In 1988, the Venerable Master was at the Sun Yatsen Hall in Taipei speaking the Dharma. I went with some friends to listen. That was the first time I ever participated in a Buddhist activity, and the first time I heard the "Universal Door Chapter." I have never heard Buddhist chanting before, so I could not join in. The assembly hall was plain, decorated only with a pair of flower baskets on the stage and three sticks of incense lit before the image of Shakyamuni Buddha. The "Universal Door Chapter" resonated all over the hall. As I read the Sutra text being chanted, I suddenly detected a fragrance. I said, "That smells so good." The scent caused me to become solemn and respectful. I searched all over for the source of the aroma, but did not find it.
The next day, my colleague asked me, "Last night you said something about a wonderful smell. How come I didn't smell anything?" Puzzled, I asked the other participants, and no one had smelled it. That night I attended the Dharma lecture again, wondering if the fragrance would be there. The hall was overcrowded again, and I could not get in. I had to stay outside the door and watch live coverage from the monitors. I thought to myself, "Great, today you're stuck outside, let's see if you still can smell the fragrance!" Right then, I smelled the same fragrance as before.
On the third day, I returned to the assembly and saw everyone filling out forms. Out of curiosity I asked, "What are you all filling out?" "The form for taking refuge" was the reply. "What is 'taking refuge'? What are the qualifications?" After the staff answered my questions, I decided to take refuge. That day, there were even more people, and I was pushed to a corner next to the restrooms. I didn't even get to see the Venerable Master on the monitors. When the Dharma Master said, "Say your Dharma name," I again smelled that fragrance from the last two days. The unusual fragrance in those three days drew me to Buddhism.
Since then, I have learned to be a vegetarian, cook vegetarian dishes, read Buddhist books, and perform volunteer work. It was a series of new life experiences. Where there is a will, there is a way. I decided let go of work and joined the Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distribution Society of Taipei to contribute my minute capabilities. Two years later, I left the home life and last year I received the complete precepts in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.