y name is Wan Xinsheng, and I am fifty-eight years old. I have always worked in a hospital.
In July 1989, I was diagnosed as having diabetes. In June 1990, I was diagnosed as having liver disease. In September 1991, the liver disease grew worse. A medical check-up revealed that I had liver cirrhosis and abdominal dropsy at an early stage. In June 1993, the liver disease and diabetes became serious, abdominal dropsy occurred for the second time, and I was constantly running a fever. My temperature sometimes reached as high as 40.3 degrees Celsius [approx. 104.5 F] and never dropped below 37 [approx. 98.6 F] or 38 [approx. 100.4 F]. This condition lasted for over a month. Although my condition improved slightly after over a year of hospitalization, the indices could be maintained only with medication. At that time, many friends were very concerned about my health. My wife and children were also pretty worried. They found the most famous doctors in the country for me. I took several hundred prescriptions of Chinese herb medicine and had hundreds of intravenous transfusions and close to one hundred shots of high protein. I spent over sixty thousand RMB (equivalent to over US$7,000) but did not see much improvement and only managed to get the situation under control.
In early 1993, a Mr. Wang gave me a book about Qi Gong. I practiced off and on for a period of time according to the book but did not persist. The book talks about the mind, thoughts, and images such as lotus seats, temples, and Buddhas; and also about matters like sitting, lying down, standing, and reciting the Buddha’s name. Later, a Ms. Bai introduced a Mr. Chen from Manchuria to us. They took us to the Great Compassion Chan Monastery in Tianjin, where we bowed to the Buddhas, acquired some Buddhist Sutras and statues of Earth Store Bodhisattva and Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and had an initiation ceremony performed on the statues. After returning home, since we wanted to understand the principles, we began reading the Sutras, looking up unfamiliar terms in the dictionary. It was quite difficult and we did not know where to start. Even so, we have never quit reading the Sutras.
On January 1, 1994, through Ms. Meng and Ms. Qu and their husbands, we met Mr. Yang and his daughter, Miss Yang. Miss Yang first summed up my personality in a few sentences. I was thoroughly impressed, because every one of her words was accurate. There was not a single redundant word. Then she talked about my health. She said that I had liver disease and diabetes, that my kidneys were not very good, and that there were two small tumors on my liver. She explained that all these illnesses were effects. What were the causes? She said that in the past I had killed living beings and eaten green turtles, eels, crabs, prawns, pigeons, and snakes. She also said that I had once shot a small bird’s wing with a gun held in my left hand, and that the bird had later died. I was totally dumbstruck. How could she know everything about my illnesses, the beings I had killed, and even about the bird I had shot with my left hand? It was amazing.
Just when I was half-believing and half-dubious, Mr. Yang explained how they had practiced according to the Dharma talks of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. He said, “Master Hsuan Hua taught us to observe the five precepts and ten good deeds, to be a good person and do wholesome things, to repent and recognize our own faults from deep within our hearts every day, to firmly resolve never to transgress the five precepts, and to change and reform ourselves.” His words inspired me greatly. I felt that the principles Master Hsuan Hua talked about were very true, profound, and practical. I thought: “If we want to be a good person, we should simply follow the Master’s teaching!” Mr. Yang saw that I was quite sincere, so he taught me how to recite the Buddha’s name and how to repent, and also helped me to send those living beings I had killed away from my body to rebirth. My whole body suddenly felt very relaxed. It seemed that my illnesses were cured. Mr. Yang then gently patted my body all over. It felt as if a heavy, thick, and ragged cotton-padded coat that I had worn for many years were being stripped from my body. My body gradually warmed up and the heat slowly moved downward. I felt light and relaxed. It was truly the feeling of “the doctor arrives and all illnesses are cured.”
Afterward, Ms. Meng brought over some books, such as Records of the Life of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, News from True Cultivators, and Introduction to Meditation, as well as a handwritten Great Compassion Mantra. We also went to the Great Compassion Chan Monastery a few times by ourselves to acquire copies of the Great Compassion Mantra, the Shurangama Mantra, the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua’s Talks on Dharma, and the Shurangama Sutra and the Sutra on the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva with the Master’s explanation.
