Birthname: Tran Huu Phuoc
Birthday: July 24, 1924
Birthplace: Tich Khanh hamlet of Vinh Long province, Vietnam
Over 2500 years, Buddhism has existed and been known to the world. It originally came from India, then spread to Asian countries such as China, Thailand, Japan, Korea, etc...Fortunately, Vietnam was one of them. This propagation had created two predominant traditions: Mahayana and Theravada. Mayahana tradition is emphasized in northern countries, while Theravada is a big influence in southern nations. Even though their teachings are different, the main goal is to attain realization. Regardless of their various practicing methods, meditation is always the ultimate way. Why? It's because meditation is the most effective way that could help us to "direct to our true mind and discern the true nature to attain Buddhahood." It's imperative to mention that the Buddha practiced meditation in his entire life and also considered it to be his life. By saying that, we would like to emphasize the importance of meditation (Zen) in our way of searching for the true mind or attaining realization.
When talking about Zen, people know most of the Zen sects as well as the masters from China, Japan, and Korea. Each master had his own unique characteristics. What about Vietnam? Is there anything unique about Vietnamese Zen masters and Vietnamese Zen sect ? How is the mind transmission carried on?
The questions have been answered many times through the lectures of our dear Master Thich Thanh Tu, who is the rector of Truc Lam monastery. Recognized those traits from Vietnamese Zen masters, the Master had a goal to "renovate Vietnamese Zen sect, " especially, the Vietnamese Zen sect of Tran dynasty. He already implemented his goal in the late 20th century and still continues this task through various forms: writing, lecturing, establishing Zen monasteries, and guiding hundreds of students to continue his works of propagating Buddhism in the future. His teaching is always emphasized on both "learning and practicing." This is a way to evade any unnecessary mistakes.
To make a little contribution to his goal of "renovating Vietnamese Zen sect" as to be part of the propagation of Buddhism, we will continue to translate his books into English. And to make the "Transmission of the light" extend to a wider range, we devoted our effort to establish this website. After months of hard work, it's finally up and running. We hope that this website is informative and helpful to you in your way of learning more about Vietnamese Zen and Zen master Thich Thanh Tu. We look forward to hear from you, your comments and supports in the next coming days. We also ask for your understanding for any incompleteness.
Wish you are blessed with achievement in your practice by the Three Jewels. This is how Buddhist dharmas will be well maintained and helpful to all beings.
Tu Tam Hoang
Summer 2002, Orange County, California