Shramanera Chin Shing in the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas on the evening of May 2
Two weeks before I returned to bow the Ten Thousand Buddhas Jeweled Repentance, my feet were hurting badly due to my clogged varicose veins. I went to the acupuncturist for treatments about four times a week. The acupuncture was ineffective, however, and the pain never lessened. A Dharma Master told me to stop the useless acupuncture sessions and offered to give me a massage. I felt awkward about a Dharma Master massaging a Shramanerika like myself. However, she insisted twice or thrice, so I finally accepted her enthusiastic help.
As she massaged me, I kept screaming out in pain. Dharma Master Sheng explained, "You have to bear this. With a professional masseuse, you'd have to pay for your pain." In one week's time, she gave me five massage treatments. I returned to the Sagely City on Saturday. Before I returned, however, Dharma Master Sheng told me, "Go and live in the elders' residence. I will have people prepare a wheelchair for you."
When I returned to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and was about to sign in at the administrative office, my heel hurt so intensely that I could not walk. The Dharma Master accompanying me said, "I think you're in trouble. How could you possibly bow for the next three weeks!" I replied, "Rest assured, all those Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the Ten Thousand Buddhas Repentance will bless me so that I can complete my bowing."
When I was about to step into the Buddha Hall Sunday morning in my slippers, a Dharma Master said, "It's best not to wear slippers into the Buddha Hall." I answered, "My heel hurts terribly. I can't stand on it or put on shoes. You see how I am limping. I am going to bow nonetheless. After I am better I won't wear slippers into the hall."
When I was done bowing Monday, the Dharma Master in charge of plaques asked me if I wanted to set up a plaque. I could not respond immediately, so I just shook my head "no." That night, I dreamt that the little bucket where plaques are burned was filled with chicken feet. Plaques could not fit into the bucket, and those chicken feet were burned instead.
I kept thinking about my dream as I bowed to the Buddhas. During the Sutra lecture on Wednesday evening, a Dharma Master said that she used to eat lots of shrimp. This reminded me of how I used to catch fish, shrimps, mussels, etc., when I lived in the countryside. Consequently, I have had many illnesses. With that realization, I went immediately to the donation department to set up a plaque on behalf of the creatures I have killed.
During the morning ceremony the following day, which was the Venerable Master's birthday, the pain in my leg vanished when I completed the nine bows to the Venerable Master. I am much better now and no longer walk like a cripple as I used to during bowing sessions.
I joined the monastic life two years ago. My feet began to hurt about six months after I became a novice. It never occurred to me then that the pain was caused by my heavy karma and that I should write a plaque to save those beings. All the deeds of the past must be accounted for. I finally quit seeing the doctor since so many months' worth of acupuncture treatments proved to be ineffective.
Two weeks of bowing to the ten thousand Buddhas back at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas has been more beneficial than half a year's worth of visits to the doctor. Therefore, I encourage everyone to be vigorous in bowing to the Buddhas. I have been in the United States for close to five years now, yet I have never been able to participate in the Jeweled Repentance Before Ten Thousand Buddhas until now. Fortunately, I realized my tremendous karmic obstacles while bowing and set up a plaque to ease my karma. Therefore, the more I bowed, the happier I became. I have received a great response to my prayers.
I hope international visitors who are here bowing to the ten thousand Buddhas will invite the ten thousand Buddhas back to your own countries to bless your countries with peace.
＊Upasika Guo Bi from Taiwan:
My mother-in-law is ninety-three-years old and is not with us. A week after I arrived the City I called home and my daughter said, "Grandma has a tumor and will need an operation." It was not easy for me to have made it to the City. I wondered whether I should return or not.
Later I prayed to the Venerable Master, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to bless my mother-in-law. I also set up a plaque to help her be at peace. Before the end of the week, I called home again and my daughter said, "Grandma does not need an operation anymore." I was relieved and could concentrated on bowing to the Buddhas.
Every day on my way to my room after the Tranference of Merit, I notice that the sky is so bright and clear, the trees are so fresh and green, and the flowers are so pretty. I am grateful to the Venerable Master for creating such a wonderful place for us to cultivate together.