A high school friend of mine, whom I have lost touch for a long time, has just found me through another mutual friend. She kindly offered me a job when she heard that I had left my film business to pursue my spiritual path in mindfulness. She thought that because my life was so challenging, I had given it up and taken refuge into a sad and monotonous world of spirituality and Buddhism. It is a misunderstanding about spirituality and Buddhism, and it is so far from the truth about me. I have never been more alive and happier!
- Lotus – Blossoming and Bathing in the Sunshine
Here is my reply to my friend.
It was very nice to hear from you. Thanks very much for your kind thought and offer. It sounds like a good opportunity for someone like me to go back and forth to Vietnam to visit my family whilst making a good living. However, the job is not for me, my friend. I am very happy with my life and with what I do.
To most people, particularly to the Vietnamese, I appear to be poor and unlucky because I am not rich materially; I don’t have a stable job; and I live alone in a foreign country. The truth is I am very rich in many other ways and I feel I am very lucky and I am totally at home here in the UK. I am rich because I am aware of the treasures that the universe offer me and I enjoy the wonders of life. I feel blessed because I have found my spiritual path that helps me find my own true love, free from sufferings and give me peace and happiness. And I love the land that I am living in. Ultimately I am very happy right here and now.
It is gratifying for me to do what I am doing now – helping people find true love and have peace and happiness through mindfulness training and coaching. I have found my own true love and happiness and I aspire to share my experience and help people have true love and happiness too. It is a dream come true for me. To most people who have a regular job, they find my way of living scary. To them, to be self-employed is unstable and hard work. To me, it is about freedom and creativity. It is more important for me to fulfill my potential, to do what I really want to do and enjoy doing it. I have never worked for any one in the past; I have always been my own boss. I am a leader, I am a visionary; I initiate; I create; I am an artist; I am an entrepreneur; I am an adventurer. Things are not easy but my life is very rich. Yes, it was true that I have had a great deal of difficulties for a long time, particularly for past two years when I embarked on a journey which turned out to be the most challenging one in my life. But I am coming out of it and I am becoming stronger than ever before. That difficult time has provided another new ground for my true happiness now – just like in the Buddhist teaching, “if there is no mud, there is no lotus.”
Another reason why I cannot take up your offer my friend, is that I no longer want to live in Vietnam. I have outgrown from the place where I was born and although I love it dearly and all of my family and friends are still there, sadly it is not the right place for me to live any more. It is a developing country and therefore there are lots of opportunities to make money. A lot of our friends have become very rich with many properties and cars, and have gained high positions in society. But I am not interested in wealth, fame or power. I am interested in my creativity, my health, my spiritual development and my contribution to society. Vietnam does not provide the right environment for a free spirit and artist like me to flourish. In the past I always geared my work to our motherland in order to serve her and be close to her. But it has painfully proved to be so hard for me to do it successfully without to be part of the corrupt system. Look at what has happened to Bat Nha recently when 400 monks and nuns were persecuted. The event of Bat Nha highlights that Vietnam still have a long way to go in term of human rights and democracy. Britain is now my home and I am particularly very happy living in Brighton. I love this land and its people. It is full of energy, creativity and spirit. From here I am able to reach out further afield to help a lot of people… I have not lost my patriotic spirit and love for our motherland. However, I believe we are all interconnected and I feel this planet is my home, not just Vietnam. I want to dedicate myself to serve all human beings and the world, not just a race or a country. My love is infinite and it has no boundary.
To that end, I send you lots of love and light and thank you again for your kindness. I feel blessed for having such a good friend.