In honor of the Birthday of the Venerable Master Hua, hundreds of disciples came to Gold Mountain Monastery on Sunday, May 22, 1977, the day chosen for the Celebration. Pictured left is the Universal Bowing Ceremony, which eradicates disasters and lengthens life. The Venerable Master on that day addressed those gathered as follows:

"I myself feel very happy that in this Western country Buddhism is gradually expanding and growing. All of you people who are now adults in the future will become old, and all of you young children in the future will grow up. In this way Buddhism is being passed on from one generation to the next, and will spread to all corners--which makes me very happy. But I also feel deeply ashamed. Why is that? I have been with you for over ten years, and I've been of no help to you at all. I haven't had any way to teach those of you who have false thinking not to have false thinking, and I haven't had any way to help those of you who like to play not to play or be naughty. That is the reason I feel very ashamed. However, I believe that day by day you are coming to understand a little bit more, and are daily gaining experience, so that in the future you will not have so much false thinking and won't be so naughty. So while I am very ashamed, I also don't really need to be ashamed at all. Therefore I hope that all of you who are working on being emperors will do a good job as emperors; that those of you who are working on being old cultivators will do a good job as old cultivators; that those who are left-home people will be good left-home people; and that those people who are at home will be good lay-people. Each of you has his own special gift, and in the future I believe you will all be successful. Therefore I don't really need to feel ashamed. Do you agree with this?"

Young man: May I ask a question? What is the most difficult question in Buddhism?

The Master: The most difficult question is the question you are asking right now. Right?

Young man: Right.

The Master: Now I'll ask you a question, not two: what question is not difficult?

Young man: The question you are asking now.

The Master: No, the question I'm asking now cannot be called difficult. It's very hard for me to get my breath out, and even harder to get it to go back in, so asking this question really is not easy!