Jun 26, 2021

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 10 Comments

REFLECTING ON THE IMPERMANENCE (CẢM NIỆM VÔ THƯỜNG)

TREAT YOUR OPPOSITE PERSON AS AN F-0

Time flies. It has been almost half the year of 2021 passing, the pandemic is still beyond our control. In times of confusion, it is easy to understand why people saying “There is nothing much we can expect for 2021 out of being healthy”.

As usual, I wake up earlier every Monday morning to go to work and get myself well-prepared with positive energy for a new working week. Scrolling quickly through a few pieces of online news before leaving for work, I saw a message sent by the Center for Disease Control that said: “Please treat your opposite person as an F-0”. Nowadays, pathogens have been silently spreading in the community, and it seems impossible to be traced. Resembling about Guru’s teaching in a recent article named “wealth is nothing without health”, I pray that the pandemic will soon terminate.

Wealth is nothing without health

Since the social distance policy has come into effect, the city has not been hustle and bustle as it used to be. The scenery of people jostling and rushing at the rush hour has no longer been seen. Those frequent kiosks on the street have become sparse, which suddenly gives me the slightly emotional feeling of “The more I tried to look for the man, the more I found it to be difficult”. The world has changed tremendously, however, the burden of livelihood has never been eased to human beings. Now it has even become more severe for them to struggle against the pandemic.
The Buddha once affirmed that: “The amount of sentient beings’ tears are much more than water collected from the four oceans”. More than ever, I deeply feel his words now.

The amount of sentient beings’ tears is much more than water collected from the four oceans

The pictures of those people who died because of the pandemic with their dead bodies being scattered everywhere, from the hospitals, home yards, in a mass cremation area, or even floating on the Indian Ganges River, along with the sadness and bitterness in the faces of their families really pained our hearts. It seems this is a kind of once-in-a-lifetime incident recorded in the world’s history, by such a horrible death tragedy.

Such a horrible death tragedy!

“The karma must have been heavy to be born into the samsara” is the teaching that any Buddhist always keep in mind. It is not for us to feel pessimistic or guilty about what we have done in our previous lives. On the contrary, it reminds us to be aware of the existence of sufferings and afflictions which we must encounter as a result of karma. Hence, we should take advantage of this precious life as human beings to liberate ourselves from the three unwholesome realms instead of making the same mistakes of our earlier lives pursuing the illusory values of the samsara world.
“Like dew on the tip of grass, pleasures of the three worlds
Last only a while and then vanish.
Aspire to the never-changing
Supreme state of liberation. This is the practice of bodhisattvas” (The 37 practices of Bodhisattvas – Thogme Zangpo)

Like dew on the tip of grass, pleasures of the three worlds, Last only a while and then vanish. Aspire to the never changing. Supreme state of liberation. This is the practice of bodhisattvas” (The 37 practices of Bodhisattvas – Thogme Zangpo)

The dewdrop is a pure and beautiful image, just like all illusionary dreams of human beings about happiness based on the Five desires. It is obvious that a drop of dew is very delicate and fragile since it can just stay at the tip of the leaf for a while. It is unpredictable when the wind of karma will come and shake it away. The Buddha taught us about impermanence which aims to remind us not to lay our innocent faith on the permanence of our dreams. The reason that brings happiness to someone today may become the root of their sufferings on the other day.
All of our dreams that are rooted in the Eight winds are fallacious. However, dreams are inseparable as long as we are still in the samsara because they are a source of motivation for us to move forwards. At Song Nguyen Tantra House, under Guru’s supervision, we are motivated to make progress with a common dream. That is the dream to make a successful journey to the Western heaven of Amitabha, where no tears of sorrow and despair exist. Before that final destination, we also have short-term dreams while we are still staying in this samsara world, which is “inner happiness, smooth and successful life, social achievement”.

