Karma literally means action. It refers to the universal law of cause and effect whereby positive actions produce happiness and negative actions produce suffering. You must be willing to rid yourself of evil according to the principles of karmic retribution for doing evil and likewise be willing to do good for the same reasons. Only in this manner will you bring about true happiness and good fortune for yourself and others. All Buddhist disciples must understand cause and effect, but, as Dorje Pa Mu explains, merely understanding this principle is not enough. You must clearly believe in the principle and live accordingly. You must use this principle in your actual practice to solve your worldly problems. You end causes and effects through cultivation whereby you train your mind and correct your erroneous ways so that your actions of body, speech, and mind (also known as your three karmas) correspond with the teaching of your vajra master and the Buddhas. Remember that greed, anger (hatred), and ignorance are the three great obstacles of cultivation.
You must remember that the so-called good effects or bad effects of karma are not a judgment nor given as a reward or punishment by a supra mundane authority such as God. The good or bad effect produced by good or bad karma is purely and simply a natural phenomenon governed by natural laws that act automatically, with complete justice. It is just like the law of gravity and other similar rules. This Law of Karma, or cause and effect, is so powerful that it governs everything in the universe except enlightened beings or those who recognize their basic original nature. Upon enlightenment, the round of cause and effect loses its significance, just as samsara, or the round of birth and death, ceases with enlightenment. Since basic or original nature transcends all duality and is ultimate, there is no one to receive the effect, whether it is good or bad, and no one to whom any effect can apply. This unique explanation by the Buddha of the nullification of the Law of Karma is very important.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has said, “Thus, only through learning from the Buddha, cultivating the conduct of the Buddha, and ultimately becoming a Buddha can we thoroughly liberate ourselves from the karma (cause and effect) that binds us to the cycle of reincarnation. Cause and effect still exists when one becomes a Buddha. However, cause and effect can not affect a Buddha. For example, the Buddha saw mountains of swords and seas of fire in the hell realm. The mountains of swords and seas of fire continued to exist as extremely painful means by which living beings undergo karmic retribution. When the Buddha suddenly jumped into the mountains of swords and seas of fire in order to undergo suffering on behalf of other living beings, the mountains and seas immediately transformed into a lotus pond of nectar. They transformed into a wonderful state. With respect to a Buddha, all bad or evil karmic conditions turn into the manifestation of good karma. Not only is there no suffering, there is instead a manifestation of great happiness.”
However, until we become enlightened, we must remember that it is as Dharma King Tsongkhapa said, “the things I’ve done, the white or black and what these deeds will bring to me, follow always close behind, as certain as my shadow.”
Recently I have read a book titled Revealing the Truth, in which there is one chapter called A Vicious Demon and Formidable Beast. It is an unexpectedly frightening chapter, almost like a horror movie. As a buddhist disciple, I totally believe in the law of cause and effects. We need to abstain from anything that is evil, do everything that is good, and use the correct understanding and views to cultivate. Don’t violate any of the precepts, otherwise you will end in miserable retribution. After reading the book, I completely believe that the true and original Dharma transmitted by Sakyamuni Buddha and Dorje Chang Buddha III can defeat any demon or evil spirit.
There was a rinpoche brother who claimed that he was a reincarnation of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and cheated living beings everywhere he went. He deluded many people to put up everything they had as offerings for him, causing problems in many families. Since he had seriously violated the precepts, the Buddha Master sternly reprimanded him a number of times. However, he ignored all that and even dared to lie to the Buddha Master (H.H.Dorje Chang Buddha III).
Because his conduct of swindling and bluffing was so bad that it caused many living beings to suffer, eventually dharma protectors had to inform him that he was going to meet with a miserable and menacing retribution. He was then captured by order of the Yama King and died miserably. He became a blood-flashing vicious ghost. In order to lessen his sins and dark karmas, and also for the purpose of educating and transforming two persons who were masters and had the same behaviors, a group of people who were involved in the endeavor of propagating Buddha-dharma and saving living beings including dharma kings, rinpoches, dharma masters, and others were asked to confront this blood-flashing vicious ghost, evil demon Nuori, to gain practical experience. Therefore, the Buddha Master ordered dharma protectors to arraign this evil demon to the home base to be educated and transformed. After that, what had been a very auspicious backyard became a gloomy dark forest. Its horror was beyond description.
