The Taiwanese Upasika Jian Guo-Jin began practicing at the age of nineteen. She volunteered for several years in Daoist temples. While working in Taipei, she met Bhikshuni Heng Ran Shi, laywoman Chang Guo-Guan, as well as her own fellow cultivator, Upasika Yeh Guo-Cai. They practiced the Pure Land Dharma. Every Sunday they got together to chant the Buddha's name. During that time, she often practiced with the family of upasika Chu Guo-Xiang, who live in the Sagely City. Upasika Guo-Jin was always eager to recite for others. Rain or shine, she would go and recite wherever there was a need. Therefore she was elected as the leader of Buddhist Recitation Group. She felt very honored when the Venerable Master would stay at her house for a few days during visits to D.C.
When the Master went to the Buddhist Association of Washington, D.C. to give talks during his visit to the East Coast in 1987, Upasika Jian took refuge with him. He gave her the Dharma name Guo-Jin and invited her to come to the Sagely City to cultivate. Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA) later acquired a Way-place in Washington, D.C. Since much killing karma had been created in that area during the Revolutionary era, the Way- place remained closed to the public for three years as ceremonies to liberate the deceased were performed. At that time, Upasika Jian and her family quietly supported visiting Dharma Masters, never hesitating to go out of their way to help. At their request, the Venerable Master named the Way- place Avatamsaka Hermitage. They kept requesting the Venerable Master to inaugurate the Way-place, but were told there was not enough manpower to do so. When the Master agreed to Upasika Jian's suggestion that the Hermitage be managed by women, Avatamsaka Hermitage was opened to the public as DRBA's first Way place on the East Coast.
Upasika Guo-Jin visited the Sagely City several times, bringing her grandchildren for summer camps. She really liked the environment here and vowed to return for a prolonged stay. Since her grandchildren have grown up and her elderly husband is open minded, she has moved here and applied to leave the home life. She is a skilled chef and enjoys Buddhist chanting. She currently volunteers in the Tower of Blessings, the kitchen, the sewing room, and the Recitation Hall. These arrangements could not be more appropriate. We hope that her wish to leave home will soon be realized, so the Venerable Master's earlier instruction to her will be fulfilled: "Come to the Sagely City to cultivate with others as soon as you can."