Oct 11, 2020

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 28 Comments

Letter to disciples No.238: PLEIKU! ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT SITUATED IN PLEIKU BUT IT DELIVERS THE SOUL OF PLEIKU! ( Thư gửi các trò 238: PLEIKU! TUY KHÔNG PHẢI PLEIKU NHƯNG CHÍNH THẬT PLEIKU!)

Dear disciples,
One beautiful evening, I wanted to look for a good café. It was unexpected that we found a nice café on Y Lan street, in Quy Nhon city. The café was decorated with colorful neon light which signalized the line “Café Pleiku”. Without any hesitation, I parked the car and stepped into the café. That is to see that I have nurtured a good sentiment towards Pleiku city. It is the reason I wrote the series “The Chronicle of Tay Nguyen trip” including six articles, and three other articles named “Pleiku at its fantasy” in 2016. We even planned to build a Pure Land Project there. Unfortunately, the Buddhist practitioners in that city still held strong ego attachment, they seemed to be easy targets for distraction from Dharma teachings and practices, they revealed weakness when it came to their family matters. In brief, they belong to the group of wrong-view people who (1) do not show delight in the events that are worth being delightful (2) do not show the kindness in the events that are worth being kind (3) do not feel ashamed of their evildoings (4) do not give a generous smile in the events that are worth smiling. I had encountered one who is worth being granted the award of “the meanest person on earth” who lives in Truong Chinh street, Pleiku city. If not because of developing compassion, I should have refused that person as a student after recognizing his (her) signal of ignobility. Even though I tried my best to transform him (her), it would never work on that kind of person because they are always ready to prioritize tiny worldly attachments rather than the ultimate purpose. Such people who are willing to “sell their countries for honors”; who insinuate themselves without any concern about being humiliated, who could easily turn on others and did not feel the burden of committing any commandments, have the same identity. However, I still appreciate the other students, disciples (in Pleiku city), though they are just a few people, they are worth being true Pure Mind Buddhist practitioners, subordinated to Song Nguyen Tantra House. Their sincerity to Dharma warms up the cold winter night in the wilderness. That’s why I still have “Pleiku” boldly implanted in my mind.

Cafe Pleiku

Dear disciples,
I took a picture of the signboard “Café Pleiku” and sent it to Mat Hoa. After that, she replied: “Wow! Are Guru and Dharma brothers visiting Pleiku?”. I bursted out laughing, she affirmed the place just by looking at the signboard. There is no point in blaming Mat Hoa for giving such a reaction, because many sign-boards are named after their identified cities or towns. For example, I have seen more than two signboards in Tam Ky city that were written with the city’s name Tam Ky or Quang Nam. It is similar to other cities. However, it cannot be considered 100% as a default. In many different cities and towns, the owners also named the signboards after their hometowns or favorite cities. For example, we can easily find Hanoi supermarket in Sai Gon, Bien Hoa Auto shop in Ba Ria, Sai Gon Barbershop in Hanoi, Binh Duong hotel in Quy Nhon, etc. Therefore, we cannot conclude the exact place just by looking at the signboards! If we are quick to jump to conclusions like Mat Hoa did in regard to spiritual matters, it may bring us bad consequences.

The signboard

I have seen Buddhist practitioners who showed off the pictures they took with Indian or Burmese Buddhist masters, but it does not mean that they are students, or the ones who were authentically transmitted Dharma from those Buddhist masters! Without being well-equipped with right views and bodhyanga of discrimination, many people may equate the incident in which a monk (or lama) pray for death people’s spirit with a Tibetan Buddhism’s practice. That is absolutely wrong!
There are many Vietnamese monks publishing their pictures which were taken in Shera Monastery (one of the “great three” Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, following Vajrayana Buddhism). Those pictures may create an illusion to others that those monks had studied Dharma there, or at least they have officially become Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners. Is it relevant to make such conclusions just based on the word “Shera” which is just a word itself? Falling into the same trap, many people are supposed to trust one source of material as true Buddhist scriptures if there is one familiar sentence format which starts by “I have listened to the teaching as follows: Once upon a time…”. Many scholars, professors, Buddhist monks postulated all sources that were written in Pali as authentic Buddhist scriptures. On the contrary, they doubted other sources that were written in Vietnamese or Chinese.
Dear disciples,
Actually, not every place that is decorated by a signboard named after Pleiku delivers the true color of Pleiku city. I ordered one particular drink to check if they can produce the original taste, then the result would be more exact. After the familiar hot lipton tea came on my table, based on the ingredients, I could confirm that it is exactly the original “Pleiku taste” which I could not find anywhere else!

