Zen Buddhism is non-theistic, so its emphasis is on realizing our Buddha Nature, the nature of the self.  Therefore, all of Zen's rituals point to the oneness of the self and the ten thousand things.  Zen liturgy is upaya,- skillful means.  Like meditation and all the areas of zen training, it functions as a way of uncovering the truth which is the life of each one of us.

Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of reality.  Buddhist practices like meditation, are means of changing yourself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom.  The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path; a path which ultimately culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood.  An enlightened being sees the nature of reality absolutely clearly, just as it is, and lives fully and naturally in accordance with that vision.  This is the goal of the Buddhist spiritual life, representing the end of suffering for anyone who attains it.

Because Buddhism does not include the idea of worshipping a creator god, some people do not see it as a religion in the Western sense.  The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical:  nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible.  So, Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, caste, sexuality, or gender.  It teaches practical methods which enable people to realise and use its teachings in order to transform their experience, and instead of being a victim or blaming, to be fully responsible for their lives.



  • Upasakas and Upasikas:  If you have taken precepts, wear your practice robe. 

  • Wear loose, clean clothing, something that is comfortable and allows you to stretch.

  • Sweat pants and shirt are fine; shorts and tank tops - NO!

  •  Avoid bright colours. Shirts with logos and writing can be distracting to a quiet, peaceful atmosphere.  

  •  Wear socks in the meditation room all year round. Warm socks are a good idea in the winter, as you will be asked to remove your shoes at the door.  

  •  Perfume and jewellery are not worn in the meditation room!


Recitation of the 3 Refuges, 5 Precepts  will take place on the Thursday closest to the Full Moon, before Members' Sitting, unless otherwise noted*. If you have taken Refuge and the 5 Precepts, in any tradition, please join us on the following dates, in 2019.

December 12 ** IMPORTANT - See note below

7:30 p.m.

** Please email by December 8 whether or not you will be attending.

*  When the evening is cancelled for the group, recitation of the 3 refuges and 5 precepts are performed on your own.


Registration is required for all programmes, except Sunday morning sesshins. Please email to the address indicated in the programme outline on this site, with the following information.

  1. Register by emailing sistertinhquang (at) yahoo (dot) ca. (one registration per Contact).
  2. Full Name (Dharma name if you have taken Refuge)
  3. Address, including postal code
  4. Day & Evening telephone numbers
  5. Email address
  6. The programme in which you are interested in Subject Line.

Space is limited ... register early! Registrations must be received no later than 5 days before the intended programme.

Your registration will be confirmed by email.




*Dana, or generosity, is a lovely tradition in Buddhism that allows students the chance to convey their appreciation for Buddhist teachings by assisting the Sangha. A gift of Dana comes from our heart and is suitable to the circumstances. Each gift is valued and every practitioner appreciated.

Your Dana helps a lot. All Dana is suggested only. There is no wish to deprive anyone of the opportunity to attend a workshop or other sessions because of financial inability.  Place Dana in an envelope and hand it directly to the teacher.  An alternative is to bring a non-perishable food item.



The Last Sunday of every month.  2019 dates are:

October 27
November 24
December 29

10:00 a.m.

Zen Meditation 
Zen Talk 
by Su Co Tinh Quang


Toward the end of his life, the Buddha took his disciples to a quiet pond for instruction. As they had done so many times before, the Buddha’s followers sat in a small circle around him, and waited for the teaching.
But this time the Buddha had no words. He reached into the muck and pulled up a lotus flower. And he held it silently before them, its roots dripping mud and water.

The disciples were greatly confused. Buddha quietly displayed the lotus to each of them. In turn, the disciples did their best to expound upon the meaning of the flower: what it symbollized, and how it fit into the body of Buddha’s teaching.

When at last the Buddha came to his follower Mahakasyapa, the disciple suddenly understood. He smiled and began to laugh. Buddha handed the lotus to Mahakasyapa and began to speak.

“What can be said I have said to you,” smiled the Buddha, “and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa.”
Mahakashyapa became Buddha’s successor from that day forward.

The Flower Sutra is a sutra in the Zen (or Chan) tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. It's earliest versions date from the 11th century. Zen Buddhism stresses wordless insight more than most other types of Buddhism. This sutra exemplifies that very well.
In many versions of this sutra the Buddha doesn't walk around, he merely holds up the Lotus, roots and all, to a group of disciples. Most disciples are confused.

Mahakashyapa smiles.

