Mar 15, 2021

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 9 Comments


The boatman leisurely rowed the boat and took me glide lightly on Thi Nghe canal, Ho Chi Minh city. The boat house was almost empty, there were just a few people sitting beside the canal’s bank to get some air. It seemed that they were not bothered by the colorful lights stretching over the boat. Immersing in the train of thoughts, I slightly startled to recognize a series of colorful water fountains splashing in front of me, like a firework performance. Such a beautiful sight of a “rainbow” fountain, especially with the background of city lights. It can be seen that Thi Nghe canal has changed tremendously, it has been no longer called a “black-water village” as in a novel written by Tung Long anymore.

The boat house near Thi Nghe bridge

Guru and the boatman

Such a beautiful sight of “rainbow” fountain, especially with the background of city lights

Letting my thoughts float with the river flow, I loosed my tired legs which are “torn and tattered from thousands of miles away trip, with a shirt that was faded out by dust” (extracted from a poem written by Chinh Huu, named The returning day) after Dharma trips in Tien Giang and Dong Thap. I happened to see several thatched huts which were placed above some little boats, they reminded me of people who “have water as their friend, have river as their house”, and had the feeling of seeing “a rough river surface in a crowded boat” (a poem by Tu Xuong). Gliding through the peaceful flow on a beautiful evening with “fresh air and bright moon”,  my mind recalled the picture of “a tiny fishing boat, itsy-bitsy” (“Fishing in autumn” by Nguyen Khuyen), and could not help baring the soul of musician Lam Phuong with a song named “A countryside love song” even though it was long time ago since the age of experiencing “betel chew”. Then, I unconsciously left a sigh thinking about the two longest years of Master Ham Son and his disciple during their harsh purification period, when they had only a tiny boat as a means to avoid the pursuit of evil enemies who aimed to hinder them from spreading bodhicitta to all sentient beings.

Thatched huts placed above little boats

– Excuse me! Would you like to listen to Southern amateur music?

The voice woke me up from the “Nam Kha” dream and recognized that we had been so close to another boat which stood in the middle of the canal. There were two artists (one young and one other older artist), and a small table with a teapot in that boat. The older artist played guitar, and the younger one played a moon lute (a two-stringed Vietnamese traditional musical instrument). They performed ancient melodies from Xuan Tinh, Nam Ai, to the song of the blackbird, etc. They put their souls into every musical note, which sometimes resembled the sound of gurgling brook, sometimes it was like a mourning voice of an unfortunate human life. As the song finished, we applauded for a good performance. Then I gave them a “flower” (illustrated by a 100 thousand Dong bill). It seemed the young artist wanted to sing a familiar song for other audiences to enjoy the performance, then he started to sing a verse of Vong co (one kind of Vietnamese traditional music) named “Lan and Diep”. When the vocalist just finished the last word, we kept applauding again. I gave them another “flower” (a 100 thousand Dong bill). The truth is that the performance was not at its best because of several limitations such as low quality speakers, or non-professional singing techniques, etc. However, in my viewpoint, one person is truly an artist when he can deliver the soulful message through his voice, but not through any other techniques.

The two artists who performed Southern amateur music

The young artist

The older artist

I am not sure about other disciples’ feelings while watching the performance, I knew that Mac Tri who kept taking pictures and recording video could not focus on it indeed. After receiving my request to sing Feng Qiu Huang (A male phoenix seeks his mate) through “Vong co” style, the two artists’ faces were brightened. They surely knew that I did pay attention to this kind of music art, therefore, I could name these songs. Then he performed the song and delivered successfully the heart of Zhuo Wenjun, who was attracted and touched by the talented musician Sima Xiangru with his musical performance. They then fell in love and swore to be together forever. I don’t know if Mac Tri and two other disciples enjoyed the performance, but I myself was immersed in each and every word of the song.

