ACROSS THE SEA OF SUFFERING IN A BOAT OF VOWS
In 1970 Bhiksuni Heng Ch'ih made
five initial vows before the Triple Jewel of the Ten Directions, the Venerable
Master Hua, and the four-fold assembly of disciples at the Buddhist Lecture
Hall, San Francisco. These vows appeared in issue five of Vajra Bodhi Sea.
Life aLife after life I vow to take refuge with the Triple Jewel and leave home to follow my Master. After leaving home I vow every day to maintain the initial mind, constantly being firm and pure in precepts and rules, a vast model for the three realms.
Life aLife after life I vow to early write out, receive, maintain, read, recite, and speak for others the unsurpassed Great Vehicle sutras.
Life aLife after life I vow to cultivate and penetrate the Great Compassion Dharma, realizing the non-retreating mind, dwelling in the patience of unproduced dharmas, and ultimately attaining the knowledge and vision of the Buddhas.
Life aLife after life I vow to vigorously cultivate the two practices of never lying down and of eating only one meal a day at the proper time.
In 1974 she made another vow before the Triple Jewel of the Ten Directions, the Venerable Master, and the great assembly at Gold Mountain Monastery:
I vow to recite the Great Compassion Mantra one hundred and eight times a day every day for the rest of my life. I vow to recite the mantra faithfully and without fail, regardless of how busy, fatigued, or otherwise occupied I may be; and I vow to transfer the merit of each day's recitation to all sentient creatures and insentient things of the Dharma-realm.