To Zen Buddhists this sutra shows the origins of the wordless teachings of Zen - its history started with the Buddha himself.


Bodhi Day (Buddha's Enlightenment Day)! 

Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Bodhi Day is a holiday which falls on December 8th and celebrates the day in which Siddhartha Gautama sat underneath the Bodhi tree and attained enlightenment. This one defining moment would become the central foundation upon which Buddhism has been built upon for the last 2,500 years. It is a day on which followers can renew their dedication to Buddhism; reaffirm themselves to enlightenment, compassion, and kindness to other living creatures; and also understand the relevance of this religion as it applies to the modern world.

Bodhi Day can be celebrated in a number of different ways. Often, Buddhist homes will have ficus religiousa tree that they decorate with beads and multi-colored lights – much in the same way that Christians decorate their Christmas trees. They will also put on reflective ornaments that represent the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Some people will spend the day meditating on the life of Buddha.

Here, at the Hermitage, we will have a 2 hour sitting, followed by our traditional rice pudding and tea.

Please register that you are coming by email - sistertinhquang (at) yahoo.ca, BY DECEMBER 5 (preferably sooner - thanks).

CHAKRA WORKSHOPS: Body, Mind, and Spirit


Three workshops using gentle yoga, meditation, and creativity to guide you to an understanding of the Chakras and their affect on your life.  The requirements for the workshops are a reasonable level of fitness (gentle yoga) and an open mind and heart.

The three workshops will be 3 hours long.  Saturday, August 17, 24, and 31. from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Suggested Dana is $100 for three workshops.  
Little Heron Zen Hermitage Members:  $90.

Location is at the Little Heron Zen Hermitage.

IMPORTANT!!  Space is limited.  Registration required by Monday, August 12, 2019.  Once class is full, or beyond that date, registrations will not be accepted.



Welcome to our Dharma School!  

Classes are held the first and last Sundays of every month.

Chua Huong Dam Temple and Little Heron Zen Hermitage offers Dharma School for children from ages 6 to 18.  Our classes begin on April 1 and have a few interruptions for holidays. Teaching is for age-appropriate Dharma School class for Buddhist instruction, dana projects (“kindness projects”), and meditation.

Classes are taught by Su Co Thich Nu Tinh Quang, of Little Heron Zen Hermitage.  Each Sunday, the one hour classes begin at 2:30 p.m. and are open to members or non-members of the Temples.  If you are new to the temple and would like information concerning the classes, please contact Su Co Thich Nu Tinh Quang’s email:  sistertinhquang (at) yahoo.ca

Cancellations:  In the case of inclement weather or any other unforeseen event, Dharma School teachers may independently determine that based on where in the area they live, it's best to stay home. If this is the case, they will contact the family of their students to the best of their ability. Parents are asked to let Su Co know if their child will be absent.

Chua Huong Dam Temple
208 Brucedale Ave E, Hamilton, ON L9A 3M8
Phone:  905-387-5905



Maintenance Volunteer(s) needed for the following:

  1. Install deadbolts and doorknobs on two doors
  2. Snow shovelling (in season) - Snow blower available.
  3. Lawn mowing (in season)
  4. Repairing walkways (various needs)

Little Heron Zen Hermitage always welcomes individuals who are interested in pursuing the study of Zen Buddhism, as well as those who would like to contribute to the Hermitage as volunteers.




2019 Dates:
October 20
November 17
December 22

10 a.m. (doors open at 9:40 a.m.)

The intention of these sessions is to push your practice a little further by sitting longer.  They are also useful in bringing a greater focus on inner discipline.  You can leave at any time, as long as you do so quietly so as not to disturb those still meditating.  The whole of this session will be conducted in complete silence, except for Homage to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, chugpi, and bell.  

The format is:

  • Homage to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
  • 2 sitting meditations of 20 & 40 minutes, separated by a 5 minute walking meditation (kinh h├ánh)
  • After the second sitting, the bell will be rung twice to indicate that you can leave quietly.
Please arrive early enough to allow for parking and settling in to sit at least 10 minutes before meditation has started, which begins at 10:00 a.m. sharp.  Enter quietly, as people will already have begun meditation when they arrive.  The door is opened at 9:40 a.m. and locked at 10:00 a.m. so as not to disturb those who are meditating.


Image result for buddhist gratitude prayer

2019 dates are:

October 6
October 27
November 3
November 10
December 1
December 8 - CANCELLED (See Enlightenment Day)
December 15

December 1, 2019 - DHARMA TALK:  


10 a.m. (doors open at 9:40 a.m.)

