I came to San Francisco in the middle of August 1968. It was close to the end of the first Shurangama Summer Session. That was when I first met Shifu.
In January 1969 on Amitabha Buddha’s birthday, Shifu presided over the wedding ceremony for me and my husband. Ever since then he took care of, guided, and helped me and my family in an infinity of ways. There are so many stories I could recount, but I will only mention a couple of them: one about Shifu healing my mother and one about my own illness.
In 1982 during my annual physical exam, the doctor found a small cyst in my abdomen. The doctor suggested doing an exploratory operation to see what the cyst consisted of. I went to see Shifu to ask his opinion. He said,
“No, you don’t need an operation. Everything will be okay. You should recite Gwan Shr Yin Bodhisattva’s Universal Door Chapter of the
Lotus Sutra often.” I followed his instructions and did not seek any more medical advice. In the meantime, however, the cyst grew and the entire left half of my abdomen became hard, but it didn’t hurt. I felt fine. At that time, I became pregnant with my second child and I was worried, but I had faith in what Shifu had told me.
The pregnancy went along fine until about eleven weeks before the baby was due. At that time I started going into premature labor and was hospitalized. Over the years, we always let Shifu know about our problems no matter how big or small they were. Of course we told Shifu about this serious situation. There is no question in my mind that Shifu was aiding me through this difficult time. One day Shifu told my husband that our baby could be born at that time without problems. My son was born soon after, and all went well. He was healthy and there were no complications. After my son was born, the cyst also disappeared.
During 1985–1986, my mother became seriously ill. First she went to see a Western physician who was 99% sure that she had liver cancer. The doctor advised against a biopsy both because he was sure of the diagnosis and because he did not want to cause her unnecessary pain. He said she would live six months at most. My mother has been a devout Buddhist and vegetarian for a long time. She often recites the name of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and during this period she would often go to the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas to bow the Great Compassion Repentance. At that time, one of my parents’ friends introduced them to a Chinese medicine cancer specialist. My mother started seeing the specialist twice a week and taking Chinese medicine. The Chinese doctor also thought it was liver cancer. After a few weeks of treatment, the doctor informed my father that my mother’s situation was very critical; she also told my husband that in such cases there was not much hope. Of course my father was very agitated. At that time my husband and I went to see Shifu and told him about my mother’s situation. The first thing he said was,
“Did you come of your own volition or did your parents ask you to come?” I replied that I had decided to come on my own. Then Shifu very compassionately said,
“Don’t worry, it will be okay. It’s not necessarily cancer.” After that my mother slowly recovered. She is still alive and healthy today.
Shifu had such a great heart; his compassion and patience were inexhaustible. I will be eternally grateful for all Shifu did for me and my family. I have seen Shifu teach, transform, and help many, many other people as well. Never even once did I see him do anything to benefit himself.
The three lights shine everywhere, permeating the three forces.
The one returns to the place of union, yet the one comes forth again.
See that form is emptiness and that feeling is the same way;
False thoughts and shifting currents: cognition and formation are
With consciousness, which understands differences, the five
skandhas are completed.
Like flowers in the mirror or the moon in water, they are basically
beyond defiling dust:
Empty and yet not empty─the great function is understood;
Seeing as if not seeing─happiness indeed!
From the Venerable Master Hua’s Verses without a Stand for the Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra