萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea


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Bodhi Mirror


優婆夷.譚思理 -Upasika Lida Tan





I grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution years and came to the United States after graduating from high school. I had barely heard of Buddhism during my years in China since no religion was permitted. I remember one time during my childhood when a very respected friend of my grandmother came to visit. Grandmother suddenly asked the friend what would happen if someone died. Her friend gave a very mysterious look and whispered in Grandmother's ears: "You stay in the nether world for two hundred years and reincarnate back here." It was the first time that I heard about a discussion on death and the nether world. Her tone had such a final ending to it that it scared me. Why? My mind was full of questions but I was too young to be allowed to ask any questions. Nonetheless, my inquiry of life and death had begun. When I was in college in the States, I took biology and philosophy classes on the subject of death and dying hoping to get my long-awaited answer. What I got instead was the biological and psychological process of dying and shallow discussions of popular beliefs and religions. I wasn't satisfied and felt that the real answer was becoming harder to pursue. After graduation, I hardly thought of the subject again. Life was comfortable and full of the promises of the material world.

Just when life seemed to be so comfortable, my husband was suddenly diagnosed with cancer and died a year and half later. During his illness, my need to search for the answer to life and death was ever strong and urgent. Death wasn't someone else's misfortune anymore; its hands were reaching so close to me that I could almost touch them. Then a friend told us about the Venerable Master. Less than two months before my husband died, our family met Shr Fu for the first time. Shr Fu recited a verse and said a few things to my husband. It was a powerful experience. Two months later, my husband died in peace while I was reading Sutra of the Past Vow of Earth-Store Bodhisattva at his bedside.

I have studied a little more about Buddhism since then. Although I can't say that I have found the answer to my question, I believe that I am on the right track. Shr Fu became my guiding light. When I first read Shr Fu's talks, I felt that they were too simple. Gradually, when I picked up the same section that I read before, I would find new meanings and reach new understanding. I started to study some Buddhist Sutras. I knew Shr Fu guided me to them. The world is full of temptations and I know I will be challenged by them. I may struggle and fail. But I am determined to find the ultimate truth. I asked Shr Fu to be my guiding light till I reach it.


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