Story told by sister Zhang from China,
Recorded by Taipei, Formosa News Team (Originally in Chinese)
From her early childhood, sister Zhang liked to worship Buddha’s statue. After her parents passed away, she wanted to understand the secret of life and death, and sincerely recited the sutra of Earth Store Bodhisattva, which includes a vow to save beings from hell. As a result, she often saw many ghosts at night who wanted to receive benefits. She continued to sincerely recite the sutra of Earth Store Bodhisattva, and shared the merits she gained from reciting the sutra with the ghosts. She often saw the ghosts come to thank her in her dreams. However, she still could not find the answer to life and death, and the way to get liberation.
Because she felt empty inside, she adopted a Chihuahua dog. She loved the dog very much, letting him sleep next to her. Unfortunately, the dog passed away three and half years later. The dog had been eating vegan food with her. When she cremated him, there were blue relics in the ash, which she did not expect at all. This incident further convinced her that spiritual practice and being vegan are the ultimate goals of a human life.
She felt very sad because she could not find an enlightened Master. When she went to Jiuhua Mountain — a sacred mountain in Chinese Buddhism –for a pilgrimage, she got to know a monk who hoped to take her as a disciple. But after some consideration and thinking about the issue, she decided to go home to continue to feed the homeless cats because she felt it was more important to develop her loving quality in this way.
While she was doing her work feeding the homeless cats, she got to know a very loving sister who practices the Quan Yin Method and was also feeding the homeless cats. This sister often talked to her about Supreme Master Ching Hai’s teaching. Sister Zhang very much wanted to know Master because she had been looking for an enlightened Master. She was very happy and excited after learning Master’s teaching, and started practicing the Convenient Method meditation of the Quan Yin Method once she got home. During the mediation, Master took her to very high realms, and she was very grateful and satisfied. She was convinced that Master is a living enlightened Master, and believed that the Quan Yin Method is the real Tao that can help people become liberated in one lifetime. She meditated and enjoyed the inner bliss from high realms every day.
She suggested to her husband that they buy a bigger house with more rooms so that she could have a meditation room where she could concentrate on practicing meditation. Her husband bought the house as she suggested. She was very happy, and they moved into the new house.
When she was in a deep sleep one night, she saw a couple (the husband looked like a gentleman and the wife looked very noble) smiling at her and telling her, “We drive in the front and you follow us.” But after following them for a while, the car in the front suddenly disappeared and she found that she had fallen into a deep valley. Some initiates in the valley told her, “We fell into this valley because we became greedy.” She thought to herself, “I have been too greedy. I felt satisfied with practicing just the Convenient Method. Instead of longing for initiation, I longed for a big house. That’s why I fell to this realm.” Therefore, she decided to get initiated.
To get initiated, sister Zhang stayed at her relative’s home when she traveled abroad in the spring of that year. Finally, sister Zhang’s wish came true and she got initiated. After receiving initiation, her cousin told her that April 3 was the date of Jesus’ crucifixion, and she wanted to take her to a church. On the way to the church, sister Zhang saw Jesus standing outside the car window. She was not sure whether what she saw was real or not. She massaged her eyes and looked through the car window again. It really was Jesus Christ. She could not understand why this happened to her, thinking, “I liked Buddha and worshipped Buddha from childhood. Why did not I see Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva or Shakyamuni Buddha, but instead I saw Jesus Christ?”
In her dreams that night, she saw herself on a small boat. Someone helped her paddle the boat to go to a small island. She turned around to look at the island. The shape of the island was very clear, and the whole island was full of bright light. She thought this must be a place where Bodhisattva and Buddha lived, and told herself that she should remember this place.
On her flight back to China, she saw an island on the map provided by the airline with the exact shape as the bright one in her dream. When she looked at the island carefully, it turned out to be Aulac (Vietnam). She felt very touched inside, thinking, “Aulac is the homeland of Supreme Master Ching Hai. Aulac is shining with benevolent light because of the blessing from a living enlightened Master!” Sister Zhang is very grateful to Master and to Bodhisattva’s guidance, which made it possible for her to find a living enlightened Master, and to get liberated in one lifetime now.