When Layman Guo-fu Xie was going through the darkest period of his life six years ago (1990), he obtained a copy of the Venerable Master’s commentary of the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra. Like a powerful magnet, that book pulled him out of the sea of karma in which he was drowning. Every word of the Master’s clear and yet profound commentary penetrated deeply into his heart. They were exactly what he needed. The filth and defilement that had covered and obstructed his mind and wisdom for so long were gradually wiped away. Even his ninety-year old grandmother who lived in their home felt the beneficial influence and was able to pass away with a smile on her face. Inspired by the conviction that the Venerable Master’s compassionate vows to rescue all sentient beings are always and everywhere protecting all of us, Layman Xie sincerely resolved to memorize the chapter on Guanshiyin Bodhisattva’s Universal Door in the Lotus Sutra. On the one hand, he hopes that in life after life he will never forget the kindness of the Buddhas, and on the other it is a token of his wish to follow the Master’s will.
One day his eldest sister asked Layman Xie to go with her to Puli (in Nantou county, Taiwan) to offer incense in the Guanyin Hall of a temple. While he was bowing, he suddenly noticed that the Thousand-handed Thousand-eyed Guanshiyin Bodhisattva image in front of him was identical to the one in the Buddha Hall at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in the United States. (Both were made by the well-known sculptor, Layman Tai-sheng Wang.) There are only five of these adorned Guanyin images in the world. Inconceivable!
When Layman Xie took some time off to visit the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in 1995 after having taken refuge, he had a deep insight into the Venerable Master’s spirit of helping others while remaining anonymous. He perceived that the Master was so completed devoted to rescuing living beings that even when he was sick to the point of vomiting blood, he continued to propagate the Dharma. Thinking of his own puny, mosquito-like strength, Layman Xie wonders how he can ever repay even a tiny portion of his Teacher’s kindness! And so during the celebration of Guanyin Bodhisattva’s Anniversary, he bowed and made a vow, “For as long as I live, whenever a Way-place of the Venerable Master needs volunteers, I will exhaust my paltry strength and do my best to help.” To his surprise, two days later his wish was granted, and he was asked to go help out at Dharma Realm Sagely Monastery in Liugui, Gaoxiong. Ah! There truly is a response to every thought!
Layman Xie is currently residing at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. One day the Abbot, Dharma Master Lyu, asked him, “What is the greatest benefit you’ve gained from learning Buddhism?” He replied, “Before I learned Buddhism, I didn’t understand anything. After studying Buddhism, I finally understand things. I wish that all living beings in the ten directions will one day together gain understanding and realize Bodhi.”