The Bodhi Mirror Presents
ELDER MASTER CHIH MING
by Bhikshu Heng Kuan
When he visited Gold Mountain Monastery and the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas recently, the Venerable Chih Ming had come a long way. Looking back over the course of his journey since he left the home life in Manchuria, he seems to have long ago planted the seeds of a wandering monk. Born in T'ien Ching, in Northern China in 1907, he left the home life in 1929, and a little more than a year later, at Dragon Spring Monastery, he received the complete precepts and was ordained as a Bhikshu. Before many years had passed, he began his long travels, at first in China, to the Four Holy Mountains, and to many distance provinces, and later to many countries throughout Asia, and finally all the way to South America, where he settled in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
During his travels he lived in Changmai Burma for more than seven years, and established Kuan Yin Temple there. He also stayed in Penang, Malaysia, Singapore, and Bangkok, Thailand, each for several years. He studied with lamas in Yunnan China, and finally, in 1960, he went to Brazil, where he established Amitabha Temple. He still lives there today.
On his recent travels to Asia and the United States, a seed planted more than thirty years ago, on a Chang River boat from Shanghai to Hupeh, came to fruition. On that boat trip was a man who had been imprisoned for selling coal on the black market. The prison had been so damp that when he was released, he could no longer walk, and had to hobble around with a crutch. The Venerable Abbot of Gold Mountain and the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas was also on that boat to Hupeh. Towards the end of the trip, he told the cripple that if he wanted to walk again, he only had to throw his crutch into the river. The cripple, in an act of complete faith, threw his crutch overboard, and after he had received the wonderful healing power of the Venerable Abbot for a few minutes he not only could walk, he could run. The Venerable Chih Ming witnessed this miracle, and it made such an impression on him that he remembers it clearly today, and spoke of it during his two week visit, in late January and early February to Gold Mountain Monastery and the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
The Venerable Chih Ming was very happy throughout his visit, and after celebrating the New Year with the disciples and friends of Gold Mountain Monastery, he left for New York on February 6th.