Chapter 03: The Fruit of Good Merit
Ang Soo Ngoh
Note from the compilers of this book
On May 6, 1989 Luang Poh Phra Rajsuddhinanamongkol told a wonderful story of a Singaporean woman, who had done grateful merit in her past birth. Her story can be summarized as follows:
As you may know, there is a nun named Soo Ngoh at Wat Ambhavan. She was in Singapore when her late grandmother showed up in her dream and asked her to do good deeds by becoming a nun at Wat Ambhavan in Changwat Singhburi of Thailand. She came to this temple, became a nun, and then she went back to Singapore. She came back here after she quit her job at a Singaporean bank. She is now twenty-seven years old. She asked my permission to be a nun and to stay here for three years in order to study vipassana meditation with me. She wanted to understand the Las of Karma by practicing vipassana meditation. Actually she has already learned several points. At first she could not speak Thai. Now she can speak Thai fluently. At this moment, she is obtaining an official letter from the Department of Religions Affairs certifying that she will be staying at this temple as a nun. She has to submit this letter to the Singaporean government so she can get a tax exemption.”
The compilers of this book think that her story is very interesting, so they incorporate it into this book.
A Singaporean meditator’s notes
My name is Soo Ngoh, the name given to me by my late grandmother. I was born on November 20, 1961 in Singapore, a multiracial and multireligious country. I am the middle child of seven children in the family.
At the age of nine, I started to sit cross-legged alone in my room and pondered on some puzzling questions. Who am I? I am Soo Ngoh. Yes, but who is she? Why was “I” born? What am “I” supposed to do in this life?
Later, at the age of 20, I began to meditate using mindfulness of breathing with the mantra “BUDDHO”, which I learned from a book. With no proper quidance, it was impossible to continue and I stopped.
Six years later, because of my keeness to learn, I met a meditation monk from Hatyai, who was very willing to teach me his breathing method. I was able to adopt it very fast. Initially, I had thought of going for “meditation retreat” in Hatyai under this monk’s guidance. However, I stopped practicing after he had left for Thailand. I began to see the bright side and the dark side of the world. These sights upset me. I happened to get some books based on the “Teachings of the Buddha and Dhamma,” whick were given by a friend. Eventually, I call myself a Buddhist.
A few months later, a “voice” seemed to be telling my mind to become a nun in Thailand. I was working in the bank at that time. Finally, I made up my mind to become a nun in Thailand, even if it were for only a month, and spend the rest of the months in meditation retreat. One night, about an hour before midnight, something in white clothing turned away from me swiftly. As I did not get to see it clearly I became frightened.
I was still contemplating which temple I should go. The temple in Hatyai or Wat Ambhavan (my elder brother and his three companions were ordained here before). It was my late grandmother (she passed away ten years ago) who appeared in my dream. She seemed to know where I should go to become a nun. She advised me to go to the temple where my elder brother had ordained. Consequently, she requested of me to do some good merit for her in Thailand, and I agreed.
My first visit to Wat Ambhavan was on April 24, 1988. And when I met “Luang Poh”, my heart was filled with joy. When he readily accepted me to become a nun, my mind was full of happiness.
In late July 1988, while I was doing lying meditation, my late grandmother visited me in Wat Ambhavan. She opened the door and entered my room. Her face looked very pleased. She brought another old woman along, who was standing a distance away from her, and pointed to me to that old woman, saying that I am her granddaughter, and smiled. She closed the door gently and left.
I returned to Singapore in mid August 1988 and made a vow to indefinitely return for further meditation in late May 1989.
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