“My life is really wondrous!” A.E., who was born and grew up in Malaysia, smilingly said. She said that even though she had taken refuge with Dharma Master Bo Yuan thirty some years ago, she didn’t draw near to the Dharma Master and so she did not understand Budddhism or know how to bow. “However, I went around telling other people to study Buddhism, bow to the Buddha, and draw near to the Dharma Master. One layperson left the home life because of my encouragement. Another layperson convinced most of her family members to recite the Buddha’s name and cultivate together,” said A E with a laugh.
A.E. happily tells how she came to draw near to the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association. “In 1992, in the supermarket, I heard someone say that in a big hall in Kuala Lumpur, some Dharma Masters from America were leading a Ten Thousand Buddhas Repentance Session. I went there and the place was packed. Because I rarely bowed, after ten or so days, I started to feel a little dizzy. Then hearing that help was needed in the kitchen, I went to help. Ah! I never thought that the next day’s newspaper would have two pictures: one of me chopping vegetables and another of me sweeping the floor!” After the Ten Thousand Buddhas Repentance, someone told her that Master Hsuan Hua has a monastery in Kuala Lumpur. Since then, A E has developed close ties with Tze Yun Tung (TYT).
When TYT just opened, there weren’t any special Dharma assemblies—just the daily ceremonies. “I thought the morning ceremony was a Dharma assembly and would normally leave the house at 2 a.m. to come,” said A. E. as she thought of how inconceivable it was. She continued, “Dharma Master Heng Tai always encouraged me to be vegetarian, but I couldn’t. I loved to eat chicken. However, Venerable Master Hua encouraged people to uphold the Shurangama Mantra. I recited it for a while and miraculously, I didn’t feel like eating meat anymore!” A. E. still continues to recite the Shurangama Mantra and the
Earth Store Sutra.
“I used to be so annoyed. My husband’s business failed, his salary was low, and so many things were not going right. I felt that my life was plagued with afflictions,” said A E. Since encountering Buddhism, she has made the study of Buddhism her life’s goal. She has tamed her temper and as a result her family peaceful and happy. “It’s good to study Buddhism! It’s good to bow. I laugh everyday! “Although A. E. was a common worker at a metal storage factory in the past, she was not the least bit sloppy in keeping track of their goods. A. E. is a simple, honest, and happy person who for the last ten years has been working in her sister’s factory – reciting and working. And she has influenced several others to study Buddhism. Says she, “My greatest goal is to be a good disciple of the Venerable Master Hua.”
She has retired for over a year now and has more time to study Buddhism. Recently she attended Gold Buddha Monastery’s 20th Anniversary in Canada. As ever, she offered her work selflessly like a Bodhisattva cultivating the Bodhisattva path. “I am willing as long as it’s the Venerable Master Hua’s monastery!”
That day, while distantly gazing at Mt. Golden, a Way-place of Manjushri Bodhistattva, she mentioned, “Every pit in the mountain looks as if there are countless Bodhisattvas sitting there. They’re all traces of where Bodhisattvas cultivate.” She continued excitedly, “I want to vigorously advance – just like the Bodhisattvas!” And so she reflects even more deeply on her expectations in life and sets a goal for her future.