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Our Mentor » Words of gratitude » Memory and Appreciation

Memory and Appreciation2013-11-21


 By Ann-Kwo Chen/June 5, 2005 at gold sage Monastery

My name is Ann-Kwo Chen. Today I am very glad to have the opportunity to attend Venerable master’s memorial with all of you.
Shih-Fu used to remind us not to waste time because it is precious. Let us think of what the most important thing in the world is: the purpose of life. What is the purpose of life? I believe that the answer is learning. If so, then the most important is to have a good teacher. We are fortunate enough to have Shih-Fu as our teacher to guide us.

Once I visited Shih-Fu. I asked Shih-Fu what kind of dharma I should study. Surprisingly, Shih-Fu did not answer my question right away. Only after I asked Shih-Fu three times did Shih-Fu give me the answer. This style of teaching made a strong impression on me and the teaching is now engraved in my mind.

Why a good teacher is so crucial?
First off, we lack wisdom, and therefore we need guidance. Often we try to implement the principles we’ve learned from books or lectures, only to find it difficult to put into practice, even if it is a good deed. However, Shih-Fu said that even doing good deeds requires wisdom. The root of the inability to do things smoothly is due to the lack of wisdom.

In addition, a good teacher can correct our ignorance and false thinking. For example, Shih-Fu pointed out that consumption of meat, abortion, and euthanasia is wrong. Shih-Fu also warned that the computer is a big monster, that homosexuality is the cause of the failure of a country and the extinction of a species. In addition, Shih-Fu predicted the eruption of AIDS.

Furthermore, a good teacher can help uncover our weaknesses and faults. Why do people come to the temple? It is because we are here to cultivate ourselves. Cultivation is to correct our thinking and behavior. The first step is to find out our weaknesses and faults. Uncovering our own faults is as difficult as enlightenment. This is because we judge things based on our own value systems and moral standards, which are established from the influence of the society. If the standard is biased, then we will not be able to make the right judgment.

Shih-Fu used to point out our weaknesses frequently. I remember that we would be nervous when we visited Shih-Fu. We were afraid that Shih-Fu would point out our faults in public and embarrass us. However, in retrospect, I realize that those teachings are priceless gifts. Since Shih-Fu uncovered our faults, we are allowed to correct them in this lifetime. Therefore, we can turn over a new leaf, so as not to regret and plant bad karma for the next life.

How fortunate are we to have Shih-Fu to guide us in the course of cultivation! I regret that I did not take full advantage of learning from Shih-Fu. Fortunately Shih-Fu left with us a lot of precious books and tapes. We can still get inspired from these treasures, just like the lecture about home that was broadcasted a while ago. As played in the tape, I deeply feel that a harmonic home is the base of a stable society. A famous Chinese proverb stated that “Harmonic home leads to prosperity.” Indeed, a harmonic home would make things run smoothly by promoting prosperity and establishing balance in Yin and Yang. On the contrary, if the wife and the husband quarrel, then Yin and Yang would be out of balance, which may lead to disasters.

At this memorial, as we remember Shih-Fu’s high morality and appreciate Shih-Fu’s teachings, we need to carry out Shih-Fu’s guidance faithfully and to accomplish Shih-Fu’s unfulfilled wishes, such as promoting education. In addition, we need to do our best to make the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas a better place.

We should not look down on ourselves. We should be strong, and let Shih-Fu be proud of us.