When we received the 14 Mindfulness Trainings, Thầy gave us a Dharma name which is different from our lineage name. In the 80s, the first batchs of the Canadian and American OI got their Dharma names which were mostly composed of only two words (True + Name, or Chân + Name).

In 1987, there were 6 of us who took the 14 MT at Camp-Les-Sommets (Eastern Townships, Québec) during a retreat led by Thầy. My friend Hoàng Phúc (Chân Sinh, True Birth), his wife Kim-Tuấn (Chân Nhã) and me, we were part of this second Canadian OI batch. The others were Brian Goodyear, Monique Mayers and James (an American, I forgot his family name). After the transmission ceremony of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings, a memorable picture was taken in front of the meditation hall where we had Thầy, the late Venerable Viên Diệu and all Canadian OI (first and second batch) as collated below. My friend Hoàng Phúc stood on the first row of this picture (third from left, with his visible and typical beard).

During those years, each time I had a chance to come to Montréal, I always took time to visit Hoàng Phúc. I loved him very much. I was attracted to him because he played guitar and sang (like me) and he made good coffee. We used to sing together in various fund raising events at that time, events organized by the Vietnamese community to collect fund to assist the boat people sponsorship program led by a friend of ours (Mrs. Pat Marshall) who worked at OCISO (Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization).

Together with Hoàng Phúc, we were part of a team organizing several retreats at Maple Village. That was the early years of Maple Village. Many wonderful time we had together while working together. Hoàng Phúc used to lead and teach the practice songs to the attendees during the retreats with his guitar and his beautiful voice.

One of the songs he composed, entitled Về Làng (Come Back to the Village), was well known by all my compatriots at that time.

In 1994, Chân Sinh Hoàng Phúc was given the Lamp of Wisdom by Thầy and this is the gatha Thầy gave him:

Chân như là bản môn
Sinh diệt nào động tới?
Thức dậy sớm mai hồng
An nhiên không chờ đợi.

I would try to translate this gatha as follows:

True reality is the ultimate dimension

Birth and death do not dare to touch?

Waking up on one early shiny morning

Equanimity has already attained

What I did not know (and discovered later), Hoàng Phúc was already diagnosed with a critical illness (cancer) when we met in 1987. With the practice, he was able to live his life with a good quality for almost 7 years. He passed away in October 1994.

Today, I lighted an incense within my heart and send my thoughts to Chân Sinh Hoàng Phúc. Collated here below is a picture of Maple Village taken in 2000.

Author :

Nguyễn Duy Vinh (Chân Ngộ)

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Chân Ngộ received the 14 MT in 1987 at Camp-les-Sommets (Eastern Townships, Québec, Canada) and received the Lamp of Wisdom at Plum Village in 1994. He practices with the Ottawa Pagoda Sangha in Canada (below is a recent picture of some members of the core sangha).

(standing: Jim, sitting first row: Paul, Millaray, Catherine, Sheila, sitting second row: Brenda, Mihaela, Vinh, Andre, Vivian and Cynthia)