Upasika Kuo Hui was born on November 17, 1939, in Taipei, Taiwan. Her parents were both Buddhists and vegetarians. They were exceptionally good and kind people who benefited their children and were always ready to help other people. They were honest people, well-liked and respected by all who met them. Their children, and especially Kuo Hui, constantly reflect on their good fortune at having had the benefit of their parents’ kindness and never forget that their parents' careful guidance has provided a firm foundation for their lives.

      From her early years on, Kuo Hui remembers accompanying her mother to Buddhist temples to bow to the Buddha. She always had a good time, and was in awe of the monks and nuns she met there. She revered the nuns in her parochial school as well. She remembers paying respects to Master Tz'u Hang (whose flesh-body still remains naturally preserved) often when she was quite young. Later, in her twenties, she took refuge with the Venerable Elder Master Kuang Ch'in (see VBS #60, page 53). As she grew up, her mother was in favor of her daughters' leaving the home-life, but Kuo Hui still thought the world was a lot of fun...
      In 1970 Upasaka Yen and her younger sister came to the United States to Indiana where their older brother lived and attended college. From the time Kuo Hui arrived in America,

however, she had the thought in the back of her mind to move to San Francisco. She didn't know what it was about that city that attracted her, but she couldn't put down the idea. In 1972 she and her sister moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where another of their brothers lived, and attended Spalding College, where Kuo Hui majored in Fine Arts. By this time her younger sister had heard of Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco and the wish to go to that city became firmly implanted in her mind as well.
      By 1975 their dream became a reality and they traveled to San Francisco. Kuo Hui was temporarily satisfied just to be in the city and began to make plans to attend art school, but her younger sister was still not at the end of her search. Mustering up her courage, she walked halfway across the city (not knowing how to go by bus) to Gold Mountain Monastery. But once there, she couldn't bring herself to go in and walked back home again. Several more times she would make her way to the Monastery, only to draw back at the last minute and not dare to go in and join the assembly. Finally Kuo Hui decided to accompany her younger sister there, hoping to lend her the courage she needed to make her way inside. The two sisters joined the Avatamsaka assembly for a lecture given by the Venerable Master during the 1975-76 winter Ch’an session. Although Kuo Hui's original intention had been that of merely companionship for her sister, she found herself drawn to the Dharma she was hearing and felt deep affinities with the Venerable Master. She continued to accompany her sister to hear more of the Wonderful Dharma, and soon they both moved to the convent, where, as laywomen, they acted as Dharma protectors while they followed along with the assembly in the study and practice of the Dharma.

Kuo Hui, whose Dharma name means "Fruit of Benevolence," works untiringly for the spread of the Dharma and always appears to enjoy what she is doing, no matter how "bitter" the job. She quickly adopted the ascetic practices of eating only one meal a day and never lying down to sleep. Kuo Hui is blessed with a spontaneously sincere regard for all beings, and seems to possess an endless store of selfless energy with which to personally put the orthodox Dharma into practice.


SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF EARTH STORE BODHISATTVA. The classic Buddhist description of the workings of karma, and of the extraordinary filial piety of one of the great Buddhist heroes. With commentary by the Venerable Ch'an Master Hsuan Hua, Abbot of Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco. A book widely known in China, now in English for the first time. 235 pages, 6 x9, $6.75 paper.

RECORDS OF THE LIFE OF CH'AN MASTER HUA, Vol. II. The Master's years in Hong Kong in the 1950's, building monasteries, caring for refugee monks and nuns, teaching people and transforming them. A remarkable account of the active life of a sage. Photographs. Paperbound, 230 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, $6.95.