Reciting the Avatamsaka Sutra,
Has Broadened My Mind and Vision
A Talk given Katherine Lam at CTTB on June 20, 2009
Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Venerable Master, Dharma Masters and Dharma friends - good evening.
My name is Katherine. I’m from London, England. When I was less than a year old, my parents moved to England, so I spent almost all of my entire life there. I currently work as an economist in the British Treasury. In order to come to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, I have used up all my vacation leave. My mother accompanied me and this is our first time here.
I first found out about this place from my younger brother. He spends a lot of time exploring Buddhism, and particularly about the Venerable Master’s teachings. He too has never been to CTTB but he said he will come here some day. So, he was the one who introduced me the Venerable Master’s teachings. Subsequently, I read a lot of his lectures and Sutra commentaries. The more I read the more I became inspired to practice Buddhism.
I also encountered many fascinating stories about this place especially from reading the monthly journal, Vajra Bodhi Sea. For example, stories about Dharma Masters and laypeople attaining rebirth in the Pure Land and auspicious clouds appearing in the sky. Particularly this afternoon, when we saw Guan Yin Bodhisattva and a dragon in the sky, it was very exciting. Some of you who have been living here for so long may find these stories quite common, but for me, it is something I have never experienced before. Moreover, it is something I’ll definitely tell my family and Dharma friends back at home.
My mother was also inspired to come here after listening to the Venerable Master’s lectures. Before this visit, my mother dreamt of the Venerable Master talking to a disciple while walking in a huge lawn. Another time when she was reciting one of Guan Yin's mantra, an image of a Thousand Hands Guan Yin Bodhisattva appeared before her. This image was just between her eyebrows while she was completely awake. The strange thing was that the lawn that the Venerable Master walked on in the dream was very similar to the lawn opposite the CTTB's dining hall. Moreover, the image of the Thousand Hands Guan Yin Bodhisattva was exactly the same as the one in the Buddha Hall (except that the Guan Yin Bodhisattva she saw had the arms moving). Since she has never seen any pictures of CTTB before, or seen pictures of the Guan Yin statue here, this is truly amazing.
Life here is very peaceful and tranquil; many of us here live and work for the Buddha Dharma. I grew up in a big city, where selfishness and making money is part of everyday life. When I observe cultivators here, I’m deeply moved by how kind, sincere and compassionate people are at CTTB. People here work hard from morning to night and never have a day’s rest. With that, I reflect upon myself and I feel deeply ashamed because I still have selfishness, greed and delusion. Another experience here is while reciting the Avatamsaka Sutra, has broadened my mind and vision. I will definitely go back home and investigate this Sutra and practice this Dharma door.