English | Vietnamese
An Unforgettable Experience in Paris
By Hue Nguyet (Wisdom Moon) in Switzerland, translated into English by Tra My
Previously I had heard about the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB), but I did not have a chance until today surprisingly witness firsthand all sorts of interesting and admirable things from the monks and nuns here. They taught both theory and practice together but the remarkable point was that they really put their words into action, applying everything in their own lives. They only have one meal a day and have to participate in 7 to 8 Dharma sessions each day. After finishing the sutra recitation or the repentance ceremony, without a break the Dharma masters have to prepare for the next event while the lay disciples could enjoy a 30 minute break. I assume that there are too many things they have to do so they almost have no time to relax. In spite of being busy however, they always look very peaceful and compassionate. It seems to me that they always have a blissful smile on their lips. With such a busy daily schedule I would not have been able to participate without the support of the Dharma Assembly and the true cultivators. Since the whole session was conducted either in Chinese or English, I honestly did not understand anything except a few broken sentences. However, I still feel very peaceful. I also love the fascinating Dharma sounds which probably derives from true cultivation. A newly acquainted dharma friend of mine also mentioned that she had been to several Buddhist assemblies but could not find such a blissful feeling like the one here.
When I prepared for this Dharma assembly, I was quite anxious since I did not know anyone here, but I quickly adapted and soon felt something very friendly here. Though we may not have known each other for very long, I don¡¦t know why but I feel as if we have met somewhere before. Moreover, others have told me that they feel the same way as well. I met a couple of nice ladies who helped me and taught me many everything. It made me feel right at home here. There were also some Chinese friends whom I could not talk to because of the language barrier, but we still felt the affinities. They helped me locate the pages of the sutra and track down the words so that I could follow along more easily. I have never found such a touching experience anywhere else! We are a big family with multi-racial members who share the same goals and direction.
As I happened to enter the kitchen, I was amazed to find everyone working very hard but still looking happy and compassionate. It was so wonderful that I cannot describe these feelings. I have not seen such an atmosphere anywhere else. With a happy mind they prepared the food, and so no wonder that their simple dishes turned into such delicious ones. While some were busy with the cooking, others had to take care of the translation and run errands outside. All were in a rush but everything ultimately went very smoothly.
I also admired the young students; they really touched my heart. They are still young but their spirits are noble and profound, which is something we hardly see in many others. They worked with devotion and high spirits. How wonderful that they will one day become the pillar of the True Dharma.
Another surprise was how the older people who planned and organized all the Dharma sessions in an effort to sow Buddhist seeds for people who have lost their way. I felt great admiration for their hard work that are not easy to do at all. This reminded me of Master Huas ¡¥s talk in a CD where he stated seniors are considered as young seniors in spite of their old age since they are always in great and harmonious spirit, while the young of profound spirit and efforts are considered as senior youngsters. These are the two different kinds of people mentioned by Master Hua. I believe that while the people here do have different vows, like how Bodhisattvas do too, they all work together for the sake of benefitting human beings. With such great spirit, I assume they must have been liberated and happy although they still dwell in this world of suffering and pollution.