Life Life

11/02/2018 - 11:03

Meditating on Perfume River 

It was dawn. After a few minutes of preparation, the meditation session started on Long Quang Royal Boat.

 

Meditating on Long Quang Royal Boat

Absorbing heaven's and earth's spirit

As appointed, I joined the New Life Yoga Club for a meditation session on the Perfume River. At 5 a.m. all the club members had been present. After some minutes for conversing and warm-up exercises, at 5:30, we got on the boat; each chose a suitable place. The boat is about 80 m2 wide. We sat in 10 rows, 3-5 people each.

Ms. Ho Thi Nhu Mai, head of the club, directed us to sit in the right position. We started to meditate as soon as the boat began to move.

Why meditating on the Perfume River but not elsewhere? The meditation instructor said: "It is exaggeration if we say we reach the highest level of meditation. We just perform the first stage anyway. It helps people have quiet and relaxing moments to welcome a new day. In meditation, "cosmic energy" is often emphasized. Early morning on the river is when good air gathers and meditation practitioners can absorb it."

It was a foggy day. We looked like characters in a mysterious watercolor painting. How beautiful Hue was! How peaceful! It was even more beautiful to meditate on the river and let water wash away bad thoughts.

According to Mrs. Ta Thi Ngoc Thao the entrepreneur, the owner of Cat Tuong Quan Zen House in Hue, meditation is of many forms. After bustling daily routines, people's spirit and body are like a glass in which water and the residue mixed together. Meditation is when the residue settles down at the bottom. One tries to develop good things and correct bad and harmful things. 

The boat was gently gliding on the water to the southeast. Truong Tien Bridge, Dong Ba Market, Hen Island, Bao Vinh Ancient Town gradually came into sight out of the opaque mist.

The meditation session ended as soon as the boat hit Bao Vinh Ancient Town. The boat returned to Nghinh Luong Pavilion. This period was for relaxing and stretching the muscles with yoga exercises. The organizer of this meditation tour said in the coming time, the boat would go upstream to Kim Long, Thien Mu Pagoda and maybe even further.

After about two hours of meditation on the river, guests were served with vegetarian food on board, a perfect combination for a morning. Guests could behold the river and the surrounding. After that, Hue residents went back home then went to work, we visitors continued with a cup of coffee, experiencing the leisurely life in Hue.

Long Quang Royal Boat carrying meditation practitioners on the Perfume River

Different and unique

The Perfume River has been featured in different ways in many masterpieces but personally I am of the same mind with some people that it is the river of meditation. It is as if the river wanted to linger with someone. Despite love, hate and changes, the river itself mediates. Meditating on the Perfume River thus is like "meditating on the river of meditation."

Before, many tea meditation sessions have been held by Thua Thien - Hue Buddhist Association on the Perfume River, combined with lantern lighting, which attracted hundreds of Buddhist followers. Tour-makers may organize meditation tours on the river for high-class tourists.

According to Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hoa the researcher, the Perfume is a beautiful river; it is even more beautiful if we go upstream. The meeting between the meditation practitioner and the river is interesting. Travel companies should organize other types of meditation at ancient pagodas, enjoying vegetarian food. If done well, meditating on the Perfume River will be a unique experience.

Mrs. Ta Thi Ngoc Thao said that she has traveled to many places in the world but only in Hue is there meditation on the river, and it must be on the Perfume River. Financially speaking, in tourism, what is unique will attract visitors. In Hue, leisure travel is decreasing and spiritual tourism is gradually developing toward the peak. Meditation on the Perfume River is to meet the visitor's demand then.

Thao said there are mindfulness meditation and movement meditation. According to her, it would be even better if tea meditation on the river is added. Everybody sits on the boat, sipping a cup of royal tea and conversing about aesthetics. In the process, people would be inclined to the good.

After the meditation session, the 50 visitors on Long Quang Royal Boat bowed to the river, saying thanks to the Creation who has granted Hue the Perfume River, our source of life.

This is a passage from the writing "Who Named The River?" by Hoang Phu Ngoc Tuong: "Two thousand years ago, a Greek man named Heraclit cried his whole life because rivers ran so fast. At the time, I thought of my river and appreciated its slow running. It is like a slow dance especially for Hue." Meditation practitioners and those who like slow living should come to enjoy the slow dance of the city of Perfume River and Ngu Binh Mount.

Story: Duc Quang, Photos: S.S.M

 

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