In the afternoon of that day, the Buddha Master was setting up an altar In the backyard. Out of curiosity, I stayed right by the Buddha Masters side. When the Buddha Master took out a photo of this vicious ghost taken after his death, I was very scared, “That is so horrible” The eyes in the photo had been closed originally but were now insidiously and ruthlessly opened into a slit. The eyes were also moving and he gave me a treacherous cunning smile, as if he were about to eat me. I hurriedly diverted my eyes away and dared not look at the photo anymore. My whole body was trembling with goose bumps swelling up all over. If you just took a look, the formidable image would immediately be imprinted into your memory and could no longer be removed.
The Buddha Master was going to tell dharma protectors to send Nuori’s spirit to the home base. I hid myself behind the Buddha Master, because that was the only safe place. The Buddha Master suddenly spoke, “Attention! He is coming!” Right after that, a round of gloomy, miserable, and terrifying ghost howling was heard from a distance of about two or three miles and then arrived with unimaginably fast speed right in front of me at the next instant. Meanwhile, a strong gloomy wind blew over, causing tree leaves to drop down all over the place. Now this vicious ghost was captured and brought back. The eyes in the photo were blinking, and I felt as if some accomplice of his had arrived as well! At this time, the temperature had a big sudden drop of more than ten degrees. This garden that had previously been filled with warmth, comfort, elegance, auspiciousness, and peace changed completely. The shadow of the ghost emitting blue light with the after-death desolation, terror, and gloom appeared in the backyard garden every night.
Only the Buddha Master could walk there freely. No one else dared to get close. From then on, we formed groups when walking in there and dared not move around alone. When the evening was about to come, we would withdraw from the backyard spontaneously. Even during daytime, no one dared stay there alone. There was a strong gloomy and pressing air that made people feel suffocated. That atmosphere tended to make people want to run away immediately without staying for even one moment. Even the dog Jie Ben who had used to love playing in the backyard garden day and night now dared not go there during the day. Additionally every time the Buddha Master called it to get in there, right after the Buddha Master finished talking, he would run back to the front living room immediately. Then he would hide his tail while his limbs trembled at a very high frequency. The photo of that vicious ghost was put on the altar set up within the gloomy dark woods. It was very startling that the horrible eyes seemed to be staring at your beating heart, as if he was ready to assault you with his claws reaching out to scoop out your heart.
The Buddha Master intended to use this reality to educate and transform venerable ones, dharma kings, rinpoches, and dharma masters into abstaining from everything that is evil, doing everything that is good, and using correct understanding and views to cultivate, learn Buddhism, and to treat cultivators. Of course, it was also for educating and transforming me. Therefore, some people were arranged to go to this altar in the evening to meet with the ghost and obtain an experience in person. The blood-flashing vicious ghost made a vow at the time of his death. He was going to find those disciples who violated the precepts like him and did not listen to the Buddha Master’s teaching to let these people know the eventual outcome of violating the precepts. This would be his way of creating merit to offset his sins.
When the Buddha Master led a disciple walking to the front of the altar, a golden leopard with a body length of more than two meters suddenly appeared from where the photo was on the altar. It opened its mouth to show its sharp teeth and put up a pose to launch a leaping assault. The Buddha Master gave an order, “Bad beast! Don’t go wild!” Immediately, a black leopard appeared by the Buddha Master’s side. It was even fiercer. The two leopards then confronted each other. Step by step, the black leopard eventually forced the golden leopard to go away. This scene was already scary enough. What happened next was even tenser because, after the Buddha Master led the disciple to the altar, the Buddha Master would leave the site. The disciple would be left there alone to practice the dharma. The Buddha Master would not be with the disciple.
