Feb 9, 2020

Posted by in Giáo điển | 22 Comments

Letter from Sweden: WHAT I SAW IN EUROPEAN CORNER (Part 3) ( Thư Thụy Điển: THẤY GÌ Ở GÓC PHỐ TRỜI ÂU? (Bài 3))

– Where do we go now, sir?

– Let’s go to the center of Stockholm for breakfast, then have a cup of coffee in a nearby café.

The car rolled swiftly on the wide road. Soon we came to a street corner where all buildings are of the same height and stand in a row, unlike Paris where buildings grow chaotically. Among modern architectures joined with Gothic-style cathedrals, I chose to have breakfast at a big restaurant as a way to thank the kindness of Phill and Mark. The restaurant has two sides open widely to the street but its tables and chairs are arranged so neatly that cause difficulty for walking around. The waiter gave us the menu and we ordered our favorite dishes. I let myself relax in the floating sound of music to avoid speaking English which is not my strength. Looking at people walking on the street, streams of cars passing by, I couldn’t find any Asian brands and surely not my Mitsubishi Mirage

The building with blue top after me is where Mat Tu will do thesis defence for master’s degree

Tables and chairs are arranged so neatly that cause difficulty for walking around

I was checking the menu

– Here you are, sirs! said the waiter with pleasant smile on his face.

– Thank you!

I had breakfast at the restaurant

Shortly after we started to eat, I saw a couple hesitating in front of the restaurant. Maybe they are tourist, didn’t know much about prices. The man looked like want to walk in but his slow gesture implied that he was waiting for his girlfriend to stop him. May be by this way, he could be seen as a generous guy in his girlfriend’s eyes while “escape” from this “money-burning machine”. And just like my prediction, she said something and pulled him away from the restaurant. That’s it! It’s not easy to have a trip and more difficult to spend money during that trip. Suddenly I joyfully burst out of laughing at my “prediction” which made Mark surprised. Luckily, he didn’t dare to ask or I couldn’t be able to express my “impish” thought. “Thought runs fast like a rabbit but expression is slow like a turtle  – that’s the tragedy of foreign language learners”!

Here’s the breakfast!

An old man of around 70 with a bent back crossing the street

It should be admitted that the food was quite delicious but what impressed me most was the gorgeous view of the street corner. Suddenly I saw an old man of around 70 with a bent back crossing the street. My heart seemd sank thinking about the suffering of “birth, old age” of the sentient being. I’ve once heard about the popularity of stress and depression among the elderly in Europe, including Sweden. Their adult children, who they took care with all love, now with demanding job and their own family, are less inclined or able to care their parents. On the other hand, Swedish seniors have high self-esteem thus don’t want to be considered as a burden toward their children. They may choose to spend the rest of their life in a highly-cost nursing home or live alone within four walls of their house. Contrarily, in a developing country like Vietnam, the elderly is still found to be energetic and optimistic. They often set up their own clubs and joyfully take part in “gym dance” in a flower garden or a park every morning. What’s more difficult for aging people in Sweden is the freezing weather in winter season when the temperature may drop to below 0 Celsius degree. They hardly go out the house and often get sick and die in this season. Just within a morning, I heard the ambulance’s siren twice racing toward the hospital. Luckily, the vehicle density is rather low here or the patient may not be that kind of luck if they live in cities with heavy traffic like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City!

Old men and women perform “gym dance”

Witnessing this suffering, thinking about the six spiritual inventions of Song Nguyen Tantra House and my newly-accomplished research: “Research on the psychological effect of Thanh Tri Yoga on stress and anxiety”, I found them an effective antidote for mental illness in all ages which take less expense for treatment than other psychological centers which are running moderately efficient.

– Why do you look so gloomy?

– It’s alright! Good food! Have a cup of coffee after we finish!

Frankly, I wanted to tell him what I was thinking but my limit of socio-psychological terms had prevented me from expression. The best thing I could say is just: “ I saw an elderly man with a hunched back, I immediately thought of the suffering. I will be the same tomorrow. But I believe that my body will be old but my heart is still young, I will not be depressed like the old people here. That’s what I want to have a few words about this..” 

