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Arriving Back At Where He Started After A Long Detour--
Introducing Shramanera Guo Sun Shi


我生在美國加州聖荷西市,從小上基督教堂;14歲 時己看了不少科學性的文章,開始懷疑基督教,自認是無神論者。可是當我探索心性時,總覺得人的肉身死亡後,必定還有些什麼東西是不死的。

家父是保險經紀人,一直很想完成大學學業,可是因為家累,總也完不了,所以他特別希望我能盡量多念點大學。家母是教師,我小時,她每星期都帶我跟姐姐上圖書館;每天晚飯後,她都讀書給我們聽,對我的好學習,好看書,有著很大的影響 。我一向不參加運動類的活動,我們也沒電視機,所以我少年時,大部份時間都花在看書,下棋上。


我首次聽到上人的名字是在1975年1月,上人的一個弟子告訴我,上人怎麼會講經,又謙和,平易近人,引起了我的好奇心,於是我決定到當時在舊金山15街的舊的金山寺去看看。初見上人峙,雖然我很確定這一生從沒見過他,可是就是覺得非常熟悉;對那個楞嚴咒,我也覺得很熟悉,也覺得很可畏:從那時起,我來聽上人講經了。那年我皈依上人,受了五戒,法名果遜;76年我受菩薩戒; 77 年1月,我住進了聖城。

我聽聞了很多佛法,可是不很懂。 起先我還稍微修一點,上殿,參加法會,可是不久就懈怠下來了。98年我做維修聖城的工作,很少上殿,或來聽經,可是99年時,也不知為什麼,我就很想接近佛殿,慢慢地我又來上殿、聽經了。


禪七結束後沒幾天,我申請出家,距我初遇佛法已26年了!同年5月2日我入沙彌訓練班為學員! 11月4日正式出家;我唯一後悔的是沒早點兒出家。

雖然我住聖城很久了,卻沒學到多少,不過我還是有一點忠告要給同修們 ,那就是:最好能不老,如果逃不了,就早點修行吧!


I was born and raised in San Jose, California. I attended a Christian Church, but by age 14, I had read enough scientific writings to doubt Christianity, and declared myself an atheist. However, when I pondered on the nature of the mind, I was convinced that there was something that outlived the death of the physical body.

My father was an insurance broker. His strong desire to complete his college education was thwarted by his need to support his family. It was his wish that I would get as much college as I could. My mother was a teacher. My mother took my sister and me to the library every week when we were young. She read to us every day after dinner. I was strongly influenced toward study and reading. I did not participate in sports, and we had no television, so I spent most of my youth reading and playing chess.  

I attended three years at UC Santa Barbara. I started out as a math major, but ended up a sociology major. Those were three turbulent years that found me in strident opposition to the Vietnam War, rebellious, and confused.

I first heard about the Venerable Abbot in January of 1975. A disciple told me about how he lectured on the sutras, but was humble and easy to talk to. Intrigued, I went to Gold Mountain Monastery on 15th Street. When I met the Venerable Master, he seemed most familiar to me, although I am sure I had not met him before in this life. The Shurangama Mantra also seemed quite familiar, and very awesome. I began to attend the Venerable Abbot's Sutra Lectures. I took refuge and the five precepts in 1975, and received the Dharma name Guo Sun and the Bodhisattva Precepts in 1976. I moved to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) in January of 1977.  

I heard quite a bit of Buddhadharma, but I did not understand it very well. I cultivated a bit at first, attending ceremonies and sessions, but soon became lax. By 1998, I was working to maintain CTTB, but seldom attending ceremonies or lectures. In 1999, for reasons that I do not understand, I felt drawn to the Buddha Hall. I gradually attended more ceremonies and lectures. I attended the three week January 2001 Meditation session. It was at that time that I understood the importance of applying the principles to my own life by leaving home. After two weeks of Chan, I resolved to leave the home life. During the next few days of meditation, I had some doubts and qualms, but these were gone by the end of the Chan Session.  

I applied to leave home a few days after the end of the session. It had been 26 years since I had encountered the Proper Dharma. I entered the trainee program on May 2, 2001. I left home on November 4, 2001. I only regret that I did not leave home sooner.  

Although I have spent a long time in CTTB, I have not learned very much. Here is the little advice that I can offer to my fellow cultivators: Do not get old. If you cannot avoid getting old, do not wait to cultivate.  

*Editor's note: Guo Xun Shi's maternal grandfather had been a state senator and lawyer, his maternal grandmother a teacher. His great uncle was Alfred Kroeber, who started the field of Anthropology, and his uncle on his mother's side was a professor of history.  


上人答問錄 Q & A with the Venerable Master
Q:How does one cultivate "not dwelling in false thoughts and not being defiled by the six sense objects"?
A:Don't get married. Leave the home life instead.


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