When dharma assembles were held in the past, people would all try to get ahead to secure an opportunity to attend. This time, however, no one volunteered to go. People all wanted to shy away from this event and were afraid of hearing their names called to confront the ghost.
Even the phrase “rounds of merciless gloomy winds” was not sufficient to describe the atmosphere at the site. The originally calm woods now suddenly had gusty winds everywhere, blowing tree leaves with the sounds of “Shua Shua!” The photo of the the blood-flashing vicious ghost that had been laid flat there jumped up all of a sudden and stood upright. Even the sound of opening a coffin could be heard. Amid the crying and howling of ghosts under a sky without the moon and stars, a shrill yelling was heard. The next moment, the blood-flashing vicious ghost was walking out of the photo. People who had participated in this event all said that it was really very dreadful. Some were so terrified as to pee their pants wet. Some were too scared to walk and were shivering all over.
When Brother Gongla Rinpoche saw the ghost walking out of the photo and leaping toward him, he used the Vajra rice empowered by the Buddha Master to shoot at the ghost with a form called “Scattering Blooms by a Heavenly Lady” that he learned while he was still in high school. That did beat the blood-flashing vicious ghost to the ground. The brother then went forward to check if the ghost was dead. While he bowed down to look at the ghost’s face, this vicious ghost unexpectedly spit out a mouthful of poisonous corpse water that was extremely foul smelling. The brother’s facial features immediately became deformed and dislocated. Seeing his deformed and dislocated facial features, other people were also very scared.
When her turn came, Sister Huei-Chin Yang wanted to console the demonic ghost. She prepared a big piece of fried crispy pork chop to offer to him. She thought that the outcome might be a little better. As soon as the pork chop was put down, the ghost quickly rushed out of the photo and swallowed the pork chop with bone in one gulp. Sister Huel-Chin Yang was scared and trembling all over. Moreover, she was not forgiven either. The ghost blew a mouthful of poisonous corpse vapor toward her, distributing the fetid smell all over her body. She immediately started to wash herself with water from the swimming pool. However, the stinking smell could not be washed away.
There was also Brother Venerable Xirao Jiebu. He carried the Vajra rice empowered by the Buddha Master and entered the site by himself. The photo of the the blood-flashing vicious ghost suddenly jumped up to stand on the ghost’s platform and began to walk forward. Brother Xirao Jiebu threw the Vajra rice toward him and loudly chanted the Buddha Master’s mantra. The Buddha Master knew that the situation was dangerous and rescued Brother Xirao Jiebu right away. Then the Buddha Master drew a circle on the lawn and told Brother Xirao Jiebu not to get out of the circle. At this time, the vicious ghost transformed into a golden leopard at a distance of a little over three meters from Brother Xirao Jiebu and was getting ready to eat him. At this extremely crucial moment, Brother Xirao Jiebu sat up inside the circle and threw the Vajra rice toward the outside. As the situation was becoming extremely dangerous, the Buddha Master appeared again. Then the golden leopard got scared and fled in panic.
Dharma king brother Muya Jiongzha also gave this testimony, “The blood-flashing vicious ghost was really scary. I clearly heard his miserable howling coming from a place very, very far away. Then he came before me very quickly in just one or two seconds. Gusty winds were blowing with sands flying and rocks rolling. The picture stood up and walked. Even the image on the picture suddenly became bigger with a cunning and creepy smile. The eyes opened and blood was flowing down from the corner of his mouth. He suddenly leaped towards me. If I had not had the Vajra rice to resist him, I could definitely have been eaten alive. I can say that no one could have kept himself or herself from being extremely horrified in such a situation.” In addition to the others mentioned, Great Dharma Master XiangeQiongwa had a confrontation with the ghost as well. He and Venerable Xirao Jiebu and Dharma King Muya longha were all highly capable masters of the Nyingma Sect. However, they were all defeated.