Our Song Nguyen Tantra House, known as a “spiritual resort”, always open for its old-aged members, handing on them an eternal

Our Song Nguyen Tantra House, known as a “spiritual resort”, always open for its old-aged members, handing on them an eternal spring. I’ve spent much of my efforts and money and will all my aspiration, without any regret, in upgrading the House’s infrastructure just for you with one condition: you must practice Dharma. Who will benefit from Dharma practice, do you think? It is you! But pitifully you’ve neglected my teachings, even breaking the most important Tantric vow No.1: “Having disrespectful and wrong thoughts of Guru”. How ironic that you can spend much effort and time in surfing entertainment websites while regretting your time to write down some lines of comment on chantuduy.com. Let think what you’ve done to deserve the membership of Song Nguyen Tantra House? I can see quite a few of you feel complacent about your names on the honor board showing your contributions to the House, but this is a serious mistake as “the ocean of Dharma does not retain corpses”. It’s too late to lock the stable door after the horse is stolen!

I felt a sudden sadness come over me though I was being on a crowded street. It’s a benevolent sorrow for the ignorance of sentient beings. I got up and paid the bill of around 60 euros for both of us, then we left the restaurant for city tour..

I would stop here. See you in next letter. May suffering of all sentient beings be relieved and their joy be multiplied.

Om Mani Padme Hum!

A rainy afternoon on the peak of Phu Van Mountain, January 12, 2020

Thinley-Nguyen Thanh

Vietnamese version: Thư Thụy Điển: THẤY GÌ Ở GÓC PHỐ TRỜI ÂU? (Bài 3)


Letter from Sweden: FRIENDSHIP ON THE FLIGHT (Part 1)

Letter from Sweden: HUMANITY IN A FOREIGN LAND (Part 2) ( Thư Thụy Điển: TÌNH NGƯỜI NƠI ĐẤT KHÁCH (Bài 2))

Letter from Sweden: WHAT I SAW IN EUROPEAN CORNER (Part 3) ( Thư Thụy Điển: THẤY GÌ Ở GÓC PHỐ TRỜI ÂU? (Bài 3))

Letter from Sweden: FIKA AT A GLANCE (part 4) ( Thư Thụy Điển: MỘT THOÁNG FIKA ( Bài 4))


Letter from Sweden: MANY WORDS, ONE HEART. (Part 6) (Thư Thụy Điển: NHIỀU DÒNG CHỮ, MỘT TẤM LÒNG (Bài 6))

Letter from Sweden: ON RETURNING DAY (Part 7) (Thư Thụy Điển: NGÀY TRỞ VỀ (Bài 7))

  1. tantra mahavita says:

    Dear Saint GURU … We are so fortunate to have Song Nguyen Tantra House … our spiritual complex for the elderly … and our Guru who so kindly with his wisdom and compassion guides us in this ocean of the precious Dharma Yearning and aspiring that all sentient beings can find this jewel that grants all desires. May the suffering of all Beings be alleviated and their joy multiplied .OM MANI PADME HUM

  2. Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) says:

    Dear holy Guru,

    My name is Tantra Ashihata .

    I appreciate you for this wonderful article you have given to me I bless your holy name. After reading the article I understanding the suffering at old age is not easy most especially if there is nobody to take one responsibility.

    May Guru help us to have a wonderful old age by provide aid for the aging one and those that are coming to the school of old age.

    May Guru live long for the happiness of all sentient beings and may all sentient beings free from suffering.

    Om Mani padme hum


  3. Mật Diệu Hằng
    Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Con là Tantra Ashihata.

    Con hoan hỷ tán thán công hạnh của Thầy đã viết bài viết tuyệt vời này và cho chúng con cơ hội được đọc bài, được nhận ơn phước từ Thầy. Sau khi đọc bài, con hiểu được những khổ đau, nỗi niềm của người già, đặc biệt khi họ không có ai sẻ chia, chăm sóc.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy gia hộ cho chúng con có được tuổi già bình an và có nơi nương tựa.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy trụ thế lâu dài vì hạnh phúc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đạo trừ khổ đau.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.


  4. Mật Diệu Hằng
    Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment cảu đạo hữu Tantra Mahavita sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Chúng con thật may mắn khi được nương tựa Mật Gia Song Nguyễn. Con cảm thương cho những người già nơi đây nặng nỗi niềm mặc cảm. Và Thầy là vị Đạo sư quá tốt với trí tuệ và bồ đề tâm đã hướng dẫn chúng con đi trong biển pháp diệu kỳ.

    Con cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh được nương tựa bóng lành Tam Bảo và viên thành mọi ước nguyện chính đáng.

    Cầu nguyện khổ đau của tất cả chúng sanh được đoạn trừ và hữu tình có được niềm hạnh phúc.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.


  5. Totte Nordahl
    Totte Nordahl says:

    Good morning dear Guru

    Thank you for shareing your thoughts and impressions about Sweden. It is very interesting to read about things from another perspective.

