Dear Master Lu
I would appreciate if you can post my below story in your blog or home page, it is about my true life experience as a volunteer during the recent Dharma Talk in Jakarta, Indonesia.
My name is Christine Kho kim Kum
It is my pleasure to share with you today about my experience as a volunteer during the recent Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door Dharma Talk in Jakarta.
This is my 2nd time volunteering in Mater Lu’s Dharma Talk. My first was in Kuala Lumpur in Dec 2015. This time I was assigned to be in the Altar team, there were about 19 volunteers in total. Five were involved in the flower arrangement and I was one of them. Our aim was to help set up the Buddhist centre for our very first new centre in Indonesia and as well as the Dharma Talk’s venue at the Grand Mercure hotel. Our job scopes were: to arrange 30 flower stands, 50 hand bouquets, about 10 table flowers, flowers for the stage and event hall, flowers for altar tables both at hotel and the new Buddhist centre. Even before the trip, there were a lot of preparation work even up to the day before our departure, we were at the nursery ordering flowers. Even though the Dharma Talk was on 21 Feb and the new Buddhist centre opening was on 19 Feb, our group arrived much earlier on 16 Feb, because there were a lot of work has to be done before the actual event begin
The fact that the Buddhist centre and hotel is not within walking distance makes it even tougher for our job, we have to travel back and forth to complete our tasks. During the preparation, we usually finished past midnight and the next morning had to assemble as early as 6 am. We were left with only few hours of sleep. We faced a couple of situations, such as there were a lot of impromptu work to be done at very short notice, insufficient manpower, sarcastic remarks heard, confusion and misunderstandings among team members, etc. And there were a lot of tears and sweat. Therefore, it was rather stressful for everyone. Being a volunteer, we also needed to make sacrifices like missed out many events, such as performing life liberation with Master Lu, the opening ceremony of the new Buddhist centre, and many even missed the dinner hosted by Master Lu because work always comes first.
Before my trip, I was coughing and I prayed to Guan Yin Bodhisattva on Lunar New Year Eve’s at the First Incense Offering ceremony for helping me recover. I felt much better afterwards. Still rather worried, I almost thought about cancelling the trip. But then I thought that the team was already short- handed, I couldn’t back out.
Nevertheless, I felt very blessed. After the Dharma Talk, Master Lu walked past our rows, even though I was not standing in the front rows, he stretched his hand to touch my head and I felt very relieved and all my tiredness was gone. Also on the day of Master Lu’s departure, I was standing like 20 metres behind him. Before he got into his car, he turned his head to look at me and I felt the blessing from him through his eyes. Surprisingly too, my cough has gone despite the insufficient rest and not taking any medication.
What I have learnt from volunteering for Master Lu’s Dharma Talk is this:
Volunteering helps to train your patience and tolerance. It teaches me the importance of working as a team, going with a pure heart, and thinking nothing about gaining benefits nor merits. On one occasion, we were told to form a human shield to protect Master Lu from the huge crowd welcoming him. We had to hold arms in arms with volunteers from China. As some of them were so emotional after seeing Master Lu, they broke away from our arms, and dashed towards Master Lu. Luckily Master’s bodyguards stretched their heavy muscular arms and stopped them from coming forward. Otherwise it would be a disaster.
Upon returning to Singapore, out of frustrations I made some unwholesome speech and thoughts, I must therefore sincerely repent to Guan Yin Bodhisattva and Master Lu.
Last but not least, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin bodhisattva, all the Dharma Protectors, and Master Lu.
Thanks with Metta,
Christine Kho Kim Kum