THE BODHI LECTERN
THE EMINENT UPASAKA LEE KUO CH’IEN
Upasaka Lee Kuo Ch’ien was born in Canton, China, in December 1947. Not long after he was born his family moved to Hong Kong, and then in July of 1959 traveled to the United States where thy established permanent residence. Before Kuo Ch’ien met the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua he was a faithful Buddhist; consequently, when he met the Master he knew how fortunate he was to have conditions with such a wise and compassionate teacher.
As soon as he met the Master, Kuo Ch'ien begged to be allowed to become a disciple and take refuge with the Triple Jewel; he was deeply grateful when his request was accepted. At that time he was only fourteen years old. More than a few people have wondered why so many young people gather around the Venerable Master, the Abbot Hsuan Hua. I don't know why, but the fact remains that when young people meet the Abbot, they become very happy and excited about Buddhism, and begin studying and practicing. At Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery all the cultivators are as young and strong as spring mountains, unlike the old heads of sixty or seventy years who can barely eat and have forgotten how to walk.
After he had taken refuge, Upasaka Lee Kuo Ch'ien always sat at the feet of the Master, following his instructions and receiving great benefit from his Dharma talks and explanations of the Sutras. He learned to play the Dharma instruments, and participated in conducting the daily ceremonies. Under the Venerable Master's guidance he began a diligent practice of meditation and recitation of the Buddha's name, and received responses far beyond any he could have possibly imagined, truly receiving great benefit which resolved the difficult questions about life. This was during the first years of the Master's teaching and transforming in the West, and Kuo Ch'ien worked hard as a Dharma protector, translating and helping to establish the Bodhimandala. Young men like this are rare in the world, for most find it difficult to have such unswerving purpose and steadfast practice.
Upasaka Kuo Ch’ien Lee is a graduate of San Francisco City College with a major in printing, and as a devoted Buddhist disciple who follows the Bodhisattva conduct, he has found a way to turn his many talents to the benefit of others besides himself. He has made a vow, establishing a goal for his life, to one day open a printing company which operates for the sole purpose of propagating the Buddhadharma, printing Sutras and other worthwhile material.
Upasaka Lee Kuo Ch’ien is the stuff of which the foundations of a great Buddhist culture are made. With devoted men like this the Buddhadharma will certainly flourish in the West.
Because he is knowledgeable and capable in all areas of publishing, he has been an invaluable member of the Editorial Board of Vajra Bodhi Sea. Fully aware of the importance of the Bodhimandala and solid monastic and lay communities as Buddhism begins in the West, he has been a faithful Dharma protector, devoting himself where he can to the propagation of the Buddhadharma. At the present time Upasaka Lee works for Courier Citizen Company, a nationwide publisher, and holds the position of Coordinator and Supervisor at the Pleasanton California branch.
--By Bhiksu Heng Kuan