我叫張平玉，而我也欣沐於南傳佛教的教導。我曾任教於天主教學校附設的幼稚園長達二十五年之久，但是在兩年前我放棄了原有的工作，並在斯里蘭卡開始了我的慈善志業 ── 我們的新設道場在那裡為村裡的貧民服務。我畢業於新加坡學院，主修藝術，並且於兩千零四年取得了「南傳佛教研究」的碩士學位。
My name is Subha Teo Pin Nyuk and I am very familiar with the Theravada Teachings. I’ve been a kindergarten teacher in a Catholic school for 25 years and two years ago, I gave up my job to do charitable work in Sri Lanka where our temple there started a home for the poor in the village. I studied at Singapore College, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Art and later a Master’s degree in Theravada Studies around 2004.
While working on my Master’s degree, I had a dream, perhaps towards the middle of the year. I saw a renounced person dressed in white, with long white hair reaching to his shoulders and a white beard. He told me in Mandarin Chinese: “You ought to read the
Shurangama Sutra.” At that time, I didn’t know what the
Shurangama Sutra was; I had never heard of it. After I woke up, I didn’t pay attention to the dream, because in the Theravada teachings there is no such thing as the
Shurangama Sutra. I’d read many Sutras but did not come across the
Shurangama Sutra. So I put my dream aside.
About six months after, I had the same dream. This renounced person told me the same thing. He asked: “Did you read the
Shurangama Sutra?” When I woke up, I thought, “Shurangama Sutra again? Oh no!” This time, I got worried and asked my younger sister, who had more exposure to Mahayana teachings than I did. She told me: “Yes, in the Mahayana Teachings, there is the
Shurangama Sutra, but I can’t tell you much about it, because I never studied it. I’ve heard of it, though.”
So I approached another person, my Tai Chi instructor, and asked him whether or not he knew anything about the
Shurangama Sutra. He told me he had heard of it and he gave me a short mantra. It is supposed to be part of the Shurangama Mantra and it’s very short. I was glad to see the mantra and recited it every day.
Strangely enough, six or seven months after, I had the same dream again. The renounced person asked me again: “Did you read the
Shurangama Sutra?” When I woke up I got really anxious because it was the same dream and same person again. I told a friend of mine, who happened to be the aunt of Elaine Ginn, a participant here. One day, she called and told me: “There is a Shurangama Retreat in Australia, and you must not miss this. This may be a once in a lifetime chance. You told me about your dream so you should go and join this retreat.”
When Elaine picked me up from the airport, I told her about my dreams. She thought that the white-robed man could be the Venerable Master Hsu Yun. And I thought to myself, normally, Buddhists wear yellow robes; how come he is wearing white?
When we reached Gold Coast Dharma Realm, Elaine took me to the library, and we flipped through the
Pictorial Biography of Venerable Master Hsu Yun. “He’s the one!!!” I pointed at one of the pictures. But in the picture I pointed out, his cheeks were more sunken in than in my dream. In my dream, he was slightly plumper and had a glow on his face, which made him very pleasant to look at.
I feel very fortunate and blessed to come here.