    The north, together with the Saami culture, has more mindfulness in the everyday life compared to mid and south Sweden. I think that is why I feel more at home here, and I (think I have) a natural place here.

    I have told myself to take one hour each morning to read, and I feel with in my core that it affects me the whole day.

    Dear Guru

    Thank you SO much and may your wisdom and compassion affect all the sentient beings.

    Take care and have some wonderful fika-pauses this day

    Dearvvuođat (means Regards in the north Saami language)

    Tantra Mitraga

    Om Mani Padme Hum


  6. paul yawney says:

    Dear holy Guru, thank you for another fine article.It is sad that the younger generation in many countries do not value you when you are older. they forget the older generation is a wealth opf knowledge. Many younger ones could learn from that. I learn and enjoy each of your articles. so many kind words and thoughts in the lines. Thank you. Om Mani Padme Hung.     Tantra Himataru

  7. C H Lakshmi narayan says:

    These pictures depict my dream to see in future the “Spiritual Resort!” Which Guruji had made reference contains all the features of human development in the spiritual field under one roof of Song Nguyen Tantra House seeing which all the Spiritual leaders should raise their eye brow looking at the another wonder of the World !

    Old age people who are willing take benefit of these benefits Incorporated in the ” Spiritual Resort” with the east bkdhicitta and benevolence of Guruji alongwith Surrounding Nature preaching Buddha’s Nature with compassion and love really enjoy the happiness of Nibbana, no doubt about it !


  8. Petra says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences from your Sweden trip. I thank you for your wisdom and may all sentient beings be free from suffering

  9. Petra says:

    Yes Dear Guru. I live in Sweden. Born and raised. Live in the south of Sweden. Close to the border of Denmark

  10. Petra says:

    I hope to meet them one day

  11. Jason says:

    Dear Guru, you are right… … … ! I have only had poor thoughts because to me you are new, you are exciting, and yet I do not understand.

    I will not make excuses further. You have shown me much grace and respect, it is unfortunate for me that I do not always comment. I deeply respect and somewhat understand your method of read and comment. In a way, it is like dialing you on the phone, but with a postcard.

    I am often lost as to whether I should be brief, or wordy. Guru, I would like to share with you a story… of how I found great meaning, but I do not think I can convey what I want to, unless I can successfully translate it. It is vague. I am no polyglot, but indeed I am a story teller.

    I thought of you today on my own actually as I wrote it. My thought was, what good am I to Guru, when Guru has been so kind to me, without having been required to do so. Thank you for your words and wisdom… they do mean a lot, even if I do not express gratitude correctly. I blame it on myself not understanding myself. Please forgive me.

  12. John says:

    Dear Guru,

    It is interesting to read about your travels and to have insight to your introspective thoughts. Thank you for sharing with us!

  13. prem lal says:

    Respected Guruji Namaskar

    The Article is very beautiful and enjoying.It teaches us how to admire Buddhism.It bestow light on the old age also as the youngers are busy in their jobs and children.They have no time for their parents.Respected Parents have to seek shelter in the old age homes or clubs.This is the depiction of the society today.Guruji you press the vein which has the pain.Thankyou so much Guruji.


    Om Mani Padme Hum

  14. Tena says:

    Dear Guru, Thank you for your letter of reflection regarding Sweden and what you saw in the european corner. Your have worked hard to make Song Nguyen Tantra House to be an inviting place. You have also worked hard to help  your students to find the Buddha path. I see this very clearly. I am grateful for your persistent  help.

  15. Josephine says:

    Dear Guru! Thank you for this article. Its True that sweden ppl suffer from alot of stress. Somethimes I would like to move to another country. Because of the stress and The cold weather.
    People in sweden dont have a nice attitude. All that matter is to have the best job, best house, best friends and put it up on instagram. I feel sorry for thoose People because I think they feeling very bad inside.

  16. Tantra Pramitdhita (Josh Hacker) says:

    Holy Guru,

    I bow my head before your lotus feet!!!! Thank you for sharing “Letter From Sweden: What I Saw in European Corner (Part 3)”. I have never been to Stockholm or Sweden for that matter but it looks like a very beautiful place and the food you ordered looked very delicious. What did you have?
    Even though growing old is a natural part of life it can be sad and troublesome to watch others suffer from this circumstance. Especially when you notice that they are suffering and have no one to help them or no one will help them because they are “too busy” with their own life. It is enough to break your heart.

    May Guru live a long and healthy life for the sake of all sentient beings

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

    May the global pandemic caused by the Corona virus soon end

    Om Mani Padme Hum

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