Guru enjoyed the melody of Southern amateur music

Guru gave flowers to the artist

I continuously gave them another flower (another 100 thousand Dong bill), and thanked them for giving us such a meaningful night with their beautiful voices. After saying goodbye and landing at the dock, I did not see any trip afterwards. I understand that in times of crisis at the moment, it is hard for people to leisurely entertain, so even the artists who make a living by their talent also find it difficult in the middle of “a rough river surface in a crowded boat”. A few “flowers” that were offered by us are absolutely not enough for them to last for a long time, however, my true appreciation and sincerity towards their artist souls may somehow comfort them. It was my request for Feng Qiu Huang that makes them stop seeing me as “the middle class gentleman” (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme – a play by Moliere), and consider me kind of “Yu Boya – Zhong Ziqi” (from Chronicles of the Eastern Zhou Kingdoms, by Feng Menglong). And maybe by doing that, I woke up their pride to be artists, bringing them the connection to a soulmate who shared the sympathy, which may accordingly give them a dose of hope for their upcoming days while performing in this canal. Suddenly I thought of Avalokiteshvara’s teaching that said: “Let’s use everything at the moment as a cause through which all sentient beings attain the Buddhahood”. Though they had no idea about “Enjoying life’s pleasures as a means of enjoying Dharma’s blessings”, as well as what Dharma is; however, I believe that they could feel my sincerity. It was also a chance for me to sow a seed that creates a spiritual destined connection with them in their upcoming lives. Likewise, I believe many students, disciples, and readers on also had such kind of connection with me from their previous lives.

The boat returned to the dock and landed. I stepped away and said goodbye. The boatman asked me to take a picture with him as a memento. I said goodbye again to the two artists when I met them in the parking area. One of them placed their hands together while saying:

“Goodbye, Guru!”

At that moment, I understood that I reaped the fruitful outcomes of the seed I had sowed earlier by him calling me Guru, who knows he will become a disciple of mine in the future? That is how the law of cause and effect works! I came back to the resting place, my mind was fluttered by the memories in the peaceful canal. The mini tour by Thi Nghe canal really impressed me and my disciples, especially Mac Tri. I pray the Covid19 pandemic will soon be over, so that Thi Nghe canal will again welcome more visitors and let them have an interesting experience like I did. May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddhahood. Om mani padme hum!

Guru and Mac Tri

Guru and turtle

A rainy day on the top of Phu Van Mountain, 13 March 2021.

Thinley Nguyên Thành

Translated by Cao Dieu Mat Tu.


(Tiến sĩ Vinkas Singh pháp danh Tantra Dharma Bodhisita cảm tạ Thầy Thinley Nguyên Thành truyền pháp)

Lời cảm tạ bằng tiếng Anh:

Namo Buddhya Guru!
I am doctor Vikas Singh (Dharma Bodhisita)
From India
And I bow my head under your supreme knowledge and traditions.
Today I received your video about the Lotus Walking Dharani
And I have seen it and I will definitely practice according to your guidance
And after it I will show you my video on my practicing journey
And I am very thankful and first time I have listen your voice Guru.
So thank you, thank you very much Guru
Thank you


Lời cảm tạ dịch sang tiếng Việt:

Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý,
Con là tiến sĩ Vikas Singh – pháp danh Dharma Bodhisita, đến từ Ấn Độ.
Con cúi đầu trước trí tuệ uyên thâm và những tâm pháp của Thầy.
Hôm nay con nhận được video Thầy dạy con thực hành liên hoa bách bộ thần chú đà la ni. Con đã xem xong video đó và con chắc chắn sẽ thực hành theo hướng dẫn của Thầy. Và sau khi thực hành xong con sẽ gửi Thầy video về việc thực hành của con.
Con thật ơn phước khi lần đầu được nghe giọng của Thầy.
Con chân thành cảm tạ ơn Thầy.


  1. Tantra Tanshami says:

    Om mani padme hum! Great teaching La

  2. Tantra Mishataru says:

    Dear Holy Guru.
    I send my greetings to you. I am so honoured and happy that you met with two great singers, I hope I was there to listen to the song they were singing,even though I don’t understand much of the language it could be a good experience and I am also you happy they took your blessing as a Guru as a way of showing kindness.

    May all sentient beings be from sufferings and attain a state of enlightenment.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  3. paul yawney says:

    Dear Holy Guru, Thank you for another great article. your kind words and attention given to the singers was so important to them it raised their s
    feeling of self worth. that is so needed now. they will remember the kindness and maybe follow your teachings. thank you for your wisdom and Kindness.. May covid end soon. OM MANI PADME HUM.
    Tantra Himataru.

