Thich Dieu-Thien Bio | Interview | Photos | Travel Schedule | Quote of the Week


Our Teacher

Zen Master Thich Dieu-Thien

Zen Master Thich Thong Hoi (click here)

The Teacher at Universal Door Meditation Center Zen Master Thich Dieu-Thien was born and raised in Vietnam and is now living in the United States. She is the founder and the primary teacher at Universal Door Meditation Center in Houston, Texas.
She is a Buddhist nun devoted to teaching the direct path to True Happiness and True Freedom. 
From her early childhood, she had a sense that somehow someway we have unconditional, True Happiness within us, yet she observed that all things around her were conditional and changed all the time. She questioned within herself why life was like that. She was completely consumed with this question, unable to find interest in any other activities around her. She struggled and suffered deeply, longing to find the answer to this enigma, and be truly happy.

From there, she dedicated her life to this quest by learning and practicing countless methods from many different teachers and books of various traditions and cultures. However, nothing resolved the quest.  Consequently, she clearly knew the way to answer her question could not come from outside but must come from within. Nevertheless, she was still unclear about  exactly what, why, how.  Her unyielding question grew ever stronger and forced her to the breaking point, to realize what has often been written and talked about but so rarely experienced... how to live with unconditional True Happiness and why life always changes. In the process of that, she also discovered with certainty what is suffering, the cause, the system, the nature, and the end of suffering, which were deeply connected to her ultimate question. That realization leaves us with only True Happiness and True Freedom.

Through her own direct experience, she introduces students to the goal of waking up in this lifetime, and guides them throughout every step of the journey, without relying on intellect, concepts, books, sutras or other people’s experience.

Everything she teaches aims to the purpose of knowing your problem and discovering more about the system within us that creates and perpetuates it in order to end it and be truly happy. This exploration can be applied constantly in every moment. After you realize the system, there is only our inherent true happiness and true freedom, now completely unblocked, permanently radiating into every moment of our lives. This automatically inspires others to discover it for themselves, and like a ripple effect, transforms lives, one by one.



Thich Dieu-Thien’s travel schedule:

The Zen Master sometimes attends the monthly weekend retreats in Dallas-Fort Worth area at Suoi Tu Meditation Center. Call Universal Door for information, including dates, times and location.

- 2015 -

April 3-6 -- retreat in Southern California, please contact Cô Tịnh Diệu (714-600-8854) for details.

April -- retreats in St. Paul, Minnesota. Please contact the Centerfor details.

May 17-18 -- retreats in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Please contact the Center for details.

June 5 - 12 -- retreats in Montreal and Toronto, Canada. Please contact the Center for details.

July 3-6 -- retreat in Southern California, please contact Cô Tịnh Diệu (714-600-8854) for details.

October 26 - November 4 -- retreats in Victoria and Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Contact Cô Quán Chơn (205-474-0022) for more information.

December 4-6 -- retreat in Southern California, please contact Cô Tịnh Diệu (714-600-8854) for details.


- 2014 -

January -- retreats in Vancouver and Victoria, Canada. Call Universal Door for details.

April and May -- retreats in Vietnam. Please contact Cô Diệu Ngọc (72-826849) for details.

June -- retreats in Vancouver and Victoria, Canada. Please contact Cô Quán Chơn (205-474-0022) and Cô Quán Như (604) 523-2816 for more details.

August 8 - 11 -- retreat in Southern California, please contact Cô Tịnh Diệu (714-600-8854) for details.

September 17 - October 2 -- retreats in British Columbia, Canada and Alaska, U.S. Call the Center for details.

December 22 - January 5, 2015 -- monastic Winter Retreat in Houston and Dallas.

- 2013 -

Summer retreat Vancouver, Canada. Call Universal Door for details.

Teachers at a gathering

The Teacher at park

Inspirational Quotes from Zen Master Thich Dieu-Thien:

"If you hold on to old perceptions, can you make new decisions?"

"You are not the voice in your head. You are what can recognize the voice in your head."

"The Unlimited is already available within, but your limiting beliefs block you from living with it."

"Awake mind is like a mirror, perfectly reflecting back what appears before it. The beliefs we hold remain like pictures imprinted on top of the awake mind. As long as the pictures are still in the mirror, the mirror cannot clearly see or reflect things as they are; the mirror sees and reflects things through the pictures. Therefore, we see things as we are, not as they are. Wake up from those picture and return to awake mind."

"Our thoughts look just like bubbles; they fill up and pop instantly. How can these fragile things make us truly happy?"

"The lotus flower begins in the pond mud,  grows up, and opens perfectly clean on the water’s surface. The mud represents the stress we feel from the system of suffering running in everyday life;  the lotus represents our potential to wake up from that system and be truly happy. Remember: we are not the mud, we are the lotus flower."

"Only when you can tolerate all aspects of yourself can you tolerate others."

“We need to see the difference between the picture of the way we want things to be and the reality of how things really are. To assume that our picture is reality is unrealistic.”

"If we hold on to our viewpoint, whether good or bad, so tightly, it makes us crazy and others around us crazy. The problem is not the viewpoint; the problem is holding onto your viewpoint."