Jiani Zhou came from Shantou City, Guangdong Province, China. When she was young, she lived with her grandmother who recited the Buddha's name all her life and was a vegetarian. Her grandmother always looked happy, treated people as if they were her relatives, and stayed at home to raise her grandchildren. Several days before her death, Jiani Zhou's grandmother said, "I was crossed over by Guanyin Bodhisattva. Guanyin Bodhisattva asked me to go." After that Jiani Zhou learned to recite and formally studied Buddhism. One day she dreamed that Earth Store Bodhisattva was standing to her left and she heard a clear voice say, "Practice the Bodhisattva path." She awoke at four in the morning puzzling over this dream.
Her path then led her to the Shantou City Buddhist Association where she began to read Buddhist texts and Sutras. Her admiration for the Venerable Master grew after she read his talks. His clear and simple words were stamped deeply in her mind: "Reciting the Buddha's name can disinfect the world. It can indirectly cure people of cancer." When she finished reading, she vowed to one day go to America and bow to the Master.
Then in a dream she saw an old monk sitting in full lotus. The monk became Shakyamuni Buddha, and she heard a pronouncement: "Merit and virtue are perfected." At that time, she didn't recognize the Venerable Master, but when she came to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and saw the Master's statue in the Patriarchs Hall, she recognized him as the monk in her dream. Several months later she became a vegetarian.
From 1997 to 1999, Jiani Zhou copied out the Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra using Chinese brush calligraphy. She encouraged people to recite the Buddha's name and explained the benefits of studying Buddhism and becoming a vegetarian. Remembering the Master's words, she recited the
Earth Store Sutra for cancer patients, and when she and some friends recited for an elderly paralytic patient, the woman suddenly stood up and was cured. Her doctor said such things seldom happen.
At the end of 1997, a great flyover sea bridge was built in Shantou City. After it opened, many accidents occurred on it. At one time, the car in which the Chairman of the City Municipal Party Committee and his family were travelling overturned on this bridge. The Chairman and his wife were badly injured and the others in the car died. At that time, Guanghua Temple, the temple that Jiani Zhou frequented, had its first Great Sea-Land-Air Dharma assembly. Members of this assembly raised money for a memorial tablet to liberate the souls of those who had died on the flyover sea bridge. No more accidents occurred after that.
Jiana Zhou's brother brought her books and tapes about the Venerable Master from Gold Wheel Monastery, and many Dharma Masters and friends at Guanghua Temple shared the videos and instructional talks about cultivation at CTTB. They were enthusiastic and yearned for an opportunity to cultivate with the fourfold assembly there, but it was difficult to get a visa to go to the United States.
Jiani Zhou's mother, having heard that the City of Ten Thousand Buddha's was a Way place for the Proper Dharma, also took refuge with the Sangha. In 1999 she told her daughter to come. So Jiani Zhou began to bow to Earth Store Bodhisattva. Her visa came through, and one month later she arrived at the City of Ten thousand Buddhas--just in time for the Chan session. After the session, she applied to the Dharma Realm Buddhist University and has resided in the Sagely City for six months. She says: "Though I have been very busy, my body and mind have been fully trained here. I would like to thank the Venerable Master for creating this place where the Proper Dharma dwells. When Buddhism dwells in the world, living beings in the Dharma Realm all benefit."