      You have a deep understanding about the lesson 5: Do not return to the life of a householder. Returning to the life of a householder means the practitioners cling to the cyclic existence of Samsara. It does not imply that a monk transfers from monastic life into secular life.
      I am delighted with your comment.
      (Trò đã hiểu sâu sắc về bài giảng số 5: Đừng trở về với cuộc sống gia đình. Trở về với cuộc sống gia chủ có nghĩa là dính mắc vào vòng xoáy luân hồi. Chứ không phải hiểu theo cách thầy tu cạo đầu vào chùa rồi sau đó hoàn tục.
      Thầy hoan hỷ với những cảm niệm của trò)
      • Sonam norbu says:
        Dear holy guru,
        I am really grateful for your wonderful preachings.Thanks alot for your unlimited kindness for sentient beings. May the holy guru live long for the bwnefit of sentient beings. May all sentient beings attain buddhahood. Thanks alot..
    • Mật Diệu Hằng says:
      Kính bạch Thầy!
      Con xin phép được dịch phần cảm niệm của đạo hữu Sonam Norbu ạ. Nếu con dịch chưa đúng nghĩa và lệch với quỹ đạo chánh pháp, con kính mong Thầy từ bi khai thị.
      Con cảm ơn Thầy!
      Sau đây là nội dung cảm niệm của đạo hữu Sonam Norbu:
      “Kính thưa vị Thầy tâm linh tôn quý,
      Con trở lại để đảnh lễ Thầy vì Thầy đã viết một bài giảng sâu sắc, hoàn hảo, bài 5: Đừng trở về với cuộc sống gia đình. Con thực sự rất ấn tượng với bài giảng tinh túy của Thầy. Con biết mình rất may mắn có được cơ hội vàng được đọc và học giáo pháp Phật đà thông qua những bài giảng sâu sắc của Thầy. Con nhận thức được rằng sẽ không tốt cho những hành giả đạo Phật đã đến được cổng chánh pháp mà trở về với cuộc sống gia đình. Hành giả thực hành Phật pháp mà dính mắc với đời sống thế sự thì đúng là một điều thất bại trầm trọng. Đới sống thế sự chính là vòng xoáy của luân hồi sinh tử với khổ đau, phiền não. Cuộc sống của chúng sanh trong vòng luân hồi sinh tử là những khổ đau tiếp nối đau khổ trong sự dính mắc trần tục tạo nên một đại dương vô lượng khổ vây quanh. Những trở ngại của chấp trước và bám víu vào cuộc sống ảo tưởng này đã ngăn cản hành giả đạt giác ngộ. Vì vậy, những lời dạy đầy trí tuệ của ngài Gampopa thực sự truyền cảm hứng cho con. Con người có tám tự do và mười thuận cảnh để thực hành Phật pháp thì cần phải thực hành chánh pháp. Pháp cần phải được thực hành đúng theo quỹ đạo, chứ không phải thực hành pháp vì thanh danh lợi dưỡng. Pháp vương Gyalwang Drukpa thứ 12 đã từng nhận định rằng đối với người khôn ngoan thì cái nhìn sâu sắc bên trong và tư duy mới là điều quan trọng. Con đọc bài giảng của bậc Đạo sư tâm linh tôn quý không phải bằng nhục nhãn mà bằng cả trái tim, bằng tư duy. Vì vậy, con tin rằng, thông qua việc học pháp từ Thầy, con có thể làm những điều tốt đẹp hơn, đem lại lợi lạc cho chúng sanh một cách tốt hơn. Con chắc chắn rằng những ai được tiếp cận với những bài giảng sâu sắc của vị Thầy tâm linh tôn quý sẽ là những người có cơ hội phát triển tâm từ. Và với lòng biết ơn vô hạn, con xin cầu nguyện:
      Con cầu nguyện vị Thầy tâm linh tôn quý trụ thế lâu dài vì sự lợi lạc của chúng sanh.
      Con cầu nguyện chánh pháp được lan tỏa khắp muôn nơi trong các cõi.
      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh được an lạc và đạt được giác ngộ tối thượng.”
  6. Dear my compassionate Guru,

    After reading this article I understand that, to any Buddhist practicioner who remains intact with their family, “not return to the life of a householder” means intergrate Buddha’s teachings in one’s daily life to face and overcome one’s clinging nature. Thank you for your lesson, I’m happy with what I have learn today. Thanks Mat Hue Phap for the translation.

