Thursday, February 4, 2016


POST 238  06FEB2016
The spontaneous writings presented in this collection are first drafts, not edited texts


It was Tuesday morning, October 30th, 2007, when Filipe (Master Filipe Leite de Sousa) came to pick me up for a trip up north from Porto to Santiago de Compostela, the famous place of the Way of St James in Spain. By the highway from Porto in Portugal it would take about two hours or so to get there, but we spent more than three hours for the sake of enjoying the trip, stopping here and there. I did not come to Compostela as a devoted pilgrim nor as a researcher willing to discover more truth about the curious story on the relics of St. James. I came to this place, as I did for many other places, simply because I know sacred places are places with high energy, strong cosmic vibration, rich in history, and beautiful to contemplate. Visiting sacred places contributes significantly to personal growth; it enriches our individual experiences. Also at these places you have a good chance of meeting with extraordinary people and learn unexpected precious lessons.
At Compostela that afternoon I met a man, an ordinary man at first glance. As you can see on the picture I am attaching here, he was quietly sitting on a stone bench in front of the Cathedral. Although with grey hairs and a nice beard he looked like many normal men you can find on the street at any city in Western Europe. However in that moment, and at that place, I paid him high esteem, and I managed to stay for a long moment close to him without talking much. 

Who was he? I don’t know. Probably he was not a Nobel Laureate nor a famous singer; and surely not a master of martial arts nor a champion of tennis. What did he do so that I get inspired in him? He had simply accomplished what you and I, almost anyone, can do: Walking. The difference is he had walked a thousand kilometres just to come and sit here, in front of this Cathedral of Compostela to admire it, and feel accomplished, happy, without any other ambition. What motivated him to do so had come from the inside, not from the outside. This makes a whole difference. We too, to reach our goal we often walked many extra miles. Our goal, in most cases, means winning benefit, promotion, power, prestige, admiration. The motivations which come to us are from outside and always put us under pressure. Don’t misunderstand me. I do say clearly that it is very good when in life we can accomplish all these achievements. However, we should consider that this is just one side of life, the outer award. For the inner award, we have much more challenges to overcome because the choice comes from our inner voice. We obtain inner peace and happiness when we really decide to walk a long way, alone, in deep meditation, honestly facing ourselves. This man has accomplished it. At that moment in Compostela, I saw the transcendental happiness reflected in his quiet eyes. In some way, he has contributed to make Compostela more famous, more meaningful. On the reverse, Compostela itself, did not give anything tangible to him, however he needed some place called Compostela to test himself, to make his life happier. This relationship without premeditated aim between an individual and an event is called in Buddhism the “duyen”.  The duyen is not a random relationship which leads to somewhere, it is the consequence of thousands of habits and thoughts under what we daily act without much questioning the Why. Creating good duyen is living accordingly to what we find good. This wise man had met his good duyen with Compostela.
We all have the possibility to do great things, what we lack is the understanding that we also can accomplish great things as the others did.  Walking the long Way of St. James of Compostela (Le Chemin de St Jacques de Compostelle) is not the unique way to set your inner challenge for making yourself a strong person. The path is wide open to you each morning when you wake up and do some Vietchi exercises if you understand that each exercise has its name, its own meaning,
 its flow of energy, its beauty. They are not just mere physical exercises; they are thousand challenges to train you for not falling when you walk the long path of life. I know you know these VietChi exercises, but I am not sure if you know yourself, the one who possesses the miracle tool for gaining inner strength and happiness.    

One day, if it happens to you to visit this place, please do me a favour by sending me a picture of you, taken at the same place. It would create some kind of complicity between us.

g.m phan hoang

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