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To Truly Cultivate One Must Leave the Home-life—
Introducing Bhikshuni Heng You Shi

沙彌果福 整理 Compiled by Shramanera Guo Fu
吳星燁 英譯 English translation by Shirley Wu

恆優師出生在越南首都西貢南郊的勤詩(Can Tho),童年時家人即替她皈依佛教。1978年13歲時隨家人乘船離開祖國,在海上航行了7天,幾經險難,終於定居在法國的格林諾伯。




正巧那年十月上人率團訪歐,在格林諾伯講法停留了一個禮拜。恆優師因學業關係,只能跟著聽法,沒有機會跟上人講話,直到上人要走了,才趕進火車內頂禮上人,並問可否到萬佛城來讀書、修行。上人以英語問:「Do youspeak Enslish(妳講英語嗎?)「yes(是。)」「Ok(可以。)」





Heng You Shi was born in Can Tho, a suburb south of the capital of Vietnam. When she was very young, her family members took refuge with the Triple Jewel on her behalf. In 1978, at age thirteen, she left her home country with her family. They were on the sea for seven days. After overcoming numerous hardships, her family finally settled in Grenoble, France.  

Heng You Shi studied at the University of Grenoble. She initially declared a major in chemistry, but changed her mind when she discovered that many scientists used science to develop weapons to harm and kill living beings. Unable to bear the thought of such cruelty, she dropped chemistry. She considered becoming a social worker, but decided that it was not the ultimate path. As a freshman in the university, she had to work very hard in a philosophy course, because her mastery of French was inadequate. She later thought: If I continue studying, I might be able to learn how to talk well, but it won't aid me in my cultivation. Thus she decided to leave the home life.  

One day, in 1990, when she was listening to the Dharma at Avatamsaka Monastery in Grenoble, she asked Dharma Master Trung Thanh for some advice about going to Taiwan to study the Buddhadharma. Master Trung Thanh told her, "You could go to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) in the United States; there are many cultivators there." Later on, when she requested to take the five precepts from Dharma Master Trung Quan, he told her, "If you really want to cultivate, you have to leave the home life." She replied, "That's fine; there should be no problem."   

She went home and told her parents that she wanted to leave home on the very next day, which was Buddha's birthday. Her father was very upset and asked, "What are you leaving home for? What are you going to do there? Make tofu?" Her father did not speak to her for a month after that. However, her mother urged him to allow their daughter to leave home, saying, "Whether our daughter marries or leaves the home life, either way she'll have to 'leave home'. But becoming a nun is much better then getting married, and since that is her vow, we should help her to fulfill it." Her father finally gave her permission to leave home.  

That same year, the Venerable Master visited Europe in October and stopped over in Grenoble for a week. Due to her schoolwork, other than listening to the lecture, Heng You Shi was not able to talk to the Venerable Master. When the Venerable Master had boarded the train and was ready to depart, Heng You Shi bowed to the Master and asked if she could study at CTTB. The Master asked her in English, "Do you speak English?"

"Yes," she replied.

"Okay," said the Master.   

Heng You Shi had no idea how to reach the United States. Then a thought crossed her mind: if the Master is a person with great wisdom, he will make it easy for me to go to the United States. A few months later the Master sent an invitation to Dharma Master Trung Quan, inviting him to transmit the precepts at CTTB. When Venerable Master was visiting Avatamsaka Monastery in Paris, France; he noticed that Dharma Master Trung Quan had memorized the Dharma Flower Sutra. Thus, the Master asked Dharma Master Trung Quan, "Will you be my Dharma brother? In my past lives I had a Dharma brother who memorized the Dharma Flower Sutra." Dharma Master Trung Quan thought it was a good idea, so they became Dharma brothers. Saying that Dharma Master Trung Quan was a serious cultivator who never exploited the circumstances, the Master bade his disciples to call Dharma Master Trung Quan "Dharma uncle."   

When Dharma Master Trung Quan received the invitation to CTTB, Avatamsaka Monastery was also preparing to transmit precepts. He asked Heng You Shi if she would like to leave home during the precept transmission, stay and cultivate in France for a month, and then go to CTTB. Heng You Shi agreed and became a nun with the Dharma name Dam Tinh. In July 1991, she arrived at CTTB. After one year of training she received full ordination. In September 1992, Master gave her a new Dharma name Heng You.   

Heng You Shi lived at CTTB for a year, then moved to Gold Wheel Monastery for three and a half years. She received four more years of training at the City of the Dharma Realm. Now she worked as an assistant manager at Gold Buddha Monastery (Vancouver, Canada) and helps the children's Sunday school program. Heng You Shi's language skills in Chinese, English, French, and Vietnamese aid her greatly in her work in the international metropolis of Vancouver.


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