True Life Experience Of Virtues Of Dhamma
Cho Cho Win
Staff Nurse (01-512190)
I am suffering from multiple life-threatening diseases such as heart, hypertension, diabetes and arthritis. I am always under constant medical treatment and care.
One day in November 2009 while I was on night duty rounds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the General Hospital, I suddenly collapsed. My attending doctors and fellow nurses gave me emergency treatment and admitted me to ICU for observation and treatment. I was suffering terribly and felt that I was about to die. My sister who came to attend me advised that I should seek spiritual guidance in my religion (Buddhism) to help ease anxiety about my illness.
Not long after, my sister invited the most venerable Sayadaw U Ottamasara to my bedside. I respectfully paid my obeisance to Sayadaw. At that moment of time I was strapped with oxygen mask. Blood transfusion syringe was attached to my wrists. I was under a 24 hour watch due to the seriousness of my illness.
Sayadaw saw my condition and with unbounded compassion delivered sermons of Lord Buddha for contemplation to ease my anxiety. In fact that was the first time that I had learned about the essence of Dhamma teachings. I had also understood Sayadaw’s metta and his wisdom to bless me.
Let me truthfully confess to my readers about my feelings before I met Sayadaw. In the course of my duties as a staff nurse for 14 years, I had come across many patients with all kinds of diseases. With the will to cling to life to the last moment, they had endured the pains of the diseases, with true faith in their destiny. Eventually some recovered, and many died.
The attending doctors and nurses tried their best to save lives and ease suffering. In the end they could not combat against death. Now I realized that I had become a patient awaiting death and had come to contemplate the evil effects of greed (lobha), anger (dosa), delusion (moha), attachment (tanha), anxiety(soka), and the final end such evil can lead me.
Sayadaw’s teachings and guidance had eased my anxieties to a large extent. I owed my gratitude to Sayadaw for teaching me the basic principles of universal truth, and liberation from all attachments. He guided me, in that short moment to the true path of salvation.
His discourses on Dhamma and meditation (vipassana) are very simple and easy to understand. He did not use Pali words, but spoke in simple Myanmar language. I feel that Sayadaw was saving us from evil desires and attachment and worries over our disease and sufferings.
ThaBarWa Center is truly a sanctuary for old, invalid and chronically ill persons like us. No other centre can accept such persons as Sayadaw is doing now in Thanlyin. He gives us food, clothes and shelter free of charge. Many volunteers attend to our needs.
In addition he guides us to the most essential Dhamma and practical meditation with metta, sympathy and compassion. Thus I enjoy peace of mind and become more confident to face life after death. I am writing this true experience to share with my readers how much Sayadaw’s metta and Dhamma has given me peace of mind and ease my sufferings.
I pray that the ThaBarwa Centre may develop to help hopeless, helpless and abandoned poor people. I also pray that Sayadaw may be blessed with health and wisdom to guide people in the teachings of Lord Buddha and practical meditation.
The author of this true life essay, Daw Cho Cho Win is a staff nurse employed by the Health Department of the Ministry of Health.
Translated by Ba Than (Mahavijja)