We are recruiting only the most outstanding students in the world. For this reason, there is no smoking, drinking, or dancing allowed. Students are expected to concentrate single-mindedly on their studies and to pursue them with enthusiasm. It is our intention to provide a learning atmosphere which is of high moral character. The reason why people fall into bad behavior and even criminal behavior is because they were not properly taught the basic principles of good conduct, which is to benefit oneself and benefit others. Therefore, at DRBU, the professors and instructors do not drink, smoke, or dance or indulge in any other types of upside-down behavior. Students are expected to follow suit. We believe that all people have the potential to be morally upright and responsible and that with compassion, patient training, their potential can be developed. The hope of the future lies with today’s youth. It is our wish to instill in them both academic and moral excellence.
--- Venerable Master Hua
In the past, when I read the first sentence in the paragraph above, I felt I was not good enough. Therefore, I was hesitating whether to enroll in the Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) or not...
What makes DRBU so unique is that it was founded by a great sage. Venerable Master Hua said that if he could, he would personally teach every student.
Whether before or after the Venerable Master’s manifestation of stillness, I have often received his timely guidance, instructions, and admonishment. Here is an example to illustrate what I mean:
Since childhood, nature has been a constant source of comfort and delight for me. But after undergoing a chronically bleak and intense period of prolonged grieving, the natural world no longer had the power to captivate or inspire me. From then on, I wanted only to concentrate on the Buddhadharma. However, to complete my Buddhist Study and Practice Program, I needed to take a biology class as well. Biology is interesting and we had a dedicated teacher too, but it was not something I would want to spend so much time on anymore. I felt the pressure and became increasingly unhappy. I even complained to Shr Fu in my mind one night.
My last biology class and test on the Trees and Shrubs of Mendocino County was on October 21, 1995. That evening, a most wonderful thing happened. Prior to that, there were problems with some tapes which we were listening to during the evenings on the
Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra. The sound was unclear and we had to keep skipping a lot of the text and Shr Fu’s commentary on it. Due to that, when the tape was played again on the evening of October 21. It was on the Medicinal Herbs chapter. The states that occur at the Sagely City of 10,000 Buddhas (CTTB) are truly inconceivable. As I listened, overwhelmed with joy and total amazement, to the Venerable Master talk about the trees, forests, and plants, and using them as analogies, I felt greatly inspired and profoundly grateful.
The timing as usual is always so incredibly perfect! I had been cramming my head with information about the Plant Kingdom for the final examination. I was looking forward to forgetting them all once the test was over. However, when I heard the taped lecture that night, I realized that I could and should connect what I have learned to the Buddhadharma. It is indeed most inconceivable, how the Venerable Master is able to constantly respond so miraculously and make such astounding arrangements in order to teach and benefit living beings.
My compassionate Teacher had imperceptibly revived my appreciation for the natural world in a powerful and different way. After that, I walked around CTTB many times, admiring its fauna and flora through a different perspective. I began to discover how awesomely beautiful CTTB is. At that time, while I was strolling around the future site of the International Institute of Philosophy and Ethics, I felt so safe. A very pleasant and deep kind of serenity pervaded the land.
It was sometimes exceedingly difficult for me to continue being a DRBU student. In actuality, it would have been impossible for me to finish the courses if the Venerable Master had not inspired and encouraged me frequently in such inconceivable and unexpected ways. I am eternally grateful for his infinite compassion as a Teacher.
In the Avatamsaka Sutra, it describes how all Buddhas would never miss an opportunity or the right time to teach living beings. Thus, I sincerely hope no one would look lightly upon the chance he/she has to listen to the Venerable Master’s taped lectures. They are still so ALIVE, precious, and relevant. Each student has his/her own unique story to tell. I hope the DRBU alumni can share their experiences also.