Dear respected Buddha, Bodhisattva, master Xuan, dharma masters, and good teachers, Amitabha. My name is Yunfan and I am now doing my PhD study in university of Michigan, Ann Arbor. This is the first time that I have been to the city of ten thousand Buddha.
It is a great honor of me to share why I started to study Buddhism and my take away from this 7-days reciting Amitabha buddha’s name session. Please correct me if you find any of mistakes. The reason why I studied Buddhism is quite straightforward. Because I experienced the heaven-like happiness, followed by hell-like sufferings in my life. The significant contrast drove me to seek for a way to leave this world. I have a very wonderful childhood. Everyone liked me. I could easily get whatever I wanted. I could easily master what I wanted to learn. At that time, I was naively taking it for granted but did not realize it came from my blessing. As soon as my blessings ran out, the disasters came up. Death of my family member, separated with most people who once loved me, hundreds of failures. What is more, I experienced a severe illness. Due to other reasons, those skills that I was once good at were wiped out. I eventually saw another side of this world, dark and cruel. Tens of years sufferings almost destroyed me both mentally and physically. Sometimes, I was able to get a short-time luck, but at the price of long-term disaster. I even considered to end my life. But I felt like that there are some invisible beings that stop me doing that.
Buddhas and Bodhisattva felt compassionate for me. Therefore, I was able to meet with some good teachers in my past several years. They used some spiritual methods to let me believe the existence of Buddha’s, Bodhisattva, and heavenly beings. Later, they introduced me to conventional Chinese culture. One of them told me that our life goal is to keep improving our unseen merit and virtue, the only truth in the world. Anything visible are considered artificial. But you need to rely on them to attain the true one. Some of them suggested me keep reciting Buddha’s and Bodhisattva’s name every day.
Because I found my life goal, I started to change. I was trying my best to help people around me and repent for my guilty. As my blessings continue to increase, I was able to meet with earth store Bodhisattva this year. I was deeply touched by the great vow made by him, that is I will not be a Buddha unless the hell becomes empty. Sometimes, when I was praying and reading the corresponding sutra, I couldn’t control myself and started crying. With the help of earth store Bodhisattva, my health condition became better and better. During that time, there were many supernatural things happening, which matches what buddhas spoke in the sutra. It further strengthened my confidence in learning Buddha’s words. I began to daily pray and read one the past vow of earth store Bodhisattva sutra. And keep reciting the name of Buddha and Bodhisattvas, if I have more time, I will also pray and read other sutras. Later, I met with another good teacher, Tianyu. She strongly recommended me to attend this 7-day Amitabha Buddha’s session. And she helped me plan the travel. Amitabha!
Through this session, I could concentrate more on reading the sutra and reciting Buddha’s and Bodhisattva’s name. Additionally, I updated my study plan after 7-day. As a conclusion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all good teachers in city of ten thousand buddhas and in my daily life. Thanks for encouraging and helping me. Best of luck to your life and hope you all can get birth in the Western pure land in the future.