April 28:  STAY CALM
May 26:  CLEAR SKY


If you haven't already, you must register for the Sunday morning Zoom sessions, at which time a Link will be sent to you to access the virtual Meditation Room.

If you are interested in attending via ZOOM, please register with me through email (sistertinhquang (@) yahoo.ca)

May you have good health and peace of mind!

Thích nữ Tịnh Quang 



Bodhisattva Precept-Taking Ceremony
Sunday, May 19, 2024
10:00 a.m.

The largest celebration in the Buddhist' Year. On Sunday, May 19, at our 10:00 a.m. service we will celebrate Vesak, Buddha's Birthday with traditional symbolic washing of the baby Buddha and chanting. 

Following the Ceremony, there will be a CEREMONY FOR TAKING REFUGE AND BODHISATTVA PRECEPTS*.  

*Please attend to lend support a new Member of the Dharma family.

Contact Bhikkhuni Tinh Quang for the link to the ZOOM gathering.


Recitation of the 3 Refuges, Precepts will take place on the Tuesday closest to the Full Moon, before Members Sitting.  If you have taken Refuge and the 5 Precepts, in any tradition, please join us on the following dates, in 2024.  It is important that we can all recite these together.

The following are the dates for Taking Refuge and Recitation of the Precepts.

January 23
February 27
March 26
April 23
May 21
June 18
July 23
August 20
September 17
October 15
November 12
December 10

* IMPORTANT - See note below

7:30 p.m.

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



Tuesday evenings at 7:30 


Contact Su Co to acquire the Zoom Link

Important Reminder:  Be seated 10 minutes before the beginning of the Bell Gatha.

A Member is anybody who has taken the Bodhisattva Precepts and/or Five Precepts with Thich Nu Tinh Quang, or in another tradition.  


January 23 - QTV
February 27 - QQ
March 26 - QTT
April 23 - QL
May 21 - QV
June 18 
July 23
August 20
September 17 - QTK
October 15
November 12 - QTV
December 10 - QQ



Maintenance Volunteer(s) needed for the following:

  1. Snow shovelling (in season) - Snow blower available.
  2. Lawn mowing (in season)
  3. Weeding 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.



The Uposatha is a time to intensify one's own meditation and Dharma practice, for instance, meditating an extra session or for a longer time, reading or chanting special Buddhist texts, recollecting or giving in some special way.

 See the 2024 moon phases, below.

For lay practitioners, the Uposatha is a time to intensify one's meditation and Dharma practice.  For example, meditating for an extra session or a longer time, reading or chanting special sutras, eating only vegetarian, and practising Dana.

The Eight Precepts are for upāsakas and upāsikās who wish to practice Buddhism more strictly than through adherence to the five precepts. 
The Buddha gave teachings on how the five precepts are to be practised.
  1. I undertake to abstain from causing harm and taking life (both human and non-human), and to abstain from eating meat.
  2. I undertake to abstain from taking what is not given (for example stealing, displacements that may cause misunderstandings).
  3. I undertake to abstain from sexual activity.
  4. I undertake to abstain from wrong speech: telling lies, deceiving others, manipulating others, using hurtful words.
  5. I undertake to abstain from using intoxicating drinks and drugs, which lead to carelessness.

New MoonFirst QuarterFull MoonThird QuarterDuration
1249      Jan 310:30 pm29d 12h 25m
1250Jan 116:57 amJan 1710:52 pmJan 2512:54 pmFeb 26:18 pm29d 11h 02m
1251Feb 95:59 pmFeb 1610:00 amFeb 247:30 amMar 310:23 am29d 10h 01m
1252Mar 105:00 amMar 1712:10 amMar 253:00 amApr 111:14 pm29d 9h 20m
1253Apr 82:20 pmApr 153:13 pmApr 237:48 pmMay 17:27 am29d 9h 01m
1254May 711:21 pmMay 157:48 amMay 239:53 amMay 301:12 pm29d 9h 16m
1255Jun 68:37 amJun 141:18 amJun 219:07 pmJun 285:53 pm29d 10h 20m
1256Jul 56:57 pmJul 136:48 pmJul 216:17 amJul 2710:51 pm29d 12h 16m
1257Aug 47:13 amAug 1211:18 amAug 192:25 pmAug 265:25 am29d 14h 42m
1258Sep 29:55 pmSep 112:05 amSep 1710:34 pmSep 242:49 pm29d 16h 54m
1259Oct 22:49 pmOct 102:55 pmOct 177:26 amOct 244:03 am29d 17h 58m
1260Nov 18:47 amNov 912:55 amNov 154:28 pmNov 228:27 pm29d 17h 34m
1261Dec 11:21 amDec 810:26 amDec 154:01 amDec 225:18 pm29d 16h 05m
1262Dec 305:26 pm