    Om mani padme hum.

  7. marta irene guagliana says:
    DEAR GURU : Thanks for sharing ,..The best way to experience the dharma is to apply it to our family life…that Guru have health and many years for benefit of all sentient beings …OM MANI PADME HUM


    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Marta Irene Guagliana sang tiếng Việt như sau ạ:

      “Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy vì đã cho con đọc bài viết này. Theo con hiểu, phương pháp tốt nhất là áp dụng pháp vào cuộc sống.

      Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì sự lợi lạc của chúng sanh.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  8. Respected Guruji,
    B attachmentuddha in his time noticed some of the Bhikkus who have renunciated all worldly things and followed him used to go back to approach their families out love and affection and to get alms from them not knowing that will in future may lead to attachment! Buddha warns such Bhikkus to release by “Cutting off” (treckcho) love and attachments.

    The great master Gampopa says:
    ” If after having entered the door of the Holy order, one return to the life of a house holder one resembles the moth attracted by and going into the flame of a lamp. And this is a Grevious Failure.!”
    The effect of family life on Buddhist Practicioners comprises of two negetive
    Factors :
    (1) Attachments
    (2) Clinging
    These two factors push the Practicioners into mental turbidity just like the moth that invites itself death going nearer to the flames of the lamp!

    Some rich lay Buddhists erect big statues of Buddha,construct big big golden Temples for Buddha with big chanting halls which rarely open for chanting and meditation purpose!,being always closed. This is done only to exhibit their wealth and status in society. Which shows their possessive nature and craving for desire!
    Contrary to this, Buddhism is,” Simple living and high thinking “. and regards, “wisdom as the supreme mission “.
    The teachings of the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa during his visit to Vietnam has highly impressed me, which is as follows:
    ” Buddhism is not a religion but rather a way of living a meaningful, helpful life. The best way to Practice Dharma is to make yourself be helpful to your fellow men. ” I quote :
    Love all ! Live in Love !
    Help Ever ! Hurt Never !
    Love with out Expectations !!
    From this point of view, we may understand that return to the life of householder is when a layman fails to integrate Buddha’s teachings into his daily life.
    Om Mani Padme Hum
    Dr.C H Lakshminarayan

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu C H Lakshminarayan sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn kính,

      Khi đức Phật còn tại thế, đức Phật cũng cảnh tỉnh những tỳ kheo dù đã xả ly cuộc sống gia đình để tu tập nhưng vẫn còn luyến ái gia đình và khi khất thực đã đến nhà mình trước đây, được gia đình vui mừng đón tiếp. Những hành vi đó sẽ làm cho người tu dính mắc, bám chấp vào đời sống thế tục. Do vậy, đức Phật đã khuyên cáo các vị tỳ kheo không nên trở về gia đình của mình mà nên “cắt ái, ly gia”

      Và thánh giả Gampopa cũng đã khuyến cáo: “Đã bước vào cổng chánh pháp mà trở về với cuộc sống gia đình, cũng giống như con thiêu thân lao vào ngọn lửa. Đây là thất bại trầm trọng”.

      Với lời khuyến cáo như vậy, ngài đã chỉ rõ bản chất tác hại của đời sống gia đình, vốn gồm hai thuộc tính tiêu cực:

      (1) luyến ái

      (2) chấp thủ

      Hai thuộc tính này gây nhiều xáo động tâm lý tiêu cực, cản trở người tu, tựa như loài thiêu thân say ánh đèn không bao giờ chịu rời xa cho đến khi mất mạng.

      Nhiều Phật tử xây chùa to tượng lớn,  xây dựng những giảng đường rộng lớn nhưng chỉ vì mục đích đánh bóng bản ngã, hiếm khi tổ chức giảng pháp hay các pháp sự để đồ chúng vân tập, cũng nhau thực hành pháp. Họ xây chùa, đúc tượng chỉ để thể hiện sự giàu có và danh tiếng trong xã hội. Những gì họ đang cố phô trương minh chứng cho bản chất muốn chiếm hữu, tham lam và sự chìm đắm trong ngũ dục thế gian. Nhưng điều này hoàn toàn trái ngược với tôn chỉ của đạo Phật: “đơn sơ gìn giữ đạo, dùng trí tuệ làm nghiệp”.

