Su Co Pho Chon
In my early twenties my focus was chasing happiness in family and career. I had challenges and stress, but I thought that was normal. Life seemed good and there wasn’t much to question about life.
When I met both Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien and Zen Master Thich Thong Hoi, they helped me see that stress is not normal and my happiness is temporary. My life transformed a lot within one year as I practiced their teachings.
As I continued my practice and got really skillful, my teachers opened my mind even further to let me see, no matter how well I practiced, how much I knew about Awake, if I did not change my deep core intention of managing stress to be happy in life I would still be trapped in a pattern of suffering, no matter how much I wanted to Wake Up.
After 13 years of being a student, I decided to take it to another level and ordain with a new clear goal to Wake Up from ego/ the cycle of birth and death. One day after much reflection, I saw life flash right before my eyes. I could see that everyone around me was growing old, getting ill, and drown deeper in the sea of suffering; I knew there was no more time to waste.
In 2017, I had a chance to go on an Awake field trip to India with my Zen Masters and sanghas. This was the turning point for me; they helped me face and break apart one of my biggest problems that kept me stuck in my practice for the longest time. I discovered that deep in my core, my intention was not to Wake Up from the cycle of birth and death but instead just to use my practice to manage life. This was a huge Wake Up call for me to move to the final step.
Each and every year I uncover more layers about who I really am, I could feel my old habit energies that kept me trapped in confusion and conflicts begin to lift and fall apart like a glacier melting from the sun. There’s a sense of ease and lightness in the way I move, my mind more spacious, bright, and clear, my actions more stable and bold. The more I connect to my Zen Master’s Awake energy, the more my mind and heart opens, I smile and laugh at the simplest things. What is real and what is not is getting more clear by the moment, therefore the fear and worry disappears. The ego that use to control and cause chaos is fading. The way I see things is different, I see it’s true nature and the truth of what it is, not how I want it to be. This is the most freeing experience ever. Life and the cycle of birth and death unfolds in each moment revealing the truth that I was so blind to see before.
Now I am certain that only Awake can end suffering and bring me the true happiness that I’ve been searching for. I need to Wake Up in this lifetime. My wish is that more people can meet and connect with my Zen Masters to realize, touch, and soon live with Awake. If one person in each family practiced this Awake path, I know the ripple effect it would create for their family, friends, and communities. My vow is to follow in my Zen Masters footsteps to return to Awake and help people all over the world Awaken. I am forever grateful to my Zen Masters for bringing back the Awakened light that has been lost for so long and helping us return to live with the Awakened happiness already within.