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Between Master and Disciples / Buddhist Stories

Buddhist Stories: The Land of Amitabha Buddha, Part 3 of 7, Aug. 15, 2015

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Amitabha Buddha is especially very famous, sometimes more famous than Shakyamuni Buddha. Many, for example, in Taiwan (Formosa), when they do a retreat with any master, they just recite, "Namo Amitabha Buddha" all the time.

(Master, can I tell about what I think was a miracle for me?) Yeah, OK, your horse? We all like to hear miracles. Please tell us. (Where I live is very remote, so I don't have any Internet. To use the Internet, I've got to go six kilometers, or 12 kilometers into town...) Join the club! (to use the library.) Yeah? (And so I didn't know that there was going to be a retreat here. And I found out when I drove down to Melbourne on the Friday, and one of my friends, I had dinner with him in a vegan restaurant, and he said, "Did you hear that they've got things happening?” And by that Monday...) Your friend, initiate or not? (Yes, he's an initiate. By Monday I was booked, and then I found out I couldn't go; it was canceled. And I didn't find out until eight o'clock of the day that I was flying that I could go, but I live a long way from the airport. The airport is like 400 kilometers away.)

400 kilometers! Take you ten hours to drive there? (No, it took me... Probably I left at 9:30 in the morning, and I was on the flight... I was actually at the airport by about two o'clock in the afternoon.) You drove there? (I drove there.) God! (I drove to the airport. But it was amazing how it all happened, because I just jumped in the shower when I found out at eight o'clock in the morning. My sister started packing my bag for me. I was saying, "Put this in, put that in!" And then I got into the car at 9:30.) No time to lose, quickly!

(I rang up my friend and said, "You have to feed my horses now." Because I made up 22 feeds before I left so that they had food. Because I make up special feeds for them.) How do you feed your horse? What...? (I feed them, they get chaff, so oaten chaff, loosened chaff. They get herbs, so they get nettle, and they get carrots and apples, and they get cleavers, which is like a sticky weed. It's a sticky weed, it's very nutritious. It's a weed, people consider it a weed, but actually weeds are quite nutritious. They get that. They get seaweed meal. They get dolomite.)

Quite a meal ― nutritious! (They get dolomite, which is a... Because Australia is an old continent, the top soil has been blown away, and all the good stuff is not there anymore to grow the food, so it's replaced with this dolomite. So they get a pinch of that every day as well. So, I made up 22 of these big bags before I left.) Leave it there for your sister. (Yes. But to me it was just a miracle and I thought, "This is just amazing!" Because in a week, here I am on my way, and I just thought, "Why wouldn't I be so driven to go?" Because to me it was like I was going to see the most beautiful entity in the whole universe.) E.T. (Extra-Terrestial)? (No, entity.) Entity! So I'm an entity now. (The most beautiful being in the world, in the whole universe. So, that was my driving force to come here.)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. For you, at your age, I don't mean to offend or anything, but to drive all alone and go to the airport, packing all that, and take care at home before you go – this is really a miracle to me. (To me, it's like I just had to come. It was just like this big thing that I just had to be here.) Understand. (I just trust my inner knowing,) Yeah. (and that's what drives me.) Yeah, understand. You just want to go. I understand that.

(But when You were talking about the hunters... Because this is a fear I have near where I live, because I live in such a remote area. And my horses... There's a lot of deer there, and the hunters come to shoot the deer.) Sometimes they shoot... (Which is really, really sad, but I worry for my horses, too.) Yeah, it could... (Because they're in that same vicinity.) Yeah, they could be your horses also. Understand. (But they have coats on them that have got reflective bands on them, so when they shine the lights.) But you never know. (No.) You never know. Sometimes they aim at the deer, but then if your horse is nearby, it could happen. (Yeah.)

When I lived also one day, long ago, on another remote mountain, there was no water, no electricity, truly, truly nothing, and the hunters were also all over, around, with the hunting dogs even. So I had to fence it all in. (Well, they have national parks near where I am, and shooters are not allowed to go in there. So the animals, the wildlife, actually have got an area where they can go.) Yeah. (And they're protected. And nobody is allowed there. I mean, you can ride your horse through there or you can take a bike through there or whatever, but people are not allowed to take guns and dogs. No dogs, no cats are allowed to go in there. So the wildlife at least have got some area where they can have some peace.) Yeah.

My area is also. But it's private land; I paid for it and everything. I was thinking maybe one day, we make something there and then everybody can come, but it's not that easy. There's only a small well, already dug. If we have rain water, we must have buildings. So we catch the rain. I built a little, it's like a small, not a pond even. I built it alongside the stones so that maybe water will run in there, but it's not much. And I took some water from some of the little sources from the mountains, but it’s also not much. Maybe… it takes a long time to fill up a tank of maybe 30 tons or something of water.

I don't know why I told you this story? Because of your horse! You and your horse! For you, you think it's a miracle, because you live in it and you know how impossible things happen, and you feel it. You have the intuition and the connection inside, you feel it. But if you tell it like that in worldly language, it becomes like nothing. (I know.) I know that. (People don't understand) Understand. (how you feel about it.) Because you have to live it in order to know, to live the experience.

