Keys to Buddhism (Chìa Khóa Học Phật)
This book was written for people who are beginning their study of Buddhism. Although the first steps may seem minor or insignificant, they are important. If overlooked, it may be hard to keep up with the following steps. If the beginner does not properly understand the spirit of Buddhism, the path of their practice may go astray. Those who have the responsibility of guiding beginners cannot underestimate the value of this task. A strong foundation is essential in leading others to the proper path of practice.
Because I want to show beginners what is correct and incorrect practices so that they will not make mistakes, I have dared to point out some faults of Buddhism in Vietnam as I see them. I very much want to weed out the superstition that has been incorporated into some parts of Buddhism here; like wiping off dirt to show the true face of the Buddha underneath. By doing so, my intention is not to reopen ugly scars1, but rather to promote a Buddhist practice that is more in line with our current society and can serve us in the future. We are now living in the age of science, an age in which the search for truth has become of utmost importance. Buddhism is also a search for truth. It is a Buddhist teaching that the truth is always present, waiting to be found. There is no need to distort it, promoting misunderstandings. In this spirit, I take full responsibility for what is written in the following pages, even if others may disagree. May we all find and experience the truths of the Buddha's teachings.
Thich Thanh Tu