Western heaven of Amitabha, the destination of everlasting happiness

From reality to dream, there is always a certain distance. In order to fulfill our dream to attain “happiness in this life, eternal happiness in the next life”, the only best way is to practice Dharma consistently. Guru once taught us that the motivation that keeps us practicing Dharma diligently is the contemplation of impermanence. Perhaps we have never experienced the existence of impermanence as crystal clear as in the present moment when the thin line of life and death has been displayed in front of our eyes every day.
If there are several thousand people leaving this world each day because of the epidemic, such a number of sentient beings who are in the intermediate existence (between death and reincarnation) are struggling in the wind of karma. Though they may experience differently, their sufferings must be more or less the same. That is the reality that we should look directly at and keep in mind that there is almost no difference between death and any kind of suffering while still living/or staying alive in samsara.
A WISH-FULFILLING GEM

WISH-FULFILLING GEM

Understanding that fact, we appreciate the reason why we should have a genuine Guru, as Guru can guarantee our spiritual destiny both in this life and our upcoming life.
Geshe Potowa once taught us that a Guru is someone who feeds sentient beings in times of famine, while the Buddhas are those who feed sentient beings in times of prosperity. Supposing we are no longer suffering from poverty, we have gained some properties, but there is still someone who gives us food and more properties. Likewise, we are going to see the light of many Buddhas, we are inspired by them, etc., when we are at a high level of our path to the enlightenment. However, the Buddhas cannot help us with anything when we are in such misery and pathetic situation in our current lives.
The teaching means to say, relatively, though all the Buddhas are almighty and own miraculous spiritual powers. However, it is impossible that the Buddhas can liberate all the sentient beings from the circle of death and life by all the karma we have been creating throughout innumerable lives. For that reason, the current Guru is considered to be more compassionate than the Buddha, as he can transform our mind to the right track of Dharma, he teaches us the methods to practice awakening, and he inspires us on our spiritual journey. If we build up an absolute faith in Guru and follow his teachings, it is an absolutely “yes” answer to our dream to attain “happiness in this life, eternal happiness in the next life”.
However, the most important thing is how could we find the “wish-fulfilling gem”, how could we find “a genuine Guru that is not easy to meet” as Ashvagosha once affirmed. There are many teachings from the Buddhist saints and gurus, such as Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, or Patrul Rinpoche which was mentioned many times on chanhtuduy.com, but how about the Buddha’s teaching about this?
In Mahayana Vaipulya Sutra of Total Retention, before the Buddha enter the nirvana, World-honored One entered Dhyana and gave the last teaching to his disciples and Bodhisattvas. In which, he said:
My disciples! After the Buddha enters the nirvana, if there are any Buddhist teachers/Gurus who are skillful in teaching Dharma to sentient beings based on their wishes, who inspire Bodhisattvas to learn Mahayana Dharma, or generate even a tiny joy among the sentient beings, or to cause them to shed a tear for the joy of learning Dharma, you should know that this is originated from the spiritual power of the Buddha.


A Guru who can connect to the spiritual powers of all the Buddhas is definitely not a normal Guru. It should be noticed that ‘generating joy’ or ‘shedding a tear’ is understood as mind transformation under the power of right Dharma, which was rooted in the appreciation and genuine gratitude towards the Buddha’s Dharma. It is not the joy of joking around, or shedding tears over sorrowful or attached-desire topics that are normally found in the samsara world. Thus, the practitioners can only base on their own inner feeling to answer whether their Guru is a “worth-devoting Guru which is hard to find”, which accordingly becomes a strong basis for their stubborn and improper minds to be changed and transformed towards the right track of Dharma. So, this teaching of the Buddha is in line with the teaching of Padmasambhava, who is considered as the second Buddha, in ‘Dakini teachings’ when His Holiness taught about a Guru’s ability to transform the disciples’ mind.

