Venerable Master, Dharma Masters, and fellow cultivators:
My name is Eileen Hu. I'm from Monterey, California. That's about 125 miles south of San Francisco. This is my first time participating in a Gwan Yin Recitation Session. However, I was here this winter participating the Chan Session and I felt that I didn't stay long enough.
I firmly believe that everybody who participates in this recitation will get some type of response. Whether good, bad or indifferent depends on the person, their efforts and their karma. I was surprised I had a response on the first day. Unfortunately, it was not a good response.
While reading the Universal Chapter, it states that Gwan Yin Bodhisattva will give people a precious jewel. I thought, "Wow! I really need a new job, a better paying job. My current job does not pay enough and I also have credit card debts." I was scolded, " I am just being greedy. That was my own fault, how come I spent the money when I didn't have it? I shouldn't use the credit card if I don't have money."
On the second day, I had another response. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good one either. I thought I better not think of worldly things. I should think about something a little bit more pure. I can only sit in the half lotus, so I thought, "Wouldn't is be nice if I could sit in full lotus?" My legs hurt a lot from practicing the Three Steps and One Bow, which I had never done before. I didn't think that cement could feel soft, but after bowing on the gravel road, the cement walkway felt very soft. In addition, I don't like to sit in half lotus. My legs hurt from the Three Steps and One Bow and from sitting in half lotus. I thought, "Wouldn't it be nice if Guanyin Bodhisattva could take a little bit of his sweet dew water and sprinkle it on my knees? Then I would be very comfortable." I didn't get a response.
Then I had an idle thought, "Why don't I be like the Monkey King, Sun Wukong, and go to Potola Mountain and take a dip in Guanyin's pool of sweet dew water?" I was scolded again, "I need patience. I need to practice in order to be able to sit in full lotus."
Now I'm afraid of having responses. First I was scolded for being greedy, then I was scolded for being impatient. After listening to the Venerable Master's tape, when he talked about how Guanyin Bodhisattva is in everybody's heart, I tried to meditate on that topic. And that brought to mind a story I've heard from an American inspirational speaker named Earl Nightingale. It's called, "Acres of Diamonds." The story goes like this:
There was once a poor farmer in South Africa who heard that people were finding diamonds all over the place. He had been farming all his life and was still very poor. So he sold his land and went out looking for diamonds. He searched for his entire life, and he died broke and penniless. He did not find the diamonds and he did not have his little piece of land. The new farmer who bought his land was happily tilling the farm. In the creek at the back of the farm, he found a big, pretty- colored rock, and he put it on his mantelpiece.
One day, a visitor came by. He was very shocked to see the colored stone on the mantelpiece. He asked the farmer, "Do you know what this is?" The farmer said, "It's a pretty rock. I found it in the stream at the back of my farm. There is a lot more in the stream but they are much smaller." The visitor told him, "That is the biggest diamond I've ever seen in my life." The farmer said, "Well, this doesn't look like a diamond to me." The guest replied, "That's because it's not polished yet. It's a diamond in a rough."
When the Venerable Master said that each one of us has Guanyin Bodhisattva in our hearts, I believe that each of us has a diamond in our hearts. Some people's are polished and some are still in the rock. My diamond is still rough, but I'm very lucky because in this Guanyin Session I found that I have a diamond, a diamond in the rough within my heart. It's going to take years of diligent cultivation to polish that diamond before I can offer and share it with humanity. Amitabha.