A Drug Users Path to Cultivation
I grew up in a loving family of Christians. My parents loved me and I had great siblings. However due to the friends I had made, I started down a dark path of drug use. At 16, I wanted to get to know a girl and because this girl and all my other friends did drugs, I started to do drugs as well. It led me down the path of addiction which lasted for over 18 years.
Drugs became my life. I did drugs when I was happy. I did drugs when I was unhappy; I did drugs to make myself happy; I did drugs to get rid of my stress and worries. Basically, I would find any rationale, any reason to use drugs. I was addicted to all types of drugs: heroine, marijuana, amphetamines, etc. if you can name it, I probably did it. It got to a point where the drugs affected me psychologically and I lost control of my actions and thoughts. I tried to commit suicide on three separate occasions. I had devastated my friends and my family, and everyone tried to help me out of the grave that I had dug myself.
After my suicide attempts, I truly struggled to quit drugs. At church, I was given a special tea which helped me stop using drugs. However, although I had stopped taking drugs, my mind and my thoughts were still scattered and uncontrollable. When I became tempted, I easily went back to using drugs. I desperately wanted to find a solution that could free me. One friend gave me an address of a home and suggested me to try seeking help at this place. At that time, I did not know that the house was actually a temple.
When I entered the temple, a surprising wave of peace washed over me. I felt strangely serene and calm. I attained the Tao right away and I was truly enlightened as I learned about Maitreya Buddha’s noble vow! I reminisced about a time in my childhood, when some of my friends were poor, some were not good looking or not good at school. These friends were laughed at and looked down upon. I remembered feeling sorry for my friends, and at that time, I sincerely wished to turn this world into a fair and just world. As I listened to Maitreya’s noble vow, I learned how He saw chaos and differences in this world, and how He wanted to use compassion to make this world into one of harmony, a world with no differences. I realized that Maitreya was very similar to me and I felt an immediate connection to Him.
I decided to tell the temple master the story of my drug use. The master explained that I should sincerely do the conscience prayer whenever I felt the urge to do drugs. Given my addiction, that urge was there all the time. I started going to the temple every day to perform the conscience prayer. The struggle I went through to pray was indescribable! It was as if the drugs were determined to enforce their grip on my mind, body and soul. I battled ferociously during my prayer because the moment I lost focus, the narcotics would assert their control over me and I would lose all rationality. With immense concentration, I would ask Maitreya to guide me. It was difficult to control and focus my mind, but with persistence I would call out to Maitreya in my mind whenever I felt that I was losing control. I would feel the warmth of Maitreya’s love and blessing overpowering the drugs and giving me a sense of peace. I did my conscience prayer every day and during the prayer, I would sweat profusely. After only three months of intense conscience prayer, I had become detoxified. The years of drugs inside my body had been sweated out during my time at the temple! After a few months of continuous daily prayer, my body and mind were no longer confused. My soul felt serene. I felt healthier and happier. I was truly blessed by Maitreya!
From a dark life, I found a path of hope, faith and joy. I am so blessed with my life, and I am so grateful to Maitreya and to all the people involved that have allowed me to be where I am today. I am even grateful for having been addicted to drugs, because without the addiction, I may never have discovered Maitreya. Today I am free of drugs. I have sold my thriving business and have become fully vegetarian. I have dedicated myself to Maitreya and his hopes of creating a world that is full of compassion and love. I hope for the day when there will be happiness on this earth, when all people, despite their differences, treat each other as one family. Only when we learn to respect all lives can we truly have harmony and compassion in our world. I have learned that it all begins with ourselves. Once we respect and have confidence in our own lives, we can spread joy and compassion to all other living beings around us! Maitreya Great Tao has taught me the preciousness of life and the great respect life truly deserves!
L.C - Brazil