Eckankar, Religion of the Light and Sound of God

ECK Masters—Lai Tsi

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My Chinese Friend

An Aging Mother Gets a Gift from a Special Visitor

By AK

At ninety-five, my mother was no longer able to make the arduous journey from her home in the Philippines to visit her children and grandchildren in the United States and Canada. She was particularly distressed when she learned that my niece (her granddaughter) was to be married in New York, surrounded by friends and family. As the wedding day drew closer, Mother became sadder and more withdrawn, refusing to eat.

Finally, weak and dehydrated, she was admitted to the hospital and soon fell into a coma. Her doctors feared she would not live to see the rest of the family return from the wedding. Another niece of mine sat by her bed, day and night, watching over her.

One morning, in the very early hours, my mother awakened and sat up, fully alert. Gently shaking my niece's shoulder, she said softly, "Go tell the doctor to come. My Chinese friend says I am fine and don't need this anymore." She pointed to the intravenous tube in her arm.

"Lola (grandmother in Filipino), you need the IV," urged the doctor when he arrived, breathless, in the room. "You need it at least a day longer so we can be sure you are adequately hydrated."

"No," insisted Mother. "My Chinese friend told me I don't need your treatment anymore! I want to go home."

Puzzled, my niece couldn't remember any Chinese visitors to my mother's bedside. But Mother was insistent. "My Chinese friend came and told me!"

Persuasive and firm, the doctor said, "I recommend you stay, Lola. But if you can drink three glasses of water in the next hour, we'll remove your IV and let you go." He thought she wouldn't be able to comply, but to everyone's surprise she not only drank the three glasses of water, but she ate her breakfast and her lunch with gusto. She was discharged from the hospital that afternoon.

I received word of this incident in Manila, where I had traveled to participate in an Eckankar regional seminar. Curious about my mother's "Chinese friend," I picked up a portrait of the Chinese ECK Master Lai Tsi before I headed home. Arriving at Mother's bedside, I sat down and showed her the picture.

As she looked at the picture, she recognized her Chinese friend. "Why, yes, that is him," she said in a dignified manner.

"Lai Tsi is an ECK Master," I replied, "a spiritual guide." A lifelong Methodist, she knew a little about Eckankar from her past visits to me in Canada. "How did you come to know him?" I asked.

"He has been my friend for a long, long time," she replied, somewhat enigmatically.

I remained home with Mother for another week, just to be sure she was OK. One morning I heard her calling to her nurse. "Hurry," she called. "Go show my Chinese friend to the door. He's just leaving." The nurse rushed to the living room and then walked back into Mother's room, looking bemused.

"There wasn't anyone there," she said. "That's because you were too slow," was Mother's disappointed reply.

Lai Tsi made several more visits after this.

My mother lived another seven years—to the age of one-hundred-one years and nine months. When I said good-bye after my last visit in November 2001, Mother held my hands, looked deeply into my eyes, and said earnestly, "You need not come home for my funeral." She translated (died) on February 6, 2002.

Reassured of her love and grateful for Lai Tsi's care, I didn't go home.

Excerpted from the 2004 Eckankar Journal, copyright © 2003 ECKANKAR. All rights reserved.

Eckankar, Religion of the Light and Sound of God
Last modified September 26, 2014  100534