Fellow brothers and sisters who had confronted the blood-flashing vicious ghost also included harma King Palden Lodoe, Master Long Hui, Baima Dorie Chuomu Rinpoche, Hangila Rinpoche, Luoben Rinpoche, Cacon Di Rinpoche, Layperson Weicheng, and others. They all said that the horror of the ghost could not be described in words. His demonic power was too strong and too vigorous. If not protected by the Buddha Master, I thought none of them would have been able to get out of the gloomy dark forest alive!
At one night during this period, the Buddha Master suddenly told us to bring flashlights and led us to the backyard. Using the flashlights, we unexpectedly discovered many wild beasts there. Because they were somewhat far away, the animals seemed to be mountain lions, leopards, sable wolves, and nine-tailed foxes. When they saw us coming, they all jumped out of the swimming pool to the ground. In such a situation, we had to be led by the Buddha Master. Otherwise, with a probability of eight or nine out of ten, we would have been eaten by the wild beasts. At this time, we used flashlights to illuminate the surrounding trees. Doing so made us terrified. Actually the beasts did not leave. Rather, they were not far from us and were on the trees, on the wall, on the ground, and on the roof. In different types of body profile and as fierce as tigers and wolves, they were peeking at us. We decided to set up video cameras there during the day so these animals could be videotaped at night. When we played the video recordings, what actually appeared in the videos were snow leopards and panthers. There were many of them. They were happily inhabiting and playing on the deck. However, It was strange that they were completely out of sight during the day. Where did they come from and where did they go? None of us knew.
After the arrival of the leopards, we closed the door to the backyard garden rather early before dusk every day. However, at night, we could still hear them jumping from the roof to the deck. One day, a leopard even showed up in the front yard before dark. Several brothers saw it on the roof above a room. It was a little after five o’clock in the afternoon, before the sky had turned dark, that made us very scared. Every time we went to the front yard to get something, we had to look around in all directions and were still terror stricken.
This situation, keeping us in fear, lasted a few months. Eventually, the time came when the vicious ghost was to be sent away. Before entering sleep that night in a half-dream and half-awake state, I saw large iron-fence cage drop down from above to cover him completely. At the same moment, I also heard the sound of his forceful struggling and yelling, “Buddha Master! I, the disciple, will correct myself. I will be a good ghost who does not harm people! I will definitely cultivate myself!” To this day, I am still unable to forget his voice. The next day, the Buddha Master led us to hold a ceremony for the demonic ghost, to see him off. I sensed that he was restrained with handcuffs and fetters. He was escorted onto a prison van and left. Alas! Abstain from everything that is evil and do everything that is good. Brother in the past and vicious ghost at present, I wish that you rest in peace and cultivate well after paying for your retributions.
After sending away the blood-flashing vicious ghost, mountain lions and leopards also vanished. However, they left lots of urine and feces in the backyard for us to clean up. Also, one or two of them had died there because we found their skeletons in the corners one or two years later. The home base finally returned to its prior auspiciousness. However, not long after that, we found five newborn infant leopards inside a tent in the backyard garden. Good Heavens! A female leopard gave birth to five infant leopards here. Now we would be in misery! None of us had the experience of taking care of leopards. Fortunately, this was a false alarm. They were five newborn black kittens. Since the mother cat was too weak, the kittens suffered malnutrition. In the end, only three survived. One fee it was sent to another place. The other two were named Xiao Ding Mad”and Black Rose perspectively. They were kept at the home base and became members of our family.
The dharma kings, rinpoches, and dharma masters who underwent the confrontation also wrote about their personal experiences at the site in order to bear witness to the truth of these events. Those who participated include Dharma King Palden Lodoe, Ga Chong Di Rinpoche, Great Dharma Master Xiangge Qiongwa, Venerable Xirao Jiebu, Great Master Long Hui, Baima Dorje Cuomu Rinpoche, Layper. son Yang Huei-Chin, Dharma King Muya Jongzha, Jiangjia Rinpoche, Loben Rinpoche, Layperson Weicheng, and Gongla Rinpoche. Their hand-written manuscripts are still kept. I personally read the handwritten manuscripts they wrote. What I wrote in this chapter was just a brief account. Their writings were very complete. To prove their truthfulness, they all took oaths against very severe consequences.
