The Sam Nguyen Sutra

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha  (B)


Sutra Opening Verse

The Buddha's Dharma

is so deep and incomparable.

For thousands of lifetimes

the chance to know it is so rare.

Now we recognize the clear and bright path

and vow to practice deeply, sincerely. (BB)

Sam Nguyen

(Look back to see our mistakes, and take a vow)


We kneel in front of the Buddha.

From our whole being, we offer incense.

Head pressed down upon Buddha’ s feet,

Sincerely we offer our confession and vow. (B)

For many lifetimes,

from ignorance,

we blindly follow our deep habit of greed,

causing suffering for many people,

hatred in ourselves,

and increasing our holdings as well.

We only know hunger for praise,

and thirst for self-benefit.

Day by day, our holdings harden

into strong life habits.

In our lives, there is only

greed for love, greed for possessions,

and clinging to satisfaction,

but we don’t know it.

Trapped in the whirlpool of right/wrong,

good/not good, addicted to

the deadliness of win/lose,

we already have everything,

but it is still not enough.

So many deceitful schemes, yet we don’t care. (B)

Getting what we want,

ego proudly triumphs.

Not getting what we want,

instant blame and angry outbursts.

We carelessly lash out

with hatred and harmful words,

creating many hurtful wounds

in ourselves and others.

After that, many times we are regretful,

feeling anxious, guilty, and ashamed.

Yet with just a glance at the other’s face,

we argue more, and make it worse.

Because we don’t know what

and where the real problem comes from,

we stumble forward,

fooling ourselves and fooling others

as ego constantly vies for the best position, always skillfully covering the problems. (B)

Deepening our addiction

to others satisfying us and satisfying ourselves,

we get what we want and want more.

We don’t know we are just continuing to feed

ignorance, holding, and suffering. (B)

We see beauty, yet we can’t stop

looking for more.

We hold onto sweet gestures

and compliments given.

We eat delicious food,

yet we hunger for more, again and again,

good taste only nourishing

the craving and expectations.

With one sleepless night,

we worry about getting sick.

Missing one meal, we fear about not being well.

We are constantly preoccupied

to warm or cool our body,

worried about the effects of sun, rain, dampness,

and wind on our health. (B)

Whatever our body wants, we satisfy it,

just creating more karma

and its consequences in this lifetime.

Looking like a staggering drunk,

we chase after our illusion of happiness,

and yet the result is only more suffering. (B)


From ignorance, the first thought

starts to create our False Self,

and every thought after builds it stronger,

and we forget the way back to Awake Mind.

Now homeless, we are blindly adrift.

After so much drifting, what do you have?

And where will you go when you die?


We spend our lives just ignorantly

bobbing on the water, passing time,

even though we already made a mess of things. Now in front of Buddha, we take a vow.

Head down, with sincerity,

we look back and admit our mistakes. (B)

Fortunately we have touched the True Dharma and realize the illusion we created.

From blindly following the first thought

we believed to be real,

we sink and float in the endless cycle

of birth and death.


Now we have found the Awake Teacher,

and friends on the Awake path.

We vow to follow the Awake teacher

and sincerely ask for help

to bring us toward the Awake world,

Awaken, and break the system of ego.

Realizing the sun of wisdom is always shining,

constantly bright and alive within ourselves.

From the Awakened Happiness

of an eternal Spring season,

help all people Wake up and break the cycle

of birth and death. (BB)

The Three Refuges

Refuge is taken in the Buddha.

I vow, on behalf of all sentient beings,

to recognize the core teaching

and dedicate everything to it.

Namo Buddhaya (3 times) (B)


Refuge is taken in the Dharma.

I vow, on behalf of all sentient beings,

to practice deeply and sincerely the core

teaching, allowing great wisdom to rise up.

Namo Dharmaya (3 times) (B)


Refuge is taken in the Sangha.

I vow, on behalf of all sentient beings,

to live with ease and harmony in any situation, disturbed by nothing.

Namo Sanghaya (3 times) (BB)

Sutra Closing Verse

Wholeheartedly we want to Wake Up.

Through practice, we realize that

for many lifetimes we have created

the system of suffering that has controlled us.

We continue to practice,

to realize the root, the nature of suffering.

We take a vow to Wake Up,

regardless of pictures and objects.

We ask the Buddha to verify our vow. (BBB)

Final Closing Verse

We vow to bring the benefits of our practice

to the whole world, us students,

and all sentient beings

to soon Awaken.

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