Also, I noticed that when I requested 2 Medicine Master plaques recently, I became a little sick with cold sores in my mouth (which I still have), headaches, and so forth. Is that a result because of my requests?
Yes the Buddhists also pray for others. We do it slightly differently. We believe in giving away all the goodness we generate from our cultivation to benefit all living beings. This is the cornerstone of our Buddhist practice because it reflects the Mahayana spirit of helping all living beings. At times, we also dedicate the merit and virtue of our practice to specific individuals to help them overcome temporary setbacks like illnesses and misfortunes etc… When doing so, we are able to provide help to the extent of our ability but will also incur some consequences for meddling into other people’s affairs.
As to the Medicine Master Buddha Dharma that is available through the temple, it allows people to meddle without incurring any direct consequences.
You minor illnesses are coincidental and are not related to those plaques. You can be rest assured that it is the case for of that Dharma.
Funny that I have been reviewing the Earth Sore Sutra explanation and happened upon a passage that pertains to your situation when I took a break. I came back and found your email. What a coincidence! I’ll include it for your early reference:
The Buddha says the four things that cannot be obtained sutra 佛說四不可得經: the world has four things that cannot be obtained:
Since the ancient times, throughout the creation of the heavens and earth, there is no way to avoid these four misfortunes. Because of these four difficulties, Buddhas appear in world. If one wishes to escape these four sufferings, there is nothing better than reciting the Buddha’s name.