Upasika Hew is from Malaysia. Her family used to purchase animals from hunters, which they prepared and sold frozen to various stores. Although they did not personally kill the animals, they shared in the severe karma of indirect killing. Moreover, they were involved in the direct killing of frogs, which they bought live and killed and prepared for sale.
Uneducated in the teachings of the Buddha, Upasika Hew did not know that her family was creating killing karma. When she went to look after her hospitalized grandmother, she contracted germs from the patient next to her and came down with pulmonary edema, after which she underwent a series of tuberculosis tests, X-rays and medical treatments. All the doctors counseled Upasika Hew, then one month pregnant with her first daughter, Zhian, to have an abortion since her medical treatments might cause the baby to be abnormal. Their advice stabbed her heart and sent her into deep despair, yet she insisted on keeping her baby, for she felt obligated to take care of it no matter how unhealthy it might turn out to be.
Her entire family began to bow to Guanyin Bodhisattva. They wished to study Buddhism, but it was not easy to find orthodox Buddhism, or even a Buddha image, near their home in Malaysia, not to mention a place to hear the Dharma. Later, through Buddhist books given by friends, they began to understand the principles of Buddhism. A colleague lent them tapes of the Venerable Master's lectures on the Shurangama Mantra and the Master's biography. Upasika Hew gave birth to a healthy baby daughter, and in joy she applied to take refuge with the Master. She soon received the Master's instructions telling her to bow to the Buddhas for two hours every morning and evening. The whole family sincerely did so. She then received a Refuge Certificate signed by the Master, giving her the Dharma name Guo Yi.
In 1992, the family of six moved to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) to practice under the Venerable Master's guidance. She and her husband are volunteer teachers at the schools in CTTB. Her eldest son and daughter, both graduates of CTTB's schools, currently attend the University of the Pacific. Her two younger children are still in school, and her younger son is a novice monk. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is home to the whole family.