Chui-Luan is Upasika Wu’s maiden name. She is from Jia-Yi, Taiwan. Life in her younger days was poor and difficult. At the age of ten she left for Taipei by herself and worked part time to complete her education. Her family did not believe in the Buddhadharma, but followed the traditional belief and offered meat dishes when worshipping gods and deities. However, when Upasika Wu worked as secretary to the Vice President of Guo-Tai Hospital in Taipei, the Tzu Chi Foundation was raising funds to build a hospital. She learned about the Buddhadharma due to these contacts. She also participated in various types of Buddhist work and volunteered in temples. She took refuge with the Venerable Master Guang Qin of Cheng-Tian Monastery, Tu-Cheng village of Taipei county. However, at that point, she did not have full faith in the Buddhadharma and was not a vegetarian.
In 1989, she took refuge with the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. At that time, all those who took refuge with the Master were given the same Dharma name, “Guo Tong”. In the year 1993, she took the five precepts with the Venerable Master Hua at the Ban-Qiao Auditorium in Taiwan. That same year, she received the Lay Bodhisattva precepts at Miao-Tong Temple in Liu-Gui, Kao-Hsiung County, and the condition of her life improved. She also began to realize the inconceivable power of cultivation! As she was expecting a child in her advanced age, her doctor advised her to have an amnion puncture. She refused to have the operation. Instead, she recited the
Earth Store Sutra with great resolve. Before her due date, the fetus was not in the right position and the doctor wanted her to have a Caesarean operation. Instead, she drank water blessed by the Great Compassion Mantra. After one night, she had an ultra scan which showed that the fetus was in the normal position, and she had a peaceful delivery.
It so happened that Buddhist Books Distribution Society of Taipei was conducting a Chinese Classics Class for Children. She enrolled her two children in this class and she herself also attended the Dharma assembly. In 1997, she accompanied five children—two of her own and three of her friends’—to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) to attend the Summer Camp. All the children and adults had a wonderful time in CTTB that summer. She left with a profound and positive impression of the Way-place after that experience. As that was her first time traveling to CTTB, she was very nervous at the airport arrival gate, because she did not speak English. Everybody recited Guanyin Bodhisattva’s holy name vigorously. Later on, a China Airlines hostess walked towards them and asked where they were going. They told her they were going to participate in a summer camp. She asked, “Are you going to CTTB?” “Yes!” “Okay, I’ll help you.” With her help, they cleared customs smoothly without any further checks.
Among these five children, there was one who was not a Buddhist. This child had brought some instant beef noodles without anyone knowing. At CTTB, after he had eaten the noodles, the computer games which he had just bought in the U.S. disappeared, and he was unable to locate them even after searching every corner in CTTB. After he returned to Taiwan, his classmates told him that his computer games were found in the garbage bin!
Later on, Guo Tong sent her two sons to study further in Canada. At first, they stayed at her friend’s house in Toronto. As there was no temple around, she was quite afflicted, but heard about Gold Buddha Monastery in Vancouver, which is part of DRBA. In June 2001, her family immigrated to Vancouver. Her two sons are members of Dharma Realm Buddhist Youth (DRBY). They also attend the 9th and 10th grade Chinese Classics Class every Saturday and Sunday. Guo Tong herself is currently the Sunday School teacher for Gold Buddha Monastery, and together with DRBY they study the
Shurangama Sutra. She also volunteers her service in supporting the monastery. She recites Sutras and the Shurangama Mantra everyday. Her sons recite the Great Compassion Mantra and bow to the Buddha. Her whole family cultivates happily and is a model Buddhist family.