One morning (between the end of April and early May of 2008), I was suddenly awakened from my sleep – when I heard chanting on my left. It sounded like monks chanting “Namo Amituofo”, accompanied by the regular percussion of “mu yu” (wooden fish) and bell. At first, I thought I was half-dreaming, but I could hear it even when I sat up in bed. No matter how I tossed and turned, the chant still came from the left, where the living room was.
I didn’t look at the clock but reckoned that it was pre-dawn when I looked out of the window on my right. The chant definitely didn’t come from the neighbourhood or through the window. I also knew it couldn’t have come from the chanting device (in my late father’s bedroom) near the living room – because it played “Da Bei Zou” (Great Compassion Mantra) without percussion music.
I was a little sceptical, and tried to dismiss the chant as my mind being too active from too much Chinese tea. I thought the chant would only last for a short while. However, it went on and on – for at least half an hour before I dozed off. The next morning, I checked the chanting device, which was still playing “Da Bei Zou”. I asked my brother if he had heard the chanting of Amituofo’s name, but he did not.
For the next few days, I was on the “look out’ for anything that could be related to this strange experience, but life went on as per normal. I also hoped that the chant would return, so that I could verify its cause. But till now, I had not heard it again. Such “miraculous” experiences seem to come only when the conditions are right – while we can’t just wish for them to come or disappear. It’s inspiring to know that others have similar experiences. It’s also interesting that all three of us had chanting devices at home (which were not “working” then)!