In the summer of 1994, the Venerable Master came to Vancouver and then to Seattle to propagate the great Dharma, neglecting his own health and holding up under sickness. I didn’t realize that it would be the last time he came to see his disciples here. I remember the Venerable Master’s instructional talk as if I had just heard it. He very solemnly said,
“In the Dharma-ending Age, the Dharma door of reciting the Buddha’s name is the easiest way for living beings to attain liberation. For people without much time, the Dharma door of ten recitations (recite the Buddha’s name nonstop in each breath, for a total of ten breaths) is most convenient.” I thank the Master for giving us these Dharma treasures before he left.
The old Gold Summit Monastery was an old hotel that had fallen into disrepair over the years. One year ago the city government ruled that the ceiling, which contained a cancer-causing substance, had to be replaced within a certain time period. Due to the huge cost of such a project, the Monastery was forced to move. However, it was not easy to to find a suitable Way-place in such a short time. The Dharma Masters and laypeople worked very hard, looking at over one hundred sites, but still didn’t find a suitable one. The Venerable Master was very concerned and called repeatedly from California to bid them to continue searching. During the time they were searching for a Way-place, the Venerable Master sympathized with his disciples and didn’t want them to worry about too many things. He considered propagating the Dharma to be his own responsibility, and he taught by example. Thus, his disciples were deeply moved and filled with respect. My seventy-year-old father, who didn’t know anything about the Buddhadharma, was influenced by the Venerable Master’s virtue at their first meeting and took refuge with him the next day. That day, he had the fortune of accompanying the Venerable Master to look at various buildings and properties. He stayed by the Master’s side from morning till night that day. My father noted that although the Master’s clothes were old and worn, his body constantly emitted a natural and pure fragrance. Of all the people he’d known in his life, he had never seen anything like this. What was more, during the entire busy day, the Venerable Master didn’t use the restroom once. This is quite incredible for an elder nearly eighty years of age.
A place was finally found for Gold Summit Monastery in Seattle. When the laypeople volunteered to contribute both money and manpower to renovate the Way-place, the Master was still worried about the funds and handed me five thousand dollars, saying,
“Here is some cash for renovating the monastery. Take this first, and when it runs out, let me know.” When I saw the Venerable Master weakened by sickness, bearing responsibility for nearly thirty temples, never forgetting to guide living beings onto the proper path, vowing to take the sufferings and sicknesses of all living beings upon himself without the slightest regard for his own health, showing concern even for the details of renovating our new Way-place, I felt very bad. I knelt down and insisted on returning the money to the Venerable Master, thinking that the Dharma-protectors could take care of it. The laypeople are only too thankful for this rare opportunity to protect the Dharma and renovate the temple; how could we bear to see the Venerable Master worry about it? Therefore the laypeople, both old and young, actively worked on the renovation both day and night. Some people were even injured, but not a single complaint was heard. Everyone was filled with the joy of the Dharma. The new monastery’s renovation was soon completed. And yet the Venerable Master has left us and cannot come to give a lecture at the monastery. We are filled with endless memories of his kindness.
Venerable Master, your disciple is so fortunate to have taken refuge with you. Although you have completed the stillness, when I think of your vows of compassion for living beings, I believe that you will come back on your vows very soon. We shall follow your six great principles─no fighting, no greed, no seeking, no selfishness, no pursuit of personal advantage, and no lying─as we encourage each other, practice vigorously, and advance on the path of cultivation!
In practicing the Way and cultivating yourself, do not search outside.
The Prajna of your own nature is the deep and secret cause.
White billows soar to the heavens; the black waves cease.
Nirvana, the other shore, effortlessly is climbed.
Time, O precious time! Don’t let it pass in vain!
With great caution and care, approach the divine truth.
Silently, the news arrives from afar;
Now it’s there, now it’s not─what is originally esteemed is revealed.
From the Venerable Master Hua’s Verses without a Stand for the Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra