THE BODHI MIRROR
the Eminent Dharma Master
By Bhiksu Heng Kuan
This Venerable Dharma Master was born
in Southern China in the 1880’s. When he was a young monk on the China
mainland, he went deep into the mountains of Canton to cultivate. It is
said that although he was surrounded by wild animals, they never hurt him.
Later he went to live in the mountains of Taiwan. After a while word of him spread, and a temple was built for him where he cultivated. Since his early days in Canton, he hasn’t paid attention to worldly affairs, and thus he has come to be a Good Knowing Advisor who continually and vigorously cultivates ascetic practices, thereby influencing others to cultivate the Way. He eats fruit, and never reclines.
On one occasion he announced to his close disciples that he was going to complete the stillness (die). A disciple knelt before him and pleaded with him to stay in the world. Twelve years later he is still teaching living beings, and is the Abbot of Ch'eng T'ien Monastery on Taiwan.
During the spring of 1974 the Venerable Abbot of Gold Mountain was invited to Asia to deliver lectures on the Dharma. During his stay on Taiwan he went unannounced, to visit the Elder Kuang Ch'in. The Elder Kuang Ch’in as I have said, doesn't pay any attention to worldly affairs, and has never gone out to greet anyone. But on this occasion, the day before the Venerable Abbot's arrival, he told his disciples to go out and sweep the paths and make preparations, because a great Bodhisattva would pay them a visit. The next day as the Venerable Abbot approached the Monastery up the long winding mountain path, the Elder Kuang Ch'in went out to greet him. For some time they spoke without words. Later the Venerable Abbot asked the Elder Kuang Ch'in to come with him to America to help propagate the Dharma. The Elder monk motioned toward his old and shriveled body, worn by years of bitter practices, but said that he would certainly come frequently in spirit.