Speaking about the joy or tears while learning Dharma, is not something new in Song Nguyen Tantra House. This kind of joy normally comes at the first moment when a learner met his Guru or was able to connect to Guru in some ways, such as through Guru’s teachings on many topics that they have never heard in their lives. There are many articles, recordings that documented the emotions of the learners when they came to realize the precious and miraculous effect of Dharma to their minds thanks to Guru’s teachings. For instance, a learner from Nigeria once shared in Vesak 2564 that: “The first time I read your article, my heart jumped with joy and happiness. Although I cannot understand all the meaning of your articles, I still feel the warmth from your words” (http://chanhtuduy.com/thinking-of-a-nigerian-boy-on-the-occasion-on-the-vesak-day-2564-in-2020/). It is hard to imagine the intense vibration of one learner/disciple’s mind at the very first moment they met or knew Guru, we can only see that there is nothing that can hinder it regardless of age, societal position, nation, ethnic, or gender, etc. It is the flow of mindstream being awakened by the appearance of a Guru, since then a connection of Guru and disciple starts, which simultaneously marks the first milestone to the path to enlightenment.

Professor Chukwugozie Maduka – a professor of philosophy, lawyer, sculptor, and the visiting professor at the University of North Texas, Denton, USA share his thought: “The first time I read your article, my heart jumped with joy and happiness. Although I cannot understand all the meaning of your articles, I still feel the warmth from your words”

LIBERATION IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND
There are still many, many more articles that are written by the learners and disciples from both domestic and foreign countries to share their joy and gratitude to Guru, the originator of Pure Mind Dharma, and his teachings. That is a unique point or a characteristic that anyone who visited chanhtuduy.com can easily recognize. Though Guru does not have a few thousand disciples and learners like others, each and every disciple is always well-prepared and willing to “risk their lives” to accompany Guru in every ‘fiercest battlefield’ with evil forces such as fake monks, evil spirits, evil powers, etc. This is an ideal illustration of the connection of Guru and disciple that is hard to find anywhere in this degenerate age of Dharma.
In “Liberation in the palm of your hand”, Pabongka Rinpoche affirmed as following:
“When you lean your spiritual destiny on a Guru, your merits keep increasing tremendously. Because of this, you are not hindered by evils and evil powers. Additionally, devas and ghosts are unable to harm practitioners who have cultivated enough merits”
As Buddhist practitioners, what we fear the most are probably the visible and invisible obstacles on the path to mindfulness. If we have done a good job of leaning our spiritual destiny on a Guru as Pabongka Rinpoche’s teaching, neither ghosts nor evil powers will be able to harm us either in the present or near-death karma moment. Thanks to that, we are blessed to live a peaceful life, and we have a better chance of attaining liberation after death (we are longer disturbed by evil spirits which are the reasons leading to negative thoughts and force us to fall into the evil path).

“Happiness in this life, eternal happiness in the next life”, is the Buddha nature’s happiness that Guru has awarded to his learners and disciples. Therefore, being grateful and knowing how to repay with gratitude is the only thing we can do to appreciate Guru’s compassion that cares for our spiritual destinies throughout many lives. Being grateful and knowing how to repay with gratitude is even more important and precious than our gratitude to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, as Pabongka Rinpoche confirmed:
When a Guru is satisfied with your offerings, that means the Buddhas are also satisfied. However, if you only make offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, you will only benefit from making offerings, but not bring satisfaction. If you make offerings to your Guru, you gain two benefits, the first one is the merits that are gained from making offerings, the second is to make the Buddhas be satisfied.


The tears of sentient beings have never been ended, and they won’t able to end until one can learn true Dharma, or can meet a genuine and wisdom advisor. Therefore, even though we are still suffering in our current lives, as long as we are practicing Dharma, and are protected by Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, all those difficulties and sufferings are only a way to purify this body and mind so that one day being reborn into the Western heavens of Amitabha, we can be proud of our tireless and continuous effort that is worth endeavoring.
“Please use hand sanitizer and let me check your body temperature”
That is one step in the process that we have to do every day after arriving at the parking basement. I am glad that we have performed very well the 5K rule, as long as all activities are “programmed” correctly by the cooperation of each and everyone, the pandemic will soon be controlled. Back to the quiet office, I turned on the computer and started a new working day. Out there, I can hear the sound of ambulances echoing as if they were in a hurry to bring someone a chance back to life..

the 5K rule

May all sentient beings’ sufferings be at ease.
I am sincerely grateful to Guru’s compassion and patience for teaching us and transforming our minds.
I pray for Guru and other genuine Buddhist teachers/Gurus health and longevity for the benefits of all sentient beings.
Om mani padme hum.
Cao Dieu Minh Tam.
Translated by Cao Dieu Mat Tu.


