Dancing of the Dragon and Phoenix
After the life Liberation Prayer Service on June 7, 2015, Ven. Dayi Shi led the congregation to pay respect at the Manjusri Peak. It was a sunny day with the sunlight as bright and colorful like beautiful colored gemstones, everchanging shapes and colors in the sky, a lovely sight for all to enjoy. Suddenly white clouds filled the sky, then manifesting into a white dragon and a white phoenix, dancing among the clouds high in the sky. This brought a lot of excitement to the spectators, and many photos were taken of this auspicious sight.
This is the story of Anna, who witnessed this amazing phenomenon and was the first spectator to share the photos that she took of the event.
The Dragon and Phoenix Bring Good Fortune to the Spectators.
Anna remembered that it was a sunny day, and about 4 pm when a speck of red cloud first appeared, gradually turning the blue sky into a rainbow of colors, just like auspicious Buddhist beams of blessings showering peace and good fortune on everyone.
By this time, many people were cheering and spreading the news of the auspicious sighting, urging others to look up quickly. The clouds kept on changing shapes with colors like beautiful gemstones, providing a spectacular display for all to see. Within moments a white dragon manifested and started dancing in the sky, followed by a beautiful phoenix joining in the dance. This auspicious sighting was captured by the congregation members on their mobile phones. Anna was the first person to post and share this amazing moment with her friends.
Even though this happened over 4 years ago, Anna could still remember that event as if it happened yesterday, and her eyes still lit up with excitement and happiness with its memory.
Determined to Learn Buddhist Teachings and Rebuild Life Despite Sickness
Anna came to Canada in 2008 with her family. Even though she passed by Cham Shan Temple every day when she dropped off her young children to school, she felt the temple was too solemn for her to enter. At a later date when her friends brought her to the temple she felt a great respect for the statues of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas within. Gradually over time she learnt more about the Buddhist teachings.
Being a resident from the northern region of China, Anna loved noodles. Quite often when she visited the temple she would bring her home-made noodles to offer to Ven. Dayi Shi.
In August 2011, Anna accompanied Ven. Dayi Shi and his secretary Sophie on a pilgrimage to the Four Great Buddhist Mountains of China. At that time, her eldest son was going through a rebellious stage of adolescence. It was a hard journey for Anna, as she had to worry about her son in Canada while facing the challenges of travelling to the four different sacred Buddhist sites in China.
Not long after, Anna became unwell and was diagnosed by the hospital doctor as having a large cyst. It was hard for her to face such a cruel reality, as she loved her husband and her 3 young children, and did not know how her family could manage without her.
Feeling helpless and with a heavy heart she sought guidance from Ven. Dayi Shi and Elder Master Sing Hung. Without hesitation Elder Master Sing Hung shared his valuable collection of medication with Anna, while Ven. Dayi Shi advised Anna to meditate and pray at home to help calm her anxiety.
When she reached home, Anna discovered that the given medicine had gone past its expiry date. Nonetheless, Anna had faith in the Elder Master and still took the medicine. She also followed the advice of Ven. Dayi Shi and prayed daily, chanting the names of the 88 Buddhas, accompanied by her beloved husband, bowing and prostrating more than 100 times a day. After a month, Anna felt her body was getting stronger.
After the hospital diagnosis, Anna planned to return to China to have an operation for the removal of the cyst. As the departure date loomed closer, Anna became more agitated, so she visited the Elder Master and the Abbot. The Elder Master comforted Anna by letting her know that he also had a cyst before, but through praying the cyst disappeared. Ven. Dayi Shi also comforted Anna, and advised her not to rush into having an operation after her arrival in China, but to ask for another physical examination first.
On the night before her departure for the operation in China, Anna had a dream in which she vaguely saw 2 Bodhisattvas with female faces walking towards her, and without pain plucked something from her body. She woke up abruptly when she tried to see the Bodhisattvas more clearly. On waking, she felt her body was a lot more relaxed, and that was the moment when she felt that her sickness would be cured.
The next day Anna was accompanied by her husband and flew back to China. She went to the hospital to have a physical examination before the scheduled operation. To everyone’s amazement, the doctor found Anna’s body in good health, and questioned if there was a misdiagnosis in Canada.
On hearing this piece of good news, Anna and her husband were elated, but were convinced that it was with the blessing of the Buddha that she was given a second chance in life. From then on, Anna and her husband became even more devoted in their Buddhist faith.
When Anna was sick, her happy family came under a shroud of darkness, bringing great sadness to her children. Her children became very happy again after hearing the good news of Anna’s full recovery and that she was on her journey home to Canada. More good news subsequently followed in the family. The eldest son of Anna changed from a rebellious teenager into a top-grade student and was admitted to Harvard University. His younger brother and sister were also admitted into the University of Toronto. Whenever Anna spoke of her children, one could see the happiness and pride in her face.
Anna’s husband rejoiced when he saw his beloved wife recovering well day by day. When he learned of the fundraising effort by Elder Master and the Abbot for the construction of the Wutai Shan Buddhist Garden in Canada, in gratitude he made a generous donation for the sponsorship of a Buddha statue.
Lastly, Anna wished to share her story and experience with everyone. She asked everyone to put their trust in their Buddhist faith, as there were too many unfathomable miracles that happened since the construction started for the Wutai Shan Buddhist Garden in Canada.
She was a simple person who had to face the breakup of her family and endured the suffering of her illness. This all changed after she started coming to Cham Shan Temple and received the blessings from Buddha. Her health improved, her children grew up with great academic achievements, and happiness filled her family again. She hoped everyone will visit Cham Shan Temple more often to join in the prayer services, to receive the blessings from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and to enjoy a happy and healthy life in Canada.