Dharma Master Ming Guan was born in Hubei Province. When Venerable Master Hsu Yun was the abbot of Yongquan (Bubbling Springs) Monastery in Gushan (Drum Mountain), Fuzhou, Dharma Master Ming Guan was the guest prefect. He worked discreetly and was friendly and courteous with others. I first met him at Kongqing Mountain of Gourong County in Nanjing. We attended a ten-week Chan session and became friends despite the great difference in our ages. I met him for the second time at Nanhua Monastery in Guangdong Province. He was soon appointed the abbot of Liurong (Six Banyans) Monastery in Guangzhou by Venerable Master Hsu Yun. In this Dharma Ending Age, he lectured the Vajra Sutra. Guided by his resolute vows, he led the assembly in cultivation. In the autumn of 1949, the political situation became unstable and people were in a panic. I suggested to Dharma Master Ming Guan, "You should deal with the monastery's property as soon as possible. There are three options: First, distribute half of the financial resources to the left-home people from the ten directions, so that those who are staying will have means to provide for themselves and those who are traveling will have traveling fare. Second, transfer all financial resources to Hong Kong, buy a piece of land, and build another monastery, where you can still lead the assembly to cultivate the Way. Third, deposit all the funds in Hong Kong banks to prepare for any sudden changes." Dharma Master Ming Guan replied, "I'm afraid to make mistakes in cause and effect. It's difficult to follow your advice." In the end, regretfully, everything was lost!
"In memory" means to recall. I remember that although Dharma Master Ming Guan had small eyes, a small nose and a small mouth, his beard was very long. He was born in Hubei Province. When Venerable Master Hsu Yun was the abbot at Gushan, Dharma Master Ming Guan was the guest prefect. He was very careful when he worked and was an amiable fellow. He dared not make any mistake regarding cause and effect. He had neither a bed nor a mosquito screen in his room. He slept sitting up in the Chan Hall. At that time, although he was over 70 years old and I was around 30, we had a good relationship.
The first time I met him was at Kongqing Mountain of Gourong County in Nanjing. Both of us attended a ten-week Chan session. We investigated Chan and meditated. We forgot our age and became fast friends. I met him for the second time at Nanhua Monastery in Guangdong Province. He was soon appointed as the abbot of Six Banyans Monastery in Guangzhou by Venerable Master Hsu Yun. In this Dharma Ending Age, he lectured and explained the Vajra Sutra. Guided by his firm resolve, he led the assembly to cultivate.
In the autumn of 1949, the political situation was chaotic. The Communists were changing the country of China, and the Nationalists had retreated to Taiwan. People were panicking and ready to flee. I advised Dharma Master Ming Guan to quickly deal with the monastery's property. I proposed three methods: 1. Distribute half of the financial resources to the left-home people from the ten directions. This would provide people who were staying with money and food. Those who wished to travel afar would have funds as well. 2. Move all the money to Hong Kong, buy some property and build another monastery there. He could still lead the assembly to cultivate the Way. 3. Deposit all the money in Hong Kong banks so he could use it in times of need.
However, Dharma Master Ming Guan chose not to heed my advice. He felt that my suggestions would cause him to err in cause and effect, so he didn't follow them.
In the end, when the Communists came, the property and assets were confiscated, and all was lost. That was truly regretful.
To be continued