Actually, their oaths were not even necessary. I myself experienced this event too. The experience of this event gave many people a good education. However, based on what I knew, two of them still did not learn from this lesson and could not correct much of their bad habits. The Buddha Master already made the greatest effort to educate and transform them and was also very concerned about the difficulties they faced for liberation and accomplishment. Actually, this fact was quite normal. Among the disciples taught and transformed by Sakyamuni Buddha at that time, some cultivated correctly but others degenerated.
This dharma assembly made me deeply understand a fact. Throughout thousands of years, only my Buddha Master, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, and Sakyamuni Buddha could be regarded as utmost supreme. Which of the dharma kings and venerable ones of esoteric Buddhism or foremost masters of exoteric Buddhism in history had such capabilities? There were no extremely great holy ones who had such truly great Buddha-dharma among them!
The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom, an enchanting, beautifully crafted novel that explores a mystery only heaven can unfold. It is a tale of a life on earth. It’s a tale of life beyond it. It’s a fable about love, a warning about war, and a nod of the cap to the real people of this world, the ones who never get their name in lights.
This book is about the meaning of life. What do we humans live for? Eddie, the protagonist, thought his life was meaningless during his lifetime. After his death, he met five people in heaven. These five people, known and unknown, all played a pivotal role in Eddie’s life. They taught Eddie the meaning and value of life. At last Eddie was relieved. The originally heavy soul also became lighter. Each of us is running towards death. Death is not scary. The scary thing is that we do not know how to live.
Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. As the park has changed over the years — from the Loop-the-Loop to the Pipeline Plunge — so, too, has Eddie changed, from optimistic youth to embittered old age. His days are a dull routine of work, loneliness, and regret.
Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. With his final breath, he feels two small hands in his — and then nothing. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people who were in it. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever.
Eddie arrives in Heaven, where he meets “the Blue Man.” The Blue Man explains that Eddie is about to journey through Heaven’s five levels, meeting someone who has had a significant impact upon his life or someone on whom his life had a significant impact. Eddie asks why the Blue Man is his first person, and he informs Eddie that, when Eddie was very young, he caused the car accident that killed him. From this, Eddie learns his first lesson: there are no random events in life and all individuals and experiences are connected in some way.
Eddie meets his former captain from the army, who reminds Eddie of their time together as prisoners of war in a forced labor camp in the Philippines. Their group burned the camp during their escape and Eddie, while running away, remembers seeing a shadow move in one of the huts. The Captain confesses that he shot Eddie in the leg to prevent Eddie from chasing the shadow into the fire. This saved Eddie’s life despite leaving him with a lifelong severe limp. Eddie then learns how the Captain died: he stepped on a land mine that would have killed all the men had he not set it off.
Eddie finds himself outside a diner, where he sees his father through a window. A well-dressed woman named Ruby appears and introduces herself to him. Ruby explains that Ruby Pier was named after her by her husband Emile, who built it in tribute to her. Ruby shows Eddie the true cause of his father’s death, which is different from what he had always believed. She tells Eddie that he needs to forgive his father.
Eddie meets his late wife, Marguerite. They remember their wedding, and Marguerite teaches Eddie that love is never lost in death; it just moves on and takes a different form.
Eddie awakens to see children playing along with a riverbed. A young Filipina girl named Tala comes up to him. Tala reveals that she was the little girl from the hut that Eddie set on fire. Distraught, Eddie breaks down both cursing and asking God “why?” Tala hands him a stone and asks him to “wash” her like the other children in the river are doing to one another. Eddie is puzzled, but dips the stone in the water and starts to scrape off the injuries he had inflicted on her. Tala’s wounds begin to clear until she is freed of all the scars. Eddie asks Tala if she knows if he was able to save the little girl before his death. Tala tells him he did manage to push her out of the way. In this way, Tala explains, he also managed to atone every day for her unnecessary death.
