In everyone’s inner world lives a good “me” and a bad “me.” How do you awaken the beauty and compassion in your heart so as to fill your body and mind with light and happiness? Please enter Meditation Master JinBodhi’s vast, sea-like prajna state to receive Buddha’s sacred wisdom and awaken your inner compassion.

【You willearn】

  • Your inner self
  • The benefits of compassion
  • How to awaken compassion

【Featured aphorism】

  • Giving to others with a compassionate heart may seem like a loss, but it is a huge gain for the giver.
  • Being compassionate to others is equal to being compassionate to oneself, as certain things created by a compassionate person can make them healthy, unobstructed, wise, and happy.
  • When bathing the Buddha or chanting, visualize yourself entering a state of purity, compassion and peace; awaken your true inner self, who is just as compassionate as the Buddha, and cultivate real achievements through visualization.


About 2,000 years ago, a holy man, Buddha, was born. Through self-cultivation and meditation, he experienced and observed that, in life, whether one is rich or poor, male or female, no one escapes pain and suffering: birth, old age, sickness, death, and a full range of emotions: joy, happiness, sorrow and anger.

Thus Sakyamuni wished to find a way to transcend birth, old age, sickness and death — a spiritual escape from suffering. He started his self-cultivation. The main practice he did was sitting meditation. After 7 to 8 years of meditation, he achieved enlightenment, whereby his spiritual world totally opened, and his view of the human world and the whole Universe underwent a fundamental shift. After that, he taught many students, and many people benefited from his teachings, including myself. I have also received his compassion and wisdom.

When I say I have received wisdom, the Chinese would laugh at me. “How can you say you are wise?” Well, I am, compared to the young me. I am wiser now. I can’t compare myself to you or everyone else, I may still be silly and dumb. But compared to my past self, I have made great progress, far surpassing what I had imagined. The meditation methods I practiced gave me health. I also introduced them to many people, and they gained health too. The people were from all walks of life: scholars, writers, leaders, workers, farmers and students. They all found the methods helpful in different ways.

The birthday of such a sacred holy man is definitely an auspicious time. By commemorating this holy man, worshiping him, and singing his praises, we hope to obtain compassion like his, wisdom like his, and goodness like his. Thus, on this day, we engage in various activities, including chanting his holy name: Namo Sakyamuni Buddha. This simple mantra communicates with Buddha. I am not a religious fanatic, nor is it in my nature to blindly promote religion. But because I benefited from it, I want to share it with you all so that you will become more compassionate. This is not religion.

I call it the “call to awaken”. If someone were sleeping, deeply and soundly, unable to be woken by alarm clocks, how would I wake him up? Okay, each of us is made up of a good side and a bad side. The good self’s goodness is made up of tolerance, kindness, care, and love for this world. This is goodness. The bad self is the opposite, made up of hate, blame, hostility, greediness, destructiveness, etc. These are the bad qualities. Actually, within everyone, there is duality.

A compassionate heart awakens our inner compassion. What is the benefit? You will act compassionately, leading to inner calm, serenity, and compassion. Our bodies will secrete substances unknown to us today. Those with a compassionate heart radiate these wonderful substances. When you are compassionate toward others, you will also practice self-compassion. Thus our bodily secretions will make our body healthy, clear, wise and joyful. Thus when we view the world with compassionate love, everything appears beautiful to us and our bodies will be at ease, supple and relaxed.

No matter the means of satisfying our greed, whether it be to steal, grasp or harm, how can we be relaxed? Just the opposite. We would be tense. If you are tense your whole life or for a long period, the tension will turn into physical illness as well as mental illness. You will become narrow-minded, shortsighted, unethical in the face of profit, and moneygrubbing.

There are companies in Canada, especially department stores, such as the Bay. Is it still around? Yes? Home Depot, too. Someone told me that when you shop there, you can return your purchase for a full refund. It is impossible in China. I would be fearful if I had to return something. For example, if I bought a TV and found quality issues, before I went to return it, I would work out to get in shape and practice martial arts. Otherwise, no refund, since a fight would be required.

