|Truc Lam Zen Buddhist monastery in Da Lat|
My sister-in-law had briefly mentioned about the monastery before leaving for Da Lat. She had also mentioned that she knew a nun who could speak English fluently. My anxiety grew as we traveled by road and I honestly could not wait to discuss with her about some Zen stories and koans which I had read earlier.
I felt privileged to meet Nun Bach who is practicing Zen at the monastery. The meeting was arranged by my sister-in-law who is a frequent visitor to this monastery. I asked Nun Bach how long she had been practicing. She replied: "I am practicing it now!!", with a sense of elation and excitement. I thought for a moment and felt that my question was too naive. It is true that persistence and practice have no end. It does not matter when one started practicing, but it does matter how rigorous the practice is towards enlightenment.
In the short period we met, I asked Nun Bach if I could discuss the koan "No Water, No Moon". Giggling at times, she immediately burst in to a big smile. I could guess at that moment that Nun Bach had closely studied Nun Chiyono's history and her path to enlightenment. After a few passing comments, we had to end our meeting. It was time for chanting in the prayer hall. A banner announcing Buddha's birthday,Vesak, on May 5th, 2012, was posted as we walked past the main prayer hall. The front door was barely open just to allow a quick view of the Buddha statue. We left the monastery grounds after the prayers, but the thoughts of the visit are still fresh and it is my hope to be there again for Buddha's birthday celebrations.
|Banner announcing Buddha's Birthday|