Here are some links and cut-and-pastes of Amitabha practitioners going to pureland with good signs.
Pure Land is my Home
The Story of my Father’s Rebirth
by Guo Xuan Lee
Translated by Huali Yuan
Pure Sound From Silicon Valley
Issue 152, Dec. 2008
My parents lived in Australia and they did not believe in Buddhadharma. When I first started to study Buddhadharma, I also exhorted my family to study, my mother and younger sister followed with me, and they became vegetarians and started to recite the Buddha’s name, however, my father still insisted that we were being superstitious, and he even obstructed my cultivation.
One day, my parents and younger sister had a car accident when they were driving. The accident was quite serious, the whole car was almost wrecked, and my father went into coma and bled a lot, however, my mother and younger sister remained safe and sound. After this experience, mother and sister gained more faith in the Buddhadharma, while my father was sick in bed and could not walk, but he had a strong belief that his body would recover as wholesome as before, and he could walk freely, therefore, he asked many good doctors to treat him, but all efforts went in vain, his physical health did not get any better. Because of this, he lose his temper all the times, which made my mother afflicted a lot, therefore I went back to Australia to visit them.
After I got home, I explained to my father the truth of “birth, old age, sickness, death, and other Buddhadharma. I told him,” you have already gone though the suffering of birth and old age, now you are undergoing the suffering of sickness, and the last one could be the suffering of death.” I explained Buddhadharma to him everyday, so he started to gain a bit of faith, he told me that one day when he was lying in bed, he saw his room caught on a heavy fire, but strange indeed was that there were some fish amid the fire, he hurried to call my mother in, however when my mother came, she saw nothing.
My father asked me what did that mean, I told him my personal view ” Our physical body is like the house we are living in, now the house is on fire, it means that our body is being broken down; as for the fish, when did you see a fish with closed eyes? Fish always keep their eyes open, which means that you should wake up soon, don’t get attached and confused any more. You really had a lot of blessings, since Buddhas and Bodhisattvas showed you these in order to make you wake up soon! You body condition is getting down soon, do not get attached to it any longer.” From this on, my father changed to a vegetarian diet and started to recite the Buddha’s name.
Half a year before my father’s rebirth, my elder sister visited him once. She a filial daughter with a kind heart, but being a Catholic, she believes animals are created to be eaten by human, as long as human are kind. So when she found that our father was sick, weak, and on a veggie diet, she was worried that our father did not get enough nutrition. Therefore, she explained her concern to father, and asked him whether she could cook meat for him. He took her advice at once, and was happy that he could eat meat again. So one thing led to another, and he could not stop, later on he even desired to eat pig’s feet every day. My mother called me and asked me to talk to my father, over the phone, I just said a few words to him, “Dad, if you eat other beings’ feet now, in the future, other beings will eat your feet.” One week later, my mom called me again and told me that my father had returned to a vegetarian diet.
Two months before my father’s rebirth, he could fall asleep every night. It seemed that he kept talking to someone, getting angry and yelling. Therefore, I went back again to Australia to visit him. I asked him why he could not sleep. He said that some beings came to bother him every night, and none of them had feet. I realized at once that they were his enemies and debtees. I told him, “It is because you ate others’ feet in the past, now they all came back to you. “Then I asked him,” How did you treat them?”
He said,” I am not afraid of them, I never did a single evil thing or harm a single person in my life, therefore I do not need be afraid of them, if they come, I will fight with them!” I advised him not behave like that, because those ghost beings are in great suffering, without blessings, they have no opportunities of encountering Buddhadharma, that is why we should be compassionate with them.
I said, “If they come again tonight, you apologize to them, and tell them because you did not understand principles, you harmed them, now you are seeking forgiveness from them. Also you can tell them to recite the Buddha’s name, so that they can seek rebirth, and end birth and death. You yourself also have to recite the Buddha’s name on behalf of them, recite Amitabha Buddha.” The next morning, I asked father whether they came or not and how was it. He said they did come, and he addressed them as I taught, then he recited the Buddha’s name on their behalf, and they did not disturb him any long, they stood there listening to the Buddha’s name, after that, they left.
