Towards the end of last June, troubles at work made my life chaotic. I suffered from a continuous low mood, even becoming confused about the future. At that very time my cousin Han, a member of the Rockets Buddhist Study Group, brought me into the group to study with other practitioners.
I remember that I met with fellow Buddhists for the first time at a vegetarian restaurant. We studied one of Ven. Xuecheng's speeches in English. After this, we talked to each other about the current state of our lives and also discussed our understanding of Buddhism. During this time I listened intently and the discussion really interested me. My principle feeling was that over these two hours I was very relaxed and cheerful. It was as if all life's troubles floated away and disappeared.
Since then I have gone to Longquan Monastery for five consecutive weekends. The first time I went with Liu Xueling, the instructor of the Rockets group. She went there to have a class with some of the Venerable Masters of Longquan. Meanwhile, I participated in volunteer work, doing Chaoshan (worship ceremonies to the mountain), working at Dadixin farm and having my first vegetarian lunch at the monastery. Finally, all the volunteers gathered to exchange ideas and introduced ourselves to each other: saying who we are, where we come from, and why we came to Longquan. This was truly an amazing experience for me. However, the most amazing thing is that, although the round-trip from my home to Longquan Monastery took around five hours, believe it or not, I didn't feel tired during the day time and slept very well at night. This was my first experience at Longquan Monastery. I'm sure I will remember it forever.
After four months of contact, the greatest impact on me has been the changes in my thinking. Now, if something happens, I can consider it from different angles. This helps to make difficult things more simple. Because of this I am truly grateful to my cousin Han. Thanks to her, I have had the opportunity to meet every one of you, encounter the Buddha and experience the good things which have happened to me since then. Now I understand that this is what the Buddha called: “cause and effect.” The story of my relationship with Longquan is still continuing. I look forward to the next chapter.