Su Co Pho Nguyen
Before I met Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien, I felt I had the perfect life; I had the “everything” most people dream of, so I dedicated my life to service, to help others who struggled so much.
I thought anger, anxiety, and stress were normal, not the suffering that results from causes within myself. The concept of karma and the titanium-like strength of my own habit energy were new to me. I had no idea about Awake, illusions, self-doubt, ignorance, merit, the system of
ego, much less the cycle of birth and death! I was just full of my own satisfaction and followed blindly along the river of life. But I had the rare chance to know Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien before and after her Awakening, and the dramatic difference I witnessed made me very curious. Her deep wisdom, unimaginable clarity, and endless compassion brought up a profound conclusion that what she had realized was so real, so complete, and intensely important that I felt it was the true purpose and ultimate meaning of life… From that one thing she had everything and could do anything, unlimited. And all of my “everything” really melted down to nothing because it was loaded with conditions that could never all line up at the same time. So I dropped everything to follow her towards that Awake goal for the benefits it could bring for me and all people.
But I was reaching for Awake because it was the “highest” and clearest thing, not because of deeply doubting my ego system and wanting to Wake Up from its darkness. Zen Master used many tools and ways to help me see and realize my greed, and my big mistake of using the teachings to cover ego instead of dissolving ego. She constantly and compassionately worked with me to get through the mud of deep self-belief until I was able to realize more clearly who she is, who am I, and what I really want.
Like a lotus finally pushing through the pond mud towards light, deep trust appeared, as did the vow to turn towards Awake and doubt ego every moment to break the system of ignorance, Wake Up, and help others to Wake Up. Every day since turning that corner, genuine joy and gratitude have continued to blossom in each step of the journey along the way.
I never ever imagined becoming a nun, but I also never imagined there existed the amazing and life-transforming path toward Awakening, and the power of Awake that radiates through Awake teachers like Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien and Zen Master Thich Thông Hoi to open minds and wake up countless people all over the world! I had always dreamed of a true world peace and well-being within and between all people, and Awake is how it happens, one person at a time.