      Con rất hoan hỷ và ấn tượng khi đọc lời dạy của pháp vương Gyalwang Drukpa 12 trong chuyến thăm Việt Nam, như sau: “Đạo Phật không phải là một tôn giáo, mà là một hành trình giúp con người ta sống một cách đúng hướng và có ích nhất. Nếu áp dụng được đạo Phật vào việc tạo nên những con người có ích thì đó là cách thực hành đạo Phật tốt nhất”

      Con áp dụng tinh thần đó trong cuộc sống của con:

      “Yêu thương tất cả mọi người

      Giúp đỡ tất cả mọi người

      Không bao giờ làm tổn hại người khác.

      Yêu thương mà không mong cầu đền đáp”

      Từ luận điểm này, con hiểu rằng “quay về với cuộc sống gia đình” có nghĩa là khi người tu tại gia không xem Pháp là cuộc sống và Cuộc sống tức là Pháp.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.

      Kính thư!

      Con – C H Lakshminarayan.”

  9. Tantra Upatissa says:

    Dear Guru
    I have read this article. It is a very interesting one. Thank you so much.
    May the Guru live long for the sake of all beings.
    May all beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  10. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerebol GURU;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    Thank you for your very much for souch interesting article.

    A lay Buddhist can practice the holy Dharma as long he as the right understand in is mind stream, and the Ariyia spiritual guide in which put him in the right path to follow, but also it’s very important to have a good intellectual noleg about the holy Dharma and a very strong motivation for the well fare of all sentient beings!

    OM MANI PADME HUM…… thank you venerebol.


  11. Salvatore Antonio Fois says:

    Venerebol GURU;

    My name is Tantra Siramitra.

    I love Buddhism because I have been allway’s curious about religious considering Buddhism is not a religion;

    I studied the Judaism, the Koran, and offcours the Bible.

    But I found out this three main religious the are all based on the Torah, for example the old testament it’s part of the Torah, in the Bible;

    With the new tastament in which is only testimony of several Apostol’s. The Koran is the old testament with only few changes from the Profet. But the are hall in the principals of the Torah.

    Wan I started studying Buddhism I seen the big difference in between, this is my personal opinion with out descriminetio to any believe or whatever; Lord Buddha dousent seas have faith on me and you will have sternal life no! The opposite if you won’t cross the river you must find the veicol to do so if you seat in one side of the river and you prey all your life you shall never cross the river. Wan you follow the path you should reach the destination not me, and you will find out by yourself were you are.

    There’s no hope unless you really practice and cultivate with diligence and wisdom, and compation offcours this is what made me feel very strongly believe in the touchings of the Holly Dharma. Again this is my personal opinion with out heart to no one’s believe or credo in which averyone as the right to believe!

    OM MANI PADME HUM…… thank you.


  12. Tantra Amishuta says:

    Dear Holy Guru,

    Thank you for taking me on as a diciple. I apprecitae the opportunity to learn Buddhism from such a wonderful Guru. your dedication and commitment puts me in awe. I’m not trying to fill your ego I am just overwhelmed with pleasure from all you do for us and for me. You truly are a good person and that is a wonderful thing. I wonder, since we have multiple lives is it possible to go back in time and live in the time of Buddha? I’m not sure I understand how that works. It would have been an amazing time to live in that time. I have a home life and try to live a good Buddhist life but I admit to having attachment to my family. I often wonder if I have the strength to leave them to become a nun and live in a monastary. I don’t even know where I would go or how to go about it.. I know I make things more difficult on my husband when I try to practice detatchment. he is not Buddhist but listens to the lessons you teach me because often I’m so excited about them I share what I learn with him after reading your articles. I hope that one day I have enough right knowledge that I too can teach others to live good right Buddhist lives. Don’t get me wrong, I do not do this out of ego, I do this because I want others to have the understanding that I’m getting mroe and more of each day. I want them to be free of suffering just as much as I want myself to be free of suffering. I’m currently in college to become a pscyhologist for families and children. I’m hoping I can do good in the world with this education. I want to make a difference in others lives. I hoep that’s not out of ego. I genuinely want people to do better for themselves. Thank you Holy Guru for all of your lessons. May you be well for sake of all sentient beings and for yourself. I appreciate your lessons and your over all good being.

