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Guru’s Talks 焦點

Book 226 Open Your Mind: The Water God of “Lake Sammamish”

Book 226 Open Your Mind‧Written by Master Sheng-yen Lu‧

(Translated by Monita Chan; edited by Janet Ho and Kai Chung Ho; proofread by Jessie Loh; A US Daden Culture Publication)
  When I was staying in “True Buddha Quarter,” I frequently visited Lake Sammamish, which is the second biggest lake in Washington State.
  I once wrote a book, “The Inner World of the Lake,” that featured all kinds of stories about this lake.
  At one time:
  I went to the lake’s pier at the small park. At the pier, there were wooden boards floating and extending onto the lake.
  I went to the very end of the pier looking at the water plants at the bottom of the lake. Above the water plants, fish swam back and forth. I always enjoy watching the fish; they are always happy, and my mind will become happy afterwards.
  Suddenly, I discerned gradual changes happening before my very eyes—two big eyes staring at me from the bottom of the lake.
  There were also dense eyebrows, a nose, and very thick lips.
  Beard covered the whole face.
  I was astonished; the first thought that came to mind was illusion.
  I took a look at the trees in the park, then at the mountains opposite me, and then I looked at the bottom of the lake again.
  Oh heavens! That face was still there, and the two big eyes were still staring at me and sizing me up.
  Isn’t it strange to find a face in the lake?
  Later, I meditated under a big tree beside the lake.
  In my meditation, I saw a man walk towards me. It was the same big-bearded strange visitor from the lake. He started to ask me, “You can see me?”
  I answered, “I can see you.”
  He said, “I can see that your eyes are different from other people’s. Brilliance radiates from your eyes. Are they Yin Yang Eyes?”
  I said, “No, mine are Divine Eyes.”
  He was obviously very glad to know someone could really see him. He was very polite and started to chat with me.
  He said that during one winter, the snow was so heavy that he lost control of his car, the brakes failed, and his car skidded all the way down to the bottom of the lake.
  He then became a water ghost.
  He asked me, “Are you afraid of water ghosts?”
  I replied, “I am not afraid since I am a cultivator.”
  He had a big laugh.
  He told me that after he died, he realized that there were quite a lot of water ghosts in Lake Sammamish. Since he had a sturdy physique, the other water ghosts nominated him to be their ghost king. Not long after, he became the leader of all the water ghosts in Lake Sammamish.
  One year, a heavy snowfall also caused another car to skid into the lake. All the ghosts were gladly awaiting for a new ghost’s imminent arrival. However, the ghost king suddenly became merciful and commanded a group of ghosts to hold up the sinking car, open the car door, and let the person escape. They even helped him swim up to the shore, and that person miraculously survived.
  I said, “Indeed you also have a compassionate heart!”
  He said, “There are ghosts that are harmless to people.” He continued saying, “I feel that doing this is great; continuously saving quite a number of people. Eventually the heavens became aware of this and promoted me from ghost king to water god.”
  I congratulated him.
  He mentioned that he could also radiate lights and fly. Even though he was a water god, he could also travel in the human world.
  I asked him, “Would you still want to be a human being?”
  He answered, “Human beings! There are few who save and more who harm others. I don’t want to be a human being.”
  After I listened to this, I could not help but feel affected.


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