I came from Taiwan and presently live in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. I dare not say that I am going to speak Dharma to you. However, since I have followed the Master for some time, I do have some thoughts and stories. Let me tell you the story of how my house was sold recently. My house was sold three times within a period of one month, and the sales contract was successfully entered each time. Now let me share this story with you.
Not long ago, the situation in Taiwan was not stable. Before that, there seemed to be certain force pulling me to the City. However, since selling a house is not a small matter, I went through several grave struggles in my mind. Finally, after many meetings, our family decided that if the house were sold, the children and I would go to the City; otherwise, we would continue living as before. At the time there was a serious slump in the Taiwan housing market, and it was further adversely affected by the missile testing conducted by mainland China. Everyone assumed the attitude of waiting; no one dared to buy a house. Many large brokerage firms found their monthly sales was almost nil. It was especially so in Taichung (where I lived), which had the highest vacancy rate on the entire island. My family gave me the okay only because they saw no chance at all that I could sell the house. They just went along to satisfy my wish.
In November last year, when I came home after helping out with the Master’s memorial ceremony, I found a name card on my desk. My son told me it had been left by a person who had come by to see the house. I looked at the card and told my son that this person could be our buyer. My asking price was NT$6,600,000 and he offered NT$6,000,000. I accepted without hesitation. On his part, the buyer thought I had accepted his low bid because I was afraid I could not sell the house. On my part, I was thinking that if this person was sent by the Master, I’d better accept quickly lest any complication might occur. So I took NT$200,000 in down payment. (This was the first buyer whose name is Lee.)
Three days later, my neighbor brought his friend over and said that they had long wanted to buy my house. They hoped to be able to buy it at NT$6,380,000. Before this happened, I had discovered that the first buyer－Mr. Lee－had thought I was naive and had taken advantage of me in the contract. When I went to talk to him, he thought there was nothing I could do since the contract had been signed. He basically let me know that it was my own fault that I didn’t read the contract carefully before signing it. I told him, “I probably will cancel the contract under penalty because of your attitude.” (The penalty was the down payment.)
I lost no time in signing the contract with the second buyer,Mr. Zhuang. After the contract was signed, I said to the Master, “The price the second buyer offered was NT$ 380,000 higher than the first offer. Taking out the NT$200,000 penalty that I have to pay for voiding the first contract and the brokerage fee of NT $20,000, I still come out gaining NT $160,000. If this deal goes through, I will donate the extra NT $160,000.” Thus, the house was sold twice within a three-day period.
However, strange things started to happen. Just when Mr. Zhuang was paying me the down payment, his eldest son rushed in and told him, “Dad, Sister had a car accident and is now being sent to the hospital.” So they left for the hospital in a hurry after they made the NT$200,000 down payment. The next day, I called him early in the morning and asked him how his daughter was doing. He said it was nothing serious－just a minor concussion－and she would be discharged from the hospital in a few days. I felt relieved. I told Mr. Zhuang, “People in Taiwan have a taboo. That is, if an accident occurs to a family member when a house is being bought, it is an inauspicious sign. Do you want to think about it? If you would like to back out of the deal, I will give the down payment back to you.” Mr. Zhuang said, “Nonsense. These are two unrelated matters. I am not a superstitious person. I am buying this house, and that’s it.” Five days later－I remember it was a Thursday, October 8th－it was the anniverary of the Buddha’s entry into Nirvana. Meritorious deeds done that day will generate tens, hundreds, and thousands of times more merit than those done on ordinary days. I wanted to donate the NT $160,000 in the name of his entire family and hope that things would go smoothly for them after they moved into my house.
I called Mr. Zhuang and his father answered the phone. He said, “He is not home.”“Where did he go? ”“He went to the market to kill and sell chickens.” I thought to myself, “Now that did it. I sold the house to a person who kills chickens for a living.” I had not understand before why his daughter had had an accident at the same time he was buying my house, but I did then.
That afternoon, Mr. Zhuang returned my call. Once again, I asked him whether he still wanted to buy the house. He confirmed it and also had someone deliver NT $200,000 to us that evening. So I mailed a check for NT $160,000 as a donation in the name of his family. According to the contract, he was to pay the balance on Sunday evening. I felt uneasy that day, so I stayed at home and recited Shurangama Sutra. At around four o’clock that afternoon, Mr. Zhuang asked someone to call and say that he could not come to make the payment because his eldest son had broken his leg in a car accident and he was on his way to the hospital.
Early the next morning, Mr. Zhuang and his two brothers came together. They said they regretted that they could not buy my house. Two consecutive car accidents forced them to give up the idea of buying my house. They hoped that I would return the NT $200,000. I agreed to do so.
Before leaving, they said, “A person without blessings and virtue cannot live in this house! When you told me your family was Buddhist at the contract signing, I thought to myself: ‘I’m a chicken slaughterer－can I live here?’ It turns out I can’t.” I was really grateful to them－instead of blaming our family, they blamed themselves for being chicken slaughterers.
Now the situation was really bad. On one hand I had to pay the NT $200,000 penalty for breaking the first contract; only the other, not only did I have to return the NT $200,000 down payment, but I had already made a donation of NT $160,000 in his family’s name. I ended up with a total loss of NT $360,000 and the house still remained unsold. I knew it was a test. I told myself that if I had not done anything wrong, someone would come and buy the house.
One evening two weeks later, the wife of the first buyer called and asked whether the house had been sold. I told her something had happened and the sale had fallen through. She laughed and explained that the Earth God at her house had told her that my house was still available and that she should quickly come and buy it. She thought it was impossible so she called to find out. Now she knew what the Earth God told her was true. However, since we could not agree on the price, Mrs. Lee did not buy the house.
The day after Mrs. Lee called, a Dharma friend of mine brought a friend over. Within one hour, the house was sold at NT $6,652,000 and the buyer made the down payment then and there. The house was finally sold for good, and I donated the extra money.
One week later, Mrs. Lee called again, saying she wanted to buy the house. I told her the chance was gone. My friend said, “You are really something. Not only you could sell your house three times within a month in such a slump market, but you managed to sell it at higher price each time.” I said, “It wasn’t me. It was the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.”
There was a coincidence. The street address of the first buyer was 108. Though the sales contract was signed, the deal did not go through. The address of the friend who produced the third buyer was also 108. A strand of Buddhist recitation beads has 108 beads. That was why when I saw the first buyer’s address I remarked that it could be our buyer.
I had a small gift shop selling Buddhist items. The shop was leased by my father some forty years ago. The location was excellent. The day after I sold the house for the third time, the landlord called and hoped to end the lease. I knew it was all arranged by the Master. So I resolutely closed down my little shop and the business I had managed for years.
A Dharma friend from Tongshi said, “I heard that you have sold your house and that the sale went very smoothly. You said the Master had helped you. How did he help you?“ Another Dharma friend who was standing right next to us said, “Do you know how great a resolve she has brought forth?” Well, I do not think it is the matter of bringing forth the resolve. I only know that as soon as I discover that the Master’s Way-places need something, I do my best to help with a sincere heart. I give everything else to the care of the Master. The Master always makes sure things turn out all right. If you can also have this attitude, you will be as full of the joy of Dharma as I am.