Dharma Brother Lian Hwa De Shian lead a group of disciples from Holland to pay their greatest respects to His Holiness Living Buddha Lian-Sheng and all Buddhas in Seattle Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple (西雅圖雷藏寺) on April 9, 2009. The visiting group is a marvelous combination of tour members originated from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. They speak different dialects, Mandarin, Cantonese, Fujianese, and Hollandic, yet they are all Holland residents. They are members from Jan Yin Chapter (真音堂). April 23rd was the sixth birthday of Jaden (grandson of Grand Master). Doting grandma ShiMu specially donated the supper money and requested assistance from Seattle Kitchen staffs to prepare and share the birthday cakes to all participants.
Before meal, many disciples waited at the dinning room door to welcome Grand Master to enjoy his supper. When Grand Master arrived at the dinning room, Grand Master stopped in front of a Dharma brother, and handed him a signed Dragon Vest. Grand Master told him: ``Your verse is right to the center of the red target. This Dragon Vest is for you. Continue on, continue on. Since you are already sixty years old, and you are getting old, come to Grand Master for Lineage Dharma Robe in your next life.`` Surrounding Masters, Reverends, Dharma members applauded with excitements and joys, and congratulated the Dharma Brother Lian Hwa De Shian for receiving Dragon Vest from Grand Master. Grand Master walked toward his dinning table with a smile on his face, Grand Master said: ``We gained another enlightened disciple.``
In this special day, Foching Family and Fochi, Sunny, Jaden, and Jin came to have meal with everyone. They chatted daily activities and sang birthday song for Jaden. Everyone joyfully enjoyed the gathering together.
After meal, Grand Master again walked toward Holland Dharma Brother, Lian Hwa De Shian, asking if he is willing to take the monkhood ordination vow. Lian Hwa De Shian paused with shock for a second and then replied: ``Next Time (life)!``
Lian Hwa De Shian, who accepted signed Dragon Vest from Grand Master, is an acupuncturist originated from China. He migrated to Holland for thirty years. When he was in China, he read only one novel book, Journey to the West (西遊記), and he learned only the names of Money King (孫悟空), Guanyin Bodhisattva (Avalokiteśvara) (觀音菩薩), and Tathāgata (如來佛) from this book. He never had any other opportunity to read another book relates to Buddhism nor touch any Buddhist Sutra even after he migrated to Holland. Only until eight years ago, under one auspicious destiny, he and his wife went to Jan Yin Chapter. Someone from the chapter introduced books written by Grand Master and allowed him to borrow few books home to read. He followed the teachings in books written by Grand Master and pragmatically observed True Buddha School for three years. After three years of reading articles written by Grand Master, he then decided to take refuge under Grand Master in the year of 2004.
Due to the distance between his living area and the chapter, he did not join the group cultivation every week after his refuge. Instead, they set up their own Shrine at home. The wife diligently cultivates everyday at home, and urged him to do the same. He did not have the desire on Dharma practice at the time because he wanted to first understand the philosophies. From books written by Grand Master, he understood Grand Master experienced different stages of phenomenon, from spiritual writing until Tantric Dharma cultivation, before and after retreat, and recent lectures on Zen teaching. He carefully studied writings written by Grand Master, and he could easily understand spiritual writing that talks about supernatural power. However, he pondered over articles on Zen stories word by word and concentrated to a stage of selfless until he fully understood the connotation. He cultured Buddhist philosophies from books and adjusted his thinking and acting accordingly. He acknowledged what are adequate, what are unacceptable.
Lian Hwa De Shian would regularly organize and publish few articles written by Grand Master and activities of True Buddha School in local Chinese newspaper. He would also write poems and verses and share his Dharma savor with everyone at Jan Yin Chapter.
This time, Lian Hwa De Shian had the opportunity to lead the group from Holland to pay their greatest respects to Grand Master. Group members urged him to try shooting the target. Originally, he thought he is not an expert archer and he did not have anything special he would like to write; only until few days ago, few of the group members decided to explore Vancouver and only two or three people decided to stay at the hotel and rest. Because there was not much to do, he used the time and wrote down few thoughts from his reading. He mentioned their lives are really simple in Holland, and he does not smoke nor drink. He considers himself as an ordinary disciple. Although back in China, he took pleasures in playing chess, he could only play with computer because no one could play with him in Holland. Back then, he would get pleasures from winnings and losing. However, after he studied Buddhism, he then realized that learning Buddhism is to practice equality. Therefore, he no longer plays chess because he realized playing chess is to fight for victory and loss. He noted it is not good to neither ask nor say unnecessary talks. It is best that we use the precious time to recite mantra or Buddha name. Thinking about taking the ordination in monkhood, he agrees with Grand Master that he is a bit old, and he is not well prepared.
He said Grand Master awarded him His Holiness Dragon Vest was to encourage him to advocate Dharma and sermonize more sentient beings. He wrote a poem to express his feeling after reading an article written by Grand Master:
Books written by teacher ignite the light in heart,Cultivation needs to be diligent and sincere,Never treat books written by teacher as any contentment books,Never to disappoint the heart of Buddha of our root guru Grand Master.
We not only congratulate his understanding of true nature of phenomena, we also wish him can soon reach Bodhi (awakening) and widespread Dharma to momentous sentient beings. Lian Hwa De Shian reached his enlightenment through articles written by Grand Master. From his example, we can know that books written by Grand Master are filled with Prajna of Buddha wisdom and brilliance, and can help all sentient beings reach the same understanding of true nature. Articles written by Grand Master are priceless treasures and they are the lights to our hearts.