  4. Tantra Mashita says:

    Dear compassionate guru,

    Thank you so much for sharing this article with us, I really rejoiced reading it and I admired it as well, in fact my mind was at ease while I was reading this article and I felt that I was attending the performance with you although I have no idea about the songs and musical instruments which you mentioned, and finally I wasn’t surprised at all when I saw the photo of offering a flower to the singer you’re so kind and compassionate and I can’t deny that you covered me with love, tenderness and compassion since I knew you thank you so much again dear honorable guru

    I bow my head down to you
    I devote myself to you

    May you have a good health and live long for the benefit of all sentient beings
    May all the sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature
    May the pandemic caused by coronavirus soon end
    Om Mani padame hum

  5. Raymondbeugels says:

    What a Wunderful trip.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Om Mani Padme Hum 🙏🙏🙏

  6. tantra mahavita says:

    Rejoice and Gratitude …Thank you for sharing …Om Mani Padme Hum

  7. Tantra Sutradaka says:

    Reverent Guru
    I bow my head before your Lotus foot.
    For a long time, I am living a life wherein I am repeating myself. Neither new events have confronted me nor have I initiated something meaningful. The reason is simple. Due to the Corona crisis, all activities have taken leave and one is confined in one’s own house due to the lockdown which is imposed taking into consideration the second strong surge of the pandemic. I feel fortunate in the sense that these days I am at my wife’s place which is a semi village and hardly any infected outsider has come from any industrial town or metropolis that are facing COVID 19 seriously and severely and can infect the people living in this corona free zone. It is another thing that as a protective measure we have taken the Co- Vaccine on 23 rd of March in the nearby Govt. hospital. But the drudgery of repeating the eventless routine life is pushing us towards the isolated island of gloom, where I cannot put in my efforts even for my pension and retirement benefits, as I am out of the station. In the time of hostile atmosphere one of my best friends has sent the sharing of our holy Guru, like the sprinkle of cold fragrant water in a hot summer days of the desert. This not only changed the routine of my life but also gave a meaning to it. From the very early in the morning and after coming from the morning walk I am engaged in reading it and deriving its meaning for my life because our holy Guru’s every sharing is pregnant with deep meaning, both for mundane and supra- mundane sphere of life.
    Music is the sublime expression of the inner feeling where one’s heart and mind both are synchronised and becomes one pointed to create something pious, pure and melodious. Only in concentrated mind such rhythmic waves emerge that touches the pious souls. The pure music oozes in the state of artist’s meditative mind as it cannot emerge in the state of detraction. That is why there is a difference between the music and the noise. One is the expression of meditation, the other is of detraction. Music has the magnetic effect that attracts the similar mind. This is the reason that in most of the religious community the spiritual songs and music are in vogue. Though these days it has become customary and that’s why such melody is not there. But if one calls the supreme reality from the core of one’s pious, pure and peaceful mind, such mild melody is bound to come. Our holy Guru had perceived the purity of his heart and compulsion of poverty. That’s why he honoured the artesian by presenting the flowers several times. This healed his sentiments, puffed them up from within and the soul of an artist is honoured. At the same time he offered them the money to meet the needs of the family. Only in healthy and satisfied external situation the heart and mind are synchronised and pure melody comes out. The presence of Guru as a listener may cause a radical change in their life through spiritual transformation by converting them the disciple of our Guru and a member of our Pure Mind Buddhist community as everyone is a potential Buddha.
    Om Mani Padme Hum
    Long live our Guru
    May the Corona crisis evaporate from this planate earth.
    Tantrasutradaka (Avinash Kumar Srivastava)

  8. Tantra Pramitdhita (Josh Hacker) says:

    Holy Guru,

    I bow my head before your lotus feet!!! Thank you for sharing “THE VERSE OF “FENG QIU HUANG” RESONATING ON THI NGHE CANAL”.
    From this article it sounds like you had a wonderful trip and it was not by chance that you met those two musicians.
    As you mentioned, one or both of then had probably been a disciple of yours from one or more previous lives.
    Their music had a very calming and soothing nature and although the music they played would not be something I would normally listen to, I still found immense beauty within the structure and melody of the song!
    Thank you so much for sharing this video with us. you have a blessed and peaceful day!

    Cao Dieu Mat Tu,

    Hello Dharma brother! I rejoice in your good deed of translating this article into English. Your effort helps to spread the teachings of Guru to sentient beings all around the world. Your work is an inspiration to us all! May all of your legitimate wishes be granted within the right orbit of Dharma.

    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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