Ten years ago, my fifth-grade son suddenly
announced to me, "I have made a vow
to Guanyin Bodhisattva that I will be a vegetarian on the
first and fifteenth of the month."
Stunned, I replied, "But I don't know how to cook
vegetarian food!" Out of deep affection for my son, I
replied, "Mom will eat vegetarian
food with you." His father maintained that vegetarians do
not get enough nutrition and aren't
strong enough to do work. Besides, Protestants
and Catholics don't require vegetarianism; why does
Why should one be vegetarian? It appealed
to me very much, but I didn't
understand the rationale. Since I had no Buddhist friends, I
asked the owner of a vegetarian
restaurant, who introduced me to the Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distribution Society (DRBBDS) in Taipei and
encouraged me to join as a member.
One day we received a book from DRBBDS in the mail. My husband casually opened it and found the answers to
all our questions there in the book.
He then declared, We are all going to take refuge.
When the Venerable Master came to Taiwan
in 1993, our whole family took
refuge. Afterwards we went often to practice at DRBBDS. When
I first started learning the
Shurangama Mantra, it took me fifty minutes to recite it once through. Gradually my recitation became more
fluent. Reciting the mantra filled me with the joy of
Dharma, and I naturally memorized it. Only now I do understand the tremendous power and meritorious
virtue of the Shurangama Mantra.
My son Sam soon wanted very much to
enroll in school and study Buddhism at the City of Ten
Thousand Buddhas. He prayed fervently to the Venerable Master and finally got his visa. He and his
sister Grace both went to the City in
1995. My daughter graduated from Developing Virtue Girls
School last year and is now in
college. My son will graduate from the Boys School this year.
Having heard the instructional talks
given by the Venerable Master and
other Dharma Masters over the years, I have come to
understand the Buddhadharma better.
DRBBDS is just like home to me; I feel very peaceful and happy there. When the Master passed into
stillness, I went to the City of Ten
Thousand Buddhas to work as a volunteer, returning to Taiwan
only after the Dharma assembly was
over. I am grateful to the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, and the Venerable Master for bringing
me to the Buddhadharma and helping me
to understand the importance of not creating more offenses.
It is only through diligent practice
that we can repay the Buddha's kindness.