This session is to bring a more formal element to your practice.  The format is one 15 minute meditation, followed by a Dharma Service.  The Service includes incense offering, chanting of Great Compassion Dharani, the Six Paramitas, The Mahaprajnaparamita Hrdaya Sutra, and recitation of the Vow of the Bodhisattva.   After chanting there will be a Dharma Talk by Thich Nu Tinh Quang.

Please arrive early enough to allow for parking and settling in to sit, as the short meditation begins at 10:00 a.m. sharpEnter quietly, as people will already have begun meditation when they arrive.  The door is opened at 9:40 a.m. and locked between 10:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. so as not to disturb those who are meditating.

Everyone is welcome.  (Registration is not required)



Kindness and compassion are the way of the Bodhisattva. Our objective is to provide sanitary products, toiletries, socks, gloves, winter head covering, and undergarments for those living on the streets.

(Youtube video from Bustle)

We are asking individuals to fill a backpack with the following items, to be distributed through HHH or Hamilton Food Share.

Tampons/Pads, cups, Period panties, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, lotion, cleansing wipes, hair products, menstrual cramp relievers (Advil, Aleve) packaged underwear, gently used bras, heavy socks, dental floss, vaseline, chapstick and deodorant. Also brushes, purses, stockings, hair ties, shampoo/conditioner.  Toques, scarves, warm blankets, sleeping bags, winter boots, & winter coats would be greatly appreciated.

Please do not include food items or candies.

Once your package is complete, please drop it off at the Hermitage at 1 p.m., on Sunday, December 8, 2019.   THEY ARE BEING PICKED UP BY HELPING HAMILTON'S HOMELESS, AT 1 p.m.

Your help is greatly appreciated.



Verses on the Faith Mind by The 3rd Zen Patriarch, Seng-ts'an

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect like vast space when nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness.
Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance.
Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.
Do not remain in the dualistic state -- avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when such a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.
When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
Things are objects because of the subject (mind); the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited; even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefits can be derived from distinctions and separations?
If you wish to move in the One Way do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise man strives to no goals but the foolish man fetters himself.
There is one Dharma, not many; distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes.
Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams or flowers in air: foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong: such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.
If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence.
To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached.
No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.
Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.
For the unified mind in accord with the Way all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind's power.
Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination are of no value.
In this world of suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To come directly into harmony with this reality just simply say when doubt arises, 'Not two.'
In this 'not two' nothing is separate, nothing is excluded.
No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth.
And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space; in it a single thought is ten thousand years.
Emptiness here, Emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small; no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen.
So too with Being and Non-Being.
Don't waste time with doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this.
One thing, all things: move among and intermingle, without distinction.
To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with trusting mind.
The Way is beyond language, for in it there is
no yesterday,
no tomorrow,
no today.



108 Bows
Before bowing, I prepare the proper mindset:
- Bowing is one way to purify myself.
- Through bowing, I learn how to humble myself and how to have a healthy body and mind.
- I bow to realize that others' lives are just as valuable as mine.
- I bow to get rid of my selfishness.
- I bow because it is the desire of my true self.
- I bow for all living things, and for peace in the universe.
1. I bow to wonder where I came from and where I am and where I am going.
2. I bow to appreciate my parents for giving birth to me.
3. I bow to think about who I am.
4. I bow to find my true self.
5. I bow to always appreciate my body and spirit.
6. I bow for the well-being of my body and spirit.
7. I bow to think about my true desires.
8. I bow to find myself and to learn how to control myself.
9. I bow to appreciate the life I live today.
10. I bow to give thanks for being alive.
11. I bow to think about how much I love myself.
12. I bow to be able to always love my family.
13. I bow to feel happiness and peace of mind through love.
14. I bow to look for happiness only through love.
15. I bow to know that unchangeable love is flowing through the universe.
16. I bow to the teacher who has shown me the right way.
17. I bow to feel that love originates inside me.
18. I bow to reflect that my teacher's lessons are inside me.
19. I bow to feel that all living things, and the universe, are inside me.
20. I bow to remember that my ancestors and gods are inside me.
21. I bow to ask for forgiveness from the people I have hurt, because it hurts the whole universe.
22. I bow to take care of myself and not to do bad things.
23. I bow to rid myself of arrogance.
24. I bow to rid myself of false humility, even if I am in bad circumstances.
25. I bow to call attention to the good in others, but not the bad.
26. I bow to keep others' secrets.
27. I bow to rid myself of hatred of others.
28. I bow to rid myself of anger against others.
29. I bow to not repeat anything I have not heard.
30. I bow to not repeat anything I have not seen.
31. I bow to always be ready, but not to expect things to be easy.
32. I bow to avoid expecting obedience from others.
33. I bow to avoid expecting difficulty in my life.
34. I bow to make the best of each moment in my life.
35. I bow to live a righteous life.
36. I bow to repay even the smallest debt of gratitude.
37. I bow to not put my own needs over the needs of others.
38. I bow to not be stingy to others.
39. I bow to not harm others in order to get ahead.
40. I bow to try not to obtain valuable things with little effort.
41. I bow to have the power to control my desires.
42. I bow to reflect that life is more valuable than anything else.
43. I bow to know that suffering comes from an attached mind.
44. I bow to avoid making foolish mistakes out of ignorance.
45. I bow to try to attain deep wisdom.
46. I bow to learn to be nice to people, even if I have negative feelings toward them.
47. I bow to avoid clinging to the strong in order to hurt those who are weaker than me.
48. I bow to be honest with myself, and also to avoid flattering others.
49. I bow to be true and honest with myself above all others.
50. I bow to know that happiness, unhappiness, and desire are all within my mind.

