News - Annoucement


2018 Lunar New Year Celebration-Year of the Dog

You are cordially invited to participate in all of the temple's Lunar New Year services and activities. Learn more.



Dhamma Class

An Introduction to Buddhism Class week 4
Friday, 15 January 2016
ITB-2015 Week Four Last week we discussed the Four Noble Truths, they are: The problem. There is stress, suffering and dissatisfaction. The cause. Read More...
An Introduction to Buddhism Class week 3
Friday, 15 January 2016
ITB-2015 Week 3 Week Three: Presentation: (The Four Noble Truths, The Middle Way) The Middle way. Read More...
The Dhammapada class # 10
Thursday, 14 April 2011
The Buddha’s Path to Wisdom April 11, 2011, Class # 10 Chuc Thanh Facilitated Flowers Verses 48-52 The following points were brought out in the... Read More...
The Dhammapada class # 9
Wednesday, 06 April 2011
The Buddha’s Path to Wisdom April 4, 2011, Class # 9 Chuc Thanh Facilitated Flowers, Verses 44 to 47 The following points were brought out in the... Read More...

Buddhist study

Compassion class # 3
Sunday, 18 May 2014
Dong Hung Buddhist TempleTuesday Evening Discussion Group    May 13, 2014 Topic:        Compassion The Venerable Thich Chuc Thanh presided... Read More...
IMAGE The Life of Sariputta Part 3
Wednesday, 06 July 2011
Sariputta was one who always respected his teacher, and therefore he said to his friend: "First, my dear, we shall go to our teacher, the Wanderer... Read More...
Bodhisattvas class 4
Saturday, 28 June 2014
Dong Hung Buddhist TempleDharma Discussion Group June 24, 2014 Topic:        Bodhisattvas, The Venerable Thay Thanh led the discussion.  The... Read More...
IMAGE Bodhisattvas
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Dong Hung Buddhist TempleDharma Discussion Group June 3, 2014 Topic:        Bodhisattvas The Venerable Thay Thanh led... Read More...
Ask the Teachers

Question: How do I know if I’m having a moment of realization or if I’m just deluding myself (still in ego)?


Zenkei Blanche Hartman: I think that if there is an actual experience of reality, if you are seeing just this, as-it-is, you will recognize at once: “Oh, so that’s how it is!” The unmistakable reality of the experience will be clear. The delusion part is any thought such as “I” am “having” a moment of realization. That is, imagining a “self” separate from some “not self” is delusion, and imagining a “moment of realization” as an object that can be grasped by a self is also delusion. The very idea of a “self” separate from some “other” is the negation of how we actually exist in the world. Each being includes the whole universe and is included in the whole universe. There is no separation.

There is a verse attributed to a Catholic monk that is pertinent to your question:

I really long to see my God
I ask in every prayer.
But He can’t come to visit me
Unless there’s no one there.

Once when I was sitting a sesshin, my teacher asked us to investigate carefully where we experienced the boundary between self and other. He kept encouraging us to let that boundary expand wider and wider to include more and more. At a certain point, there was the experience of the boundary expanding like a giant balloon without limit. Then I had the thought, “I am in samadhi!” and that “I” was like a giant pin puncturing the balloon with a big bang. I almost burst out laughing because it was so clear that my thought of a separate “I” had created a separation where there had been none.

In his essay, “Only Buddha and Buddha,” Dogen Zenji says, “When you realize buddhadharma, you do not think, ‘This is realization just as I expected.’ Even if you think so, realization invariably differs from your expectation. Realization is not like your conception of it.…Realization does not depend on thoughts but comes forth far beyond them.…Know that then, there is no delusion, and there is no realization.”

Two monks were out walking when one of them pointed to the ground and said, “Right here is the summit of the mystic mountain.” The other monk looked down and said, “So it is. What a pity!”


Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche: When true realization occurs, there is no question about it. If there is a question, then that is not true realization. When you do experience openness or a positive quality such as the arising of love toward others, it is not valuable to doubt the experience. Rather, you need to recognize the experience, host it fully, and appreciate it.

It is important to recognize positive experiences in your practice. All too often in the West we relate to our problems and crises as “real” or normal, but if we wake up and feel joy or well-being, we do not tend to see that as valid, and instead we tend to watch out for our next problem. If we are not aware that we carry this orientation toward life, if we do not connect with openness and the positive qualities that arise from it, we will miss much of the sacred in life.