A week before my father’s rebirth, one day, it looked like he was dying, therefore, my mother and younger sister started to recite the Buddha’s name, after a whole day, my father is still alive. Suddenly, my younger sister smelt fragrant incense, which lasts for about 5 minutes. At that time, she understood that she need offer incense. Therefore, she asked mother to bring an incensory for her to lit incense, wishing the Buddha could come to welcome father and his enemies and debtees into pure land. After making the incense offering, they continued reciting the Buddha’s name. At that time, my younger sister heard other voices around them, a lot of melodic voices resound in the air, reciting the Buddha’s name. My younger sister said that upon hearing these wonderful sounds, she felt very pure and clear in heart. One week later, my father passed away, his mind was quite clear when he was dying, but he already put down everything, his wife, children, and houses, his only wish was to follow the Buddha and he was ready. He passed away very peacefully. His face looked ruddy and pleasant, and even had a smile on it. His body was also very soft. Some people who came to assist reciting the Buddha’s name even smelt fragrant incense.
Forty-nine days after my father’s rebirth, one day when my son Mingguang was in sleep, he felt someone nudging his elbows in his dream, when he opened eyes, he saw his grandfather. Mingguang said that his grandfather did not look like before, since his grandfather had the appearance of a Bhikus, with hair already being shaved, a very fresh and smooth face without any wrinkle, wearing a bright orange sash, smiling happily. Mingguang asked him, “Grandpa, how come you are here?”
His grandpa answered, smiling, “I came to tell you, I have already followed with Amitabha and been reborn in the Pure Land. Mingguang, you should vigorously recite Buddha’s name, and follow with Amitabha Buddha.”
The Story of Dr Chiang
Published in Vajra Bodhi Sea, Bodhi Field section, November 2008 Edition p33-37
A talk by Alice Chiang on September 14, 2008
Dharma Master Yo asked me to share with you what Dr. Chiang and our family have gone through these past 5 months. Life is so very unpredictable! Just a few months ago, Dr. Chiang was at the peak of his medical practice. We were in the process of moving into a brand new house. It was his dream home. It’s got everything he ever wanted built in it. The new house was surrounded by woods and lots of trees, which he loved. He was very excited about it. At the end of February and the beginning of March, we began to pack our valuables and important documents into boxes and move from our old house to the new one. His back then began to hurt. We thought he probably just pulled some muscles while lifting boxes and did not take too much notice of it. Well, the back pain got worse for the next two weeks and began to pinch the nerve, causing numbness of the left leg. He decided to get an MRI of the spine to make sure everything was okay.
I will never forget March 20th, Thursday, at 3 p.m. [Our son] Andy was still on his spring break. We all accompanied Dr. Chiang to have the MRI. As he came out of the test, he was wearing a smile on his face. Andy and I were relieved. But he then went on and told us that the radiologist had shown him the film, and he had seen a large tumor inside one of the vertebrae. Subsequently, a CT Scan confirmed that Dr. Chiang had stage IV lung cancer, which had already spread to the spine. It was so shocking and devastating for me! I didn’t know what to do. The first thing that came to my mind was: what’s going to happen to all his patients? Who would be willing to cover for Dr. Chiang? And what’s going to happen to his medical practice that he cares so very much about? Coincidently, March 20th was also the day that we had just signed the contract to list our old house for sale.
Even though Dr. Chiang was ailing, he went back to the office over the next two days, performed 15 endoscopies and colonoscopies, and saw 25 patients. He was still laughing and joking with the patients as if nothing had happened. But starting Sunday, three days after he was diagnosed, his condition continued deteriorating. He was in so much pain and couldn’t get out of bed any more. After that, he was never able to go back to his office ever again. Taking care of Dr. Chiang and bringing him to various tests/scans and treatment/therapy was already a full time job for me. But being his medical practice manager, I had to handle the transition of the patient care as well as the business and operation of the office, including finding a good physician to cover for Dr. Chiang as well as coordinating with pharmacies and other health care professionals. In addition, I had to deal with selling the old house and eventually moving. To me, it was almost mission impossible! It was a tremendous and overwhelming burden for me. Being a Buddhist, it is very clear to me that this was karmic retribution appearing right in front of us. We were in this together. These karmic situations came chasing us like a huge hurricane and totally caught us off guard! I know this was the karma from Dr. Chiang’s previous life, because in this life he was such a good, kindhearted man who had saved so many people’s lives. So, I began to repent to the Buddha on Dr. Chiang’s behalf and recite the Great Compassion Mantra vigorously, incorporating the recitation into my daily activities all day long. I know I was being blessed by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Venerable Master Hua because in addition to the Dharma Masters’ caring and support, all of a sudden I felt an enormous and irresistible power and strength in me at all times helping me overcome so many karmic obstacles.
