Sally Sy — I Am Happier and More At Peace

When I first stepped into Ocean Sky Chan Monastery many years ago, the first Abbot then convinced me to attend the meditation classes. Out of curiosity, I attended the class without expecting anything in particular.

At that time, I faced many challenges in my life; challenges that came one after the other. Some were just incredibly painful that I could not accept what was happening. I became so disappointed and angry, and eventually, my health gave way and I ended up with a life threatening disease.

Although I have been here for a long time, it took me a while before I actually started to reflect on the teachings of Buddhism and apply them to my life. From Abbess Master Jianshu’s Dharma talks, I have developed a deeper understanding of Buddhism. Now I have learned to let go, accept the flow of events, and face reality. Ever since I learned that everything is conditional, I am no longer emotionally affected by external events. I feel more open-minded, and try to look at things from different perspectives. I am more aware of my “self-nature.”

Besides this, I try to be more aware of cause and effect. I try to be as tolerant as possible—when I see people doing bad deeds and accumulating bad karma, I feel compassion instead of frustration. This reminds me to not only avoid committing the same mistake as them, but to improve myself as much as possible. Whenever I think of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” I ask myself, “Others may go to hell; do I also want to go with them?” Whenever I feel a negative thought about to rise, I try to change it into a positive thought, or at least a neutral one.

As a result of all these, my anger has diminished, and I am more in control of myself. I am happier and more at peace, and my health has improved a lot. I have realized that all the things I have lost, tangible or intangible, are “impermanent.” As a result, I am gradually regaining my original peace and bliss.

My Dharma name is Chuan Man (傳滿). It means fullness; abundance; completeness. I had been man-man (滿滿, full and complete) all my life, but I was not aware of it. Because of my newfound awareness, I have also begun to realize that aside from being “man-man” (full) in the worldly sense; I also possess the inherent Buddha Nature in me.