Hsin is a native of the State of Trengannu in Eastern Malaysia, which
consists of 99% Malay and 1% Chinese. He first met the Abbot during the
nationwide tour made by the delegates from the Sino American Buddhist
Association in the summer of 1978. It was during celebrations honoring
Earth Store Bodhisattva that he first encountered the Venerable Master.
The session went on for several days with a group reciting the name of
Earth Store Bodhisattva.
Kuo Hsin had a chance to observe the delegates from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas closely during this time. Many of them were his own age and this made a deep impression on him. He saw that they cultivated vigorously bowing, chanting, meditating without letting a minute pass in vain.
Kuo Hsin took refuge under the Venerable Abbot and listened with rapt attention to the unconditional gift of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas to the entire world. "The City is for Buddhists everywhere in the world; in fact, it is for all living beings throughout the world. Those who truly wish to cultivate can come to this place for refuge," promised the Abbot.
This November, Kuo Hsin had a chance to do just that. He and his two sisters arrived with a delegation to celebrate the Opening Ceremonies at the City, and ended up staying on for an entire month. During this time Kuo Hsin joined the other cultivators in all the City's activities. He feels especially grateful to be a recipient of the transmission of the Forty Two Hands and Eyes, the Dharmas of Great Compassion of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. He has also been pleased to take part in the present Surangama Mantra Dharma Assembly. "The wonderful functions of the Mantra leave me in awe and unable to express their magnitude. I'm happy to be a part of this assembly."
Certain instructions from the Abbot made an immediate and deep impression on Kuo Hsin:
people slander or bad mouth me, you cannot fight or contend with them. You
These simple words underline the Abbot's entire teaching of level, equal compassion towards all. Some lines from Great Master Yung Chia's Song of Enlightenment express the same idea:
Listening to harsh words brings merit and virtue.
This is just a Good Knowing Advisor who brings me to accomplishment.
Do not make distinctions between enemy and kin based on mockery or slander.
How else can you express the power that endures the non production of dharmas?
At present Kuo Hsin is convinced that those who want to learn Buddhism should draw near a Good Knowing Advisor. This is the single most important step on the road of cultivation. He says,
"People dabble in Ch'an, thinking that Dhyana means sitting cross legged in oblivion that this is a sure way to enlightenment. I feel this is a misunderstanding of the function of Ch'an. Rather Ch'an is to awaken people to their innermost self nature. Walking, sitting, standing, and reclining, what is not Ch'an? Enlightenment means a state of being attached to absolutely nothing; you must put everything down. If one is attached to certain states with dhyana, thinking that this or that state is the utmost, then for sure they have gone down the wrong road."
Also regarding the Secret School he comments:
"In Malaysia there are many Buddhists who are attracted to Dharmas of the Secret School because many of the teachers promise sensational or esoteric benefits. It's for sure that magic mantras and secret dharmas have a lot of efficacious power, but they are like a blazing torch: if you know how to use it, then it can give you warmth and serve you. If you do not know how to use it, the torch can consume your forest of merit and virtue and leave you with nothing. People should have at least a grounding in the basic tenets of Buddhism before they start dabbling in secret dharmas.
"Holding the Five Precepts is the first step. Getting rid of your greed, anger, stupidity, and bad habits, you can then progress step by step. An ancient saying goes:
A thousand foot skyscraper starts from the bottom up.
A mighty hero is not afraid of humble origins.