Happy Birthday to My Hero!
Dharma – There will always be obstacles in life
This past Sunday (April 7) at Alms Offering Service, for the Dhamma portion, Venerable Na Long spoke about a lady at our center who has been coming to the center every day, and has never missed Alms Offering. However today, her seat is empty. The Venerable went on speaking about this lady’s situation and the wisdom that we can gain. The Venerable stated that there will be challenges and obstacles in life, but we must always stay the course and use the accumulation of merit as your refuge.
- I was asked by a lay devotee to write about this ladies incident since there is wisdom that one can learn from her situation.
- I will share this story with you now
There is a member at the temple that started coming since the inception of the Georgia Meditation Center in 1998. She never missed an Alms Offering Service held every Sunday and always is in attendance for all ceremonies. She is very involved at the center always helping to motivate others to accumulate good deeds, and has introduced many to join the center and attend service. She conducts her life accordingly to the teaching of the center with daily practice of meditation, upholding the 5 precepts, and acts of generosity. She truly is an inspiration for others and is a true virtuous peace leader. She has proven time and time again, by her actions and service to the center how dedicated and genuine she really is...my mother.
Recently, an unfortunate situation occurred, my mother was injured. All I could wish for is merit not to fail my family now, wishing that for any situation that might be heavy to be light instead, and for my mom to ultimately be fine. I am so relieved to say my mother will be fine, and her scars will heal. My mother has proven that she is not only a warrior with the ultimate love for her child, but she is also a soldier of goodness. She is my hero, and my captain, who has guided me to be who I am today, a lover of doing good for the world, a soldier for peace.
The next day after her injury my mother asked for us to go to the temple to accumulate more good deeds for our family. She reminded us (myself and my brothers) that when it comes to relaying on anything we must rely on our good deeds to get us through, and that she knows she is protected, because of all the good she has done thus far. My mother is a great example of perseverance of accumulating good deeds and believing in merit no matter what. That though challenges come in our life we will not back down, and wonder why our goodness did not protect us. When it comes to Karma we just never know what consequence will bear its fruit, all we can wish for, if unfortunate situations are to occur due to remnants of Karma, let them be light, not heavy circumstances. We have confident and faith in the good deeds that we accumulate and our goodness and virtues will always protect us. And even if it doesn’t, we will realize that sometimes some things are just meant to be and we have no control. And that my friends is Karma. Believe in Merit, Believe in doing good and recall on them to protect you.
Today is my mother’s birthday and to celebrate her birthday she made an offering to the Venerable. I wanted to share her story with you in hopes that it may help inspire you to accumulate good deeds for yourself by meditating, upholding precepts, and acts of generosity, her story is one that we can learn something from. Those of you who know my mom, know how dedicated she is in accumulating good deeds. Instead of buying her a present, she asked each of her children (me, Nat, and Timmy) to share in making a birthday offering with her, she wanted no material object, but rather wanted to make merit. Since monks meditate 4-6 hours a day, and uphold 227 precepts, for us, we believe they are our fertile fields of merit. Thus, just like a seed that is to be planted, we should be selective with the type of soil we plant the seed in, the more fertile the soil the better the yield. Likewise, the more purified a person is, an act of good deed towards that person, accumulates a high return of merit accordingly. Merit and Demerit are behind all things, accumulate only good deeds, and protect yourself. Believe in merit. It is real!
A photo of my family performing merit offering together: