I love to read the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua’s
Instructional Talks, because everything he said has great significance. After reading his instructions, I realized that life is short and that I should not waste my lifetime not cultivating. Every morning I get up early and bow to the Shurangama Mantra. I make a prostration to each line. I feel it is essential to bow. If I don’t work hard, my inherent wisdom will not come forth. If we wish to bring forth our inherent wisdom, then we must apply effort. I sit in meditation at night. In the beginning, folding my legs was so painful, but I told myself to bear the pain because one must endure a little suffering in studying Buddhism.
However, my eyes have cataracts. When I sat in meditation, my eyelids wouldn’t close. Since my eyes had to stay open, the light kept me from being able to contemplate. I went to Guanyin Bodhisattva and said, “This disciple has an eye problem. My eyelids cannot close and I have not been able to meditate.” Who would have guessed that after I said that, the minute I sat down, a light shone upon me and my eyelids naturally closed? Rays of light radiated upon me once again, and when I opened my eyes, I saw that they came from Guanyin Bodhisattva. The Bodhisattva was bestowing his compassionate blessings! Gradually my eyes improved, and now they are completely well.
I get up at six o’clock every morning. After I drink some water, I start to bow to Amitabha Buddha. Then I bow for half an hour to the Shurangama Mantra. Following that, I sit in meditation for the duration of two incense sticks, until it is ten o’clock. I suffered from rheumatism and other diseases. After I practiced full prostrations with my entire body to the ground, all of those diseases went away. It is incredible! I was so ignorant, for I studied sutras without understanding them. Now when I read sutras with a calm mind, I understand them naturally. During the Ten Thousand Buddhas Repentance at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, every time I bowed down, the next Buddha’s name would pop up in my mind. I didn’t understand why this amazing thing happened. If we are sincere, we will certainly experience responses.
I don’t think of anything else, except that I am good for nothing and must cultivate quickly.
Coming to the temple is like coming home. We are old and must quickly recite the Buddha’s name. Gold Buddha Monastery is our genuine home. We must cultivate hard, or else we will end up being left out all the time. We must diligently bow and cultivate so as to penetrate the truth. When we study Buddhism with sincerity, we will have responses. I have so many responses from Guanyin Bodhisattva to talk about. Next time I will tell more.
Fellow cultivators! Everything the Venerable Master Hua said is absolutely true! He taught us that cultivation means not to have false thoughts. I used to wonder how false thoughts could be smashed. I realize now that if we honestly cultivate everyday, false thoughts will cease. The afflictions accumulated from our thoughts cover us like a hat. We can take off that hat of afflictions that weighs down upon our heads. My daughter’s last stage breast cancer didn’t bother me. Old or young, we will all go. It doesn’t matter if we depart earlier. All of us should apply more effort in studying Buddhism. We should not wander outside; our genuine home is right here!