So, when I first arrived in Canada, many people told me that Canadian big-box stores had 7-day, 3-day, or even one-month return policies. If you buy from Home Depot, you can return for a full refund. I needed a ladder. So, I bought one and used it to get to my roof. I just needed it to remove leaves from my gutter. I had so much fun with it. I planned to return it in a couple of days. I liked it and used it all the time until I fell off the ladder from the roof. Luckily, I have got skills and wasn’t hurt. After 7 or 8 days, I went back to return the ladder. I was rather conflicted and uncertain. What if no refund? In the end, Richmond Home Depot gave me a full refund. Go give it a try, OK?

There is a mall with a small Chinese store, where I bought a drying rack for laundry and plastic basins. The owner was very warm, nicer to me than my mother-in-law, and treated me like family. The rack broke before I used it, made of alloyed aluminum. What did I do? Well, I went back to my “family” for a refund. Upon seeing me with the bag of stuff, the store owner’s face instantly changed. From family to enemy in no time.

I said, “Sorry, I need to return this.”

She said, “Return? No returns here.”

I said, “Why not? It broke before I used it.”

She said, “Well, everything breaks eventually.”

Then she asked, “Are you a sensible person?”

I said, “Not really.”

She said, “Buddha said that with birth comes death.”

Holy cow! She was lying in wait for me with this! She even had Buddhist sutras to back her up. “With birth comes death.” She said, “Well, this is the truth. So, no reason to return things.” She sounded so forceful that, in the end, I took the rack back home. I asked, “I can return defective products, right?” She said, “Look at the ‘No Returns’ sign on my counter.” She pointed to the sign which I had to use my special abilities to see the tiny writing hidden in an inconspicuous spot, that said “No Returns.”

This is putting profit before ethics. She didn’t take a broad view. As we Northern Chinese like to say, this was a “one-time deal”. Instead of a repeat customer, I have become a disgruntled critic. And I will never go back to her store, ever. Even though the stuff I bought was inexpensive, I know the owner is not nice. So, I will never go back again.

I will go back to the big-box stores as a loyal repeat customer. And I won’t return their stuff without reason, since I have a conscience. They accept returns, with or without quality issues. I think these owners are good people. Many Westerners have learned about compassion and tolerance. Thus, their businesses will grow big. The small shops that refuse to accept returns will never grow into big businesses. “Big” and “good” will never describe them. They are not business-savvy people.

See the importance of what we are learning. A petty person who puts profit before ethics and is a greedy miser, through studying, may evolve into a noble person with tolerance, capacity for great achievements, and Universal love. This type of person succeeds with ease. In business, he’d make it big. The petty ones will never get rich. This is the wisdom we learn from Buddhadharma. It is very practical, as seen in this example.

Well, it doesn’t mean that our wisdom is all from Buddhadharma. It can come from many sources. But as Easterners, the most likely source is Buddhadharma. There are many ancient Chinese philosophers but their teachings are hard to understand or difficult to apply. I can understand Sakyamuni Buddha’s dharma, which is practical and applicable in life.

Thus, when you chant to Buddha, when you chant his name, you are actually awakening your sleeping inner compassion. Henceforth, you will become a compassionate being. A compassionate person may initially be taken advantage of. But after that, you will receive great gains. Think about this carefully and slowly. Chant with great reverence and devotion and Buddha’s wisdom will be yours. I visualize that Buddha’s illumination will bathe me body and mind, and thus I will receive his wisdom. Thinking this way may help you.

In the ritual of Bathing the Buddha, bathing means cleansing and washing. When bathing the Buddha, visualize that we are actually bathing our own bodies. When I was bathing the Buddha just now, I was thinking: “I wish all sentient beings health and auspiciousness. I wish all Bodhi practitioners and their families health and long life.” Regardless of our actions, we must first have a compassionate and loving heart. Then, many things will change in our lives. Eventually, our world will be better than ever.

Our Singapore Bodhi Meditation Center organized lots of fellow practitioners to volunteer in Indonesia. The orphanages there are in rough shape and packed with orphans. They are facing serious hygiene and food issues. The volunteers did repairs and donated clothes, books, etc. They also helped at nursing homes. Some seniors had no one to look after them. They were estranged from their kids. Anyway, the elderly were alone and unable to take care of themselves.