In the end, it shows that Eddie’s Heaven is the Stardust Band Shell, where he met Marguerite.
One by one, Eddie’s five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: Was it a heroic success or a devastating failure? The answer, which comes from the most unlikely of sources, is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself.
Reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven helped me understand deeper about the law of cause and effect in Buddhism teaching. We live in the web of reincarnation of life and death woven by our own karma. Each one of us is connected by the threads in this vast web. Our thoughts, words, and actions all have a small or big impacts to others near and far. What we humans need now is more love, respect, kindness and compassion, and less conflict, fighting and argument.
Around the end of year 2001, I received a set of six books written by Ah Wang Nuo Bu Pa Mu. I remembered that in the book True Stories About A Holy Monk, Dharma King Dorje Losang said that even though he was the level of a Dharma King, he still must seriously study Entering the Door of the Dharma written by Ah Wang Nuo Bu Pa Mu. He said, “It is not fundamental Buddhist book! I have learned and practiced the five great Vajra dharma groups, the Atiyoga Supreme Dharma and the Great Perfection Mind Essence Dharma over and over again. Only now do I understand how magnificent the Buddha dharma books of the Holy Mother are.”
So I started to read the book Entering the Door of the Dharma.
The first chapter was titled, “First talk about big or small Dharma, then discuss the wrong and right dharma”. This chapter was a warning bell to me. After all, the wish I had harbored in my heart was to learn a great dharma whereby I will become a Buddha in this very lifetime. I dreamed I could learn and practice the great Dharma, such as the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) of the Nyingma sect, the Mind Within Mind of the Kagyu sect, the Great Perfection of Wonderful Wisdom of the Sakya sect, the Kalachakra Vajra of the Geluk sect, and Zen meditation of the Zen sect of exoteric Buddhism, etc…. I wanted to jump to the highest level, quickly reach the liberation with nothing to fear or to suffer… my life will full of joy and good fortune…
What a naive and selfish Buddhism practitioner I was! I felt I was so foolish, wanting to build a tower on quicksand. Such a tower could not be built.
As I continued to read the book, I gained a lot of fundamental knowledge about buddhism. The buddhism theory is so deep and broad. One chapter is focused on “cause and effect”. Pa Mu said, “most of the disciples just know about cause and effect, but they didn’t understand what is cause and effect, therefore they do not truly believe in it. “ After reading this chapter, I pondered to myself seriously. Did I truly understand the law of causality, and did I truly believe in the law of causality? If I did, how come my mind still falls into so much confusions and chaos. I looked deeply in my mind, and found out I only believed in the causality when good things happened to me. When bad thing happened or I was very sick, I started to doubt about it, and complained why I deserved these sufferings and unfair treatments. I started to blame peoples around me, and began to wonder why Buddha ad Bodhisattva did not bless me.
I thought about my marriage relationship. I was always puzzled why my husband always blames me, yells and scolds me even for a small thing, but before we married he always tried to flatter and please me. From the law of causality, everything I experience right now were the results of the cause I have done in the past. Anything that happened must have a reason. I must have done a similar thing to my husband before. I started to change my attitude towards him. When he got mad at me, I would think, this is my opportunity to pay my debt back to him — continuing to argue with him wouldn’t do any good, except cause more tension and damage. It was really hard to do it at beginning, I needed to force myself to keep quiet and don’t talk back, don’t analyze what he is saying, focus on my inner peace, don’t get irritated by outside things…. After a while I gradually became more mentally freer and at ease.
