With the Master's personal practice as our example,
we should make an effort to get rid of the trash in our own minds.
I vow to fully take upon myself all sufferings and hardships of all living beings in the Dharma Realm.
Right now I'm like two people. One is still saving living beings everywhere. As for this person who is me, I don't care about him. I won't lift even a finger to help him.
Teacher, teacher, how kind you are, even
to those with whom you have no affinity! How compassionate
you are, regarding everyone as being the same as yourself!
Living beings, living beings－how selfish we are, never realizing all the suffering the Master undergoes for us. Thinking only of ourselves, we throw all our troubles to the Master.
In early 1994 when my younger brother suddenly fell ill and was hospitalized for surgery, I kept praying to the Master during the operation, asking him to save my brother. Afterwards my brother had a smooth recovery and his checkups were normal for the next nine months. However, his family situation prevented him from being able to let go of his attachments. Greed, hatred, and stupidity continued to trouble him, and finally in October a tumor broke out. There had been no sign of it earlier, but his body became yellowish with jaundice, his bile-duct was blocked, and a protrusion grew above his navel. Since the doctor ruled out surgery, we watched as it grew to the size of a "fire dragon fruit" and wondered whether my brother would be able to sustain the trauma in the event that it burst open.
In March 1995 when the Master sent two disciples to Taiwan to transmit the Three Refuges, I took refuge with the Master on behalf of my brother. On June 8 the Master entered the stillness, and that was how I decided to go to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, which I had never visited before. On July 20, three days before I was to leave, I was notified that my brother had been hospitalized to remove water from his lungs. He was unable to eat anything for the next two days. Unfortunately, he passed away by the time I reached the Jiayi train station. Although the tumor was still present, he did not suffer the severe pain typical of those at his advanced stage of illness. The greatest discomfort he experienced were an aching spine and the inability to ingest food two days before his death. Because he died before the day of my trip, I am strongly convinced that he wanted to go with me to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas to attend the Master's Cremation Ceremony.
It would be difficult to describe my feelings during my seven days at the City. In general, I realized the Master's compassion and considerate care were not lessened despite his physical passing. I could feel this deeply in my heart.
It's been almost a year since the Master's passing, and what I have seen and heard in this time has made me aware of his great compassion and my selfishness in thinking that the Master was a Sage and could help my brother. Little did I know that the Master's way of saving people was to take their karmic hindrances upon himself. Every time I think of this, I am filled with regret. I foolishly assumed the Master would always be around to guide us, and I dumped all my garbage on him. With the Master's personal practice as our example, we should make an effort to get rid of our own trash instead of passing it to others. While the Master may take on our karmic retributions, we ourselves must clean out the three poisons of greed, hatred, and stupidity in our own minds.
Teacher! Please compassionately return on the power of your vows to teach us. Your disciple vows to follow you in life after life. Amitabha!