With the Venerable Master's completion of stillness,
I am as pained as if I had lost a compassionate father.
Owing to my lack of blessings, I knew the Master for only five short years. After immigrating from Hong Kong in 1963, I moved several times until I finally settled near Gold Wheel Monastery in 1989. At that time, there was a five-minute Buddhist lecture program hosted by Dharma Masters from Gold Wheel Monastery shown on the Chinese T.V. channel in L.A. at noon every day. That was how I learned about the monastery. Because of my heavy karma, I had been reciting the Earth Store Sutra daily for three years, starting in 1985. After hearing the Master say that Gold Wheel Monastery is a Way-place of Earth Store Bodhisattva, I was convinced that my recitation had led me to encounter wise teachers and a Way-place of the Proper Dharma.In 1991, at the age of seventy, I was fortunate enough to take refuge with the Venerable Master in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
Although I received personal teachings from the Master only a few times, I learned a lot by reading and listening to the Master's lectures in books and on tape. I was like an ignorant fool waking up. I became more open-minded and patient, and my temperament improved. Whenever I recall the Master's eighteen great vows, his constant concern for the welfare of living beings, his incessant work in spite of physical sickness－sparing no blood or sweat and never pausing to rest, and his utterly selfless Bodhi¬sattva conduct, I am moved to tears. How fortunate I am to encounter such a wise teacher and to listen to the Proper Dharma! How many great cultivators like him are left in the world?
I contracted an incurable case of polio in early childhood, and I still could not stand up by the time I was four or five. Later, through the compassionate aid of the Noble Hsu Venerable Yun, my right leg was healed and I could stand. However, due to my heavy karma, I was unable to continue the healing and my left leg was still debilitated. Then, in 1992, when everyone was bowing to the Venerable Master Hua in the Patriarchs' Hall at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, I said, "Master, please forgive this disciple of yours, who is unable to bow to you. My left leg has polio and I cannot get up after kneeling down." The moment the Master heard my words, he took his cane and struck my leg three times. From then on, I could walk faster and better than before, without limping. My left leg became stronger, and I was able to get up on my own after kneeling and bowing to the Buddhas, something I had not been able to do for the past seventy years. Although the laws of nature dictate that our body will weaken as we grow older, I feel more energetic now and have less sickness and pain. My eyesight has improved, and I don't stumble as often. These inconceivable changes are due to the Master's compassionate aid; he has fulfilled my wish and enabled me to cultivate at my advanced age.
With the Venerable Master's completion of stillness, I am as pained as if I had lost a compassionate father. The Master gave me my Dharma body and wisdom life. Through the conditions of my crippled leg, I gained blessings and planted good roots. Such great benevolence is infinitely difficult to repay. The only thing I can do is to conduct myself in accord with his teachings, and resolve to follow him in cultivation in life after life, never retreating from the Bodhi path.