Sharing My Experience from Respectfully Listening to the Recorded Dharma Discourses Expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III
I was born in a Christian family. Since my childhood, I followed my mother to pray and worship. When I got married more than 20 years ago, my mother-in-law sent us a portrait of the Three Holy Beings in a wooden frame and an audio device which recites the holy name of Namo Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. However, I did not go one step further at that time to enter deeply to recognize and experience Buddhism or Buddha-dharma.
In the 1990s, I remember that qigong was popular everywhere in society at that time. I also followed the trend to learn “Zhong Gong” and a so-and-so gong that was later outlawed by the government. During this period, I was always in the midst of confusion, struggle, painful suffering, and fighting for the right direction. I felt that I was just like a small boat sailing in the ocean that was full of scary tides and waves while pressing dark clouds, gusty winds, heavy rainstorms, thunders, and lightening were all over the sky!. I also felt that I was a helpless little insect struggling in a mud pool without knowing where the way out was!
Due to the mistakes I made, my work assignment changed. From working as a teacher, my job was changed to cleaning toilets, guarding the parking lot of bicycles, and watching the front gate. Furthermore, when my job was taking care of the public restroom, I lived in a shabby house that was rebuilt from a restroom. The wall of the house was made of stacked bricks with many gaps between. I had to use plastic sheets to cover up the gaps. In summer I would get bitten by mosquitoes. When winter came, it was very cold both inside and outside the house. My mind was like trapped on an uninhabited island during that period of about ten years. The only interest I had at that time was trying my hands on calligraphy, reading books, and even learning to carve seals.
People often say that one has to hit a wall to turn the head back. Buddhism advocates repentance and says that one has to learn to awaken. However, if one does not encounter a good master to point out the direction, it can be very difficult to awaken just relying on one’s own cognition! I often had dreams in my sleep at that time. Sometimes, my crying in the dream woke myself up. Still, I did not know how to walk my path in the human world. Once in my dream, someone told me to read Buddhist sutras and gave me a list of names of many scriptures, including The Diamond Sutra, The Infinite Life Sutra, the Lotus Sutra and others as I remember. Later a casual chance caused me to go into a temple. Many sutras and scriptures were on display there. The sutras and scriptures mentioned in my dream turned out to be all here! From then on, I respectfully requested some sutras to read and recite at home.
In August 2014, my husband respectfully requested from Hong Kong a great treasure book entitled Expounding the Absolute Truth through the Heart Sutra. I did not know what book that is at the time, but I just took the book and read it. I read it day and night. At that time I had blister beriberi on my feet and I did not do the right thing to treat it. At first, some spots started to itch and fester. Later the entire foot was itching and festering, dispersing a very strong stinky smell. Also, there were lots of sticky fluid coming out. I used tissues to wipe them off during the day. At night, I had to wrap my foot with a towel. The fluid from the blisters would soak up the towel completely and I had to change the towel twice every night. Though my foot was itching and aching, I kept chanting, “Form is not different from emptiness; emptiness is not different from form; form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.” Perhaps due to the reason of reading this great treasure book, other than having pain and itchiness on my foot, my heart felt bright and wide open, as if having taken mint lozenges. My pores throughout my body were all open. I felt great and refreshed. During this period, when I tried to scratch my itchy foot, two layers of skin would be pulled off, looking like skinning an animal. I thought, “I have to pay for the countless karmic hindrances that I created in the past!” A month later, the foot that had swollen like an eggplant and could not have a shoe to fit on returned to normal. The scars dried and peeled off. Without any shots or meds, my foot gradually healed by itself.
Through multiple twists and turns and suffering setbacks, I am fortunate to be able to learn the true dharma of the Tathagata in my current lifetime. From listening to the recorded dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III to having learned the great dharma from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, my experience is truly like “The supreme profound and wonderful dharma is hard to encounter even in millions of eons. Now that I have listened to and received the great dharma, I vow to understand the true meaning of the Tathagata”!
Since I have learned and practiced the true dharma of the Tathagata, I must cultivate myself earnestly in my current lifetime. Only then can I receive beneficial effects. Cultivation means to cultivate and correct my speech and conduct, to say the Tathagata’s words, carry out the Tathagata’s conduct, and think what the Tathagata thinks. Once one truly has achieved the correspondence of the three karmas, beneficial effects from the dharma will naturally come. Only then can one’s accomplishment and liberation in the current lifetime be ensured. I am grateful to my family members, friends, supervisors, coworkers, and Buddhist brothers and sisters who have stayed next to me on my path in the past. Because of you, I am spurred to advance forward!
May the merit from all dharmas I practice be dedicated to all beings in the dharma realm.
May we all expediently attain perfect good fortune and wisdom in the current lifetime and together we will realize Buddhahood.
Before we realize the complete nirvana, may all disasters and difficulties leave us.
Until we attain the great fruition of Bodhi, may we stay with the holy beings as long as the existence of heaven.
Written by Hua Zong, a Buddhist disciple from Zibo City of Shandong Province in China