1 – By Fong Oo Yook 馮 愛 玉
My eight day stay in Than Hsiang Temple is my first time and I feel happy and peaceful with mindfulness. I learnt a lot of things like how to pay my respects to the venerable bhikshu and bhikshunis, how to wear and fold the hai ching, and how to sit mindfully.
I thank all the Venerables for teaching me. Thank you very much.
2 - 張 美 英
I feel very blessed and grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in this Seven Day Amitabha Recitation Retreat held at Than Hsiang monastery.
I did feel tired and unable to focus during the first two days of the retreat. However, with determination to ensure I would benefit from this Retreat, I managed to overcome the frequent arising of my stupor. From the third day onwards, I was able to stay focused in chanting the Amitabha mantra and enjoyed tremendously the chanting with the Venerables who were so wonderfully melodious in their sutra chanting.
From this Retreat, I have benefited in many ways and I believe that it has taken me to the next level of my path to Buddhahood.
I was mindful and aware of my surroundings during the Retreat. I observed that there were old “pusas”, middle-aged “pusas” and young “pusas”. I found the old pusas to perform better than most of us (middle-aged and young). The old pusas were consciously making an effort to stay focused although there were a few ignorant ones among them. I was indeed very impressed by some of the old pusas who I believe have cultivated well in the past years, resulting in their current serene presence.
What I gained from this is that I want to be like the old pusa and so I must not cease to practice, cultivate and work hard now.
From the past few days of repetitive chanting of the Amitabha Sutra and with Venerable Wei Wu's explanation of the sutra, I learnt to appreciate the Amitabha Sutra better. I have definitely got more clarity now! I thoroughly enjoy chanting the sutra now. In fact, I have managed to memorize some parts of the sutra. This is amazing as it was something I had failed to achieve in many attempts.
Observing the Eight Precepts for the past seven days had been meaningful to me. Going forward, I determine to:
1. Observe the Eight Precepts on every 15 th day of each lunar month.
2. Continue to chant the Amitabha Sutra and at the same time memorize the sutra. It would be wonderful the day I could chant the whole sutra without referring at all to the sutra book.
3. Find a most appropriate schedule/time to chant the Amitabha mantra daily.
With Buddha's blessings, I strongly believe I can fulfill the above-mentioned determinations! Amituofo!