(Minghui.org) Nguyen Hoang Uyen had not yet graduated from law school when she made the decision to become a Buddhist nun. A year later, she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. As she was quietly preparing for her last days, a miracle happened.

Nguyen Hoang Uyen tells her story.

A University Student Becomes a Nun

At age 26, I decided to shave my head and become a nun. I made the decision when my grandmother, who was also a nun, passed away.

My grandmother became a nun when she was in her 60s. She died of cancer at the age of 78. I admired her attitude about death. Facing the pain brought by the cancer, she never complained. Until her very last breath, she was still chanting the Buddha's name.

Three days after my grandmother passed away, our family held a large funeral service for her. Many well known monks were present. The funeral expenses exceeded what my family could afford, so the monks donated money to help cover the costs.

After my grandmother was buried, I found a monastery and asked a monk to take me in as a nun. When I shaved my head, I was in the 4th year of my university studies. My family objected to the idea, but I decided to go ahead anyway and thus began my new life.

Nguyen Hoang Uyen.

Realities of Being a Young Nun

Life in the monastery was not like I had imagined. I saw that some nuns and monks had fallen in love like everyday people, and some harbored resentment towards others. How could a person cultivate and become enlightened in such an environment? I also had to cook for 250 nuns and monks every day in the monastery.

I felt trapped in this environment, but I didn’t know how to get out. All I could do was to worship the Buddha and Bodhisattva all day long, praying that I would find a teacher that could lead me to enlightenment. But my practice seemed to stall, and I couldn’t move forward. I felt lonely. I was waiting and waiting in a hopeless state.

Finding the True Path

A year after I became a nun, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The cancer cells had spread to my intestines and uterus. A simple standing movement caused me a lot of pain. I tried my very best to complete my daily tasks and chores, but I soon became very weak. I had to return home for treatment.

A friend suggested that I try different kinds of treatment, and offered to accompany me. Feeling hopeful, we went everywhere to find doctors and qigong masters, but our trips were all in vain. My illness worsened. I was not afraid of death, but was worried for my father and mother who would have to continue living without me.

Just as I was about to give up hope, a friend introduced me to a cultivation practice called Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong). She told me to go and talk to Dafa practitioners at an exercise site.

I didn’t really want to go, but my friend was very nice and was persistent in trying to find a cultivation path that could keep me alive. She told me stories of how people had benefited from the practice. Her sincerity touched me, so I decided to give it a try. It was surprising that after one month of practice, my pain had subsided and I felt the joy of having my health recovered.

Nguyen Hoang Uyen reads a Falun Dafa book

When I returned to the monastery I studied Zhuan Falun and other Dafa books at night, but I didn’t want others to know that I had already begun a new journey in life.

Cultivating in the Secular World

I decided to leave the monastery a month later to begin a new life – one where I could practice cultivation in everyday society.

Falun Dafa is a practice in the Buddha School, and it encourages cultivators to live in ordinary society, which enables them to elevate their realms in a complicated environment while maintaining a normal job and family life.

I faced a lot of criticism from others when I made my choice to leave. An abbot asked me many questions, but in the end he agreed to let me go.

My family hoped that I would be like my aunt who was an abbess (the head of an abbey of nuns). In their eyes, I had “potential” to be promoted. At that time, they regarded promotion as something more important than spiritual elevation.

I had already made up my mind though, and nobody could stop me. I had regained my health through practicing Falun Dafa, and I knew that this was the cultivation path that I had been seeking for so long.

When I read Zhuan Falun I felt that I had suddenly seen the light, because this is a book about true cultivation! Things I didn’t understand about life, karma, and cultivation are all clearly and simply explained in the book. It totally resonated with me.

The first time I practiced the Falun Dafa exercises, I felt a warm current running through my whole body. That wonderful feeling is very difficult to describe. I witnessed enormous changes in my body and mind. Half a year after I started practicing Falun Dafa, all of my illnesses were gone.

I now make a living by teaching English. After each class, my students sit with me to read Zhuan Falun. My students’ parents had heard that my cancer was cured after practicing, and they all wanted their children to learn Falun Dafa.

Nguyen Hoang Uyen read Zhuan Falun along with her students.

I still remember the day that I left the monastery; I had to face so many difficulties: no money, no job, and no place to live. Now, there are so many warm, sincere, and pure Falun Dafa practitioners around me. I am happy that I made the correct choice. I know that I will walk forward steadily and steadfastly when facing difficulties and challenges. I believe that I can overcome them because the path ahead of me is the righteous way.

My parents now support me in practicing Dafa. When they see that I am healthy and at peace, they are very happy. I know that my aunt wants me to return to the monastery, but as the abbot of my former monastery told her, “Don’t look for her. She is walking on the right path now.”

I am thankful to the compassionate gods that heard my prayers and led me to the cultivation of Falun Dafa. Perhaps only those who have faced death and experienced suffering would understand how much joy I have, and how deeply I appreciate having good health and walking a righteous path.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and is predestined. If you happen to read my story, I hope it will inspire and benefit you.