A Talk Given and Translated by Lai Yushan on November 6, 2004 in the Buddha Hall
at the Conclusion of the Guanyin Recitation Session at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
I came to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) for the first time in July 2002 to attend the 3-day Chan session. In October of the same year, I came to participate in the Guanyin Session. Time flies and this is my seventh time attending the Guanyin Session.
Personally, my interest has always been in Chan. I never expected to develop such a deep affinity with Guanyin’s Dharma. The first time I recited the Universal Door Chapter in October, 2002, tears welled up in my eyes when we recited the verses. I kept shedding tears, and as it reached the climax, tears rolled down almost uncontrollably when we chanted one of the Bodhisattva’s twelve great vows which states that Guanyin Bodhisattva builds a Dharma-boat, sails it on the sea of suffering, and saves all sentient beings. That was the second time I visited CTTB.
I was still not familiar with the people here and felt uncomfortable and embarrassed to be so tearful. On the second day, I prepared two napkins—one for the morning, and another for the afternoon. I did the same for all subsequent Dharma sessions.
No matter how well-prepared I was, I would always be suddenly deeply touched during the recitation, whether I was reciting the Bodhisattva’s holy name, sitting or circumambulating in the Buddha Hall, or seeing or hearing others reciting, or even seeing mothers who took their children to participate in the sessions. All of these touched me every time, unexpectedly. Also whenever I came for the Guanyin session, I had the opportunity to listen to others share their stories.
For the past two years, I have received a lot of invisible yet evident help from the Bodhisattva.
Between 2000 and 2002, I worked in Hong Kong. My parents were just retiring. We had owned a retail business in Malaysia, and for thirty to forty years my parents worked six days a week, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. They worked hard to provide for their children. When they retired, I did some financial investments on their behalf, and also bought a comfortable new car for them. But, after the “911 incident” in 2001, my company laid off some of its staff and I lost my job and all my investments in the turbulent time of the economy.
As I still had to make payments on the car, I really ran into a difficult time. However, strangely enough, every time the installment was due, my investment gains and the money showed up. Even last week as I was worrying about how to pay the installment, my sister wrote saying that a check came from my investment, which was sufficient for this month’s installment.
Today, in the Buddha Hall I saw two mothers, each carrying a child while reciting Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name. A young American lady was carrying a baby of less than one year old. In the mother’s arms, the baby looked so calm and secure. In my eyes, the baby had put his entire life and his entire soul into the good hands of the mother.
I related this story because at the moment I shed tears, I felt as if I were a long-lost child waking up who suddenly found himself in the arms of his mother. Although neither the mom nor the son said a single word, it was evident that the mother accepted her child wholeheartedly and unconditionally.
I have been through many ups and downs in the life. I always felt like a lost boat and now finally I have found a safe harbor to steer into. I sincerely wish that everyone who recites Guanyin Bodhisattva’s holy name, like myself will also find their way home.