In the process of learning Buddhism, I am only a kindergarten student. I recall in the fall of 1986 when I came to the United States, one night after the Evening Recitation at Gold Wheel Sagely Monastery, Venerable Master Hsuan Hua was giving an instructional talk, surrounded by laymen and laywomen. I was introduced to him by my children. At that time, the Master said a verse,
"All things easily come and go,
But a bad temper's truly hard to change.
If you can really never get angry,
Then you've found a precious jewel.
When you stop putting the blame on others,
Then everything goes your way.
If you never let your mind get afflicted,
Then the karma born of hatred won't return to trouble you."
I was too excited and could catch only the last two lines roughly. After the five members of our family returned home, they said in unison, "The Master was looking at you when he said that verse." Hearing this, I pondered whether I was really that incapable? I did not even know the word "stupidity" yet.
Since taking refuge with the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, I have attended numerous Dharma assemblies at the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and Gold Wheel Sagely Monastery, frequently listening to the Master's instructional talks. Although I have the intention to cultivate the Tao, worldly things have surrounded me. I could neither pick them up nor put them down and thus time has passed wastefully. Last year at the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, I heard a layman ask the Master, "How should we cultivate?" The reply was, "Recite the Buddha's name sincerely." He asked further, "How can we be sincere?" The Master responded, "Put down the myriad conditions and sincerely resolve to end birth and death." This comment hits the nail on the head. At almost seventy years old, if I do not cultivate diligently now, how much longer do I have?