After Shr Fu entered stillness, I went to Long Beach Sagely Monastery every day. Sometimes I would stay till two or three o'clock in the morning reciting the Buddha's name before going home. I am not a talented person. I am neither affluent nor eloquent in speech. I am just an ordinary layperson. I feel grateful enough that Shr Fu took me as his disciple. For years, my body has not been in good health. I cannot travel long distance either by land, by water, or by air. When I have no choice but to make those trips, I always end up two days in bed. For this reason, I dislike long-distance travel. No matter how my daughters try to persuade me, I never give in. Around dusk on July 16, the multitude of disciples escorted Shr Fu's Dharma body back to the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. At that time, I conveyed this message to Shr Fu:
“I really want to escort you back to the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Please don't let me stay sick in bed for two days afterwards.” When I told my daughters this decision, they were very surprised.
During the trip, I did not take any medication. I just kept Shr Fu in my thoughts constantly. When the bus stopped at a rest area after five or six hours, I half woke up from sleep and did not feel nauseated. We arrived at the Sagely City at 6:00 a.m. the following morning; I went to the Buddha Hall to bow to the Buddhas and to express my gratitude. I stayed at the Sagely City for more than forty days, never getting sick. I followed the routine schedule of the Sagely City. Every morning and every evening I went to No Words Hall. Sometimes I stayed there reciting the Buddha's name till one o'clock in the morning.
During that time, I stayed at the Bodhi House. There were not many people living there, just three or four elderly women. One of them was an old Vietnamese lady. She did not understand Mandarin or Cantonese, and I did not understand Vietnamese, so we communicated through sign language. Her Dharma name is Guo Jie. She is over seventy years old. She came from France, and she has rheumatism. I told her my Dharma name is Guo Cheng. But she had a hard time remembering, so she said that she would just call me
One day after coming back from dinner, she pointed to a garden lot and said,
“I planted this in 1991.” She continued, “Shr Fu saved my life. At that time I was staying in Canada. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The doctor told me to take pain suppressant medication and said that I had only six months to live. During those times, I held onto Shr Fu's photograph every day, crying, ‘Shr Fu! I do not want to die!’ Later on, I called Canada's Gold Buddha Monastery and told the Dharma Master that I had ovarian cancer and would soon die. I was very down-hearted. The Dharma Master informed Shr Fu of my condition. Immediately, Shr Fu instructed the Dharma Master to recite the
Avatamsaka Sutra at Gold Buddha Monastery consecutively for two months and transfer the merit and virtue to me. I was not even aware of this happening because I was in the hospital at that time. After approximately one month, the doctor released me from the hospital saying, ‘I examined you, and you're all well.’ Hearing this, I got very nervous. I thought, ‘That's it! That's it! The doctor is sending me home to wait for my death.’ But then, the doctor said, ‘I’m not giving you any medication because you are completely well now.’
After that, I went to Gold Buddha Monastery. The
Dharma Master was startled to see me, “Shr Fu instructed us to recite the
Avatamsaka Sutra continuously for two months. How come you are already out after one month?” When I heard that, I felt an infinite sense of gratitude towards Shr Fu. This incident took place in 1988.” Listening to this elderly Vietnamese lady's narration with sign language, I was deeply moved.
One day, looking at a barren garden lot, I thought,
“During Shr Fu's Cremation Ceremony, lots of people will come from all over the world to attend. They will be passing by this corner. Wouldn't it be nice if we could tend this garden lot?” I passed this idea to Guo Jie. The next day, she came bringing shovels and rakes.
The lot is about twenty feet long, and twelve to fourteen feet wide. It was full of dried-up grasses and piles of stones. The two of us resolved to clean it. On the first day, the weather was extremely hot. In the morning, we worked until the Meal Offering, and continued after lunch until seven or eight o'clock in the evening. We still had a long ways to go. Guo Jie told me,
“Believe it or not, the weather will be nice and cool tomorrow.” I thought to myself,
“What good weather will there be?!” I kept the thought to myself, and the two of us were preoccupied with our own chores.
When I woke up the next day, the sky was cloudy. After Morning Recitation and breakfast, we continued toiling on the lot. Around seven or eight o'clock, I commented,
“The sun is not up yet!” Guo Jie replied, “I am sure the weather will be nice today!” I am one who sweats easily. But on that day there was a gentle breeze that kept us comfortable. I said,
“This is Shr Fu's blessing.” The two of us worked happily till ten o'clock, and then attended the Meal Offering. We continued in the afternoon. The weather stayed cool. That night, Guo Jie said,
“Believe it or not, the weather will remain nice and
True indeed! The weather remained nice on the third day. We were both elated, seeing that our work would soon be completed. Finally, we needed to move all the stones and weeds to the designated spot.
On the morning of the fourth day, the weather was still cool. I thought,
“This is spring weather. How can we have this weather in the summertime?” It was later on that Guo Jie told me,
“You did not believe me when I said the weather would be nice, did you? Every night when I retire to my room. I always begged Shr Fu, saying, hr Fu! The two of us would like to fix the lot to let our Dharma friends enjoy the scenery when they come to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. One of us is over sixty years of age and the other is over seventy. Please help us out!' That's why I had such confidence.” The two of us kept talking, and we were very happy.
On the fourth day, we toiled till 11:30 a.m. and completed our work. Then we went to bow to Shr Fu, to apologize and to thank him. After lunch, around 12:45 p.m., the weather turned incredibly hot. During the afternoon session of the
Avatamsaka Sutra Recitation, two people passed out. There was a high demand for water.
Guo Jie said, “Shr Fu was so very kind and compassionate to us. He helped us finish our job. He is my Shr Fu and he is your Shr
Fu. We should be thankful to him. Even though his
flesh body has departed, still he can hear us.”
It is really inconceivable! For two and a half days, the weather was like that of springtime. Without even a drop of sweat, the gardening job was accomplished. Many flowers were planted. For this, I came up with a short verse to express my deep-felt gratitude.
With Amitabha Buddha in every sound,
With a mind of repentance in every act of digging,
The weeds and scattered stones are all cast aside.
Let us repay our Master's kindness;
let not his teaching be in vain.
I stayed in the Sagely City for forty to fifty days, but not even once did I feel any discomfort. The journey back and forth was peaceful as well. I did not experience nausea, which was something unthought of before. When interacting with people, we should not discriminate because of language, for the resolves brought forth from true minds do not differ. By chance, the two of us met at the Sagely City. We both shared the same sense of gratitude toward our Master; therefore all our differences could be resolved.
Therefore in emptiness there are no characteristics of form.
Feeling, cognition, formation, and consciousness disappear also,
As well as the six faculties and six objects, together with
With three minds in three ceasings, three closures are passed
The great cart of the white ox turns with the sound lin-lin.
A little yellow-faced child jumps and thumps in agitation.
What instructive meaning is there in this?
The front double-three and the back double-three meet.
From the Venerable Master Hua’s Verses without a Stand for the Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra