Reflection for Attending Dharma Assembly on Saturday, September 24, 2016 — Minerva Lin

Yesterday (September 24, 2016), I attended the Great Compassionate Guanyin Empowerment Dharma Assembly in Palo Alto. I kind of had an idea in mind of what was going to happen because I had read stories about some people’s experiences at similar Dharma assemblies. Also, my parents and my aunt who had attended Great Compassionate Guanyin Empowerment Dharma Assembly in the past have told me about their experiences. I had the impression that I needed to have a relaxed and peaceful mind in able to receive instructions from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, so I entered the auditorium telling myself that I will try to be very relaxed. But I also told myself that no matter whether I feel something or not, I will for sure receive a big empowerment, so I am very blessed to be there and will have no expectations. While waiting for the Dharma assembly to start, I did some meditation and practice to calm my mind.

Later, Dharma Master Ruohui started practicing the dharma, and within just a few seconds I heard someone start sobbing; I also heard someone walking past me. After a few minutes, I felt some tingling in my right arm—a slightly sore feeling like I am stretching out my fingertips. It felt like there was some energy in my arm moving it to the right. So I let my arms move with that energy to the right. It felt like I was a puppet and a puppeteer was pulling on the string attached to my right arm. But it is a much more subtle feeling. If I wasn’t completely peaceful or focused, I would have thought my arm was getting tired.

After that, I just kept following that tingly and sore feeling. I remember walking around a lot and bumping into some people and some walls. Every time I lightly bump into something or someone, I felt my arm leading me in another direction. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell what it is I am supposed to do because the tingling is very subtle, and I only felt it in my arms (not in the rest of my body). One time I felt my arm bending behind my back, but I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to walk in that direction or to just bend my arm backwards.

While I was walking around, I heard a lot of different sounds. I recognized my mom singing at the top of her lungs. I knew I walked far from where I started because her voice was coming from far away. At one point, I heard at least three people, my mom included, singing together in harmony along with the piano, and then I heard someone singing “ah!!!!!!!!!!!…” at the top of her lungs, and sustaining it for what felt like an entire minute. I suddenly thought it was hilarious and so I started laughing out loud.

After some time, I realized I was doing a lot flowing movements with my arms, something like Taichi or some kind of dance. Over time, my movement became more elaborate and refined. I started feeling the energy moving my elbows, then finally down to my wrists. I felt like an improved puppet, with more strings attached to my joints.

After the Dharma Assembly, I had a class to attend, so I was not able to attend the Fish Release. While I was driving to lunch, I thought about trying out some of the motions I did during the assembly to see if I can still remember them. That was when I realized I can still feel the empowerment in my arms! There was still an energy leading my arms! I stopped my car in the parking lot, got out, and continued to dance for half an hour before I had to leave for lunch and class. Later, while sitting in the classroom waiting for class to start, I even did some mudras. That night, I kept dancing until I was too tired and eventually had to go to sleep at around 11am. I realized that if I just calm down my mind and body, I can still feel the energy and I will start moving my arms.

Today, in the afternoon, after I came home from class, I tried again to see if I can still feel the empowerment. To my surprise, not only was it still there, my dancing has become even more refined. I started dancing in bigger motions using my whole body, doing back bends forward and backward and spinning in circles. The motions also became even more refined—I could feel movements down to my fingertips, whereas before it started with my arms, then elbows, then wrists. I feel like angels are teaching me their dance and I am getting better with each practice!

I am very thankful for the empowerment by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. I want to dedicate all the merit from attending this Dharma Assembly to the fish I did not get to release.

 

— Minerva Lin

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