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Eternal Spring

Ven. Thích Trừng Sỹ

ETERNAL SPRING
Spring comes, spring goes, thinking spring is over,
Flowers wither and blooming, the Spring is still the Spring. [1] 
Normally, people think spring is coming, meaning spring has passed, and spring is going, meaning spring has ended. but to intellectuals, especially Zen Master Chân Không, do not think like that. We think that even though spring comes and goes, even though spring departs and arrives, spring is still eternal spring, truly present in you and in me, that is, spring of love and spring of mind. We think that even though spring comes and goes, even though spring is home and arrives, spring is still eternal spring, truly present in you and in me, that is, spring of love and spring of mind.
We all have eternal spring if we know how to cultivate and water it with our loved ones with our conscious breathing, good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. Our loved Ones can be our teachers, disciples, fathers, mothers, children, friends, and our lovers, etc.
In the second verse, we see that the flowers fade and bloom, but spring is still spring. Flowers are herbs, they fade and bloom, they are born and they die, but the flowers of love and the flower of mind are eternal, neither born nor destroyed. Its meaning transcends time and space. We are children of the Buddha; we can reap those true and fresh flowers right in the present moments if we stably practice the Buddha’s teachings.
Not to do evil
To do good
To keep one’s mind purified
This is the teaching of the Buddha.
(Dhammapada, Verse 183)
Like beautiful spring flowers
with color and with fragrance
Likewise, well-spoken words,
If we do it well, we get good results.
(Dhammapada, Verse 52)
Flowers represent time, spring represents space. Flowers and spring, time and space, both always blend together like images and their shadow that cannot be separated. When there are flowers, there is spring, and when there is spring, there are flowers. When there is time, there is space and when there is space, there is time. 
Flowers are symbols of beauty and freshness. Each of us is the beautiful symbol and the fresh, cool symbol for many people. Whenever we are not happy, we are angry, our spring flowers wilt away, we cannot bring beauty and freshness to everyone. Whenever we are happy, we are peaceful, our spring flowers are beautiful and fresh, we can bring peace and happiness to everyone. Cultivation is so that we can reap the flowers and fruits of peace and happiness for everyone.
Spring comes all over the homeland,
Health, prosperousness, and love are full of overflowing.
We know we are the Buddha’s children, we are Vietnamese people, no matter where we live, when spring comes back, we each remember the homeland spring and national spring. Thanks to spring of the homeland and spring of the nation, they remember our spiritual ancestors and our blood-relationship ancestors. 
Our spiritual ancestors are the Buddha, Bodhisattvas, and holy Sangha, etc. Our blood-relationship ancestors are paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, and parents, etc. Spring coming means reminding us to remember our spiritual ancestors and our blood-relationship ancestors.
Maitreya Buddha has appeared on the First Day of the Lunar New Year, the new spring day of the New Year, the Tết, Lunar New Year, and the National New Year, the Buddha always smiles joyfully and freely to bring peace and happiness to everyone and every family. Each of us is the current and future Maitreya Buddha so that we can establish his joy and liberation to bring joy and happiness to the many right in the present life.
In summary, whether flowers bloom or fade, whether spring comes or goes, whether we are near or far, our minds always remember the spring love and spring mind, remember our homeland spring and national spring, and remember our spiritual ancestors and our blood-relationship ancestors like in our early time.
On the occasion of Spring coming, we wish Monastics and lay Buddhists near and far to enjoy the whole Eternal, happy, and peaceful spring.
May you all be blessed with infinitely peace and immeasurable auspiciousness with your best wishes.
By Thích Trừng Sỹ
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[1] Poetry of Zen Master Chân Không (1046-1100) in the Ly dynasty (1010-1225) in Vietnam. “Spring comes, spring goes, everyone thinks spring has ended, flowers wilt, flowers bloom, but spring is still the Spring.”
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