Heng Ge Shi is from Taiwan. When he was very young, out of curiosity he looked up the number of strokes of his name in a divination text, and the counsel given was, "All relatives have drifted apart; leaving the home life is the best way." It all came true. Once when he heard the Incense Praise, he was filled with joy. He says, "Perhaps these are conditions from past lives, for I have dreamed that I used to be a monk."
One day he read Like Clouds and Water, Elder
Master Guangqin's biography, which inspired him to study Buddhism. A year later he moved into Dharma Realm Sagely Monastery in Liugui, Taiwan, to study the Proper Dharma and lived there for a month. When the Venerable Master went to Taiwan, he greeted Heng Ge Shi kindly and inquired after his well-being. The Master's fatherly concern touched him deeply.
At the Monastery Heng Ge Shi was constantly ill. His mother had recently passed away, as had the majority of the old folks in his hometown. This made him realize that life is short, with much suffering and very little happiness, and that we cannot be attached. As a verse aptly says, "When I see others die, my heart burns like fire. It's not burning for their sake, but because it will soon be my turn." Deeply regretting his past wrong behavior, he renounced everything and requested the Master to shave his head in 1991. He was ordained the following year.
Heng Ge Shi says, "That's the only right thing I have done right in this life." As a novice monk, he happened to silently blame the Master in his heart without knowing why. When he repented in front of the Master, the Master took his hand and gently said, "We have been good friends before," and tapped his head three times. After that he no longer had that problem.
Heng Ge Shi works hard everyday. He bows day and night to the Flower Adornment Sutra, hoping to gain wisdom like the sea some day. Heng Ge Shi said that to become the Master's good friend one must be willing to follow the Six Guidelines of no fighting, no greed, no seeking, no selfishness, no pursuit of personal advantage, and no lying.
Constantly relying on the Six Guidelines in practice,
You, sir, become Venerable Hua's good friend.
With the supreme Dharma of bowing to the Flower Adornment,
The Master promises you will all attain liberation.