efore studying Buddhism, Huang Xueling was a typical rich man’s wife. She was particular about food, drink, clothing, jewelry, and pursuing material enjoyment. In the year when she was thirty-eight, her marriage was floundering. During the same year, the Venerable Master went to visit Malaysia for the first time. She went along with friends to listen to the Master’s Dharma talk. She also summoned up the courage to tell the Master about her misery. The Master taught her to recite the holy name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, and she earnestly followed his instruction. Not long after, she found that she had gradually changed into a more patient, amiable, and generous person. She no longer lost her temper easily. Her change of temperament influenced her husband and they solved the marital crisis peacefully. However, these happy circumstances did not last long: her husband died six years later. Being widowed in the prime of life, she felt as if she had lost her refuge. Therefore, she not only continued to recite the holy name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, but also added the morning and evening recitations, the Great Compassion Mantra, and the “Chapter on Universal Worthy’s Conduct and Vows” to her daily schedule and bowed the Great Compassion Repentance on the first and fifteenth of every lunar month. Through bowing, repenting, and reciting mantras and Sutras, she discovered an inner source of strength.
In 1988, she made a resolve to become vegetarian. A year later, the anemia that had bothered her for many years was gone. She also received many responses from bowing. However, to her the most touching thing about Buddhism is the spirit of equality and of great kindness and great compassion. For example, the Venerable Master’s eighteen great vows have moved her deeply, especially the fourteenth vow, which she recited fluently, “I vow that all living beings who see my face or hear my name will all bring forth the Bodhi mind and quickly accomplish Buddhahood.”
From her past pursuit of luxury and love of social intercourse to her present lifestyle of being vegetarian, bowing to the Buddha, and single-mindedly yearning for rebirth in the Western Pure Land, Huang Xueling’s life has been completely turned around. She says, “Ever since I listened to the Master’s teaching, my view of life has totally changed. Now I know what it is I should take hold of in my life.”