Lao Zi said, "I have suffering because of this body. Without this body, what suffering would I have?" Ever since I was little, I have suffered from poor health and many illnesses. To name the major ones: tuberculosis, duodenal ulcer, and herniation of interjacent vertebrate disks (HIVD). I underwent surgery for the last one. Chronically seeing doctors and taking medicines did not cure the illnesses at their source. The pain and suffering were incessant. Later, I learned meditation and encountered the Buddhadharma. I stopped eating meat, took refuge, and received the precepts. In addition to meditating every morning and evening, I often bowed to the Buddha, performed repentance ceremonies, and recited Sutras and mantras. The awesome spiritual power of the Triple Jewel has been truly beneficial in alleviating all my illnesses. After leaving the home-life with the Venerable Master, the traditional practices at the City of the Ten Thousand Buddhas of eating only one meal a day at noon and never lying down to sleep have presented no problems.
In my youth, I was fond of studying Confucianism. I also studied Taoism. Mencius said, "The differences between humans and animals are few." Being a human, I wanted to investigate those rare qualities which made human beings different. Later on, I realized that "Everyone has the potential to become like the Emperors Yao and Shun." In my opinion, there is nothing comparable to this statement in Western philosophy. Western philosophy emphasizes the analysis of knowledge and intellect; but the nature of the mind is rarely touched upon, and the practice of virtue is taken lightly. By studying Confucianism, one can become a sage or worthy one like Confucius, Mencius, Yao, and Shun. Its doctrines are democratic and equal. On the other hand, can a person who believes in and worships God become God? Is it democratic and equal? Coming to know Buddhism, I was struck by what the Buddha said when he awakened to the Way: "All living beings have the Buddha-nature. All can become Buddhas." This expands the Confucian focus on people to encompass all living beings; it raises us from the level of sages such as Yao and Shun to the level of the Buddha, the sage among sages. How vast and great! How democratic and equal! The Venerable Master has said, “Confucianism is like elementary school; Taoism is like high school; and Buddhism is like college." I seem to have learned them in that order. The Venerable Master has also said, "Confucianism is like a youngster, Taoism is like a middle-aged person; and Buddhism is like an old person." I also seem to have grown up that way. "
The body is born from that which has no appearances, just like myriad forms which arise from illusion. The mind and consciousness of an illusory person are originally non-existent. All offenses and blessings are empty and abide nowhere." In fact, is there a body to be secured? Is there a life to be established? "If one could perceive the body as unreal, that is the Buddha's perception. If one could understand that the mind is illusory, that is the Buddha's understanding. If one could realize that the body and mind are basically empty, then one is no different from the Buddha."