The Bodhi Lectern



Upasaka C. T. Shen's works for the sake of the sustained growth of world Buddhism are numerous. The majority of his efforts have been concentrated on strengthening the foundations of Buddhism in the West. In this regard he was the moving force behind the creation of the Eastern States Buddhist Association and sponsored the establishment of New York's Great Enlightenment Temple.

      Recently Upasaka Shen has founded the Institute for Advanced Studies of World Religions. The Institute has offices in New York City, maintains a library with an extensive and rapidly expanding Buddhist collection at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and offers a wide range of the most up-to-date research offers a wide range of the most up-to-date research tools. He has encouraged the translation of Buddhist texts into Western languages, and maintains a staff of scholars and technicians who work on research and translation.

  Under the auspices of the Institute he recently sponsored a conference of Buddhist text translators which convened for the purpose of achieving a high degree of cooperation and coordination among Buddhist translators, and for investigating the possibilities of a Buddhist multi-lingual dictionary which will facilitate and coordinate translation work.

Not only has he worked to benefit the growth of Buddhism, but has faithfully maintained his personal cultivation, sincerity, and vigor. In spite of the demands of heading up a major shipping firm, he makes time in a busy schedule to attend sessions devoted to the recitation of the Buddha’s name.

On a visit to Gold Mountain in January of this year Upasaka Shen paid his respects to the Venerable Abbot Hua. While at the monastery he discussed plans for the worldwide propagation of Buddhism and showed himself to be one who truly “knows the Master’s sound.” Following a vegetarian luncheon given by the members of the Sino-American Buddhist Association welcoming him to San Francisco, Upasaka Shen spoke to the fourfold assembly. In his speech, of which a recording was made, he said: “I have the great honor of this opportunity to pay my respects to the most remarkable monk in this age, your Master, the Venerable Master Tu Lun, and the honor of meeting this assembly, the bhiksus and bhiksunis. You are here learning and studying, but you have the great responsibility to introduce the teachings of Buddha to your fellowmen to enable them to know the teaching, which has lasted in the world more than 2500 years.

“The Master said I came from New York to San Francisco to pay my respects to the Master and you. No one will argue with this statement. I want to make another statement. It is not correct to say I came from New York to San Francisco. It is because of my past good deeds, merit, and virtue that your Venerable Master and you, good men and women of the assembly, appear in front of my eyes and in my mind. It is also true on your side: it is not that a Mr. Shen came here from another place, but it is because of our past causal relationship that I appear in your mind at this moment.

“The Master Tu Lun will tell you what I say is like wind and what you hear is like echoes. But the causes and effects of this event in which I received instruction from the Master will be significant in the future. Cause and effect never fails. If you expect a good future, all you have to do is put all your efforts into doing good deeds now. Planted seeds some day bear fruit. Put your whole heart and effort into your work. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you.”