Lately, earthquake and natural disasters are happening more frequently than ever. People are worried and scared. Since no one knows when the next impermanent incident might come, the only thing we can do is to uphold a kind heart. By benefitting oneself and others kind-heartedly, we are attuned with virtuous qualities. For example, reciting sutras and dedicating the merits for all sentient beings to be free from suffering and attain the ultimate happiness. May disasters are relieved and everyone lives safely.
In Chinese culture, the belief in Guan Yin (Avalokiteshvara) is one of the most prevalent practices. There’s a saying, “Amitabha at all homes and Guan Yin in every household”. Guan Yin is deeply rooted in the mind of Chinese people and culture. In particular, people are touched by Guan Yin’s spirit of alleviating suffering and crises. Personally, I felt touched from the bottom of my heart whenever I recollect Guan Yin. I was an orphan who grew up with a guerrilla without anyone around me. When I first heard the name of Guan Yin, memories of lifetimes emerged. This had inspired me to emulate Guan Yin’s spirit of compassion. All along, I’ve relied on her support to make it here today.
Today, the aspiration of Guan Yin is part of the lineage transmission at Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM). The chanting of the Great Compassion Mantra (Long Dharani) echoed in the sacred mountain. In 2012, we commenced the annual Great Compassion Mantra Retreat. With the power of prayer, may disasters be prevented. This year, we’ve made the aspiration and held the retreat again. Together, everyone should follow the spirit of liberating beings like Guan Yin. Be responsive towards suffering like Guan Yin. Wherever there is suffering, that’s where she goes. Her compassion is something that we look up to.
Give ourselves to Guan Yin. When in crisis, she will come to save us. Guan Yin is our help in crises and our spiritual guide. As she leads the way, we can be free from suffering and attain happiness. Guan Yin is like our sitter in life. But as we are receiving help and benefit, we must remember that there are countless beings who are still in anguish pain. Therefore we should learn to generate bodhicitta like Guan Yin with the intention of “attaining Buddhahood, liberating all beings”. Keep in mind that we are an entity of interdependence with sentient beings. Without them, we have no basis for attaining Buddhahood. We rely on sentient beings on our path to enlightenment. They are our field of merit to cultivate. By benefitting all beings, we’ve made a great accomplishment, great merit, and great felicity.
Our life isn’t limited to this one. We’re in an incessant stream of lifetimes. We should follow the aspiration of Guan Yin as we traverse on this journey of life. By doing so, there’d be no setbacks on the way. As long as we set the objective and direction clearly, we can eventually return to our home of life. How fortunate we are to come across Dharma today! Recollect Buddha Amitabha and the Great Compassion Mantra of Guan Yin in mind. Together, let’s aspire and accomplish the compassionate Dharma door of Guan Yin. By reciting the mantra, let’s dedicate the merit for world peace and the welfare of beings.