I knew that the Venerable Master’s speaking of Dharma
is in an inconceivable realm, the realm of the Flower Adornment,
in which the past can become present and the present can turn into future.
It surpasses time and space and has no fixed limitation.
While on the plane flying from San Francisco to Taipei on November 8 with the delegation, I began listening to a tape of the Venerable Master’s lecture on the Flower Adornment Sutra, in order to check the transcription. When I pressed the PLAY button, I was surprised to hear the Master’s voice:
The residents of the City of Flaming Light, due to their past karma, all possess the power of spiritual travel. They can travel through the air, going sightseeing wherever they wish, without having to buy a ticket and ride on a plane.
So I knew that the Venerable Master’s speaking of Dharma is in an inconceivable realm, the realm of the Flower Adornment, in which the past can become present and the present can turn into future. It surpasses time and space and has no fixed limitation.
Such inconceivable states are very common at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. When I play the Master’s taped lecture during the noon meal, it often speaks directly to problems concerning the whole City or to personal problems. Many people, upon hearing the tape and discovering the solution to their problem, ask me in surprise, “Did you play that tape on purpose?” I tell them that I did not. I have deliberately played a tape only once or twice; most of the time I do not intentionally play a particular tape. Thus, the Venerable Master’s speaking of Dharma is inconceivable.
I remember that when the Venerable Master’s body was transported from Long Beach Monastery to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, there were three days of memorial services, and everyone was extremely sad. On that day when I pressed the button to play the Master’s tape for the assembly at lunchtime, I was shocked to hear the Master say,
When the Buddha entered Nirvana, he said, ‘You Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas, and Upasikas should take the precepts, the Pratimoksha, as your teacher.’
Having just lost our Master, all of us were extremely grieved. However, in that instant, we could sense the compassion and gentleness with which the Master spoke that sentence, and we were consoled and extremely grateful.
When we arrived at the airport in Taiwan on the evening of November 9 after the long trip from San Francisco, we were greeted with a banner: “Welcome to the Visiting Delegation of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association.” It gave me a very warm feeling, but then I felt bad, because I remembered that when the Master came to Taiwan, everyone would gather around him as if he were their elderly grandfather or kindly father. This time, instead of seeing the Master, everyone only saw his photographs and his sharira. I can imagine how much they missed the Master. However, beyond missing the Master, we ought to painfully change our own faults and take the precepts as our teacher, practicing what our Master practiced and studying what he studied. I hope everyone will advance with increased vigor on the Path, so that we can together make Buddhism flourish and repay our Master’s kindness.
His state is indestructible and has no boundary,
And he can roam throughout billions of lands.
Towards existence he has no attachment
And he is comfortable like the Buddha.
All Buddhas are like empty space,
Ultimately and eternally pure.
By always remembering to bring forth happiness,
All of one’s vows are completed.
Flower Adornment Sutra, Chapter Nine, Light Enlightenment