That's why I told many of you, "Don't tell your experiences." But here, we understand. More? More miracles? Plenty, huh? (They happen all the time.) Understand, understand. (Yes, because it's a very peaceful place and it's sort of like you're always in a beautiful... you always have a lovely feeling. You wake up in the morning, it's beautiful.) Yeah. (You go through the day, you see your animals.) Aren't you lucky. (So many blessings. And when things are meant to happen, they just do, and it's... You can't really explain it to anybody because it just happens.) Yeah, I understand. I think many of them understand. OK, love, thank you very much for sharing. Thank you. Anybody else?

(I just want to say thank You so much for everything that You've done for me. I know that You arrange everything and You take care of me so well. And my life couldn't be more perfect. Actually, before I came here... Because I finished my advanced diploma and I troubled myself to find a job. And I couldn't find a job, and I said to myself, "Oh, maybe because it's not a good time. Maybe I have to study more." Just one day before I came here and then I got a job offer, and I know that's You; You arranged everything. And my life couldn't be more perfect. I’ve got an excellent husband that he always supports me. Every time that we have a retreat, he always supports me and encourages me to come.)

You are the only one who comes all the time. That poor guy stays home and takes care of everything. (Yes.) Look at them. That's why how many guys are lucky to be here. It's all women! "Honey, I want to go, I must go!" and then the husband says, "OK, OK, OK, just go." (Yes.) What else do the men do, huh? (Even though I depend on him financially 100%, because I'm not working at the moment.) You will be. (So, yes. Thank You for everything!) You're lucky. Lucky girl!

(And one more thing that I wanted to share as well. My parents also want to say thank You to You. They got initiated in Hong Kong camp about over 20 years ago, and they couldn't make it here because it's really hard for them to get a visa and come here. And they haven't seen You for over 20 years, but they say to me that they do feel that You're with them all the time. And my parents, they own a Loving Hut in Âu Lạc (Vietnam). And the miracle is, from the first day of opening until now, the Loving Hut's always full of customers. And even, actually, to be honest with You, when they called me up and they said that they wanted to open the Loving Hut five years ago, I even wanted to stop them because before the Loving Hut they already opened two vegetarian restaurants before, but it's not successful. And I said to my parents, "Maybe you move to the other thing, maybe it does not suit you." But my mom, she has a deep connection with you inside, and she said, "I've never thought that I was going to open any vegetarian or vegan restaurant again because it's not for me, but somehow Master inside tells me that I have to open the Loving Hut." And then I can see that miracle, because it's not often that you see the restaurant from the first day ever of opening until now, which is five years already, it's full of customers every day. And especially the first day of the month and the middle day of the month, which is... the 1st and 15th day of the month, Master.) Buddhist. (Yes, and even when we don't have enough seats for all the customers, they have to queue up in such a long line, and some of them have to go out to find the seat themselves, but they're still happy.) OK. (It's kind of a miracle.) Must be good, good food. The miracle is the food! (Yes, but I think it's all about You. You bless the restaurant and everybody in the restaurant can feel it.) Good, wonderful, wonderful. Good news. Congratulations!

They don't feel separate from me, that's why. They haven't see me in a long time, but they feel like they just saw me yesterday. It's OK like that. Some people are like that. That's why they can do many things, they can make it happen. Good, good. (Thank You, Master.) Go home and be nice to your husband. (I will.) Even though he loves you, but you have to be nice and appreciate it, and express it. Yeah, express it. I guess all of you know better than I how to be a wife. Who am I to tell you? Because I left him anyway. But I have always loved him. OK, anyone else? No? OK. It's good.

I can read you some sutra? (Yes.) I appreciate it very much, when you ask really important questions or not important questions, but the main point is that it has to come from inside, sincerely. Sincerely you want to know about it, because you need it, even low-level questions, but if you really need it.

Togo, your brother was not initiated? (No.) No, the one that was sick? (I'm the only initiate in my family.) You are the only one, OK. That's why he died and you live, that's what you meant, that's what you meant by a miracle. (Thank You.) (He was the only one initiated in his family.) Yes, his brother did not get initiated. (His brother wasn't initiated.) So the same sickness and the brother died and he did not. That's why he thinks it's a miracle, same sickness because of his genetics. (Yes, for generations…) So if he died, you would have, too. I understand now. Because I was thinking why his brother died and he didn't die, and then why it's such a miracle? Now I understand.

This sutra is very famous. Amitabha Buddha is one of the most famous in the Buddha's kingdom. The Buddha Shakyamuni introduced Him to us, to His disciples, and now we also know about it. Quan Yin Bodhisattva, Amitabha Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha, Medicine Buddha, these are famous. So I’ll read it.

Amitabha Buddha is especially very famous, sometimes more famous than Shakyamuni Buddha. Many, for example, in Taiwan (Formosa), when they do a retreat with any master, they just recite, "Namo Amitabha Buddha" all the time. I have not seen one that recites, "Namo Shakyamuni Buddha" all the time. No. They do when they do praying and puja, but not a retreat specially just to recite "Namo Amitabha Buddha." He's quite famous.

Now, I'm going to tell you why He is so famous. I will read you the sutra, then you will know why. You want to? (Yes.) Even the non-Buddhists? (Yes.) Who are non-Buddhist? Raise hands. OK, so now you understand something about Buddhism. Next time you meet the monks and you tell him, "I know, I know you." You're the son of Shakyamuni Buddha.

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