Vietnamese version: CẢM NIỆM VÔ THƯỜNG

  1. Tantra Mashita (Euro) says:

    Dear compassionate guru,

    Thank you so much for sharing this article with us, I really admired it and I enjoyed reading it as well. Such an unique article to read, and as usual I think we must be thankful and grateful because we have a compassionate guru like you, who’s always ready to help us to live happily and to achieve our dreams and make them come true thank you so much again and after your permission I’d like to thank Miss Quynh Le “Cao diêu mat tu” for the translation of this article,

    I bow my head down to you
    I devote myself to you
    I express my gratitude 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 corona virus soon end
    Om mani padame hum

  2. Mật Tấn Khải
    Mật Tấn Khải says:

    Dear Guru!

    I have read this article.

    I am very happy with the sharing of brother Cao Dieu Minh Tam.

    Our thoughts have created us, if the thought is not good, it manifests in action, then suffering is born from there, like a wheel rolling in the direction of a person’s feet. With each passing moment (seconds) we get a little older, the cells get destroyed a little bit, but the change is so rapid that we don’t even notice the feet. It is impermanence, suffering, and not-self that are the beauty of life. “If one does not see life as impermanent, one will cling to the dead things of the past, or to an illusionary notion of eternity.” Can life always be renewed every moment? If you don’t see life as suffering, people will forever be immersed in mistakes and desires, only knowing their own benefits and harming themselves, how to get rid of these problems. If wrong views and cravings are dominated by ignorance and craving, then they are forever immersed in samsara.

    “The EXTERNAL CARDS can never be eliminated IF WE CAN’T WORK WITH THE INSIDE CARDS. Unless the aggression of the enemies within us ceases, the more we fight the external opponents. , they will become stronger. Similarly, as long as we control our mind Evil forces invade us. Tame the mind with love and compassion is the practice of the bodhisattva.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV www.vietrigpa.org.

    The essential force is faith and devotion which is the deepest core in the mind of the yogi. “The source of blessings is the Guru” meditators will not be provoked, influenced by anything. any external agent, is a state of “unchanging mind in the midst of life”. The more reverent you are, the more you open your heart to the truth, so the teachings have more chance to penetrate you, thus creating a total transformation of consciousness. “Only by seeing the Gurus as living Buddhas, their words as the Buddha’s words, and their minds as the enlightened minds of all Buddhas, can your process of “becoming a Buddha” truly begin and finish, you will see the glory of the Buddha.” Nature within yourself and with it the radiance of the whole universe. Finally, the meditator is looking at Reality with his own eyes. Thus devotion becomes the fastest, simplest and purest way to realize the nature of mind and things in the universe. Devotion to the Guru includes much of the light of arising self-mind. “Patrul rinpoche. Only the meditator can discover the Truth on the path to liberation, such as the growth of a seed that has the power to break through the thick outer shell and begin the process of inner growth. We are very fortunate to have been born in a time when the Buddhadharma still exists in this world, which is something we should not take lightly even though there are still many teachings, gurus and Indeed, we are very fortunate to be peaceful and happy, to be disciples of Master Thanh Tri in this Dharma-ending age, with the skillful means of a compassionate, erudite teacher. With many skillful means to teach students, destroy sentient beings, he uses very simple words, simple sentences but contains great power, breaks down the wall in the soul, helps them We see miracles in Pure Buddhism.

    I sincerely pray for the health and longevity of the Guru for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    May all sentient beings find True refuge, attain the happiness of Buddha nature.