Since then, we have persisted in meditating, repenting, reciting the Buddha’s name and the Great Compassion Mantra, and studying the Sutras on a daily basis. In the beginning, my legs would hurt and grow numb. I could sit for only some ten minutes. Later on, I slowly became used to it and my sitting time increased from some ten minutes to twenty, thirty, forty, fifty minutes, and then to an hour. During this period, I experienced occasional drowsiness but it would soon pass. After three or four months, my body began to tremble during meditation. Some time after that, when I meditated my body would feel warm, and I would perspire so profusely that it was like taking a bath. This situation continued for two to three months. During this period, one evening two to three days after Mr. Yang had gone to the United States, my wife told me that when Mr. Yang met the Venerable Master, he would certainly report my situation to him. What happened? When I meditated the next morning, the Master appeared in front of me and bid me to study Buddhism well. That was the first time I had a vision during meditation. That vision encouraged me greatly and strengthened my faith and will to study Buddhism.
Later, those beings that I had killed appeared in front of me during my meditation. There were snakes, porcupines, green turtles, frogs, lizards, and eels. They all crouched on the table and refused to leave. I confessed my faults, apologized, and bowed to them, and also recited the Buddha’s name for them. Then I saw them leave in satisfaction, and I was also happy.
Once a vision of a temple and a person appeared to me during meditation. The person was a monk holding a whisk in his hand. He led me toward the temple several times, but we never managed to go inside. On another occasion, while in meditation I was led by a monk to see Maitreya Bodhisattva. Maitreya Bodhisattva brought me to a great monastery where I saw Guanshiyin Bodhisattva. I immediately knelt on the ground and bowed to Guanshiyin Bodhisattva. Maitreya Bodhisattva went to sit beside Guanshiyin Bodhisattva. Then he grabbed me by the shoulders, lifted me up, and set me on his lap. I said, “I am a grown man; how can I sit on your lap?” He said, “In my eyes you are still a child, no matter how old you are.” All of a sudden I became a child again. Another time, when I was in meditation, I followed Maitreya Bodhisattva to a faraway place where there were mountains and temples. The place was huge. Inside the temple, there were many Buddhas. When I was bowing, it suddenly brightened up. I looked up and saw a glowing ball of fire. Later, when I read the Master’s biography, I learned that the fireball was the universally shining Buddha-light. When I saw a photograph of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas that Mr. Yang brought back with him, I was extremely happy. Who would have known that the huge place with mountains and temples was the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas?
A few days later, in my meditation, I saw many cockroaches on my body. I recited the Buddha’s name while picking them off my body. Some of the cockroaches left and some came back. Just when I was feeling helpless, Maitreya Bodhisattva showed up. He plucked the cockroaches off my body with his hand. After that, the rash on my body subsided, and my skin no longer itched. Another time, during meditation, Maitreya Bodhisattva very gently stroked my liver with his hand and dusted the filth off my liver. He said, “It will gradually get better.” Later he also checked my pancreas and found that it generated very little insulin: only one drop in a long period of time. He said, “The tube which directs insulin is blocked, so there is not enough insulin.” Then he used a tiny pin to clear out the blockage and also stroked the pancreas gently a couple of times with his hand. Insulin then shot out in the thickness of a large needle. He said that would be enough. Later, he also took me to a pond for a bath, washing the filth and sickness from my body. He also gave me a change of clothes. From that time on, my body started getting better every day. When I stood next to a healthy person, one could not tell that I had been seriously ill.
Some time later, I went to the hospital for a checkup. The doctors were very surprised because I should have gotten worse or at best my condition should have stabilized. But my situation was totally different. Many indices indicated that my health had recovered to the level of a normal person. For example: before, even with transfusions of high protein, my protein index could only be maintained at 35 or 36, but never exceeded 38. Now it has reached 40 or 41 without any protein transfusion. Some other indices have not reached the normal level but all have shown signs of improvement. Some patients asked me what method I used to cure my illness. I said, “I am walking on the path of a new life.”
After about ten months of meditating, repenting, and studying the Sutras, my understanding of Buddhism has deepened. Based on the shallow principles that I have realized, I feel that Buddhism can benefit a nation and its people, as well as purify the society. If people in this world can practice the teachings of Buddhism, this world will be free of wars, robberies, theft, and frauds, and so on. The world will be in peace, and we will be able to lead happy lives. My other thought is that the issues that Buddhism discusses are neither imagination nor superstition, but profound science. If you can honestly do what Buddhism tells us to do, you will be able to expel the demon of sickness from your body and attain unexpected results. That is why some people who suffered from terminal illness are able to survive and become more healthy every day. My personal experience certifies to this principle.
Written on October 28, 1994