I’d like to share a true retribution that happened to me before I studied Buddhism. Whenever there was a chance to take people or family members out, I would go to a Japanese restaurant to eat raw caviar. A small dish the size we use for offering a flower could contain lots of caviar. However, at that time I hadn’t learned about the Buddhadharma and knew nothing about cause and effect, so I ate lots of fish eggs.
The first time I had surgery done on my right ear, I didn’t get to see what was taken out. Ten years later, after I had learned Buddhism, little tumors resembling fish eggs were discovered in my ear. The doctor took them out for me to see. They looked just like caviar. I was very scared. I remembered I had eaten so many raw fish eggs earlier. That doctor told me that he dared not give me a second operation because that would affect the nerve to the brain and other major nerves, so over the course of the next two and a half years, I went to see seven doctors.
The seventh one I felt was the right one. But at that time I was very busy volunteering at Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distributing Society, our branch in Taipei, and couldn’t take time out for an operation. I was also very afraid of getting anesthetized, not because of the possible danger to my nerves, but because it always made me vomit. I had had nine surgeries in my life, during which I was always put on the intravenous tube. Finally, I couldn’t postpone the operation because the back of my head started to hurt and I was afraid that if I delayed any longer, my time in this world would be up.
I took leave from the Dharma Masters at the monastery and also from my work, and then a Dharma Masters told me, “Don’t forget to call us when you know the time you’ll have the operation.” One night at the hospital, the nurse came and put me on the intravenous tube and said, “You’ll be the first one to go into the operating room the next morning.” At that time it was already too late to call the monastery, so I waited till 5:00 the next morning and called. The Dharma Masters reminded me to recite Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name non-stop and also told me to call the Amitabha Monastery. I called there at 5:30 a.m. The Dharma Master picked it up on the first ring and also told me to recite Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name. She asked me when I would be recovered from my operation. I told her that from past experiences it’d probably take seven days. She told me that they would come to see me on the eighth day. So I recited Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name non-stop all the way into the operating room. I could even get up on the operating table without someone lifting me. Right at that moment, I had a vision of the Shakyamuni Buddha statue at the monastery right above my head, and I saw the Venerable Master watching me. I saw one Dharma Master holding my left hand and two Dharma Masters holding my right hand. It was as if they were telling me, “Don’t be afraid, we are right next to you; just recite Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name. Keep reciting Guanyin!” The operation went very smoothly. This was a response. It was just like the Venerable Master’s verse:
If every thought is sincere,
then every thought penetrates.
Invisibly, there will be a silent response.
When you reach what appears to be the end of the road,
You’ll travel freely throughout the Dharma Realm.