We need to appreciate that uplifted experiences are part of the sacred. They are treasures to be supported and sustained by recognizing and fully allowing them. That means that each of us needs to recognize and trust the open space of our minds as the source of all positive qualities and the best medicine in times of suffering. Your positive qualities have nothing to do with ego, for they are not produced by ego but arise naturally and spontaneously from the open space of being.

It is like receiving an e-mail from an enlightened being. Open it and experience it in that moment. To either doubt or grasp the experience of a positive moment is to not trust the basic openness or space within you as the inexhaustible source of virtue. So recognizing, trusting, and abiding in the openness of being without doubt is the antidote to ego and allows all the positive qualities of a buddha to arise in your life in order that you may truly benefit others.


Narayan Liebenson Grady: A moment of realization is a moment of realizing how things actually are. There are different levels of awakening to how things are: you might awaken to the fact that you are engaged in unskillful actions; you might become aware that you are reacting rather than responding to a particular set of conditions; you might awaken to the nature of the mind. These are all moments of realization.

The Buddhist teachings say that liberation is the absence of greed, hatred, and delusion. Only you can know whether you are experiencing such a moment. However, if you think that “you” are, then you are not because realizing how things actually are is free from a sense of ownership. The Buddha said, “There is the deed but no doer; there is suffering but no sufferer; there is the path but no one to enter it; and there is liberation but no one to attain it.”

Chinul, a founder of Korean Zen, taught the approach of “sudden awakening, gradual cultivation.” His understanding was that although a moment (or moments) of awakening is transforming, it is not enough. He said, “Although we have awakened to original nature, beginningless habit energies are extremely difficult to remove suddenly. Hindrances are formidable and habits are deeply ingrained.”

We humans—even those of us who are really honest and sincere—are capable of great self-deception. We can have powerful experiences and then identify with them, making them stand for who we are and how we are thought of by others, when what we really is need to be humble and just continue on the path.

The significance of a moment of seeing into the nature of things expresses itself in the here and now. Anything else involves assessing and measuring that which is beyond assessment and is measureless. What matters is how we live. Instead of asking yourself whether you’re having a moment of realization, a more useful question might be, what is the quality of my heart right now?

ZENKEI BLANCHE HARTMAN is former abbess of the San Francisco Zen Center.

GESHE TENZIN WANGYAL RINPOCHE is a lineage holder of the Bön Dzogchen tradition of Tibet.

NARAYAN LIEBENSON GRADY is a guiding teacher at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center.

Send your questions in by mail or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Practicing Tip

IMAGE Generosity in Daily Life
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Generosity in Daily Life When the group began the topic “Generosity”, most of us figured it would be a quick, one night discussion.  We... Read More...
IMAGE Walking on the Moon
Saturday, 11 May 2013
The buddha once said, "Bhikkhus & friends, imagine a single floating ring drifting in the great oceans! Imagine also a blind turtle, which... Read More...
IMAGE Compassion class # 2
Friday, 16 May 2014
Dong Hung Buddhist TempleTuesday Evening Discussion Group    April 28, 2014 Topic:        Compassion... Read More...
How do I know if I’m having a moment of realization
Friday, 14 May 2010
Ask the Teachers Question: How do I know if I’m having a moment of realization or if I’m just deluding myself (still in ego)? Answer: Zenkei... Read More...

Weekly Schedule


8.00 am - 9.00 am: Public Services in English: Such as chanting, Meditation,  Dharma discussing

10:30 am – 12.30 pm: Public Services in Vietnamese: Such as chanting, Dharma discussing (with English translator), offering to the deceased ones 


English Dharma Class, open discussion.
@ Dharma Hall, Virginia Beach
Tuesdays, 7pm-8.30pm.


5:45 - 6:45 pm: One Hour Meditation. Public is welcome. English language introduction. Silent, seated meditation in the Dharma Hall.
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Public service in English: Chanting, meditating, Dharma discussing in English


8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Chanting 21 time Great Compassion Mantra (Vietnamese)


423 Davis Street

Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Phone: (757) 689 - 3408

Direct: 757 - 406 - 1726 (Mr. Mark P.)

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