The genuine taste of Pleiku

So I could enjoy the original taste of Pleiku in Quy Nhon. At that time, I could confidently confirm that though the place was not Pleiku, it could be seen as “Pleiku” in its essence. This can be related to the authentic Buddhist scriptures. It can lead to deadly mistakes if the Buddhist practitioners focus mostly on the specified time, language, penmanship, or the origin of the scriptures to decide if they are authentic. It is similar to a child who naively recognizes everything that is yellow in color as gold. Therefore, in order to distinguish the difference between gold and copper, or even fake gold, it is recommended by the chemists to burn pieces of samples on fire. The real gold will still remain its golden color while the others will change to another color. Similarly, if one scripture was not written based on the main Buddhist doctrines such as The Four Noble truths, three main factors including renunciation, bodhicitta, emptiness, or “the seal of four dogmas”, etc.; no matter which language or country it came from, it is just a fake scripture and cannot deliver the whole true meaning (read further in the article named “How to verify the authenticity of Buddhist scriptures?”)
Dear disciples,

I was writing an article

Likewise, those who are studying and practicing Dharma without a sound knowledge of four main aspects of right-view including right view of argumentative point, right view of paying reverence, right view of paying worship, right view of attaining liberation; even though they look exactly Buddhist monks outside, they are actually non-Buddhists inside. Those who consider themselves as Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners but haven’t got any idea about Avalokiteshvara visualization are actually Mahayana or Hinayana Buddhist practitioners. Those who named themselves as a Buddhist practitioners following Nyingma lineage but haven’t practiced Ati Yoga at all are not true practitioners, even though they can write and speak well. Accordingly, we can refer to other Buddhist sects/lineages; for example, the practitioners who follow the Black Hat lineage (Kagyu) – based upon “The Great Seal”; Sakya lineage (the Red Hat) – based upon the “Path and its Fruit”; the Pure Land lineage (Gelug – the Yellow Hat) – based upon the Lamrim or “Graded path”. Similarly, in Song Nguyen Tantra House, I have taught my disciple six sublime spiritual practices. Those who haven’t listened to my teachings, haven’t been approved to practice or rehearse by me cannot be considered students or disciples of Song Nguyen Tantra House, Pure Mind lineage, Vajrayana Buddhism. Those who consider themselves as students or disciples of Song Nguyen Tantra House, but they have never/or rarely visited Dharma flower garden (reading and commenting on chanhtuduy.com) are just liars, even though they have taken pictures with me and other disciples.

After enjoying a cup of genuine taste of Pleiku’s lipton tea, I gladly recognized that the taste reflected itself as “Pleiku”, not by the place but by the “soul of Pleiku”. May all sentient beings be awakened in the state of enlightenment. Om Mani Padme Hum.

It is not Pleiku, but it delivers the soul of Pleiku

A rainy day on the top of Phu Van Mountain, 9 November 2017
Thinley – Nguyen Thanh
Translated by Cao Dieu Mat Tu.


Vietnamese version: Thư gửi các trò 238: PLEIKU! TUY KHÔNG PHẢI PLEIKU NHƯNG CHÍNH THẬT PLEIKU!