    Pray that the covid 19 pandemic will soon be destroyed.

    Om mani padme hum!

  3. tantra mahavita (Argentina) says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this article. I am deeply grateful for the Guru is compasion and patience for teaching us the transform our minds. All our gratitude for the blessings of him who opened our hearts to the Truth . May all beings be free from suffering . I pray for the Guru to have health and a long life …OM MANI PADME HUM

  4. Tantra Maruta says:

    It is indeed a wonderful article that impart us a knowledge on how inportant to be guided by a guru in embracing and absorbing the dharma.

    I wish all of us a safety and healthy moment.
    I am Tantra Maruta from the Philippines
    Om Mani Padme Hum

  5. Dan Jacobsson says:

    Dear Guru,

    In these times we have learned what impermanence are as the Pandemic has affected us all, our loved ones, our workmates and neighbours.
    The more important is the Dharma like a boat that we travel on through the stormy sea of Samsara.
    To learn to practice Pure Mind Yoga the last six months has indeed helped me to bring awareness to the now and strengthen me to help others in need as well as keeping myself calm and alert.
    The wisdom of the Buddhas teaching and your wisdom is beyond words.

    OM MANI PADME HUM

    Dan

  6. Tantra Amashuta says:

    Dear Holy Guru,
    Thank you for sharing fellow follower Cao Dieu Minh Tam’s letter to you. Many say the world has changed for the worse. I believe it has changed but who can say if it’s for the better or worse. It is true many have moved from this life to the next. It is also true that suffering for all sentient beings has reached an all time high. But, for me, I see both good and bad coming from this. Many people are turning to help each other and open their minds to the possibilities of being connected to each other more than just by seeing each other. And many people are looking, SEARHING, for ways to not just improve their circumstances but other’s circumstances as well. Suffering is here and people who were blind to it, shuffling along like a machine, are now seeing each other and seeing themselves. It is true evil thoughts, evil practices, and evil living is still here. For some it’s worse than it was before. But for others I see hope to change the evil in their lives and make a difference in the lives of all we can. Guru, You have given us this opportunity. It seems the world is looking for you, for Buddhism, and for the lessons you teach. They just don’t know this is what they are looking for. The world is indeed changing. Many times in life we hear that when someone is on their own death bed they look at their lives with regret and wish they had done things differently. It seems now there are many people doing this with the increase of everyone’s death bed. The more people they see pass on to the next life, the more they examine their own lives. I hope this is a good thing. I hope that the search continues to seek you and other true Guru’s to find enlightenment to find liberation and to find Buddhism. The “desire” to ease suffering is at an all time high. I pray that sentient beings who have not yet found you and or other TRUE Guru’s are met with the teachers they need to be enlightened. I thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to follow you on this path and I pray that suffering soon ends for all sentient beings. May you be well for the sake of all sentient beings. Om Mani Padme Hum.
    Thank you Cao Dieu Minh Tam for sharing your letter with the Guru who shared it with us. I pray that you are well for the sake of all sentient beings Om Mani Pandme Hum.

    • Nguyên Thành
      Nguyên Thành says:

      Thank you for your comment! I am delighted that through my teachings you have realized the importance and preciousness of having a genuine Guru in one’s life. Meeting a genuine Guru or Buddhist teacher who shows you the right path to liberation not only helps the Buddhist practitioners to see the world in a different prism but also ends the sufferings in samsara and transforms the mind toward the right track of Dharma. Keep in mind that because “life is Dharma, Dharma is life”, all matters in your life should be reflected by the Buddhist teachings, not your own judgment. I hope you will keep reading and learning more! Om mani padme hum.

    • Tantra Amishuta says:

      Dear holy guru,
      I still agree with what I posted above and am still trying to follow your lesson and comment to my previous response. Life is Dharma, Dharma is life I need to keep reminding myself to see things reflected by Buddhist teaching not my judgment.. may you be well for the sake of all sentient beings. Om Mani Padme hum

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