In the Dîghanikàya, Ananda ask the Buddha a question that is at the heart of this work. “Some Buddhist monks, including knowledgeable men, who understand Buddhist doctrine and teachings, or have worth of character, often come to visit you to get advise. In fact, I often ask or discuss with them about your teaching. But, after you have passed into Paranirvana, they won’t come anymore; so with whom I might talk or discuss with? The Buddha answered: “Ananda, you should not be worried, my disciples later on, including Sangha and lay people, will have 4 holy places where they can go to remember my teachings:
THE GARDEN OF LUMBINI – BODHIGAYA – ISIPATANA – KUSINARA
In these 4 holy places, they will be able to pay their respects. It is there, after I have passes into Paranirvana, That Buddhist will be able to know the blessings they can hope to attain as they memorise their experiences in these 4 holy places. Then, after they die, they will be able to reach the highest level of the 33 levels of Saints in Tushita Heaven, prior to Enlightenment
It is in this spirit that we have tried to build Tam Bảo Sơn as a recreation of the 4 sacred places of the historic Buddha. Appropriately, it is here, that we have striven to harmonise the Buddha’s sacred vision, born in the foothills of the world’s tallest mountain-the Himalayas, within these Laurentain foothills, majestic and rolling remnants of the oldest mountain range on Earth.
Especially, the principal Temple gives to the traditional vision of this monastery more peaceful and more useful than everywhere else in North America. According to the teaching of the Buddha, all the Buddhists should have once in their life to pay their respect with 4 holy places of the Buddha.
Our objective is to help promote Buddhism in North America. To this end, our monastery is not only a school for Buddhist monks, but also a convenient place for Buddhist lay people to practice their spiritual life. After 12 long years of work, we have almost finished some of our important projects.
It is here, that the Tam Bảo Sơn has stood solemnly within the natural beauty of this peaceful land where our Buddha statues may reveal their quintessential meanings. An objective that we have consciously striven to craft around the harmony created by the location of the principal Temple.
In fact, Tam Bảo Sơn is the realisation of the Buddha’s teachings. It is a place where all Buddhists, may come, at least once in their lives, to pay respect to the 4 holy places of the Buddha. For us, as a Buddhist community, this is extremely important, as Buddhism is meant for everyone. It is without nation, colour, and is beyond the limits of any single culture. It is in this spirit that Tam Bảo Sơn is being created as an invitation to all!
All the pictures in this book are the fruits collected by the sangha; Buddhist lay people, the société Bouddhique Chánh Pháp, The Union of Vietnamese Buddhist Churches in Canada and other Buddhists communities in Canada between 1988 and 2000.
This Book is now being transferred into as a new website online “State of the Art of The Buddhism” as well, reflects the realization during those twenty years of some of the main projects of the Most Venerable Director Thích Thiện Nghị, founder of the Monastery, whose vision helped guide and drive the successful completion of this important first step in the development of Buddhism in Canada.
It is also, our fervent hope that this book, this website as great Buddhism history as well will help Buddhist scholars learn more about the history of Buddhism in Canada.
We, also, wish to honour all the contributions of all the Sanghas and Buddhist lay people across North America, who helped in the successful completion of this project. All your work is memorialised in the peaceful lands of the Tam Bảo Sơn Monastery.