Upasaka Qin Luo is an American whose lay name is Carlos. He is 20 years old this year. Born in Texas, he grew up mostly in California. When he encountered the Buddhadharma, he was interested but had no idea where to start. One day when he went to buy incense from a vendor in San Francisco, he found out about the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.
On his first visit to the Berkeley Monastery in 1997, he was attracted by the Evening Ceremony and the Buddha images, especially the standing Amitabha Buddha and the Guanyin Bodhisattva with a thousand hands and eyes. At first he had his doubts about whether he wanted to study there or not, but an invisible force drew him back and quickly melted his doubts. In September 1997 he took refuge with the Triple Jewel, and the next year he received the five precepts.
In 1998 he moved into the monastery and listened to the lectures on the
Sixth Patriarch Sutra given by Dharma Master Heng Sure. During that time, he often had the thought of leaving home, but just pushed it into the back of his mind. When the young novice monks went to train at the Sagely City of the Dharma Realm in Sacramento, Upasaka Qin Luo had the opportunity of joining them. He later also went to Long Beach Sagely Monastery to study and attend training.
A Dharma Master once told him that it's only because of his parents' goodness that he has had the wonderful opportunity to draw close to Buddhism and the Proper Dharma. These words left a deep impression on him. He recognizes the selfless care that his parents put in for him as a child, and he hopes to repay their kindness.
Secondly, he knows that in this world there is much suffering, and he hopes to bring an end to it. These two reasons strengthened Upasaka Qin Luo's resolve to leave home. In March of this year, he enrolled in the Pre-Novice Training Program, where he will fulfill his resolve through actual cultivation.