Bhikshuni Jin Hui is Hakkanese. She came from the small town of Mei-Nung of Kao-Hsiung County in southern Taiwan but later her family moved to Ping-Tung County. So she speaks Hakkanese, Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese and English. To seek blessings for the family, her grandmother made offerings of meat dishes to the earth deity and “Good Brothers” on the second and sixteenth of every lunar month. Although Jin Hui Shi did not know who her grandmother was worshipping, she knew it was not Buddhist practice.
In 1991 she came to the United States to attend college in Oklahoma. She learned about Buddhism and the Venerable Master from her schoolmates. One summer they visited Gold Wheel Monastery in Los Angeles. She heard and liked the chanting in the Great Compassion Repentance ceremony. The next day they attended the opening ceremony for Long Beach Sagely Monastery and saw the Venerable Master. She remembers how his witty replies to questions made everyone laugh. They went the next day too and she developed an affinity with a Buddhist monastery.
In 1993 while touring San Francisco she took a side trip to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) to join a Buddha Recitation Session. She got sick on the first day, however, and had to return to San Francisco to rest in a hotel. She thought her affinities with CTTB were over. But in 1994 when her mother died in an auto accident in Taiwan, she came straight to CTTB after the funeral to take refuge with the Triple Jewel. Faced with the impermanence of life, she sought spiritual support from Buddhism. In 1995 she attended the Venerable Master’s cremation in CTTB and received the Five Precepts. With her mother and Teacher both gone, she was overcome with loneliness and decided she would return to Taiwan after finishing school. After she got her Master’s degree in Business Administration, she came back to the City for a year. While in the City she seldom went into the Buddha Hall nor took part in the ceremonies. She often reminded herself, “I don’t belong here. I will stay for one year and then leave.”
One day when she was passing through Santa Rosa on her way back to CTTB after a trip, she suddenly exclaimed, “We’ll be home soon!” She was shocked at these words. “Home? Is the City my home? “No! I’m only here for one year.” “If it’s not my home, then what is it?” “Do I want to look for a job outside of the City?” “No! I can’t stand the life outside.” “What about going back to school?” “No! Worldly knowledge doesn’t interest me anymore.” “What about marriage?” “Impossible! Now that I’ve studied the
Shurangama Sutra, I can’t get rid of desires and emotional love fast enough. How could I jump into the ‘pit of fire’?” “So I want to…?” She dared not think further, but from then on she started going to the ceremonies in the Buddha Hall, preparing herself for another kind of life.
A few months later, on November 4th, she shaved her head. From then on she regarded her Teacher’s Wayplace as home. After training briefly in the City, she returned to Taiwan to receive more training and help out in Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distribution Society in Taipei and Amitabha Sagely Monastery in Hua-Lien. She often had to travel between the two Wayplaces. Her busy schedule kept her there until right before the ordination period in 2002. After she was fully ordained, she began teaching at the Girls School in the City. She feels that children’s education must start early. Once formed, habits are very difficult to correct. It is too dangerous to let television mold children’s thoughts. She wants to reverse the trend and try her best to save children from such influences.