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Buddhism

Benelux Youth Trets – My Experience

May 1, 2009 – Trets, France

Hello Everybody!

My name is Jaymy. I am from Belgium and originally from Malaysia. It is an honour to be able to share my experience with you today. When my leader Kathy asked me if I could share an experience during Trets, I didn’t even have a moment of hesitation because actually she reminded me of a determination I made not too long ago when I was faced with some very great challenges.

Just a little background about myself – I am almost a fortune baby as my father encountered this Buddhism and took up faith when I was about 6 years old. He contracted cancer at the age of 42 and I was about 13 years old then. The cancer was in an advance stage and therefore maximum treatment had to be done. He survived though suffered from many side effects of the radiation and chemotherapy treatments. In fact, that episode was an important turning point for my whole family especially my sister, brother and I who started taking up this practise seriously.

Well, life went on for my father despite many physical pain and limited mobility but he also never saw a doctor ever since then.

Almost 16 years had passed and many persuasions, in 2007 he finally went for a check up. The doctors discovered a tumor at the spine area and immediately scheduled him for a surgery. The night before the surgery, my dad ‘ran away’ from the hospital because the patient in the bed next to him died that night and that totally freaked him out. Looking back, fortunately he made that escape but I will explain to you why later.

Last summer, my dad had to go to the doctor because he had a sore and it wouldn’t heal for weeks. Two days before I arrived home for my vacation, he got admitted into the hospital because from the sore the doctors discovered high blood pressure, high diabetes level, almost non-functioning kidneys, a hole in his bladder which can cause deadly infection and also the unknown tumor.

It was a scary moment for me to be facing this situation again. So I chanted and chanted really hard and suddenly all the past convictions, victories and experiences came rolling back to me.

Life had been very challenging since my father fell sick but took all good turns so far. With Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can make all the impossibles possible!

So, as I shared before, the stubborn wound which wouldn’t heal has been really a blessing in disguise. Because it got him into the hospital and it got him to meet with the right doctor.

With so many complications, we were very lucky to meet a doctor with a lot of compassion and wisdom. So, instead of going ahead immediately with the
operation, this doctor recommended that the first step to take is to insert some temporary tubes to support the kidneys in order to revive them so that my father can be stronger to go through the big operation.

The doctor told me, everything is about timing and to do the right things at the right time. To me, good timing means in need of plenty good fortune.

On the other hand, the doctor also told me that my dad is a very sick man and the chances of him surviving without the operation is 0% and with the operation is 50% which truly scared the hell out of me.

I was very grateful to the members in my hometown for organising marathon chanting sessions for my father. It is very encouraging to see the tremendously amount of people who cared and came to participate.

In my prayers, I prayed firstly to repay gratitude to my father who was the one to bring this wonderful Buddhism into our lives and through his sufferings, we have all learnt so much from. This has been my number 1 prayer for years – for my father to be able to lead a fulfilling life, free of pain and to be able to walk with ease.

Secondly, to be repay gratitude to the practise by achieving another victory and action proof for kosenrufu. Therefore, I made a promise to myself to share my experience in Trets.

As for my father, he was really in fear, totally discouraged and all that is on his mind is, “This is the end of me”. Actually my biggest challenge during that time is to encourage him and bring him back to believe in faith and in himself and his mission in life. I told him, “Buddhism teaches that it is a slander not to take action for our health. You have not seen any doctors for years but now the time has come. Let’s take this like a second chance and truly fight in order to be able to continue living a fulfilling life. You have overcame so much obstacles in life with faith and therefore, has so much to share with others who are suffering as well. Besides, Sensei is 80 years old and he is still making a difference. You are only 60, easily; you could have more than 20 years to live a good life! I believed through my chanting I found the courage to say these things to my father. And somehow, it worked so he started chanting with more determination.

So, a week after the insertion, then the plan was to go ahead with the operation but luckily, few days before there were some disagreements between the doctors. So, the ‘shoten zenjin’ doctor again suggested that instead of immediately doing the operation, a biopsy should be performed on this tumor to find out whether is it cancerous.

But instead, tuberculosis was diagnosed. What a great relief!

In fact, the tumors are formed to contain the TB bacteria. So the inactive TB bacteria have probably been in latent state for years in his body. But the bacteria can become active again and attack the body whenever the immune system becomes weakened example after an operation. He wouldn’t have survived if the operation has gone ahead! And now, he didn’t need any operation to remove the tumors as Tubercolosis can be treated with long term medication instead.

But we have yet to win the battle, as there was still a few other issues to be resolve through an operation

A week later the operation took place. It was supposed to take about 6 hours but 2 hours later, he was out. Apparently, the sore was really minor and the doctors have decided not to go ahead with the entire operation as it wasn’t as time critical anymore. Therefore they wanted my father to be stronger and free of Tuberculosis before attempting the major operation.

Which was really a good news! But unfortunately it didn’t last long as when my father woke up, he wasn’t behaving normal. Day after day, he became more and more disorientated and constantly in hallucination. He needs 24 hours care. I was truly afraid that this state will be permanent and also as he was admitted to a private hospital, the bill was growing to a crazy amount which I was not sure how we can pay it eventually. Besides, even though it was extremely difficult, I had to come back to Belgium because I had used up all my holidays and had to get back to work.
One day, a senior leader came to visit my father. He reminded us of the Gosho, Reply to Kyo’o: “Believe in this mandala with all your heart. Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is like a roar of a lion, what sickness can be an obstacle?”. Then he gave strict guidances to us. He told us that we cannot let this continue on, we need to be 300% determined to overcome this as a family in itai doshin now. Then he invited everyone in the room to chant together with all their might for 5 minutes. My brother told me it was so powerful and he had goose bumps throughout. My father who didn’t sleep a wink for 21 days, felt asleep the next day and woke 2 days after. He was totally normal again.

Now, almost 8 months later, in his last check-up (which he now follows religiously), he has completed his Tuberculosis medication, the tumors has reduced in size and miraculously, the hole in the bladder has apparently closed up. So for now, there is no need to go through the operation.

Two months ago, we also managed to get reimbursement from the insurance company for all expenses incurred.

There are still many challenges that lie ahead, but knowing that we have Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and no prayers will go unanswered, I look forward everyday to living life to the fullest, making a difference to others and whenever I am down, I remember the past victories and be inspired to stand up again. Nothing is impossible, we just have to dare to dream and have complete trust in faith.

I hope this sharing has inspired you as much as it did for me again.

Thank you!

2 thoughts on “Benelux Youth Trets – My Experience
  • Claire Kane says:

    Thank you for taking the trouble to post this encouragement. I am dealing with a complicated medical situation for a long time, so this meant so much to me.

  • Ms Teh says:

    Hi Claire, I am truly glad if some ways my experience is able to encourage you. The practice brought me many benefits and it means a lot to me to be able to share with others.

    Take care and keep fighting!

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