Practicing Buddhism Enriches My Life; I Am Resolved to Spread the Dharma for the Rest of My Life
Sharing of personal stories at Master Lu’s Public Talk in North America, 2014
Thanks to the great merciful and great compassionate Guanyin Bodhisattva!
Thanks to the great merciful and great compassionate Master Lu!
Thanks to all Dharma protectors!
My name is ChunLing Zhang, I am very grateful to be here today to share with you my month-long journey of practicing GuanYin Cittta Dharma Door.
I grew up in a happy family. My mother, who is selfless and kind, has believed in Bodhisattva for her entire life. In my house we’ve always had a altar set up for my mother to worship Bodhisattva. As the youngest child in my family, I was surrounded by love and care from all my family members. Thanks to GuanYin Budhisattva, I have been blessed with a fortunate life: My family and my career have all been very smooth. But there was something missing in my life.
A little over a month ago, my colleague introduced me to GuanYin Citta Dharma Door and gave me some valuable books: Buddhist Recitation Collection, Introduction to GuanYin Citta Dharma Door, and Buddhism in Plain Terms. I got these amazing books on a Tuesday. The following day I started reading them and that same night I dreamed of Guanyin Bodhisattva! Two days later, I was enchanted by reading the extraordinary totem enquiry cases, and unknowingly it approached midnight (later l learned that I shouldn’t be reading totem enquiries too late at night). I suddenly felt scared while reading, so I hastily took out the Guanyin Budhisattva pendant and held it in my hands. Immediately, I had a feeling of peace running through my hands, and quickly I calmed down and regained my composure.
I started recitations on the fourth day after receiving Master Lu’s books. My daily recitations included 13 times of Great Compassion Mantra, 13 times Heart Sutra, 21 times of Cundi Dharani and one time of Eighty-eight Buddhas Great Repentance. Speaking of Eighty-eight Buddhas Great Repentance, when I first saw this scripture I was a little afraid to recite. This scripture looks difficult because it’s lengthy and hard to pronounce, and I had no idea if I could ever recite it smoothly. Who would have guessed that now among all the scriptures I recite, the one that touches my heart the most is Eighty-eight Buddhas Great Repentance. Every time I recite my eyes well up with tears and my heart is filled with sincere repentance. I pray to GuanYin mother for forgiveness, like a child who has realized her wrongdoings.
There is this nice and pleasant feeling emerging from my inner heart each time I perform recitations. Three or four days later I increased the quantity of my daily recitations to: 27 times of Great Compassion Mantra, 27 times of Heart Sutra, and 3 times of Eighty-eight Buddhas Great Repentance. I wake up every day around 6am with a desire to recite. After quickly washing up, I sit down and begin my daily recitation. My heart becomes peaceful and calm, and is filled with joy. Usually after daily recitations, I will recite one little house (i.e., the combination of four kinds of Buddhist scriptures) before going to work. Day and night, these prayers, like music from heaven, are repeatedly playing in my head in a very pleasant and soft tone. Whether I’m awake or asleep, it feels like the recitations never stop. I am forever grateful because the joy I attain from recitations makes my heart filled with bliss, and often my eyes tear up in gratitude. Finally, I figured out what I really missed from my life, and that is spiritual fulfillment.
About 2 to 3 weeks in, I dreamed of Guanyin Bodhisattva again. She was very tall and giant over my head. A beam of golden light then entered my head, shining through my body. It was amazing.
Guanyin Bodhisattva, like our mother, is very compassionate and merciful. Whenever I get tired from recitations, I’ll stretch my body, hearing the cracking sounds between the discs in my back. Instantly my whole body feels refreshed and relieved. Almost immediately I am radiant with joy, and feel full of energy and power again.
The first weekend after practicing GuanYin Citta Dharma Door, I attended our Buddhist workshop for the first time. The first time I read the chapter from Master Lu’s “Buddhism in Plain Terms,” I was very impressed and felt it’s wonderful and special. While I was holding the book with both hands, I had an overwhelming feeling of reverence. Master Lu’s words of wisdom, every sentence and every single word, like holy water, penetrated deeply into my heart. Since then, reading Buddhism in Plain Terms has thus become one of my greatest spiritual enjoyments every night.
One time while listening to Master Lu’s radio show, I heard him say, “….I am so tired now that I couldn’t keep on talking……we’ve got too few Buddhas and Bodhisattva nowadays…(I hope) all of you become Bodhisattvas in the future.” I couldn’t stop crying when hearing him say this. The first time I watched Master Lu’s video, it was a video of him sitting inside a bus right next to the window, with his hands folded together and his eyes full of tears. He was saying farewell to his followers. I cried very hard. Master Lu is so merciful and compassionate. He gave up everything and dedicated his whole life to saving lost souls. I had an urge to tell him: Dear Master Lu, let me assure you that I will follow your teachings to cultivate myself. I will recite sincerely and respectfully. I will regard Guanyin Bodhisattva as my role model and strive to live like her. I will follow your lead to promote Buddhism and to help others for the rest of my life.
When I wore the red volunteer T-shirt for the first time, promoting Buddhism on the streets by distributing Buddhism materials, I felt joyful and fulfilled. This was a feeling that I have never experienced before.
For so many years I’ve been seeking a master who could show me the best and most efficacious way to cultivate my soul and my nature. These days, I often exclaim how lucky I am to have Master Lu as my spiritual mentor, how fortunate I am to be able to practice the precious GuanYin Citta Dharma Door!
Although it has only been a little over a month since I practiced GuanYin Citta Dharma Door, I feel happy and blessed every day. Like climbing to the top of high mountains, I am surrounded by incredibly beautiful scenery. How I wish my family members and all people will have the chance to appreciate this beautiful scenery by following this Buddhist practice! Like Master Lu once said, “a Buddhist’s heart shall be like an ocean –it accepts all rivers and holds all waters; it shall be connected to the universe.” GuanYin Citta Dharm Door has a high starting point, allowing us to see the true meaning of life and broaden our minds. It helps us become more affable and tolerant. I wish to become a better person and a dedicated Buddhist. Since learning Buddhism, my family noticed my improved mindset and behavior. My relationship with my husband and my daughter has become more harmonious. In particular, each time when I share my thoughts with my mother, I feel a mutual understanding between us. It is the connection between two Buddhist practitioners! It’s a heart-to-heart talk and we feel that we could talk over Buddhism forever and this has never happened before.
It becomes clearer than ever: I realize why I am here in this world and what is my calling—to cultivate my heart and soul, and to promote Buddhism. I have to cultivate myself well first so that I can help other people achieve enlightenment. I want to reach out to my friends and family members, and all the people who have affinity with Buddhism, so that one day they can progress well on the path of practicing Buddhism.
Guanyin Bodhisattva offers her compassion to all beings in this world. She grants us Guanyin Citta Dharma Door. I am determined to become one of the thousand arms and thousand eyes of Guanyin Bodhisattva. I would always follow Master Lu, to cultivate my heart and soul, to discipline my actions, and to promote Buddhism for the rest of my life!
Finally, thanks so much to the Great Merciful and the Great Compassionate GuanYin Citta Bodhisattva, thanks to the Great Merciful and the Great Compassionate Master Lu, thanks to everyone for being here today!
ChunLing Zhang, New York