The Bodhi Lectern



      Upasika Annie`Ying was born in Shanghai, China. She comes from a very religious family, and has always been a Buddhist. When she was young, several occurrences in her life had so much of the special flavor of miracles that they have been written up and published.

      By way of example, one of these occurrences took place several days before the opening of Mahayana Temple in South Cairo, New York; a Buddhist Center constructed under the auspices of Mrs. Ying and her family. She became affiliated with a severe toothache, which was so painful that it prevented her from working. She got up and bowed before Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, saying that she didn’t mind what happened to her after the ceremonies for Mahayana Temple, but before the ceremonies she wished to be fit to work make this enterprise on behalf of the Dharma successful. Her toothache immediately disappeared.

Speaking of the establishment of Mahayana Temple, Mrs. Ying has said, "I saw that although the members of our American Buddhist Association were many, our facilities were very limited, and so it was difficult if not impossible for true cultivators to practice. Accordingly I made a vow, to bring forth a great temple in the country where those who truly and sincerely wish to cultivate the Way can come to live in purity. And so I sponsored the construction of this temple in hopes that cultivators might quickly accomplish the work."

The temple, which was formally opened on September 25th, 1971, was under construction for about one year. Opening ceremonies were widely attended, and the Sino-American Buddhist Association sent a five-member delegation from San Francisco to carry the best wishes of the Association.  The party, traveling as the Proper Dharma Congratulatory Committee, was headed by Bhiksu Heng Ch'ien and also included Bhiksus Heng Ching, Heng Shou, Heng Pai, and Heng Ch'ao. Following the opening ceremonies she invited two American bhiksus to live in residence, and Dharma Masters Heng Ch'ien and Heng Pai spent several months lecturing and translating the Dharma Blossom Sutra there.

Upasika Ying and her family have worked hard to protect the Dharma and lend their talent and influence to the expansion of Buddhism in the West so that many more of the world’s people will have the opportunity to cultivate the unsurpassed Way. Her good works are numerous as she takes the Buddhist goal of a peaceful world seriously.