“Chen Song-yuan, you cry so often, you won’t be able to stay there. When your Mom comes, you’ll come back with her for sure.” This was what Huang Fu-mei’s coworkers all said when she was about to take her ten-year-old son from Taiwan to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas for a summer camp in 1994.Those predictions proved to be wrong. Her son, who always cried easily and was very dependent on her, enjoyed life here so much that he continued to study at the Boys School after the summer camp. Even when he went back to Taiwan to visit relatives in 1995, he wanted to return to CTTB the next day. He wasn’t used to his old home anymore. The Venerable Master entered Nirvana at that time, and Upasika Huang, who had never met the Master before, took her son back to CTTB right away to join the Memorial Ceremony. She too gazed upon the Venerable Master for the first and last time in the Wordless Hall.
That same night, she dreamed that the Venerable Master kindly and clearly called her name: “Huang Fumei! Huang Fumei! Huang Fumei!” Waking up, she felt both happy and sad: sad because she had missed the opportunity of drawing near the Master due to her scanty blessings, and happy that even though the Master had entered Nirvana, he had appeared to her in a dream. In her half-sleeping state, it seemed as if the Master was teaching her the wonderful Dharma: “Don’t worry about realizing things late; only be afraid of going astray.”
A Guanyin Recitation Session was in progress when she arrived at CTTB in 1994, and she didn’t let the chance slip away. A certain spot on her right shoulder had been aching for more than ten years. The pain was intense, but there was nothing the doctors could do. During the session, each recitation of “Guanshiyin Pusa” was accompanied by a throbbing ache. By the third day, the pain was so unbearable it was as if ten thousand ants were biting her, and she nearly ran away. But she grit her teeth and endured it, determined not to yield to her karmic obstructions. After the session was over, miraculously, her longtime pain was cured without any medicine, and it never returned.
Upasika Huang has deeply understood the terror of death, when one cannot take anything along except one’s karma. She has also recognized the value of having a human body, which is difficult to obtain, and of hearing the Buddhadharma, which is not easy to hear. After the Venerable Master’s Nirvana, she decided to stay at CTTB to accompany her son and do her spiritual cultivation as well. As she experienced in the Guanyin Session, obstacles are always there, but she is determined not to retreat. [Note: Upasika Huang now works as a volunteer at the vegetarian restaurant and the Girls’ School in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. She participates vigorously in the daily ceremonies.]