From the book I learned that everything and all phenomena arise from causality, including of course the good and adversary karmic conditions between people. If we generate resentment or hatred or take harmful actions against the other side when subjected to bullying or unfair treatment, wouldn’t another evil cause be seeded, which we will have to pay for through suffering the malicious consequence?! Then, wouldn’t the vicious process continue forever without an end?! The only thing I could do is to repent all the evil causes I did in the past, and pay it back when encountering the situation without any complaints. I do not want to plant any evil causes anymore, since the law of causality never errs.
I was happy that I finally found the door of entering Dharma.
When it was late at night and everything was silent, she would always toss and turn on the bed, with all kinds of feelings in mind. Ten years ago, Qingmian’s father had suddenly suffered from cerebral infarction. Since then, the warm and pleasant life of Qingmian’s family came to a halt. Qingmian witnessed with her own eyes how her father’s body figure changed from tall, broad, and upright to totally skinny, and his temperament turned from warm and cheerful to silent and peculiar. Once a PE teacher, he now had to rely on others for everything in life. Being a strong-willed and determined person, he almost collapsed mentally. The situation turned particularly worse after he became incontinent. He had mood swings, and he became grumpy and would act up without reasons.
If her father’s situation is called suffering in hell, then Qingmian’s taking the responsibility of attending him would be staying in a sea of fire. Seeing her beloved father in suffering, pain ripped through her heart. On the other hand, spending all her time taking care of a person with such illness strained her out mentally and physically.
One day, Qingmian and her mother cooked quite a few dishes. However, right after the food was placed onto the dining table, her father became offended by some casual and harmless words in the conversation and suddenly became furious.
“Why should I have a daughter like you? You are not filial at all! Do you look down on me because I am ill, and you don’t want to take care of me? Both you and your mother just get lost!”
“What happened, father? There is nothing I complain about you. Is this because the food does not suit your taste?” Qingmian put up a smile and asked cautiously.
“I don’t want to eat!” Then, with the smashing sounds, all food dishes were thrown to the ground.
Such incidents of “blaming for nothing” occurred very often. When the father had an outburst, he would even beat up Qingmian and her mother with his stick, causing bruises all over their bodies. “Your illness was not caused by me. Why do you treat me like that?” Life like this gradually brought Qingmian down.
At that time, Qingmian was under tremendous financial pressure. Her father’s mood was unstable, her child was less than one year old, and her husband was working far away from home most of the time. There was a period of time when her mother was also ill and had to be hospitalized. She stuck it up all by herself and became even more worn out. Neighbors all admired that Qingmian’s father had a good daughter who did not mind doing anything regardless of whether it is dirty or a lot of work. Actually, Qingmian just had to keep all the bitterness in heart, but she still had to keep going while biting her teeth to endure. All was due to the fact that she happened to have a paralyzed father.
However, in late night when all had quieted down, she felt like being a helpless mariner in the bitter sea under the cover of the dark night not seeing any lighthouse. For quite a few times, she thought about giving up taking care of her paralyzed father. On an occasional karmic condition, Qingmian was told by a layperson who was learning from the Buddha that many problems can be resolved through learning from the Buddha.
While Qingmian was still having doubt about that, she met a Buddhist brother during an activity of releasing living beings in captivity, who told Qingmian many explanations about the truth of impermanence in human life. Qingmian noticed that as a disabled person who had been badly burned in a fire, the Buddhist brother still worked so actively to lead the life-releasing activity and was able to explain the truth of the Buddha Dharma very clearly. Qingmian respected and admired him very much. As a result, she decided to go to the Buddhist center run by this Buddhist brother.
On the first day of her listening to the Dharma at the Buddhist center, Qingmian was already deeply moved by the warmth from the Buddhist brothers and sisters. She felt the warmth and loving care that she had not experienced for the last several years. The Dharma imparted by Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III that uses simple language to penetrate the profound truth was moisturizing her almost dried-out heart like rain and dew. While weeping with teary eyes, Qingmian seemed to have untied the knot that had been in her heart for quite a few years.