  1. Mật Khánh Thảo says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!
    Con đã đọc xong bài rồi ạ. Con cảm tạ ơn vị Thầy đã ban cho chúng con bài pháp vô cùng lợi lạc
    Con thành tâm cầu nguyện cho sức khoẻ và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì sự nghiệp hoằng dương Chánh pháp.
    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc Phật tánh.
    Cầu nguyện cho dịch bệnh Covid 19 sớm được tiêu trừ.
    Om Mani Padme Hum

  2. Mật Phê Rô says:

    Dear Guru!
    I have read article.
    Thank you so much!
    Pray Guru good health, live long because benefit of all beings.
    Pray covid 19 end.
    Om Mani Padme Hum!

  3. Mật Thúy says:

    Kính Bạch Thầy .
    Con đã đọc xong bài này rồi ạ.
    Con rất hoan hỉ với công hạnh luận giải của vị Thầy , con cầu nguyện sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của vị Thầy vì lợi lạc của chúng sanh con cầu nguyện cho vi khuẩn corona xóm ngày được tiêu trừ Om Ah Hùm.

  4. Mật Xuyến says:

    Dear Guru,
    I have read this article.
    Thank you for your teachings.
    May Guru have a long life and good health for the benefit of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    May the Covid-19 pandemic soon come to an end. Om mani padme hum!

  5. Lisa says:

    Thank you Violet for sharing. I had difficulty reading this. But I understood that if you are a true Buddhist you don’t need the label, you just act with kindness. Many people want the label and act wrongly. :/

  6. Venessa says:

    Thanks a lot for this article Guru.

  7. Cao Diệu Thanh Phương says:

    Dear Guru,

    Thank you for writing this article. From visiting Pleiku cafe, you gave us a lesson about not recognizing the nature of things and phenomena through appearances. Like we cannot assume Pleiku cafe must be located in Pleiku, we cannot verify authentic Buddha’ scripture by language, the specified time, penmanship, or the origin of the scriptures. We must base on three main factors including renunciation, bodhicitta, emptiness.

    I also learn that those who haven’t listened to Guru’s teachings, haven’t been approved to practice or rehearse by Guru cannot be considered students or disciples of Song Nguyen Tantra House, Pure Mind lineage, Vajrayana Buddhism. Those who consider themselves as students or disciples of Song Nguyen Tantra House, but they have never/or rarely visited Dharma flower garden (reading and commenting on chanhtuduy.com) are just liars, even though they have taken pictures with Guru and other disciples.

    How fortunate I am, when I can still find a true Guru among the fake and flashy củtain nowaday. Practicing beneficial practices, that is the real practitioner, with the right path, to follow Guru’s footsteps to the gate of liberation.

    Thanks Mat Tu for this translation. May Mat Tu achieve your rightful wishes.
    I pray for Guru’s health and longevity for the sake of sentient being.
    May all sentient beings attain the Buddha nature’s happiness.
    May all sentient beings free from suffering and get enlightened.
    May the Covid-19 end soon.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    • Nguyên Thành
      Nguyên Thành says:

      Yes, I agree with you that those who consider themselves as students or disciples of Song Nguyen Tantra House, but they have never/or rarely visited Dharma flower garden (reading and commenting on chanhtuduy.com) are just liars, even though they have taken pictures with Guru and other disciples. A pity, I can’t keep them but I wish they could be good!

  8. Tantra says:

    Thank you so much Guru for another wonderful article and teachings I like these one about all the teachings of different disciples they are grate to read

    Please stay healthy and well
    Om mani padme hum

  9. Mật Ngữ says:

    Dear Guru.
    I would like to remember the teachings of Guru,in Song Nguyen Tantra House, I have taught my disciple six sublime spiritual practices. Those who haven’t listened to my teachings, haven’t been approved to practice or rehearse by me cannot be considered students or disciples of Song Nguyen Tantra House, Pure Mind lineage, Vajrayana Buddhism.
    I pray for the health and longevity of Guru for the sake of all sentient beings.
    I pray for the Coronavirus disease soon to be eradicated.
    I pray that all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  10. Mật Hữu Tâm says:

