I grew up in Hong Kong and attended Catholic schools. I had always wondered why I came to this world. After I grew up, I saw that living beings are greatly differentiated by their wealth and poverty, and thus I felt the complexities of human relations in life, which cannot possibly be satisfactorily explained by the principle of God Only.
Later, I immigrated to Canada and met a Buddhist who often told me about the principles of Buddhism. I was quite interested. However, since my son was still very young, I could not pursue further study of Buddhism. A few years later, I had the opportunity to bring my son to Gold Buddha Monastery to learn Chinese. I liked the pure tranquillity in the monastery. The sounds of the Dharma instruments and the Dharma Masters reciting Sutras left me with unforgettable impressions.
Gradually, I came to understand that Buddhism emphasizes cause and effect. It teaches us about where we came from and where we are going. It has perfect explanations for the universe, life, science, and philosophy. When Emperor Shunzhi left the home-life, he wrote:
Who was I before I was born? Who was I after I was born?
The one who has grown up into a man is "I." Then who is the one who will shut his eyes and slip into darkness?
Reading this verse shed some light on the questions I have had for years.
I used to think that being vegetarian and reciting Sutras were things that old ladies did. However, ever since I read in the Shurangama Sutra,
You owe me my life. I pay you my dues. With such causes and conditions, we are constantly born and die through hundreds and thousands of kalpas. You love my mind, and I adorn your beauty. With such causes and conditions, we are entangled through hundreds and thousands of eons.
I deeply lamented that life is truly so. What the Sutras say is absolutely right! I have to admit with much shame that I am a stupid person with heavy karmic obstacles. I encourage everyone to often recite the Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra and the Earth Treasury Sutra.
What is valued in Buddhism is learning and practice. I hope I can apply the Buddhadharma I have learned in my daily life, to change what is evil and make it wholesome, to reform, and to further influence others to acquaint themselves with the Buddhadharma, thus benefiting themselves and others. The Great Master Yinguang said, "See only the good models; do not look at bad models. Regard all people as Bodhisattvas and oneself as the only ordinary person."