'Peace and Joy is the way'


-- <!--[endif]-->Retreat at Prajna Monastery, Vietnam 2008-09



From 24th Dec 2008 to 1st of Jan 2009, we joined a 7-day retreat in Vietnam's Prajna Monastery.  It has been becoming a tradition that in the past 3 years, the Hong Kong Sangha has taken this trip of 'Returning Home' to Prajna, practising together with the Monastics there. This year, we have 18 Sangha members joining, including two young children, Tara and Thomas.


Our group joined the regular Morning Practice at 4.30am: Sitting Meditation, Chanting, Touching-the-Earth.   Morning Practice was then followed by Walking Meditation in Nature. Walking together mindfully as a river, we enjoyed the singing of the birds, the sound of the flowing river, the small flowers along roadside and the revelation of beautiful colours of nature under the rising sun.


We were much embraced and nurtured by the Monastics' Love and Smiles. With the support of their Mindfulness energy, naturally and easily, Mindful Breathing, Walking, Sitting, Eating, Washing Bowls became part of Life. Nothing Special. No need of hard effort.


Mindfulness Practice was not only on the Cushion or inside the Meditation Hall. It was in the Mountain, while we were Hiking, Flying the Kite, Sharing Picnic Food, Sitting by the Waterfall, Total Relaxation on Grass next to a quiet Lake, Coffee Meditation in the early morning, Formal Tea Meditation gracefully prepared and performed by the sisters.


Sometimes, in Prajna there was sometimes short of electricity and water. But all these did not lessen our joy of being together, being supporting and caring to each other.


When we just arrived, we were asked this question, 'Why do you come here to practise?'  Why?  Without Joy and Peace yourself, how can you bring Joy and Peace to others? We came here to nurture these wonderful qualities within us, so that we are able to share them with others.


There is no way to Peace and Joy.  Peace and Joy is the Way.


We are deeply grateful to the Prajna Monastics, Brother Phap Kham, Sister TK.....the Sun, the Moon, the Rain, the Wind, the Trees, the Lotus Flowers.. who have made this trip of 'Returning Home' manifested!


Our deepest grateful is delivered in this song that we have composed:

(Music is 'The Moon represents my Heart to you', Lyrics by the HK Sangha)


Xin Chao Su Anh va Su Co, (*)

We thank you for your Love


You give us Coffee

You give us Noodle

and there's lots of Yummee-mee Food


We can't forget your Smile

and the Mindful Walking too

We can't forget your Love and

the Joy of being Home.


Xin Chao Su Anh va Su Co, (*)

We thank you for your Love


Your Lovely Smile

Your Sparkling Eyes

Forever with us all!


(*) 'Hello Brothers and Sisters' in vietnamese