It was between four to five o’clock in the afternoon. There was no light at all in the living room. In response to the visitor’s voice of greeting, the front door was pulled openmaking a squeaking sound. The shadow of a crouching body slowly emerged from the dark. The fingers holding the door edge were dry, thin, and totally red. Since she was living alone, a slice of smile was added to her face as she saw someone she knew came to visit.
It took quite a while for the luminescence light to reach its full illumination. The wall was white, looking a little dusty. A picture of Medicine Buddha was hanging on the wall. As an elderly person, she tried to spare money from all expenses. She did not want to turn the light on or cook anything extra for her meals. However, no matter how she tried to save, the medicine bags on the table were becoming thicker and thicker.
“Are your hands getting better?”
In response, she shakingly reached out and opened her hands. In addition to being dry, thin, and totally red, the skin could be seen to be peeling off layer by layer at a close look. Even the skin-moisturizing ointment thickly applied at the finger knuckles seemed to be unable to prevent the skin layers from peeling off. The irritating pain was part of her life. She had to endure that every day. In her life of living alone, she wanted to spare the washing machine from doing any work and always washed her clothing by herself. The pain would be more severe when her hands were in touch with water!
“Have you been chanting the Buddha’s name?”
She took out an enormous stack of lotus drawings. Each sheet was densely covered with contours of lotus flowers drawn by individual dots, each one of which marking chanting the Buddha’s name once. While in the midst of karmic suffering, she was calling out for the Buddha through chanting the Buddha’s name, expressing the wish of seeking to leave suffering, attain happiness, and be reborn in the Pure Land. She had suffered too much in this lifetime of over 90 years…
“Have you been listening to the recorded audio Dharma Discourses?”
She did so without interruption. Even when she was over 80, she still took the bus by herself to come to my mother’s home to listen to the Dharma. We truly could not stand to see her taking such trouble on the way. My mother tried to have my father give her rides on her way back and forth whenever possible, yet she did not want to incur such expenses for us! Listening to the recorded Dharma Discourse of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is a magnificent experience, but she was hindered by being unable to understand through the accent. When others were talking about hearing the supreme absolute truth and sharing all kinds of praising comments, she just sat quietly to listen. In her mind, she clearly knew that she must follow Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in this lifetime. Only Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have the unlimited holy realization and utmost loving compassion and can receive her and as a result, end her sufferings.
One may get lost on the path of human life, yet faith can enable one to be pure and determined and know the direction. In the midst of the deep sea of karma, it is not easy to reach the shore no matter how one tries to exert the energy and reach out the arms. The experience of learning and practicing the true Dharma imparted by Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III provided her with reliance and enabled her not to get lost. She knew that even after she passed away, she would still be under blessing and protection.
Now, she has passed away. May Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III bestow compassion and fearlessness to her in this horrifying time. I hereby prostrate with utmost sincerity:
Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!