“All matters and all phenomena are based on causality. This physical body of ours is a body to experience karmic retributions. Whether you are enjoying a good life or experiencing a bad life, you are simply paying back the karmic consequences since the beginningless eons.”
Under the tireless guidance of the fellow Buddhist brothers and sisters, Qingmian gradually understood the karmic affinity between her father and her. Without karmic debt created in the past, there would be no encounter or companionship in the current lifetime. It doesn’t matter whether she is returning the kindness or repaying back the debt. She should just accept the reality and resolve this karmic affinity willingly. Only by doing so can she step toward the eventual liberation.
“A human life is extremely difficult to get. For any day that I am living through, I must treat all living beings with kindness to broadly create good karmic conditions. Within my family, I must even more so fulfill my responsibility and duty as a child, a mother, and a wife. My father gave me care and love in the past due to our karmic affinity. Now he is ill and needs my care. That is our karmic affinity, too. These are all conditions and opportunities for my cultivation. I need to face the situation directly.” This was how Qingmian thought, and what she did.
After the change in her state of mind, her conduct also changed accordingly. Then, karmic conditions for success also came along. In October 2016, Qingmian took refuge in the Three Jewels and became a Buddhist disciple. Very fortunately, she also attained the Dharma Assembly to Receive the Empowerment by the Greatly Compassionate Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. The absolutely true empowerment from the Buddha Dharma that she experienced deeply even more so enhanced her confidence toward the Buddha Dharma. She seemed to have changed into a different person and began a new life.
From then on, Qingmian got rid of the emotions of sadness, sorrow, and bitterness. Gradually, the bitter expression on her face changed into joy. In the past, she regarded what she did in cooking, feeding, body cleaning, and fulfilling filial duty as a necessity out of having no other choice. At the end, she was filled with complaints. Now, she took taking care of her father as an opportunity to cultivate filial ways, gratitude, loving compassion, and forbearance.
When she was walking in light steps to push her father in a wheelchair for sun-bathing and sight-seeing, she felt the smooth wind touching her face and the warmth of sunlight. While she was humming Buddhist music and happily fanning for cooling for her father, wiping his back, cooking, and feeding him, her mind was full of intimate family feeling with abundant patience. Her state of mind brought her enjoyment. Her father’s eyes were revealing gratification. Though being busy, she was delightful! Other than taking care of her father, she actively attended the group sessions of listening to the Dharma scheduled twice a week. She also joined the teams of volunteers doing life-releasing and life-protecting work. Every month, she went to nursing homes to deliver roses to benefit others. She was benefited the most from doing all these. She was able to feel the meaning and value of life. She also dedicated all the merit attained from her listening to the Dharma, chanting Sutras, releasing living beings in captivity, lamp offering, and attaining Dharma assemblies to her father and other members of her family.
Whenever there was an opportunity, she shared the principles of the Buddha Dharma with her family members. Due to the change in Qingmian, her father’s temperament was much improved. His impulsive mood was slowly pacified. The home once again was having happiness and joyful conversations after a long dry spell of such things.
Human life is impermanent after all. In the spring of 2020, the death still took away her father after his paralysis for 10 years. However, he passed away in peace and tranquility. He left with a smile due to the filial care by his daughter. People often say that a parent constrained in a sickbed for long will have no filial children. Yet Qingmian told everyone with her own personal experience that a father, ill-stricken for 10 years could still have a filial daughter. Before learning from the Buddha, Qingmian’s filial acts might have been mixed with bitterness. After beginning to learn from the H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III; however, Qingmian regarded taking care of her father as an inherent act of a child and a challenging situation to cultivate herself.
Love, compassion, sympathetic joy, and generosity without attachment are not only for one’s thought and speech, but even more so for carrying out in actions. The cultivation of that is to start from dealing with one’s family members and apply that into every bit of one’s life. “Filialness ranks first among all deeds of kindness.” One who does not fulfill filial duty well has nothing to speak of with regard to learning from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III .