51.  I bow to know that happiness does not come from others, it comes from me.
52. I bow to realize the value of living a smooth, peaceful life.
53. I bow to avoid looking back at the past, and to not worry about the future.
54. I bow to own possessions, but not to be controlled by them.
55. I bow to know that I can find peace by being patient.
56. I bow to know that having a repentant mind is the best mind.
57. I bow to find freedom through wisdom.
58. I bow to control my mind, not to be controlled by it.
59. I bow to be diligent in my efforts to improve myself.
60. I bow to be thankful for the hard times I have had, because they have made me strong.
61. I bow to keep my original pure mind, even when time passes.
62. I bow to pray with a thankful mind for everything.
63. I bow to be thankful that I can find myself in silence.
64. I bow to reflect on the value of living a pure, honest life.
65. I bow for the people who are working in bad conditions.
66. I bow for the people who are starving, poor, and living hard lives.
67. I bow for the people who work to provide me with healthy food.
68. I bow to have a generous mind, even if I don't have enough for myself.
69. I bow for the precious lives of my children, who I have brought into the world.
70. I bow for my partner, who became one with me through love.
71. I bow for all disabled people.
72. I bow for friends who have been beside me, sharing my laughter and tears.
73. I bow for moderation, even when I have enough to waste.
74. I bow for a humble mind.
75. I bow for humility, so that I can always put others first.
76. I bow to realize that nature is being destroyed.
77. I bow to realize that all lives are interconnected.
78. I bow for all the lives destroyed by the greed of humanity.
79. I bow for all the ecosystems that are recovering after being hurt by humanity.
80. I bow to listen to the sounds of life that are all around me.
81. I bow to realize that my life is the movement of my soul.
82. I bow to realize that the object of love and longing is life.
83. I bow to feel my soul being purified when I hear the sound of a clean, clear stream.
84. I bow to give thanks for being able to hear and enjoy the beautiful songs of birds.
85. I bow to be refreshed by the feeling of a cool breeze.
86. I bow to be thankful as I breathe in fresh air.
87. I bow to be thankful for the sight of beautiful wildflowers that are always present.
88. I bow to give thanks for the mountains and landscapes that speak to me through wind and snow.
89. I bow to the Earth, which feeds all living things.
90. I bow to the sky, which gives life to all living things.
91. I bow for my own peace.
92. I bow to hope for peace in everything around me.
93. I bow for the peace of my neighbor.
94. I bow for peace within countries that have been separated for no reason.
95. I bow for peace between countries arguing for political reasons.
96. I bow for peace and harmony among all religions.
97. I bow to hope for peace in all dead and living things.
98. I bow to hope for peace between human beings and nature.
99. I bow for a mind that is enlightened and peaceful
100. I bow for harmony between the poor and the rich.
101. I bow for harmony between the sick and the healthy.
102. I bow for harmony between those who have learned and those who have not.
103. I bow for those who have fallen into darkness.
104. I bow to accept all of the things I have done.
105. I bow to be thankful for all of the people who love me and take care of me.
106. I bow to be thankful for all of the good and beautiful things in my life.
107. I bow to be thankful for my life and to reflect on the lives that are yet to be.
108. I bow for myself, realizing that my own precious life is like the universe.