by Bhikshu Heng Sure

      Gold Mountain Monastery's Dharma master Heng Kuan is curently on an historic lecture tour of Buddhist Asia. Responding to an unprecedented number of invitations. Heng Kuan has appeared before thousands of people, and has decided to extend his visit to Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia for several weeks.

      The event marks the first time in history that an American Dharma Master has made a solo tour of the Far East and the response has been extraordinarily positive and enthusiastic. Heng Kuan writes, "I lecture everyday to a crowd of between 100 to 600 people. for the first ninety minutes I lecture on the Dharma and explain the principles that we put into practice at Gold Mountain. Then for the next ninety minutes I talk about the activities of the Sino-American Buddhist Association. I show slides of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and answer questions about the personalities and the progress of Buddhism of the West."

      The audience is made up of both young and old persons, many of whom after hearing Bhikshu Heng Kuan's lectures and after observing his awesome deportment, have vowed to leave the home life and to devote all their energies to the propagation of the proper Dharma. Heng Kuan's strict observance of the Buddhist precepts and the high standards of his cultivation, which includes the ascetic practices cultivated by all residents of Gold Mountain Monastery, i.e. eating only one meal a day and sleeping sitting up at night and never lying down, has favorable impressed the people of Asia and has influenced them to investigate the Buddhadharma, and to bring forth the resolve to seek enlightenment.

The sign at the top of this photograph says, "Welcome Dharma Master Heng Kuan from Gold Mountain Monastery, San Francisco, America, on his lecture and propagation tour." The location is Miao-ying (Wonderful Response) Temple in Malaysia.

      Bhikshu Heng Kuan has been the subject of many newspaper articles and photographs during his Asian tour. He has exceeded to the demand of the local press for stories of the Sino-American Buddhist Association's facilities, such as Dharma Realm University, and events, such as the recent Precept Transmission at the City of ten Thousands Buddhas, and has directed many articles to the staff of such magazines as Nanyang Buddhist and Malayan Times.

      The second leg of Dharma Master Kuan's Asian tour will take him to Thailand, the Phillipines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Originally he planned to complete his travels within ten weeks but the enthusiastic response of the audiences that pack into the lecture halls wherever he speaks has convinced him to extend his stay.

      "These people are hungry for the Dharma," writes Heng Kuan, "and it makes me realize what a wonderful opportunity we have to study and to cultivate at Gold Mountain. We must never take it for granted that a place such as Gold Mountain exists.  These devotees whom I have met in Asia have been around Buddhism all their lives but they have never encountered cultivation and practices such as those taught at Gold Mountain. They have never met people who seriously and vigorously work to resolve the important question of birth and death. I am delighted to be able to share the news with them of the flourishing of the Proper Dharma in the West, "Heng Kuan said.

      Watch for further accounts of Bhiksu Heng Kuan's Asian tour in future issues of Vajra Bodhi Sea.

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