Chanting meditation is an important aspect of daily Zen practice.  At first you may not understand.  After you chant regularly, you will understand.  Chanting meditation means keeping a not-moving mind and perceiving the sound of your own voice.  Perceiving your voice means perceiving your true self or true nature.  Then you and the sound are never separate, which means that you and the whole universe are never separate.  Thus, to perceive your true nature is to perceive universal substance.  With regular chanting, your centre gets stronger and stronger.  When your centre is strong, you can control your feelings, condition and situation. 
At Little Heron Zen Hermitage we practice together.  At first, people come with strong opinions, many strong likes and dislikes. For many people, chanting is not easy:  there much confused thinking!  However, when we do chanting meditation correctly, perceiving the sound of our own voice and those around us, our minds become clear.  In clear mind, there is no like or dislike, only the sound of the voice.  Ultimately, we learn that chanting is not for our personal pleasure, but to make our direction clear, in order to save all beings from suffering. 

When you are chanting, you must perceive the sound of your voice, and when you do, you and the universe have already become one.  Suffering disappears; true happiness appears.  This is called nirvana.  If you keep nirvana, your mind is clear like space.  Clear like space means clear like a mirror.  Red comes, red. White comes, white.  Someone is happy; I am happy. Someone is sad; I am sad. Someone is hungry; give them food. The name for this is Great Love, Great Compassion, the Great Bodhisattva way.  That also means Great Wisdom.  This is chanting meditation, chanting Zen. 



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!


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.


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.



Practice is about experiencing the truth of who we really are.
Practice is about being with our life as it is, not as we would like it to be.
Practice is about the clash between what we want and what is.
Practice is about the transformation of our unnecessary suffering.
Practice is about attending to, experiencing, wherever we are stuck, wherever we're holding, whatever blocks us from our true nature.
Practice is about turning away from constantly seeking comfort and from trying to avoid pain.
Practice ultimately deals with just one thing: the fear at the base of human existence—the fear that I am not.
Practice is about willingly residing in whatever life presents to us.
Practice is about seeing through our belief systems; so even if they remain, they no longer run us.
Practice is about turning from a self-centered view to a life-centered view.
Practice is about learning to be no one; not giving solidity to any belief system-just being.
Practice is about learning to be happy; but we will never be happy until we truly experience our unhappiness.
Practice is about slowly increasing our awareness of who we are and how we relate to life.
Practice is about moving from a life of drama to a life of no drama.
Practice is always about returning to the true self.
Practice is about formally understanding the paradox that although everything is a mess, all is well.
Practice is about learning to say "Yes" to everything, even when we hate it.
Practice always comes back to just the willingness to be.



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.



You may want to use the following link to guide you through the prostrations.  108 PROSTRATIONS

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.



The way of the Bodhisattva

Thus by the virtue collected
Through all that I have done,
May the pain of every living creature
Be completely cleared away!
May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse,
For the sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed!
May a rain of food and drink descend
To clear away the pain of thirst and hunger,
And during the eon of famine
May I myself change into food and drink

May I become an inexhaustible treasure
For those who are poor and destitute;
May I turn into all things they need
And may these be placed close beside them!

Whether those who encounter me
Conceive a faithful or angry thought,
May that always become the source
For fulfilling all their wishes!

May all who say bad things to me
Or cause me any other harm
And those who mock and insult me
Have the fortune to awaken fully!

May I be a Saviour of those without one
A guide for all travellers on the way;
May I be a bridge, a boat, and a ship
For all who wish to cross the water!

May I be an island for those who seek one,
And a lamp for those desiring light!
May I be a bed for all who wish to rest.

May I be a wishing jewel, a magic vase,
Powerful mantras, and great medicine,
May I be a wish-fulfilling tree,
And a cow of plenty for the world!

Just like space
And the great elements such as earth,
May I always support the life
Of all the countless creatures!

And until they pass away from pain,
May I also be the source of life
For all the realms of varied beings
That reach unto the ends of space!

Just as the previous Sugatas
Conceived the Spirit of Enlightenment,
And just as they successively lived
In the Bodhisattva practices

Likewise for the sake of all that lives
Do I conceive the Spirit of
And likewise shall I too
Successively follow the practices