Our practitioners bathed them, read them stories, cooked for them, gave them hair washes, manicures and massages. All this made the elderly very happy. When our volunteers first arrived, the seniors looked at them doubtfully. When our volunteers were leaving, the seniors couldn’t bear to part with them. Our volunteers from Singapore did a great deal.

Bodhi Meditation and I, personally, would like to go to Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong to adopt some seniors with faraway children or no children, and take care of them. When we find such people, let’s spend a little time and effort to look after them and give them love. We may not save the world by doing this. It doesn’t mean we will become all-compassionate or change the world. I never think that way. I just want to help as much as possible. So, I hope that if you are willing, we can do it together, alright?

Thus, when you bathe Buddha or chant to Buddha, you must enter to the state of internal purity, compassion and serenity, as well as awaken your inner compassion, which is no different than that of Buddha. Think this way. Buddhist practice is very mysterious in that we use the imaginary to cultivate the real. You visualize a thought, hold that thought, and chant while holding it. After a time, you will find that, in fact, you are wiser, your mind is calmer, your skin is smoother, and all your aches and fatigue have disappeared.

Some elderly have even found that they’ve been rejuvenated. Their age spots disappeared. After some practice, many people lose weight. When we chant like that, we get in sync with incredible beings such as Buddha. Women, after some practice, will acquire the wonderful qualities of bodhisattvas: beauty, elegance, wisdom, maternal love and eternal youth. She will be the culmination of all these qualities. You need to communicate with Buddha in your practice. Try it.

I didn’t believe, at the start of my practice, that chanting could accomplish so much. How could I change the world by simply chanting? But it does work. So just try it for yourself. Some people, after some practice, notice their skin becoming smoother. Rub your hands. Feel them. Chant for 10 minutes, then feel again. They will feel different. Let me wipe my hand clean on my shirt first. OK. Remember how your hands feel. Let’s chant. Palm to palm. Do not chant with a request for anything, or asking for help. Chant as if you are singing Buddha’s praises. Try it.

After chanting, many people find their eyes brighter. Last year in Vancouver, one elderly gentleman had blurry vision. So I told him to meditate diligently without thinking about his eyes. He was advised to undergo surgery. I told him to just practice diligently. Just 3 months later, he asked someone to give me the news that his eyes are very bright now. In his Northern Chinese regional dialect, he described his eyes as “wickedly” bright. No surgery needed.

During his chanting he shed many tears, which were sticky to the touch. It is as if his cataracts melted, turning into sticky tears. So, his vision became very clear. It is wonderful to have clear bright eyes. Dull eyes versus bright eyes, which is more beautiful? If you come to practice, you will become more beautiful. Beauty starts with the eyes. So I hope you have Buddha’s or Guanyin Bodhisattva’s eyes. Now let’s start chanting.

Sincere chanting is very effective and intense. I hope Buddha’s and Guanyin Bodhisattva’s bright eyes become yours. Their gentleness, compassion, pristine skin and wisdom will all become yours. (Got it!) Their noblest image will become yours. (Got it!) When you chant with this mindset, I believe many will immediately feel a connection. Thus, some illnesses or problems will disappear. This is the experiential part of our practice.

For example, you have got a problem: Say, you want to buy a house, can’t find the right one, and don’t have quite enough money. Sometimes, this problem will resolve itself during our practice. You will find the right house. As for money, the seller will lower the price or your good friend will lend you money. Very often, these problems seem so real, and not easy to overcome. But when Buddha or gods decide to help you, it is all very simple and easy. I have experienced this countless times. I share it with you. Give it a try. After a few days’ practice, or even just after today, let’s see whether you feel a special connection.

Anyone who is here was destined to be. Those with the right karma will be extremely likely to experience serendipity and wonders. Some who have bathed Buddha only once, if they are young, may have changed their fate so as to have in their future more happiness, prosperity, luck in attaining power, or longevity. Some who were unable to conceive will, after this Bathing the Buddha event, get pregnant. It is all possible. Many people have experienced these events.

Serendipitous events that might happen within a short time from today are not just coincidences. There is a reason for everything. Today’s ritual could be the reason for it. So, don’t miss out. You might prioritize grocery shopping and chatting with friends, but gaining personal happiness, your children’s happiness and auspiciousness, and especially a healthy long life, should take precedence. Thank you, all.