was born and raised in central Taiwan. My mother-in-law embraced a religious faith during her illness, and after she died, her only daughter-in-law was expected to carry on. I thus became involved with the Japanese Lotus Sect, which calls itself Buddhism.
Later, my son had an accident, and while I was helplessly pleading for aid and protection from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, I came upon a monastery near my house. Out of curiosity, I watched their class activities from outside. A Dharma master invited me in. I thus found out that it was a Bhikshu explaining the Great Vehicle Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra. After class, I borrowed a copy of the Sutra and read it after I got home. Only then did I find out that there are twenty-eight chapters in this Sutra. The version of the Dharma Flower Sutra published by the Japanese Lotus Sect which I normally read was only part of the whole Sutra. It was like peeking at the sky from the bottom of a well.
During my second Sutra class, I learned about the virtuous conduct of the Venerable Master. After I borrowed and read the Sutra in Forty-two Sections with the Master’s explanation, I longed even more for the Master’s Dharma sound. After some difficulties, my wish finally came true.
Every time I come to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, I feel like a walking corpse, not knowing the whereabouts of my monkey-like mind. Usually after a couple of days, my mind slowly comes back and I am able to know where it goes and what it does. Though it will still be very active, occasionally it will submit and listen to orders. However, once I leave the “training arena” of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the results of my cultivation are limited regardless of the Dharma-doors I use. It does not take more than a few days before I am following the current of karma again: anxious at heart and weary in body, the mind constantly thinks of evil, the mouth constantly utters evil and false words, the body constantly practices bad deeds, and the monkey-like mind has run off without leaving a trace.
Living in the world is like bobbing up and down in the karmic sea of birth and death. I deeply believe that only by immersing oneself in a Way-place of the proper Dharma such as the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas can one successfully cultivate the Way. I admire the members of the fourfold assembly who are already walking on the path and fear that my karma is too heavy. I once had a chance to ask the Master, “How can I walk more smoothly upon the path of cultivation?” The Master replied, “Don’t lose your temper.” It’s been five years, and I still fall remorsefully short of the good knowing advisor’s teaching.