1988年上人最後一次訪問馬國，在吉隆坡佛教講堂講《地藏經》，母親領著一家6口皈依了，法名果燕。當法界佛教總會1991年在吉隆坡的 Taman Yarl 成立了道場，她就常去接近上人的法。92年，恆實法師帶團到馬國拜萬佛寶懺。她發心拜全程，不知何故，幾次拜到下午結束時的迴向懺悔就流淚不止；拜完後她歡喜得不得了，連在外用餐時也自動持素了。同學們說她變了，她心裡知道，以後和她們再也玩不到一塊兒了。4月拜完懺，8月她來萬佛城參加水陸空大法會，受了五戒。
Bhikshuni Jin Jr is from Malaysia. Her family has been in Malaysia for many generations. She is fluent in Malay, English, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese. She once aspired to be a lawyer. Her grandmother worships Goddess Guanyin and other Taoist gods such as Guan Gong, and the whole family observes vegetarianism on the first and fifteenth of each lunar month. Since it was predicted at her birth that she would suffer misfortune, her grandmother gave her to Goddess Guanyin as a goddaughter. Thus her affinities with Guanyin Bodhisattva began at birth.
When she was eight, her parents sent her to attend Sunday school at a Theravadan Temple, where she laid the foundation for studying Buddhism. Among the many educational programs, her favorites were the choir and the annual Loy Kratong (Water Splashing) festival. She enjoyed these activities so much that she didn’t have time to practice piano, although she took piano lessons for nine years. However, the lessons did expose her to musical concepts, which has helped her learn the Dharma instruments as well as chanting.
In 1989, the Venerable Master visited Malaysia for the last time and lectured the
Earth Store Sutra in the Buddhist Lecture Hall. Her mother took the family of six to take refuge at this assembly. She was given the Dharma name Guo Yan. She began drawing near to the Venerable Master’s Dharma when a temple was opened in Taman Yarl, Kuala Lumpur in 1991. In 1992, Dharma Master Heng Sure led a delegation to Malaysia to host the 10,000 Buddhas Repentance Ceremony. Jin Jr Shi fully participated in the ceremony. A few times, without knowing why, she shed tears when reciting the transference verses. After completing the repentance, she became a fulltime vegetarian. Her schoolmates thought her eccentric, but she knew that she would no longer seek their company like before. She finished the repentance in April and in August she went to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) to participate in the Water, Air & Land Ceremony and receive the Five Precepts.
That particular year, the Ven. Master had invited Dharma Masters from both Taiwan and China to host the event jointly. What a crowd! The Master came out to meet with the assembly every day, answering questions and bestowing blessings. Before she left, she asked the Master whether she could stay at CTTB. The Master remained silent. However, she knew the path she should walk. She was sixteen.
After returning to Malaysia, she went to Prajna Guanyin Monastery Temple (formerly known as Tze Yun Tung) where she attended ceremonies, helped with cleaning, worked at the counter, played the Dharma instruments, and listened to Sutras, till she didn’t have time to go home. After she listened to the Master’s
Shurangama Sutra lectures, she cut her long, beautiful hair, thereby severing the attachment to femininity. What a relief!
In 1994, she attended the Venerable Master’s birthday celebration at the City of the Dharma Realm, where she requested to leave home. The ceremony for leaving home was cancelled, however, and once again she returned home, this time not thinking of becoming a lawyer but rather of completing her college studies in the shortest time possible. In 1995, she returned to CTTB to attend the Venerable Master’s Nirvana Ceremony and stayed for good afterwards. She volunteered in Jun-Kang Vegetarian Restaurant, taught at the Girls School, and did layout for
Vajra Bodhi Sea.
On November 4, 1998, the Anniversary of the Venerable Master’s Leaving Home, she left the home-life and received the Dharma name Chin Yan. She underwent training, studied at Dharma Realm Buddhist University, and helped out in the kitchen. Sometimes she helped play the Dharma instruments during special sessions in branch temples. Jin Jr Shi is young, intelligent and quick in mind. She is capable and willing to do both physical and intellectual work. She likes to bow and recite the Great Compassion Mantra and Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name. She received the full precepts last August. We believe she’ll do much to help Buddhism flourish.
She recalls that in 1994, while attending the Master’s birthday celebration, she came down with a fever and couldn’t eat. One day she dreamt that the Master came to rub her forehead. When she woke up, she was completely well. Although she once regretted not being able to leave the home life under the Venerable Master, if you say that the Master is not here anymore, she’ll never believe you.