A Life Changing 20 hours
I have never been very connected to Maitreya, although I had attained the Tao ever since I was a small baby. As a single mom, my mother was too dedicated to the temple, that she barely had time for her children. My mother sacrificed a lot for the temple, and when I was small, I felt she sacrificed my brother and I. My mother realized the preciousness of the Maitreya Great Tao, so when the opportunity arose for her to attend classes at the Maitreya Great Tao Headquarters in Taiwan, she would grasp the chance without hesitation. Even though we were still young, she would leave us for months at a time. As a child, I really missed my mother and I hated it when she had to leave. My brother and I felt deeply that the temple has taken our mother away.
By the time I had graduated from University, I was offered a job working with children on a cruise-line. It was quite a scary prospect. I was in my early 20′s and I have never lived on my own before so it was definitely nerve racking, but on a second thought, the job could also be an adventure since I could get paid while traveling around the world! So I thought: why not. Of course, I knew I would truly miss my friends, my family, and my mom, as a contract on a cruise-line lasted 5 months at a time, but I felt I was mature enough for the challenge. What I didn’t know was that I was about to embark on a journey that would lead me to become totally vegetarian and would wash away all my uncertainty of Maitreya Great Tao. This experience would ultimately solidify my connection with Maitreya.
To start the job, I had to first fly to Miami. As I arrived in Miami, I was tired and overwhelmed, and I sincerely missed my friends so much. I arrived at the hotel and suddenly realized that I did not see my purse. I literally had placed all my identification inside my purse! My driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, money, visa card, basically my entire life was in that purse. And it was gone!
The next 20 hours became the worst nightmare in my whole life. I frantically looked for it, but it was not anywhere! I quickly shuttled back to Miami airport, but I did not know where to start looking for my purse! I was in a frenzy of trying to retrace my steps. Unfortunately everything looked the same, and I did not remember my steps, my brain was blanked out! Then, I went to the lost and found counter, hoping for the miracle, but the service representative did not help. “Look in all the garbage cans, it might be in there” was her cold reply to my distress.
As I wandered aimlessly in the airport, I have never felt so lost and alone. Disheartened, I started to cry. I’ve never experienced this type of confusion before. I was dismayed. I am normally an excellent problem solver, I can think of a way to resolve most issues. But this time I was totally defeated. I was alone, in a strange place and did not know what to do! I had no money! I had no I.D! I cannot prove my identity. I cannot prove I am a Canadian citizen! I lost my identity in a strange city. I can’t buy a ticket home. I didn’t have my passport. I didn’t have money! I didn’t want to call home and worry my mother. I felt my life had come to an end, and there’s nothing I could do.
In total despair, I turned to my faith. For some reason at that moment, when I was most devastated and desolate, when I had lost all hope, I thought of Maitreya. Through my tears, I sincerely asked Maitreya for help and promised to be a full vegetarian if I can get out of this mess. To be honest, I did not expect my problem would be solved; it’s just that I had no one else to turn to; I could only ask Maitreya for assistance.
Surprisingly, that was when my series of miracles began. Out of the blue, I wandered to an area with many counters, and oh my good heavens, I saw a counter that represented my cruise company, Royal Caribbean! I immediately described my situation to a representative; he told me not to worry and that the company would look after me, and he even gave me $20 US dollars! I could never thank him enough!
With that $20 US dollars, I bought a phone card and quickly shuttled back to the hotel. Apparently my hotel was over booked and they had to move us to hotel in another city. Before I left for the other hotel, I called my best friend and he was absolutely distressed! He could not believe I had lost all my identification! He regretted letting me work on the cruise ship!
When I arrived at the other hotel I called my best friend again and the news he gave me was so shocking that I could barely believe it. He told me that someone in Miami had called his friend, to say they found my purse! Apparently someone had picked up my purse and used my cell phone to call someone back home. They left their number, and eventually that number got to my best friend. He gave me the number of the people who found my purse.
I was immediately flooded with feelings I could hardly describe. I was so thankful to Maitreya, He had answered my call for help! I was so surprised at what had happened. The person who found my purse could have brought it to the lost and found, or brought it to the police station. In that case I would have never retrieved my purse. Instead, they had called my friend!
I tried all night to call these people but they had their answering machine on. Although I knew my purse has been found, I still had some unsolved issues. I did not know if everything was still in my purse. And I have yet to figure out how I would retrieve my purse. I didn’t even know where these people were. I didn’t have enough money to take a cab, and I was not even in Miami anymore, I was in Fort Lauderdale, a city many hours away!
I called continuously into the next morning and because there was no answer, I was beginning to get extremely nervous. Finally at around noon someone picked up the phone! By that time I was already at the port. Before I even asked where they were located, they first asked me where I was. I told them where I was, and they immediately assured me that they would bring my purse to me! I was shocked and bursting with joy! I felt Maitreya was by my side blessing me. All my worries one by one were being resolved!
They told me it would take them 2 hours to get to where I was located. My cruise line first allowed me to board the ship with no identification but my identification must arrive by 3 pm, as that was when the ship will sail. As I anxiously waited, I realized I had forgotten to ask if my ID were even in my purse. So I was still not totally sure that all my things are in my purse. I waited and waited, and it was fast approaching 2:45 pm. It had already been over 2 hours and they had not arrived! If they didn’t arrive on time, I would not know what to do. I’d have to leave the ship and I didn’t even have a phone in which I can be reached. My worries began to distress me as time crept slowly toward 3pm. Finally at around 2:50 pm, my manager was called down to pick up my purse for me, as I was not permitted to leave the cruise ship. My manager came back with my purse, and I cautiously opened my purse. Again to be overwhelmed by emotion, I was so grateful that I could not express myself. Everything was in my purse, down to the last penny, and melted chocolate bar. Nothing was missing from my purse. I could hear my heart pumping as fast as it danced in joy. My body felt so light like feather! I felt I was truly the luckiest girl on earth, because I was loved by Maitreya. I had lost my purse and identity, in Miami – the city with one of the highest crime rates in USA – and nothing was stolen from my purse!
To this day, I am grateful for that experience. As promised I had become vegetarian. And that was the beginning of my deep connection with Maitreya. Those 20 hours were one of the hardest in my life, but also the most life changing for me. From that day on, I would always look for Maitreya for guidance. I can truly feel that he will be there for me when I need him, just like he was there for me when I was lost in Miami. I never really cared for temple or Maitreya before, yet he still loved me. I asked for a miracle and he gave me one. He found my wallet for me! Some people might say it was a series of coincidences. I believe it was Maitreya’s Blessing. From that I had learned that no matter what happens, Maitreya is always there for me. Or he will place important people in my life to guide me.
As I navigate through life, now as an adult, I have encountered pain and difficulties, yet I have always found my way through, because I look to Maitreya for guidance. And he has never let me down. With Maitreya’s compassion and embracement, as well as his noble vow of creating harmony on Earth, now I understand why my mother would sacrifice herself, and her children’s childhood to dedicate her time at the temple. My mother loved us so much and she knew that only through cultivation, can there be enlightenment and growth. She hopes that through her dedication, we will slowly understand the preciousness of Maitreya Great Tao. I now understand why she would leave us for months at a time. It was not because she didn’t love us. It was because she did! And for me, I am dedicating my time at the temple whenever I can. My mother’s dedication paid off, because eventually both her children have realized the preciousness of Maitreya Great Tao. Now I have committed my life to help Maitreya realize his vow of establishing a world of harmony on this Earth.
Selina – Canada