A Legislative Delegation from Taiwan, the Republic of China, led by the Speaker Jin-Ping Wang paid a visit to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB), the largest Buddhist monastery in Northern California, on Sunday, June 29, before they returned to Taiwan. They were accompanied by Mr. Matthew Lee, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in San Francisco, and several of his staff.
This group of fifteen people arrived at CTTB, 110 miles north to San Francisco, around 11:30 am. Mr. Jin-Ping Wang, Speaker of the Legislative Yuan, introduced to his colleagues the achievements of the Venerable Master Hua, founder of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. He said that five or six people in his extended family had taken refuge with Venerable Master. Speaker Wang pointed out that Venerable Master Hua had reached a very high level of spiritual attainment, which distinguished his commentary on the
Heart Sutra from that of other Dharma Masters. Having studied the
Earth Store Sutra, Speaker Wang had been impressed after listening to Dharma Master Heng Sure’s lecture two years ago at the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan. Hence, when he led this delegation to the US, he took the opportunity to visit CTTB, where he bowed in the Buddha Hall and sincerely prayed for blessings for Taiwan. Speaker Wang extolled the vows and perseverance of Venerable Hua saying that the simple, frugal tradition and ascetic practices promoted by Venerable Hua are exactly what we need today to propagate the Buddhadharma.
Dharma Master Heng Sure, chairman of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, gave Speaker Wang a copy of his doctorate thesis “Jingyuan (1011-1088) and the Development of the Avatamsaka Liturgy in Song China.” He also gave the delegation a brief introduction to CTTB’s facilities and its expansion plan, the proposed International Institute of Philosophy and Ethics, which has received a construction permit from County Board of Supervisors and will include the Wonderful Enlightenment Jeweled Hall as well as a library in memory of Venerable Hua, among other buildings. On the way to the proposed site, the Abbot of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Dharma Master Heng Lyu, guided the delegation through the campus and explained the daily schedule and practices at CTTB. The legislators felt a sense of serenity upon seeing the old growth trees, peacocks and deer on campus. Wan-Ru Liao, a legislator concerned with educational and cultural issues, expressed her admiration for the Chinese people’s spirit in establishing education overseas under difficult situations, when she saw the summer classes of Instilling Goodness Elementary School, Developing Virtue Secondary School and Dharma Realm Buddhist University.
The legislative delegation then proceeded to No Words Hall, where the Venerable Hua had lived for a time, to view his
sharira [relics], the sutras he had read, and the daily articles he used during his life. Legislator Huo-sheng Tang, was interested in Buddhist scriptures and bought a set of the
Shurangama Sutra with Venerable Hua’s commentary. Before they left, the Abbot, Dharma Master Heng Lyu, introduced to them the Six Guidelines of CTTB promoted by the Venerable Master Hua: No fighting, no greed, no seeking, no selfishness, no pursuit of personal advantages, and no lying. Speaker Wang felt that the Six Guidelines were worthy of deep reflection and should be practiced.
Other members in the delegation included Hui-zu Chin, Bo-yuan Juo, Chin-hong Liao, Zi-wen Lee and Ho-ren Zeng. This delegation was comprised mainly of members of the Legislative Yuan’s National Defense Committee, who are primarily concerned with issues involving the purchase of weapons. However, here at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, they heard the lateVenerable Master Hua’s motto, “Education is the most fundamental national defense.” This was not only a new idea, but a new approach that they can use when they return to work.