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Kneeling in Gratitude for Three Days— Introducing Upasika Guo Feng Chang

Spoken by Feng-chu Chang on Thursday evening, August 3, 200, at the Buddha Hall, City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
編輯部 整理 比丘尼恆音 英譯 Compiled by Editorial Staff English translation by Bhikshuni Heng Yin











All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, Venerable Master, Dharma Masters, good  advisors:

My name is Feng-chu Chang (Guo Feng) and I'm from Taiwan. This is  my second time visiting the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. I'm going to  relate to you the story of how I took refuge with the Venerable Master and  the responses I've had.

I used to be a kindergarten teacher, but I have now retired. The second  day that the Venerable Master came to Taiwan to hold the Dharma Assembly  for Protecting the Nation and Quelling Disasters, the mother of one of my  students called to tell me about an auspicious portent seen in the sky on  the first day of the session at the Chung-cheng Memorial Hall. The mother  strongly urged me to go take refuge. Thus, my taking refuge was basically  a passive act. When I saw the Venerable Master for a second time, speaking  Dharma at the National Institute of Technology, I wept sorrowfully and  could not stop. It was as if I had been reunited with a long lost relative.

After I took refuge, I received the Venerable Master's Dharma teachings  in every issue of the Source of Wisdom, thus growing closer to the Master little by little. I never saw the Master again after his Dharma lecture at the  National Institute, because I was too busy with meetings and  correspondence to attend when the Master transmitted the Three Refuges  and Five Precepts at Banqiao the next day, and I rationalized that the  Venerable Master would come again. Thus, I missed my opportunity.

I paid close attention to every article in the Source of Wisdom and waited  for the Venerable Master to return to Taiwan, vowing to join the volunteer  team when he came. Soon I noticed that the Venerable Master was not  well and would not come again. Some time later, I went to the post office  and found a thick issue of Source of Wisdom containing news of the Master's  passing into stillness. I was numbed with grief, feeling as if I had lost a  close relative. I sat on the wooden mailbox and wept. I had no appetite for  a long time afterwards.

Many people attended the Memorial Ceremony held in Banqiao. During  the Ceremony for the Passing of Offerings, I knelt for three days recalling the Venerable Master's kindness, not caring whether I twisted or dislocated  my back. Later I went to Amitabha Monastery in Hualien to attend an  Amitabha Session. The Dharma assembly was sublime and wonderful,  and everyone was very vigorous. During the silent sit on the third day, I  heard the Master say twice, "The door by the stairs should be shut." I  didn't know what door he meant, but when I opened my eyes at the end of  the sit, I saw that the door beside me was ajar. Two other volunteers had  been responsible for shutting the doors during the first two days, but on  the third day they had returned to Taipei.

This time I came to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas for the  transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts. When I first heard about the  transmission, I prayed to the Master each time I bowed to him in the morning  and evening, asking him to help me come to the City to receive the precepts.  The day before my departure, my son in southern Taiwan became seriously  ill. I left in a rush, without time for consideration. When I arrived at the  City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, I felt a deep pain in my heart. 1 prayed to  the Venerable Master to take care of things so that I could receive the  precepts and my son could get well. There happened to be an Earth Store  Session going on, and so I transferred all the merit to my son. I prayed  daily to the Venerable Master to bless my son.

A few days ago my son called to tell me that he was better, not to worry,  and that I could stay until September. I am reminded of one of the Venerable  Master's Eighteen Great Vows, which says, "I vow that all wishes will be  fulfilled." I have had endless responses from the Venerable Master, but  I'll stop here for today. Amitabha!

Venerable Master's Dharma Words
Two requisites of cultivation are compassion and humility. We must be kind and compassionate to everyone. We must also     be humble, not arrogant and not attached to the Four Marks (self, others, beings, life span). We must destroy all attachments   before we can practice the Bodhisattva Path. 


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