Recently, Dr. Chiang did back surgery to remove the tumor in the vertebrae, four sessions of chemotherapy, and over 30 sessions of radiation treatment, yet the cancer cells continued to grow and to spread! I made many attempts to share the Buddhadharma with him using my own experience as an example. I also urged him to accept some alternative medicine and food therapy for body and mind healing, but I could never totally convince him. Being not only a physician but also biochemist and immunologist himself, Dr. Chiang was very skeptical of my advice.
In mid-July, Dr. Chiang was admitted to the hospital due to side effects from chemotherapy. He couldn’t keep any food down and was constantly throwing up. His condition started gradually going downhill. A week later, his arms and legs were all swollen, and he lost his voice. The oncologist told us that it was about the time to put his hands in his pockets, as there was nothing he could do medically to help Dr. Chiang. When we were told Dr. Chiang only had weeks to live, he was surprisingly very calm. This was when I told him that only Buddhas and Bodhisattvas could save him now. I asked him to begin vigorously reciting Amitabha’s name, and explained to him that the land of Ultimate Bliss is covered by gold and surrounded by so many treasures and that there will be no suffering, only enjoyment of every bliss. If he recited Amitabha’s name wholeheartedly, he would attain rebirth in the land of Ultimate Bliss. He agreed and began to do so. I told him that if he recited the Buddha’s name one time, he would liberate one cancer cell; if he recited 10,000 times, he’d liberate 10,000 cancer cells. He laughed. I went on and told him to recite with as much diligence as if his patients were very sick, and he needed to save their lives. He listened and acknowledged my words. He also took Dharma Master Yo’s advice and agreed to take refuge with the Triple Jewel and receive the Five Precepts.
On July 27th, Dharma Master Yo and Dharma Master Jai along with disciple Kao came to visit Dr. Chiang in the hospital. Dr. Chiang took refuge with Venerable Master Hua and received the five precepts from Dharma Master Yo and Dharma Master Jai. Inconceivably, the very next day, the swelling of his arms and legs diminished! He looked so much healthier with pink cheeks. Not only did he begin to talk out loud but also he was able to start eating and keep the food down without vomiting! The oncologist was so stunned and amazed and couldn’t figure out why. This gave Dr. Chiang so much confi dence and encouragement. All of sudden, he was able to totally let go of his worries and be totally at ease. After that, he began reciting Buddha’s name even more vigorously.
As we were thinking Dr. Chiang was stable enough to come home, he started to develop difficulty in breathing. His heart was pounding very fast. Coughing and fever complicated the condition. I knew the end was coming. Andy and I followed the Dharma Master’s suggestion to recite along with him. A few times when I asked him whether he saw Amitabha coming, he nodded his head and said, “Yes!” Right before and after Dr. Chiang’s passing, we did encounter a few incidences of interference from creditors of Dr. Chiang’s previous lives. Andy will briefly describe what happened during and after Dr. Chiang’s passing later. Although Dr. Chiang was seeking help of the Buddha at the very last minutes, he did have good roots, blessings, virtues, and causal connections as described in The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra, and he was reciting Buddha’s name so vigorously and wholeheartedly without confusion. Therefore, I believe he will attain rebirth in Amitabha’s land of Ultimate Bliss.
In his Dharma Talks, Venerable Master Hua often spoke of how sincerity brings a response that intertwines with the Way. It is truly an inconceivable phenomenon. I myself have felt and witnessed Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ compassion, wisdom, and boundless light shining on me during this most diffi cult time of my life. I would like to share a phrase with you which best describes what I went through during the past five months. The phrase is from Incense Praise: “If our hearts are sincere and earnest, all Buddhas will manifest.”
