In May 1992, I willfully ran away from home. Just when I could not find a place to go, a strong attraction drew my car to head north for the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. I could not believe it when, without the benefit of any directions, I was able to arrive safely at the City. What was more unbelievable was that when I drove through the mountain gate of the City, my life and those of my whole family completely entered the Buddhist world.
That time, my visit was entirely an accidental attempt to escape from hardship. Therefore, I had no choice but to attend the Sutra recitation and repentance bowing ceremonies. Although I was a total stranger to these activities, I was able to participate with full concentration. At noon the next day, two women Dharma Masters asked me to go to the women's administration office for a talk. The Dharma Masters introduced the six great principles, and they expressed the hope that my whole family could come next time.
Fortunately, I learned to recite the Great Compassion Mantra at the City, and I understood that "To endure suffering is to end suffering; to enjoy blessings is to diminish blessings." Though no one told me that the Great Compassion Mantra was the spiritual mantra of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, I still recited it many times
every day, and I feel that I am no longer afraid or over-anxious.
At the end of June, the International Translation Institute announced a ceremony for taking refuge. Although I didn't know what this meant, I still came on time. For the whole morning, we bowed to the Buddhas and did the ceremony for taking refuge, but I still wasn't very clear about what was going on. However, after I came home, that very night on the dining table, I saw chunks of chopped up chicken bleeding and struggling. Ever since that terrifying scene, I have not had the heart to take a bite of any meat.
In early August, my husband went to the City and stayed for two weeks. His change was a miracle: he stopped eating meat right away, took refuge, and received the precepts.
Afterwards, whenever we face problems and deal with things, there seems always to be an invisible teacher who cuts in at the right time to teach us that the practice of the six great principles—no fighting, no greed, no seeking, no selfishness, no self-benefiting, and no lying—has to be right then and there. Gradually, those matters which once seemed fatally important are now trivialities. The children have benefited most directly and invisibly. Now that the parents are in a harmonious relationship, they are also happy and free of worries. Indeed, now the whole family often goes to the City together. With ever-increasing gratitude for all these responses, I can only humbly bow to the Master again and again.