Coming home (I)

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Peng Lei     Time:2017-08-27 19:47:06
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What is a full-time volunteer’s life like in the Longquan Monastery? Are you curious about this? A Dharma sister shared her experiences of being full-time volunteer in the English team of Longquan Monastery. Thanks for her firsthand and sincere records.

On May 6th, the second day after I quit my job, I went to the Phoenix Ridge, dragging a suitcase. I had never thought of quitting, nor of becoming a full-time volunteer in Longquan Monastery. Yet, it happened, I think, for a reason.

What happened? 

Just one week earlier, I went to the Monastery to invite Xueling to be the main lecturer of the first seminar for our multilingual training workshops. 

It was a Saturday noon. After lunch, I followed Xueling to the office room No. 305 to take a rest. The office is located on the third floor of the building complex——the Sanhui Hall. When one pushes open the door, first thing comes to one’s sight is a row of book shelves arranged neatly with books written by Ven. Abbot Xuecheng. When you walk into the office, you would see a spacious and bright room. On the left side, there is an oval table, at the end of which stand two framed pictures, one of Bodhisattva, the other of Shifu.On the wall there hangs a large LED television. Later on I learned that it is the place where master leads sutras chanting as well as welcomes visitors. Behind the table, there is a whole row of book shelves, showcasing various kinds of books, including Buddhism, Chinese culture, as well as other religion related books, mostly in original English version. It is truly the office of the English Team, I thought.

I was fascinated by this bright, spacious office at first sight, and began to imagine how wonderful it would be if I could work here. 

During lunch break, the office was quiet. I sat  in a chair beside Xueling’s and fell asleep. I hadn’t had such a good sleep for a long time. The overwhelming anxiety from intense pressure and tasks undertaken from the Monastery had dragged me into a depressed and confusing state which was beyond my control. After a deep sleep, I woke up naturally, and there was still some time before the class in the afernoon. 

I picked up a book from the desk, Your True Home, written by Thich Nhat Hanh. Dharma Master Ven. Xianqing had mentioned this book several times in his class. He told us that he started learning English from this book. There was a period of time when he took the book wherever he went and read several lines every day. This was the first time I read this book, and it was different from what I thought. The book is divided into many short chapters and each chapter contains a subtitle, and the content of each chapter contains no more than two hundred or three hundred words. The first chapter is as following:
Your True Home

YOUR TRUE HOME is in the here and the now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality, or race. Your true home is not an abstract idea; it is something you can touch and live in every moment. With mindfulness and concentration, the energies of the Buddha, you can find your true home in the full relaxation of your mind and body in the present moment.

The expression in this book is simple and clear but contains some kind of power which attracts me deeply. After reading the book,my heart was full of energy as an engine filled with oil. Dharma friend Xueling noticed that I fell for the book so she gave it to me as a gift. I was too moved to say anything. (This kind of situation happened to me several times. I would fall into a state of confusion when I received unexpected kindness from others.) On one hand I was afraid that I was not good enough to meet this kindness, on the other I was afraid that I would do something wrong and upset them. Gradually, I come to realize that these were all delusions. I have to learn and to cultivate myself, step by step.

Holding the book, I talked with Xueling about the special and extraordinary experience of her being a full-time volunteer in the monastery. No matter what, I said, the experience of living in the monastery, wholly devoting oneself to Buddhism promotion career and making contributions to others would be absolutely precious and long-lasting memories.  I admired her from my heart. 

Yes, it was at that moment when an idea emerged in my mind: I want to be a full-time volunteer in the monastery, too. 
Tags:quit job, go to the monastery, full-time volunteer

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