One morning in my dream, as I was washing my hair, I heard the Venerable Master calling outside on my doorstep, “She who wants to repent, come out!” I rushed out and noticed that the Venerable Master was accompanied by a young Bhikshu. I said, “Venerable Master, I want to repent!” The Master said, “Follow me!” I followed him. We came to the Venerable Master’s room at CTTB. It was a very simple room with a twin-size bed and a small tea table. He sat down by the wall, and I knelt down. As I was about to start my confession, he said: “No need to talk.” I was confused.
The third time was after I finished my Morning Recitation and had gone back to sleep. I heard someone calling, “Don’t sleep. Your Master is lecturing on the Sutra now. Get up.” I rushed to the Buddha Hall and saw that Venerable Master actually lecturing in the Hall. Since then, whenever I get a chance, I listen to the tapes of Master’s Dharma talks or read his books. I refrained from reading other books, novels, or watching entertainment shows on TV.
In 1995, I started to regularly recite the
Vajra (Diamond) Sutra. It used to take me two days to finish the Sutra. In time, I became quite familiar with this Sutra. I was even able to memorize along with the Master when he was lecturing in the tapes. Every time I recited, I got the impression that I have read the Sutra before—as soon as I read the beginning, I knew what followed.
The paramita [perfection] of patience is a virtue I gained through reading the
Diamond Sutra. One day, a friend, with whom I had a misunderstanding, called me on the phone to vent her anger. I was quite upset, but with the
paramita of patience in mind, I held back my anger. That same night, I dreamt of the Venerable Master. He said, “Here, take this pair of eyeglasses” Indeed they were very nice ones with marble trim on the sides. “Master, this pair of eyeglasses is beautiful, but it is a different prescription. He said, “Just wear them.” What was the reason to wear them? I think that the Venerable Master wanted me to have a “Selective Eye” in making friends.
Another time, I tried to convince my friends to read the Dharma talks. I brought them some of the Venerable Master’s poster-size pictures for them to make offerings to. I told them, “Don’t worry, it’s not necessary to offer water.” On the same night, I dreamt that many other laymen and myself were bowing in a pilgrimage. When we sat down to take a break, the Venerable Master said to me, “Bring me a cup of water.” This is the fifth time I dreamed of the Master. I filled a clean cup with water and offered it to the Master the next morning.
Around 1990-1991, I became vegetarian. My company offered lunches and dinners to all employees. One day, after I finished reading “The Cycle of the Animal Realm,” I told my colleagues, “No need to call me when you eat dinner. I am not eating meat anymore.” Since that day, I have not had any meat, and it has been over ten years.
Speaking of not consuming meat, what else did I dream of? My husband liked poultry. I came to CTTB, and as I was cleaning his lunch box, I saw the Master come by. Being well-aware that meat is not allowed in the City, I was embarrassed and reported to the Master, “Master, he really likes chicken.” The Master said, “If he likes to eat meat, just let me know.” Then I woke up, and I vividly remembered what was in the dream. The Master was very kind and did not express any displeasure about the matter, nor did he criticize me. The next day, my husband wanted pork chops and bought them back from a store. I went to the altar and put my palms together saying in front of the Master’s picture: “He wants to have meat.” Then I went to prepare the meat. Two times later, my husband told me, “I don’t want to eat this type of meat anymore!”
It was when I lived in Fresno that I started to bow to Buddhas as well as look for a job. Whenever I went to look for a job, I found one. I came to a nursing home. Without submitting any recommendations, I was hired. “Treat every man like your father; treat every woman like your mother.” This is the teaching of the Master. I cared for these elderly men and women as if they were my parents. I even volunteered to manicure them and make sure they were warm. Since they did not have any close relatives nearby, they were very happy to see me every day I worked there.
I used to have a maid clean my own bathrooms. The nursing home had a bathroom between every two bedrooms. I had to clean about a dozen of these bathrooms a day. While I was cleaning, I recalled that: “When you enjoy blessings, you use up your blessings; when you endure suffering, you put an end to suffering.” With that in mind, I felt at peace while cleaning the bathrooms—it gave me a chance to end my suffering.
Due to my husband’s job relocation, we moved to Florida. When he was at work, I did my personal cultivation at home. One day after I finished reciting the Great Compassion Mantra, all of a sudden I felt that I ought to look for a job. I went to look for one, and I found one as soon as I went out. It was that strange. I told people that I could not handle dishes or plates containing meat, but could do all other miscellaneous jobs, such cashier, order-taker, waitress, or receptionist, and they hired me.
I was introduced to work at Wal-Mart. With my educational background and my low proficiency in English, how could that be possible? It really was because Avalokiteshvara Boddhisattva and friends helped me. Perhaps the Venerable Master saw that I was a hardworking person as well. Every day at work, I did not chat with people. As I dusted and brushed the merchandise and lined them up neatly on the shelf, I said “Amitabha” every time hoping that the customers would like it. One day, I was called to have a conversation with my manager. “You have been here for three months, and you have done an excellent job.” There were TV cameras monitoring the employees, he knew who treated customers the best.
Later we moved to San Diego. I had an argument with my husband over whether to purchase or rent a house. His concern was job stability. I thought it through later and dropped the argument. That time, I also dreamt of Venerable Master. In the dream, we were riding on clouds looking for property. He pointed at a hill and said, “The owner of the property did not know how to make use of the land.” I saw a piece of land behind the house. A young Chinese girl opened the door and Venerable Master went in; I followed behind him. The Venerable Master lit the incense, then bowed. And I woke up. Coincidentally, the next day my husband said, “Let’s go look at houses.” We checked out a few, and none fit our requirements. Then we finally came to the hill that appeared in my dream. I immediately said to my husband, “The Venerable Master already picked this out for us. We have been here, and the landscape is just wonderful”. The owner really did not know how to make use of the land, as it was just open land. He even cut down two big trees. I realized afterwards that this was the property of a laywoman whom I had referred for a volunteer job at CTTB. The young Chinese girl who opened the door in that dream was her daughter. We knew each other from Fresno, and conincidentally we met again!
Perhaps there are those who don’t like me talking so much about dreams. However, these have been my actual experiences. I believe that a Bodhisattva has the ability to teach and transform beings in dreams.