Thank You, Thay! - Touching words from a Buddhist in Australia to Thay on His Birthday, March 03
Australia, February 22, 2020
I want to send my best regards and sincere thanks to You.
It has been five years since I knew You and Ba Vang Pagoda. During five years, you help me to change myself completely. Before that, I always thought that Buddhism was all about praying, worshipping when people ask things from Buddha. Even for myself, I read the sutra but I could not understand the true meaning. Until one day, my brother-in-law told me to listen to Your teachings about Buddhism. In the beginning, I listened but I still could not get the meaning. But my brother urged me to listen more and more. I was curious because thats the first time my brother has asked me to do that. Therefore, I focused on listening and applying Your teachings in life: self-correcting behaviour. When you have some issues, you should not blame other people's mistakes, try to find your mistakes first. I thought about Your advice every day. Your words stayed in my mind and pushed me to change.
I once was a bad daughter. When I was in secondary school, I made many mistakes: skipping studying, drinking alcohol, lying and stealing money from my parents. When I thought about that time, I was terrified of the person I once was and I cried a lot. But now I am also happy because I have had a chance to correct my mistakes. All because of You, Thay. Please give me permission to call you: Father. You are the person who gives me a chance to be reborn in this life.
Two years ago, I went back to Vietnam and visited Ba Vang Pagoda for the first time. I could only watch and listen to Your teachings through online videos when I lived in Australia. I took refuge in Three Jewels officially and followed Five Precepts. I was given a new name “Hanh Nhan” - try to be patient and kind. I was surprised because You just met me for the first time but You could see through me. You knew I am short-tempered, and I was aggressive to people sometimes. You said to me that with the new name, I should try to look into myself and correct my bad manners. At that time, I cried and promised to live like the name I was given.
Because of the distance from Australia to Viet Nam, I cannot be near You every day. That makes me feel sad sometimes. I wish I can see, listen and talk with You like other disciples. I find comfort in Your teaching words. I know that if I can understand and follow Your advice, You will always be beside me. Through Your wisdom, I know that Buddhas sutras are not unrealistic but the only truth in this life. It shows me the right way to live. After becoming Your disciple, I am not afraid of any challenges. When I meet difficulties, I am not upset or angry anymore. I feel content when I listen to You with other disciples. Five years passed, I have changed and grown up. You give me strength to live in Australia – a country far away from Viet Nam. Even though I am far away now, I always hope You will have good health so that You can spread Buddhas teachings. We – Your students, are proud of being Buddhist, being good citizens and contributing to a better society.