A talk by Andy Chiang on September 14, 2008
My dad passed away on Saturday, August 16th, in the afternoon. Heading into that Thursday, August 14th, we knew that my dad was probably nearing the end of his life, so Mom and I made sure that we were in my dad’s hospital room at all times. Around 3 p.m. on Friday, my mom and I had an appointment at the funeral home to discuss the arrangement. But pretty much right as we got back to the hospital from the funeral home around 6 p.m, my mom received a call from our home’s security company. They called to tell us that the alarm system had gone off at home and to see if we were okay. Naturally, my mom told them that we hadn’t been in the house since 2 p.m; Therefore, it was really strange that the alarm went off around 6 p.m. ; This was the first time our alarm had ever gone off, so my mom was afraid someone had broken into our house. We decided to rush back home to make sure things were okay. We waited for two police cars to show up. When we opened the garage door, we noticed that the rear door to the house was open. The police went in the house and checked every room and found no trace of anyone breaking in. When we were confident that our home was fine, my mom and I rushed back to the hospital to be with my dad.
That night we were reciting the Amitabha Buddha’s name all night long. When dad was listening to us reciting the Buddha’s name, he would move his lips trying so hard to recite with us and often breaking into huge smiles. These smiles were different than his usual smiles–as if he were experiencing something he’d never experienced before. And indeed, when my mom asked him, “Did you see the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas?” he nodded to say yes. The next day, on the morning of the day that my dad passed away, he could not really move anything but his eyes. As we recited the Amitabha Buddha’s name to him, I saw tears coming down from his eyes. That’s how I knew he could hear me. So I was reciting even louder and more vigorously, because I knew the end was near.
My dad passed away that Saturday afternoon at 2:22 p.m. But just a few minutes before and after dad’s passing, something very strange was happening. The intercom speaker kept coming on (at least three times), and the front desk nurse kept asking us, “How can I help you?” even though no one had pressed the emergency button. In fact, I had gotten so annoyed by it that I left my dad’s room to go tell the front desk that we were trying to recite the Amitabha Buddha’s name, and the intercom speaker kept distracting us. At 2:30 p.m., my mom asked the nurse to come in and unplug the IV machine. When dad passed away, his face froze in the suffering state he was in when he took his last breath. Our heartfelt thanks to so many of you who came to the hospital to help us recite Amitabha Buddha’s name. After several hours of recitation, my dad’s face began to change, even though he had died hours earlier. The suffering state of his mouth changed into a decidedly noticeable smile. It was unmistakable! I was in absolute shock and awe at what I had seen. A little after 10 p.m. towards the end of the recitation of the Amitabha prayer, all of a sudden, the unplugged IV machine started beeping again as if it were on, for a few times in a row! (But it had been turned off for almost eight hours by that point!).
The next day, when I finally had a chance to think about all the incredible things that happened in the last two days, and I had a chance to talk to my mom about it, I was then able to make sense of everything. The rear door opening by itself, the hospital intercom speaker going off by itself, and the IV beeping after it had been turned off…This was all the work of enemy spirits that were trying to distract my family and I from focusing our attention on my dad as he was about to die. I understood then that these spirits were from my dad’s past lives and were trying to keep us away from my dad. I realized that the smile from my dad’s face even after he passed away was his way of communicating to us that he had found Amitabha, through the light that our prayers had created for him and that he would find his way to the Pure Land. My dad’s eyes
had closed, but he opened mine. Thank you very much.
Remembrance of My Father’s Rebirth
By Kai Wen Lo
Translation By Laura Lin
Pure Sound From Silicon Valley
Issue 116, Dec 2005, p8-10
June of this year, my father experienced sudden pain around his waist, and he couldn’t eat. Within one month, he lost around ten kilograms. He was admitted to Taipei’s General Veteran’s Hospital many times. Finally, in September, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. According to his doctor, this type of cancer worsens very quickly. Usually, a patient with this illness only lives for another six months. Although my entire family didn’t lose hope, we were finally defeated by the disease. My father peacefully passed away at the end of October. From when he first got ill to when he passed away, many inconceivable events as described in the Sutras occurred. Therefore, I put these events together to share with everyone.