  13. Tantramikaya ( Jane) says:
    dear holy guru. Thank you for your article DO NOT RETURN TO THE LIFE OF A HOUSEHOLDER. This article is wonderfully written. Thank you for the Dharma teaching. In this wise article, you have described very well how important it is for us to practice the Dharma daily and at all times. If we train our minds and acquire the knowledge of seeing things as they are then we will be successful and escape the samsara. It is a cycle in which we have influence. When we think, feel and do good every day, our karma will be positive. I myself will strive to do even more good for all and I use the opportunity to expand my knowledge through your wise articles. If we daily practice and use the Dharma in our families, then we will also be successful in our daily lives (whether at work or with our environment and our fellow human beings). if we do not cling or feed our ego and look at things as they are then we will be free from suffering. Buddha’s Dharma is for me the only true philosophy that teaches us the eightfold path. Through this wise knowledge of Buddha I have changed many things in my life and I do not rely on the emotional world because I understand that nothing is permanent and I can determine my own actions through my positive thoughts. I often described myself as a very sensitive person who immediately absorbs and reacts to changes. Because of these feelings I was often very restless and tried to react sensitively to every situation. Today, I look at much with calm and more serenity. For through the Dharma and your wise articles I learned to meditate to practice and to transform myself. I am very grateful to dear holy guru and the sangha for the prayers, the dharma teaching. A life without the Dharma is no longer conceivable for me today. May be happy and succesful on your way to enlightenment. May our Guru life long and healthy for the sake of being sent. May all beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature. i want to pray for all and be safe in Vietnam now after the storm. OM MANI PADME HUM
    • Nguyên Thành says:
      I am delighted with your great transformation in mind and you live a peaceful life because of practicing the Dharma. My wish is to help all sentient beings learn and practice the Dharma to free from suffering and get the true happiness.
      • Tantramikaya ( Jane) says:
        Iam grateful dear holy Guru I really appreciate your generosity in teaching us.  May all be happy and successful on the way to enlightenment. Thank you for your reply and wish a healthy life.may all beings achieve the happiness of Buddha s nature. Sincerely  Om Mani Padme Hum 
    • Mật Diệu Hằng says:
      Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mikaya (Jane) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      “Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý!

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết “đừng trở lại với đời sống gia đình”. Đây là một bài viết tuyệt vời. Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã giảng Phật pháp cho con trong bài viết này. Trong bài viết trí tuệ của Thầy, Thầy đã giảng cho con hiểu rõ tầm quan trọng của việc thực hành pháp hằng ngày và liên tục không dừng nghỉ. Nếu chúng con tu tâm và nhận biết được mọi sự vật hiện tượng như nó đang là thì chúng con sẽ đạt được thành quả và thoát khỏi luân hồi. Vòng tròn sinh tử là nơi mà chúng con bị cuốn vào bởi những hành động thế tục. Nhưng khi chúng con suy nghĩ, hành động và gieo nhân lành hàng ngày thì chắc chắn nghiệp của chúng con sẽ được chuyển với những điều tích cực. Và bản thân con đang nỗ lực để làm những điều tốt đẹp cho mọi người và con luôn suy gẫm những lời dạy trí tuệ của Thầy để con có thêm được cơ hội học hỏi và mở mang tri kiến Phật đà. Nếu chúng con thực hành pháp hàng ngày, chúng con ứng dụng Phật pháp trong đời sống gia đình thì chắc chắn chúng con sẽ thành công trong cuộc sống (trong công việc, trong các mối quan hệ với đồng nghiệp và với hữu tình). Nếu chúng con không chấp ngã và không nuông chiều ái ngã và xem mọi sự vật, hiện tượng như nó đang là thì chúng con sẽ thoát khỏi khổ đau, phiền não. Theo con hiểu, Phật pháp là giáo lý duy nhất đúng dạy chúng con bát chánh đạo. Thông qua lời dạy của đức Phật, con đã thay đổi nhiều điều trong cuộc sống của con và con không còn sống theo cảm xúc vì con hiểu mọi điều đều vô thường, và con đã quyết định hành động của mình bằng nhữngsuy nghĩ tích cực. Con là người rất nhạy cảm, con nhận biết nhanh và có phản ứng ngay với những thay đổi trong cuộc sống. Vì những xúc cảm này mà con rất hay lo lắng không yên và hay phản ứng lại khi có sự việc xảy ra. Hôm nay, sau khi được học Phật pháp, con cảm thấy bình yên và thanh thản. Thông qua các bài viết trí tuệ của Thầy, con học cách thực hành và chuyển hóa tâm. Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy tôn quý vì đã để tâm và dạy dỗ con. Con cảm ơn các đạo hữu đã cầu nguyện cho con. Đối với con, nếu cuộc sống này không được thực hành Phật thì không còn ý nghĩa gì.

