|Queued up: Readers wait to get the autograph of His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa, author of Tam An Lac (The Restful Mind), at the book launch on Tuesday. — VNS Photo Khanh Chi
HA NOI (VNS) — The Vietnamese version Tam An Lac of The Restful Mind by His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa, one of the most revered contemporary spiritual masters of the Buddhism's Drukpa Lineage, officially hit bookstores yesterday.
During his weeks-long visit to Viet Nam, at the invitation of the Viet Nam National Buddhist Sangha to the UN Day of Vesak 2014, Dokhampa hosted a book launch and met with Vietnamese Buddhist followers in Ha Noi late on Tuesday.
The two-hour event, which ended up running for double the expected time, was attended by historian Duong Trung Quoc, secretary general of the Viet Nam Association of Historians, and writer Nguyen Quang Thieu, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Writers Association.
Dokhampa is renowned for his understanding of the pressures of modern life and their impact on individuals. In The Restful Mind, he shows new ways to calm both the body and the mind, become more aware, deal with problems and appreciate moments in day-to-day life.
He also works to make Buddhist ideals relevant to modern life and emphasises that Buddhist principles can and should be integrated into everyday life, through service to others.
"Buddhism is not a religion, but rather a way of life to finding happiness," he told more than 300 attendants.
Dokhampa was born into the family of His Holiness the present Gyalwang Drukpa, spiritual head of the Drukpa Lineage, which mainly centres in India and Bhutan. He holds a Masters degree in Buddhist philosophy, was twice appointed as the Chairman of the Annual Drukpa Council and is currently in charge of spiritual guidance for Drukpa centres across Asia, including in Viet Nam.
"I've been coming to Viet Nam for many years. I love Viet Nam's culture and heritage, and recently I [have come to] love one more thing: the Vietnamese saying that ‘when you eat [an] apple, think of the person who grows it'," the young Eminence said, paying tribute to his own teachers who had made the book possible.
"Due to the teachings of my great teachers, I have the confidence to understand that every experience of happiness and suffering does not come from the outside," Dokhampa said at the book launching.
"Whatever Buddhist teaching is, it is undeniably about the development of the mind. It's logical that all experiences we go through, happiness, suffering, sadness, and so forth all come alive in our mind and our own actions.
"If you do not understand that we have no freedom," he said.
Invited to share the stage with His Eminence Dokhampa, historian Quoc said, "As a reader higher age group but I hope not too old, having read Holiness's book Everyday Enlightenment and now His Eminence's book The Restful Mind, I can understand more the essence of Buddhism: tame the mind so that you can open and receive the world."
It is not far away from what our forefathers had taught, Quoc said, adding that Buddhism had accompanied Vietnamese people through many challenges throughout history, of which the Buddha King Tran Nhan Tong and the establishment of the Truc Lam school of meditation Buddhism are prime examples.
"Thus, what was taught in the books can be seen as part of the process of embracing modern values. They never depart from traditions, they adapt to changes in society and are still in line with the ultimate goals of Buddhism. It's because all practices start and end with the mind. Keeping the mind restful means keeping the values of both your spiritual path and life."
Debuted in English in August 2013 by publisher Hodder & Stoughton, the book's French version La Retraite de l'Esprit was published by Publisher Marabout last month. The Vietnamese version Tam An Lac is printed by Religious Publishing House and Drukpa Viet Nam. — VNS