Four or five years ago, I met the Buddhadharma and discovered how supreme and rare it is. After reading the biography and instructional talks of Venerable Master Hsu Yun (Empty Cloud); I resolved to cultivate and seek unsurpassed Bodhi. His lofty virtue and incorruptible character not only inspired me to seek the Way to accomplish Buddhahood, it also resolved my doubts about the meaning of life.
However, I still felt I should finish school and have a successful career before putting everything down to walk the path of cultivation. But actually, cultivation cannot be postponed. Once you miss the critical chance, you are far from the Buddhadharma. After reading the
Instructional Talks of Venerable Master Hua and With One Heart Bowing to the City of 10,000 Buddhas, I deeply understood the saying,"Time never waits for people; old age will soon arrive." The virtuous sages of the past also alerted us with the compassionate sincerity, "Don't wait until you're old to study the Way; most lonely graves are filled with young people." Thus I reconsidered my plans and had thoughts of cultivating sooner. I hoped to wash away the bad habits accumulated in countless past kalpas and purify my body and mind, in order to cool the heated afflictions of the world.
Thus I decided to major in languages (English and Spanish) in college, thinking I might be able to help translate the Sutras in the future. Several friends encouraged me to come to the United States to study at Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU). Since DRBU offers courses on translating Buddhist Sutras, I resolved to come. On the other hand, I feared that if I went to college back home, with no samadhi power I would get lost in worldly dharmas and forget the Buddhadharma and my initial resolve to cultivate.
After getting off the plane, I came straight to CTTB. I was given lodging in Joyous Giving House. The Dharma Master who took care of us would get up at 2 a.m. to recite the Shurangama Mantra as she hit the wooden fish. There were only a few students then, and we followed the same schedule as the Dharma Masters, doing morning and evening recitations, reciting Sutras, listening to the Venerable Master explain the Shurangama Mantra, and attending lectures.
After a semester of school, although my language skills had not improved much, I gained a deeper understanding of the Buddhadharma, and also memorized the longest mantra - the Shurangama Mantra. After staying here for awhile, I started feeling that to really cultivate, I should leave home and become a true disciple of the Buddha. Then I will not have lived in vain. Under such wonderful conditions of being born in China and encountering a wise teacher who skillfully guides living beings, how can I waste any more time?
I grew up in Argentina, a "frontier land of Buddhism" where Buddhists are few and far between. Especially in the interior regions, people have never heard the sagely name of Amitabha Buddha. There are many children in underdeveloped areas who cannot even pronounce the name "Amitabha." Because of this, I truly feel that the profound and wonderful Buddhadharma is extremely hard to encounter, even in hundreds of thousands of kalpas. Thus, I vow to dedicate my life to Buddhism, make great efforts in cultivation, translate sutras, and spread the seeds of Buddhism in Western countries, planting a firm foundation so that the Buddhadharma can be widely propagated in all lands. If I cannot accomplish my vow in this life, I shall continue it in my next life. I am just deeply repentant that I never really worked hard in the past, so in this life I have shallow wisdom and deep confusion, heavy offenses and scarce blessings; hindered by the three obstructions, I begin with vigor but end up lax. Ashamed that my knowledge is so shallow, I only hope that all the Buddhas of the ten directions will help me open bright wisdom, and compassionately enable all living beings to fulfill their wholesome vows.