      Con cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh hạnh phúc và đạt được thành tựu trên đạo lộ giải thoát.

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy tôn quý khỏe mạnh và trường thọ vì sự lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.

      Con cầu nguyện tất cả hữu tình ở Việt Nam đều được an toàn sau cơn bão.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.”

  14. Sonia Kohli says:
    Dear Holy Guru

    Each article serves as a reminder to be true to ones path and commitment. Listening to the Guru’s teaching, mindful company of a wise sangha and meditation practice helps us from going astray.

    Thank you for this article and I request for your guidance to help me strengthen my practice.

    May all beings be at ease

    Om Mani Padme Hum 🙏🏻

  15. Lan Trần says:
    Dear Guru,

    I have read this article already.

    Many thanks indeed!

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  16. Dear Holy Guru,

    I’v read the “Lesson 4: Do not return to the life of a householder” already.

    I’m thankful to your great article about the second grievous failure in fourteenth grievous failures that the Guru Gampopa pointed out.

    From your teachings, firstly, I understand that meeting and practicing Dharma_ that was compared to “a land rich of gems” (Lesson 3: To return empty handed from a land rich of gems_ and this is a grevious failure), is a rare, marvelous predestine because it’s very difficult to have enough the eight freedoms and ten supportive conditions conducive to practice Dharma.

    Secondly, I understand how is returning to the life of a householder. Beside the action when some of Bhikkhus come back to the family life from the lure of wealth, fame and other mundane desires, there is also the core meaning when the presbyters or Buddhist dignitaries, or monks who still live in pagoda, monasteries but their behaviours are not spiritual activities aim to the ultimate goal for liberation, those activities are seem to be practiced but are in fact fake, and just directed towards private goals! Their minds are wobbled by the five poisons inside and the eight outward poisonous winds, so they lower themselves to the power of money from the rich benefactors, to be financed for their personal purposes, for their records in polishing the ego while their inner spiritual powers are totally empty!

    For laymen, “return to the life of a householder” is when a layman fails to integrate the Buddha’s teachings into his daily life. I understand this failure in two side. On the one side, it is when a layman stubbornly hold his own thoughts about what he considers Dharma, then separate Dharma from his daily life, such as focusing on vegetarian or being too rigid about time of practicing Dharma in the holy space everyday. All of these cause the discomforts and discords to his family members, relatives and other social relationships. On the other side, it is although frequently read and learn Buddha’s teachings, a layman is still absorbed by negative emotions, still starting to greed, anger, delusion, pride and jealousy, still shaken by eight worldly winds in his daily life.

    Both of two cases above are deviated from the Buddha’s teachings “concerning wisdom as the sole career” because being unable to understand and integrate Dharma in daily life. As a result, not only does that layman himselves has serious failure in practicing Dharma, but he also makes people around him feel bad, get aversion to Buddhism.

    Dear Guru,

    Through this article, I feel more deeply about the seldom luck that I and the other vajra brothers had, when we’re guided by the Holy Guru, who helps us understand what is the true practitioner and teach us how to rehearse, practice and apply Buddha’s teachings in our daily life, for the benefits of ourselves and other sentient beings.

    I’m truly grateful to the Guru’s compassion and wisdom for guiding us on the journey to the city of liberation. May the Guru and his consort have a good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.

    I’m delighted with vajra brother Mat Hue Phap for good deeds in translating this beneficial article of Guru. Thank you so much and may you achieve your legitimate wishes.

    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  17. Ahmed Khan says:

    Dear Guru,

    Thank you for sharing this article, titled Lesson 4: Do not return to the life of a householder.

    In this article you explain Gampopa’s teachings about staying dedicated to our Dharma practice and applying the Buddha’s teachings in our daily life.

    May all sentient beings be free from suffering and become enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan)

  18. Tantra Pramitdhita (Josh Hacker) says:
    Holy Guru, thank you for sharing this lesson and helping me to understand how to apply this grievous failure to my life as a layman practitioner.

    Mat Hue Phap,  thank you for you translation.

    Om mani padme hum

    May Guru and his consort have a long life for the sake of all sentient beings

    May all sentient beings find freedom from suffering

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