1. The Six Principles formed the foundation of my father’s faith:
My father was an introvert, he considered carefully before he acted, and he was a very responsible person. Ever since we were children, my father taught my brother, my sister, and me never take advantage of others and never flatter others to further our own benefits. Also, he taught us not to add to another person’s burden. Because my father sincerely respected the Venerable Master Hua’s merit and virtue, he took refuge with the Venerable Master in 1994. From then on, my father recited the Earth Store Sutra, the Heart Sutra and the Buddha’s name daily.
2. I constantly reminded my father to maintain his faith:
During my father’s stay in the hospital, the suffering that he went through was beyond description. When he realized that his illness was incurable, he was determined to be reborn in the Pure Land. I put a recording of the Buddha’s name next to my father’s bedside, and it played continuously. I frequently described the scene of the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss to my father. I also told him that the relationships in the Saha world are temporary, only his Dharma companions in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss are permanent. One day when my father woke up, he felt a lot of pain. However, he saw a circle of yellow light about one foot in diameter on the ceiling. All of the sudden, he experienced comfort all over his body. Since then, his faith was even firmer.
3. Manifestation of negative karma could not be ignored:
Eight days before my father passed away, he dreamed that many people were chasing him to kill him. When he woke up, he was very disturbed. When my friend told me over the phone that the Three Thousand Buddhas Repentance was taking place at Taipei’s Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distribution Society, my family rushed over and set up a “Plaque to Repay Those We Owe”on behalf of my father. The next day, my father dreamed that there was an individual who blocked those who were trying to kill him. On the third day, in his dreams, my father saw that his intended killers had smiles on their faces and appeared to be joyful, and they stopped seeking retribution from him. My father’s experience was similar to the teachings in the Earth Store Sutra where it describes what a person experiences before he passes away. Everyone should be mindful of this.
4. Letting go of everything and passing away amid recitation of the Buddha’s name:
On October 25, my father’s illness worsened very quickly. Following my mother’s reminder, my father even used his very hoarse voice to call out Amitabha Buddha’s name two hours before his passing. It was incredibly touching! I told my father not to worry about the family, to let go of everything, and to concentrate on reciting the Buddha’s name in his mind. At that time, my entire family started to recite the Buddha’s name. When I saw my father’s last breath, it was as if a knife cut my heart while it broke into thousands of pieces, and I felt as if there were explosions all around me. However, I remembered the words of Great Master Yin Kuang , so I continued to recite the Buddha’s name with tears in my eyes. Under the compassionate assistance of Dharma Masters Heng Yun , Heng Tsai and others, the Dharma brothers of Dharma Realms Buddhist Books Distribution Society were contacted right away. They were very organized and took turns to recite the Buddha’s name on my father’s behalf. Due to their efforts, my father reached the Western Pure Land smoothly, and my family is deeply grateful.
5. Amitabha Buddha appeared and radiated thousands of rays of golden light:
When my family started to recite the Buddha’s name, my younger brother smelled the scent of fragrant flowers in the hospital room, and my younger sister saw Amitabha Buddha manifesting an incredibly large body from afar while emitting golden light. Even more surprisingly, she saw our father walking slowly towards Amitabha. At that time, my sister thought there was something wrong with her, so she left the room to get a drink of water and to take deep breaths. When she went back to the room and closed her eyes to resume her recitation, the scene she saw earlier returned. Our father was closer to Amitabha, and he appeared to be getting smaller. My sister left the room again to get a drink of water and to take deep breaths. When she returned to the room, she saw my father’s hair fell off, and he was wearing a black robe as he got on a lotus to leave. What is also worth mentioning is my sister’s description of Amitabha. She said the Buddha’s head is the color of loyal blue and he had many flesh mounds on the crown of his head. She also said that our father appeared to be very small next to Amitahba. Two days after my father’s passing, my sister continued to smell wondrous fragrance. My brother and sister are not true Buddhist disciples. They know very little about Amitabha and the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. Without the kindness and compassion of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, my brother and sister would not have experienced such auspicious states.