Deepest gratitude to the Greatly Merciful, Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva
Deepest gratitude to all Dharma Protectors
Deepest gratitude to Master Jun Hong Lu
Deepest gratitude to all present here today.
My name is Shen Yao Ming.
On 18 Feb this year, my wife and I were very fortunate to make it to the phenomenal Lingshan Dharma Convention in the Singapore National Stadium.
To be frank, attending the Dharma Convention was not my plan. My initial intention was to send my wife to the venue, take a look and decide later whether to stay on, if it turned out to be interesting or leave if it turned out to be boring. When we arrived there, we were shocked to see so many people in red and so many people holding a red little booklet performing recitation with a counter on their hands.
When we got the ticket and entered into the stadium, we saw even more bizarre scenarios. Many people were holding up photographs and waving it in the air. I asked my wife: “what is this all about?” (of course my wife was as clueless as I was). I then decided to stay on to find out more. At this moment, Master Lu arrived. We saw all the participants stood up and waved at him and Master Lu also waved back. Out of respect and courtesy, I also waved at Master Lu. Then I took a glance at my wife. I saw her eyes were red and watery. I asked myself again “what is this all about?”.
Next, Master Lu began to deliver his Buddhism discourse. He made the profound Buddhism teachings, sounded so simple to allow even a person like me to understand. My first impression of Master Lu was, he is a very lively and humorous person. This trait resonates with me as I think I have a great sense of humour and I can be funny too! Because of this resemblance, I was completely attracted to Master Lu and his teachings. I was engrossed in his talk that I didn’t even attend to my child who was misbehaving right beside me!
After the Dharma event, I was sold. I decided to support my wife in practicing this Dharma Door. My wife started recitation that very night ! I, on the other hand, did not wish to start recitation, maybe because some degree of skepticism still existed in me and also because I was lazy. I was grateful to my wife who performed daily recitation for me. She was so dedicated to her recitation that even though blisters developed in her mouth, she continued on. She managed to solve many of her health issues, for example, her cervical vertebra (neck area). She suffered from regular pain, and had a very thick hump on her cervical spine. After more than 10 Little Houses, the thick hump had flattened and she was free from pain. This is truly incredible!
My wife’s health condition continued to improve. Her body regained a lot of strength. She used to wear slippers at home as she could not take the coldness from the marble floor that resulted in a lot of pain on her feet. As for now, she couldn’t even remember where her slippers are as she doesn’t need to wear it anymore! This is unbelievable!!! With these improvements that she experienced, she encouraged me to perform recitation as well, and I eventually did.
When I first started reciting the Great Compassion Mantra (Dabeizhou), you cannot imagine how difficult it was for me. Every time I recite, I would become very sleepy, almost knocked-out. Each time, upon completion of my recitation, I would immediately lie flat on the floor and fall deep asleep (probably 20 ~ 30 min at least). I was even too tired to walk to my bed. When I woke up, I would take a smoke and brushed my teeth before continuing my recitation. It had become like a work flow for me: perform recitation > sleep > smoke > brush teeth > recitation. 2 weeks later, my recitation became smoother. I felt a sense of peace in me, and warm energy started flowing in my head. It was a very comfortable feeling indeed.
A few days later, my wife told me that she wanted to practise full vegetarianism. I look at her in disbelief as I know very well she loved spare ribs and spring onion too much to be a full vegetarian! I challenged her by saying if she could really become full vegetarian, I would quit smoking. We then started to practise vegetarianism for 1 full month with great success!
About 1 month later in March 2017, she told me that wanted to go to the Guan Yin Tang to make a vow to practise full vegetarianism. I accompanied her there that day. As for me, I quietly made a pledge to Guan Yin Bodhisattva that I would quit smoking by end of May 2017.
I had been smoking for more than 10 years, each day I needed about 1 ~ 2 pack of cigarettes. To quit smoking was a great challenge for me. During the “quitting process”, I controlled the number of sticks per day. For a start I limit myself to 1 pack for 2 ~ 3 days, then 1 pack for 1 week and so on. The entire quitting process was unbearable. When the urge to smoke arised, I would feel anxious and a sense of emptiness washed over me. I couldn’t focus on anything at all! Whenever I saw someone smoking, I would go over for just 1 or 2 puffs of their 2nd hand smoke.
Later, I got an idea how to curb the urge whenever it arise that is by reading Master Lu’s book “Buddhism In Plain Terms” (Bai Hua Fo Fa). Whenever, I was engrossed in reading this book, I would forget about the urge to smoke. I also seeked the protection and blessing from Bodhisattva to allow me to quit this habit successfully. During this period of time I frequently smell the scent of sandalwood lingering around me. My wife told me that it was a sign that Bodhisattva was around to bless me. I successfully quitted smoking even before the end of May 2017. I managed to do it by the end of April!
Besides smoking, I also used to drink. My wife told me that Buddhist cultivators should stay away from alcohol. Over time, I didn’t have any urge to drink anymore. I believe it was the blessing from Bodhisattva that made this possible. My wife then told me when she recited Heart Sutra for me, where she prayed to Bodhisattva to help me overcome my addiction to alcohol and cigarette.
As a result of all this, I saved a lot of money! I no longer need to spend money on cigarette, alcohol or on toothpaste. When I was a smoker, I needed to brush my teeth every time before I perform recitation, which means I needed to do that many times each day. When I started to practise full vegetarianism, through quitting smoking and drinking, I had a totally different experience when I perform recitation. I could feel the energy from my recitation had increased manifold.
This has come to the end of my sharing. I would like to conclude by telling Buddhist friends here today who are still addicted to either smoking or drinking, as long as you are determined and dare to make a vow to Bodhisattva, you will definitely receive the blessings to allow you to quit successfully.
Should my sharing today is improper in anyway, I would like to seek the forgiveness of Guan Yin Bodhisattva and all Dharma Protectors.
Thank you everyone.< Testimony Sharing < 同修分享