Lin Pei-jen, whose Dharma name is Gwo Sen ("forest"), was born in Canton in 1908. She comes from a well-off family of seven children. Feeling that "a girl with no skills is virtuous," her parents thought it enough for her just to learn to read, and she discontinued her education after graduating from junior high school. At the recommendation of good friends, she took refuge in Buddhism, and was among the Ven. Master's first group of lay disciples in Hong Kong. For several decades, she has been reciting a copy of the
Earth Store Sutra given her by the Venerable Master. She also learned to recite the Shurangama Mantra and the Great Compassion Mantra. But what she likes best is to recite the Buddha's name.
She is very sincere, always joining her palms and greeting people with an "Amitabha Buddha!" She modestly says that she doesn't know how to do anything, and calls herself the stupidest disciple.
She has never held a job in her life. Her husband used to run a prosperous business, but later the war of resistance against Japanese caused the company to fall into financial difficulties, and there was no way to continue it. Her family was also forced to split up. With relatives leaving and her husband out of a job, all kinds of misfortune befell her, and she could not withstand it. At that time the Venerable Master said to her, "Don't be afraid. Just accept adversity calmly." This power of compassionate and fearless acceptance has, up to today, helped her through all kinds of states.
She has used that experience of failure to teach her sons the advantage of having one skill to support themselves. Life is impermanent, and one cannot rely on one's parents. Indeed, starting empty-handed, her sons all found successful careers.
"It's hard to get a human body. It's hard to get to listen to the Dharma. It's hard to encounter a good and wise teacher." Upasika Gwo Sen greatly cherishes this rare opportunity, and has guided her family to approach Buddhism. In her family, three sons, two daughters-in-law, and seven grandsons have taken refuge under the Venerable Master.
This time she has come with the pilgrimage group from Hong Kong to bow single-mindedly in Water-Land-Air Dharma Assembly. She originally planned to return to Hong Kong when it was over, but decided to move here instead. She reassured her family, "Don't worry. The Master will take care of me."
Upasika Gwo Sen says, "The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is the best place to cultivate because it's very pure here and life is very carefree."