Bhikshuni Heng Tyan Shi was born in Malaysia. She is fluent in Chinese, English, and Malay, and is comfortable speaking many dialects. In 1985 she took refuge with the Triple Jewel. The first time she read the Venerable Master's biography, she was filled with admiration and started subscribing to the monthly journal Vajra Bodhi Sea. She also began reciting the Shurangama Mantra daily and vowed to come to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and enter the monastic life.
In 1988 when the Venerable Master went to propagate Dharma in Singapore, she was in the middle of a job contract and was also studying for her Master's degree. She felt it was still too early to consider entering monastic life. The Master told her, "If I take anyone back with me, they will not have any problems." However, she refused the Master's offer of help. As a result, she ended up making a big detour. It was truly a case of, "Off by a hairsbreadth in the beginning, you miss by a thousand miles in the end."
In 1989 a certain Dharma Master announced during his lecture that he was seeking students to train for propagating the Dharma. Then one day as Heng Tyan Shi was walking, a thought flashed through her brain, suggesting that she could one day lecture on the Sutras like that Dharma Master.
Clinging to her fantasy, Heng Tyan Shi entered the monastic life under that Dharma Master. Three years later, having witnessed the gamut of the peculiar manifestations of the Dharma-Ending Age she finally returned to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas like the poor son who ran away from his father and in the end returned to the wealthy elder's welcoming arms (a parable in the Lotus Sutra.)
After the trials and tribulations she has been through, Heng Tyan Shi is resolved to be a genuine member of the Sangha. Ever mindful of the Venerable Master's missions, she is ready to devote herself to the task at hand, be it propagating the Dharma, translating Sutras, teaching, or establishing temples. A verse says:
Constantly seeking a teacher upon whom she could rely,
Her fields were neglected, but then springtime came.
If the teaching is proper, the Dharma lineage will be pure.
She wishes to carry out the Master's magnificent vows and follow him forever.