MY FAITH IN MEDITATION
MY FAITH IN MEDITATION
Koh Cheng Sai
In 1987, when I first came to Wat Amphavan to ordain as a novice
monk at the influence of my brother-in-law, Khee Mong and his friend,
Ah Lim. I was already a married man with a son and a daughter. Our
objective was to experience the life of being a monk with the believed
that if I ordain as a monk, my parent would be able to receive the merits.
Before we arrived in Thailand, we do not have any proper knowledge of
the procedures and worst, I could not understand Thai language.
Ever since I stepped into Wat Amphavan, my faith in the practice
of Buddhism has grown. In the followings, I would briefly relate may
personal experiences before and after my practice of Vipassana in Wat
Amphavan with the strict discipline and guidance of my Upaccha, Luang
Phor Jaran Dhitta Dhammo, whom I highly revered.
In early January 1997, I got married and was an ordinary hawker
selling “You Tiao” (Thai-Phla-tang-quo) in Singapore. The stall was
given to me by my late mother whom I had helped since I was a young
boy. Though I have two elder brothers, a younger brother and two
younger sisters, I was the one she trusted most. Being a part-time Taekwan-do black belt instructor before, it had helped me a lot. Kneading
those flour dough manually with bare hands required a lot of my strength
and the work was tough because our business was good.
Since young, I was not on good terms with my father as he rarely
helped my mother in her business despite being unemployed. Apart
from the monthly allowance I had given him, he would occasionally
asked for extra money. As I realized that he had been spending his
money on gambling, smoking and womanizing. I refused to give him
more. Out of anger, he took all the “You Tiao” out from a container and
threw it down the drain. These had made me so furious that I would give
him a kick. Luckily, my wife, Soo Cheng (Soo Ngoh’s elder sister) and
my two younger sisters had managed to grab and pulled me back;
shouting “He is your father!”
During the fifteen days as a novice monk, though I had learnt
“kwa-yang-nor, sai-yang-nor”, I still do not know much about meditation.
Nevertheless, I felt good and had missed my family very much. I
realized that I had so much responsibilities; to look after my family to
look after my father, my younger brother and to take care of the store. I
did it with all my might as I knew I had to carry out my duties well. Once,
I met my father and called him “PA” (Thai-Phor) which I had never called
him before. He was shocked and acknowledged with tears in his eyes.
Later, my sister-in-law, Soo Ngoh, came to Wat Amphavan to
meditate and also helped out at the temple in supervising the practice of
meditation. I was proud of her and glad that she could supervise me so
that I can continue my meditation. After her explanation, I can practice
with much ease. One day, while I was doing my walking meditation, I
kept thinking of my late mother and recalled what she had spoken to me
at her death-bed. It was almost seventeen years ago that my mother
had passed away and had almost forgotten about it. Even as a man, I
could not hold back my tears and had to excuse myself to stay behind
the meditation sala to sob and sob. As a usual practice, I transferred
and dedicated my merits to her.
Back in Singapore, my business is getting better and better. One
day, my father felt ill and could not walk. I have to drive and carried him
on my back to walk up and down the stairs, to and from the house to the
Chinese physician’s shop to have him diagnosed. I had been doing this
for months till he was cured and could resume walking. The Chinese
physician was impressed with my effort that he wrote me a Chinese
word “SIOW” – meaning filial piety.
Time has passed and now I had bought a factory with my brotherin-law who was an engineer who knew how to manipulate with
machinery to churn out dough and working out formulas to keep frozen
dough. We have become the frozen dough distributor in Singapore for
As age was catching up, I grew thinner and thinner, suffering from
insomnia, poor appetite and felt tired all day. Week later, my eye sight
began to fail. Regardless of these factors, I have to force my myself to
be strong and went out to work as usual. My condition had made my
family uneasy and I was advised to consult a doctor as my health was
deteriorating. The doctor told me I was suffering from diabetes and the
reading was rather high at about 500. I was also told that I need an
operation on my testicles as it was swelling and was very painful. I was
only 42 years old then-the age my mother passed away whom was also
suffering from diabetes. It was the gene I had inherited from her. I went
to the “Kwan-Imm Hood Temple” in Singapore with my wife to get my
oracle reading. It read in this way, “Nobody nor any medicine could help
you except by yourself”. My wife came back sobbing thinking that it was
time for me to leave this world soon, just like my late mother.
It was then my sister-in-law, Soo Ngoh, hastily called and pestered
me to go to Thailand to meditate. Initially, I was reluctant to go because
I was worried about my work. Nevertheless, I followed her to Wat
Amphavan to meditate for seven days. Soo Ngoh told Luang Phor about
my situation and he replied “Never mind, not to worry. Just meditate
sincerely”. I went for seven days meditation faithfully. Before I left Wat
Amphavan, I paid my respect to Luan Phor and he gave me his blessing.
I then went to pay my respect to Mae Yai. She looked at me for a while
and asked me to bend down. She blew over my head three times with
chant and gave me her blessing.
Khun Wee and her younger brother gave us a ride back to Don
Muang Airport. During the journey, I suddenly began to perspire
profusely despite not feeling warm. The air-con in the car was cool and
everyone in the car were feeling comfortable.
The next day, I had an appointment with the doctor and he
examined me again. After the examination, he was puzzled and looked
at me. He said that my diabetes reading was back to normal. He was
surprised as how I could recovered just within a week. He assumed that
I had watched my diet well during my stay in Thailand which I did not
disclose about my meditation. Anyway, I thought he might be a
Christian and might not believe me. Now I have gained weight, strength
and looking healthy again. Finally, I had understood the “Kwan Imm”
oracle reading – “Nobody nor any medicine could help you except by
Posted by Patrick Smith at 3/10/2013 11:45:00 PM