The Healing Properties
of Guanyin Bodhisattva

A Talk given by Phil Hirsch, October 12, 2019

My name is Phil Hirsch. I work in the sound department here at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. I’d like to talk about the healing properties of Guanyin Bodhisattva. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with a very strange kind of cancer. It was in my chest area, and something that they (doctors) really had not seen a lot of. They gave me some chemotherapy, hoping that it would shrink the cancer so that they could remove it, but it was quite large. As it turned out, there was no one in the Ukiah area that could perform the operation. They gave me chemotherapy, but the chemotherapy did not work, so the only other thing we could do was have it, the whole thing, removed surgically.

Outside of San Francisco and all the way up to Sacramento, there was no one who could perform the operation. My sister, who lives in Florida, came to take care of me and did some research only to find out that there was a very good surgeon where she lives in Florida that could do the operation.

We flew to Florida and when I got on the plane, I started to pray to Guanyin Bodhisattva. I just said, “If you’re not too busy, I could use a little help. If I can be salvaged and saved, that would be wonderful because my work here at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is not over.” I went to Florida and the oncologist there didn’t think I was going to make it. They had to open my breast bone. When they found the cancer, it was very large. They said it was about four by three inches.

The surgeon took it out and it was contained, which means that the cancer was in one area only, and he was able to take that whole mass out of my chest. He looked around and he saw no residuals – so it was all gone. He was amazed and said, “You survived the operation. The cancer is gone. There’s no residual. But we don’t know what kind of cancer it was. It’s very, very rare. We haven’t seen this kind of cancer before.” I’m sure that they have, but they don’t keep records of little teeny ones that happen here and there. One of the things that I found out about cancer is that, at the cellular level, the individual cancer cell resembles the organ that it’s attacking. Therefore, if it’s stomach cancer, the single cell will look like a little stomach.

The actual operation took place in December of last year (December 19th), and I was out of the hospital by the 25th, so I was only in the hospital for four days. They said that the healing process would take quite a while. I went back to my sister’s house and kept praying to Guanyin and just kept saying, “It’s obviously not my time – otherwise I’d be dead.” The other thing my doctor mentioned was that the cancer had attached itself to my heart and my right lung, but it did not invade them. That’s why they were a little confused about what to call it. They ended up calling it a rare form of lung cancer because it was in this area, even though it was never in the lung.

Now, I want to talk a little bit about Guanyin and about compassion. I always thought of myself as being a compassionate person, someone that would have compassion for all other people. I always thought of myself as not being a greedy person. What this revealed to me was that, although I thought I could be compassionate to all other people, I realized that I was unable to be compassionate to myself. I believe that this in itself helped promote the cancer. What I learned was that not only am I not compassionate to myself, but because I was unable to be compassionate to myself, all the compassion that I thought I was sending out into the world was also for naught.

Not only did I discover that I was unable to be compassionate to myself, but I also found out that I was a lot greedier than I thought. All of this was revealed to me during this healing process. I would rest at my sister’s house, and they would cook while I was healing and I would bring the plates of food to the table. I looked down at the plates and I put the one with more food in front of me, and then I passed the other plates of food around. I never gave it a thought that this was being very greedy.

Somewhere in my long past when I was a child, I made some decisions that were not really good decisions, and those decisions have been in my subconscious – they never left me. One of the decisions I made, or one of the concepts that I came up with for some reason (and I don’t know why), was that I was not worthy. This stayed with me my whole life, and I thought whatever I did wasn’t going to be good enough. Although these things weren’t actively in my conscious mind, they were there. Therefore, in praying toward to Guanyin for healing and compassion, what I got back was the impression that I had to do whatever my sister said and do whatever my doctors said. That was it.

I literally just started doing that. Things were more conscious – they were not in my subconscious anymore. I could actually see them.

What I find really interesting is that once this has entered into my conscious mind, I’m realizing that it is not very difficult at all to be compassionate to myself and to others. It’s also not very difficult to not be greedy, but because these things were hidden and because they were coming before every other thought that I would have, these greedy thoughts would come into action. I always wanted to be the first in line. Now, I want to be the last in line. I always want to have the biggest plate of food. Now, I want to have the smallest plate of food. It’s really interesting because, even though in the past, before I came to these conclusions and this way of transforming myself, I had plenty of information that showed me that I was quite competent in what I did, but for some reason, I just didn’t believe them. 

Ultimately, the cancer that I had did not metastasize from any place else. This, they know, but they don’t quite know how I got it. My sense of it is that I was the one that put it into motion, just from my subconscious thoughts. It didn’t metastasize from anywhere else and it didn’t metastasize to any other place. It was contained, and they were able to take it out.

I was not going to come back to the City until this past May, but I became so homesick for the City that I asked my doctor if I could come back early. He said that I was healing at a faster rate than he had ever seen. The whole idea was that I was only able to fly home after I was deemed fit enough to fly, but he said that I was doing great and that I could fly home. I’ve been back since February. I had a CAT scan, a CT scan, just a couple of weeks ago to monitor it, and it’s still all gone – that’s the good news. And I attribute it to the healing properties of Guanyin. In my praying to Guanyin, I actually opened up a place in my heart so I could also have compassion, and that was the lesson I learned. Now that I have compassion for myself, I’m free to be compassionate to the world and it will be good. Here I am, healed. The cancer has gone, and I’m back to work.


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