    Kính Bạch Thầy
    Con đã đọc xong bài viết này rồi ạ
    Con vô cùng hoan hỷ và tán thán, công hạnh của vị Thầy đã từ bi ban cho chúng con một bài pháp thật là sâu sắc và lợi lạc ạ. Con tạ ơn vị Thầy đã từ bi ban cho chúng con 6 phát kiến tâm linh,để chúng con được diễn tập và thực hành đúng chánh kiến của đức Phật dạy.
    Con thành tâm cầu nguyện sự trường thọ của vị Thầy vì lợi lạc cho tất cả chúng sanh ạ.
    Con cầu nguyện cho dịch bệnh Covid 19 mau chóng được tiêu trừ.
    Con cầu nguyện cho tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.
    Om Mani Padem Hum

  11. Mật Phước says:

    Dear Guru,
    I have read this article. Throughlythere, I realize that, Buddhist Practitioners who showed off the pictures they took with Indian Burmese Buddhist masters, but it does not mean that they are students or the ones who were authentically transmitted Dharma from those Buddhist masters. That is absolutely wrong, if we are quick to jump to conclusion, it may bring us bad consequences.
    May Guru have good health and longevity for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the covid 19 pandemic be soon over.
    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  12. Moisés Barajas says:

    I love reading everything you share with me. I feel very lucky to read the teacher

  13. Randy says:

    To say and not be reminds me of myself. I want to find a teacher and truly walk towards enlightenment.

    • Nguyên Thành
      Nguyên Thành says:

      Knock the door if you want it to open! Make an initiative to look for a teacher if you want to find one!

  14. Mật Hồng Liên says:

    Kính Bạch Thầy
    Bài này con đã đọc rồi ạ
    Con xin hoan hỷ và tán thán công hạnh bồ đề tâm của vị Thầy đã từ bi ban cho chúng con bài pháp quý báo và lợi lạc này ạ
    Con xin cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì lợi lạc của chúng sanh
    Cầu nguyện cho tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh
    Cầu nguyện cho dịch bệnh covid19 sớm được tiêu trừ
    Om mani padme hum

  15. Tantra Shadhita says:

    Dear Guru, Thank you for your “Pleiku” letter to your students and disciples. I haven’t thought much about the false images that may be presented, covering a possible lie. That is strange, considering I am always needing to consider “right thought” and stop overthinking. I look forward to your teaching articles.
    Om Mani Padme Hum

  16. Sonam Tshering says:

    Dear guru,
    The content included is so important that everyone must have in our life.
    Thank you for giving important article that help everyone to think before act. It is true that direct judgment leads to misunderstanding.

    Thank you for sharing @ violet.

    May all sentient beings be free from suffering.
    Om Mani Pedme Hung..🙏🙏🙏

  17. Felicia says:

    Dear Guru,

    It is a good reminder to “not judge a book by its cover” but somethings are more difficult to identify what is underneath than other things. You bring up a great point about the illusions of things presented but that are veiled in deception. So applicable in all facets of life if we are paying attention. Pay attention to what you see, touch, smell and hear are what will keep you on the correct path. Thank you for this perspective and the reminder too. I enjoyed reading this and all your other articles sent to me!!

  18. Mật Hoàng Trúc says:

    Dear Guru
    I have read this article.
    Thank you Guru
    May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    May the covid 19 pandemic will be soon over.
    Om mani padme hum.

  19. Phan thị Bạch Tuyết says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!
    Con Mật Phong Tuyết đã đọc bài viết này rồi ạ. Con hoan hỉ tán thán công hạnh ,trí tuệ ,bồ đề tâm của vị Thầy đã từ bi ban cho chúng con bài pháp thật ý nghĩa và lợi lạc.
    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.
    Cầu nguyện cho tất cả chúng sanh thức tỉnh với trạng thái giác ngộ.
    Cầu nguyện cho đại dịch covid 19 được tiêu trừ.
    Om mani padme hum.

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