A lifetime of Pain
If I didn't have an abortion, there would be one more life in the world today. Accordingly, there is no way for me to be a proud mother, with the pain of shame and regret forever in my heart!
In October of 1988, I did something that I regretted for the rest of my life – I had an abortion. At the time, I just graduated from high school, and when I realized that I was pregnant, the only thing on my mind was not to disgrace my mother. Therefore, without telling my family about my pregnancy, I consulted one of my friends. She immediately told me that she knew where to get an abortion, so we went to a private hospital. The entire procedure was over in merely 30 minutes (and this included ending a life).
After the abortion, although no one could notice any change in me during the day time, I cried myself to sleep every night while apologizing to the life that I terminated. I felt really bad that I let the baby down, and it took me half a year to regain my peace of mind. Later on, I broke up with my boyfriend, because every time I saw him, I was reminded of my cruelty of depriving a child’s right to live.
Three years later, I almost forgot about this series of events. One evening, I was on my way home, riding a bicycle with my college classmates. Unfortunately, at an intersection, I was in an accident involving a car. Although I fell down in the middle of the road, I was not badly hurt. After I stood up and walked to the road side, I was startled when I recognized the hospital near the intersection – it was where I had my abortion! I was astounded by this incredible coincidence.
Six months later, I met a boyfriend. He introduced me to Buddhism and encouraged me to study the Buddhadharma. It was after I studied the Buddhardharma that I realized I committed the most serious offense of killing. However, it was too late to undo what I did. The only things I could do were to repent of my mistakes, recite sutras and transfer the resulting merit to the aborted child, participate in Dharma Assemblies, and set up rebirth plagues for the aborted child. Now I am married and have children. When I watch my children growing up healthy, I often think that if I didn’t have an abortion, there would be one more life in this world. Accordingly, there is no way for me to be a proud mother, with the pain of shame and regret forever in my heart!
I had a dream in the latter half of April, 2007. In the dream, I saw a Dharma Master shaving the head of a layperson (i.e., a part of the ceremony when one becomes a monastic), and the Venerable Master Hua was passing by. I was very happy to see the Venerable Master, so I hurried after him. The Venerable Master entered a hall, where two Dharma Masters stood guard at its entrance. A layperson in front of me tried to enter, but his way was blocked. However, I wasn’t afraid; the only thing I wanted to do is to follow the Venerable Master. To my surprise, no one stopped me when I tried to enter.
After entering the hall, I found the interior very solemn and adorned, but I didn’t see the Venerable Master. I was really worried and alarmed. The only thought I had was: “If I miss this opportunity, I would die.” So I knelt on the floor and wept. Suddenly, I heard a voice in the air saying: “Seek compassion, repent and reform!” Upon hearing this, I was startled awake. The feeling of panic and fear was still very vivid, my heart was racing and I couldn’t stop crying. It was seven o’clock in the morning.
I kept on trying to figure out the meaning of “Seek compassion, repent and reform,” and how to do so. I felt this was the way that the Venerable Master could save me, so I should treasure this opportunity. Later on, I called a Dharma Master and asked her how do I “seek compassion, repent and reform.” The Dharma Master compassionately instructed me to bow to the Sutra of the Buddha Speaking the Names of the Buddhas. It was amazing that when I made the call, CTTB was holding the Ten Thousand Buddhas’ Repentance Ceremony, where this Sutra was being recited.
After I studied the Buddhadharma, in addition to repenting of the negative karma I created by having an abortion, I kept wondering why I had not studied the Buddhardharma earlier. If I had done so, I would not have committed this serious offense. The Venerable Master had mentioned that the karma resulting from killing was very heavy in Taiwan for too many people were having abortions. Unfortunately, I was one of them! I am sharing my experience in order to caution everyone not to hastily commit a killing offense by having an abortion. Compared to the retribution resulting from a killing offense, the embarrassment of giving birth to a child out of wedlock is really minor. There is nothing that can’t be solved in this world, and thus never ever choose abortion as a solution; once a life is terminated, we can never bring it back! I can’t forget my abortion even if I try, and it’s a wrong that I can never redress for the rest of my life.