By Vanessa Sun (7th Grade)
I think Venerable Master Hsuan Hua's most incredible achievement was being the first to bring Buddhism to the West. I have been to CTTB, and I was astounded when I first found out that the people of this community recited in English every other day, not just Chinese. I am most grateful for his thoughtfulness in translating the Buddhist texts and the commentaries into English.
My name is Vanessa and I’m from Taiwan. I came to Canada when I was two years old, so I’m not very good at Chinese. Nevertheless I hope I can be a translator some day. I’m going into grade 8 next year and I like to read, a lot. I particularly enjoy the commentaries on the sutras by Venerable Master Hua, and other books about filial piety, Chan, and so on. I am horrible at meditation, and at doing full lotus, but I am practicing. I especially enjoyed the “Journals and Letters on a Bowing Pilgrimage” written by Dharma Master Heng Chau and Dharma Master Heng Sure.
In The Sutra of Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, it is said that if you aren't filial you will go to the hells. In another book, there is a story about a rich person who has a lot of bad karma and only a bit of good karma. This individual is forced to go to the hells to see King Yama. But the good karma still weighed more than the bad karma, because the bad karma was actually the result of bad thoughts rather than doing bad actions. This story reminded me to be more filial and to help others. Also not to do bad actions. If there weren’t these books that Master Hua published then I would not have been able to learn about this.
Also I am grateful that Venerable Master Hua has emphasized that education is very important. I’m really lucky, in grade 4 I got to go to CTTB, Instilling Goodness Elementary. The teachers there helped me learn more Chinese. Also I got to learn how to be a good person at school too. Most teachers there are volunteer teachers, but they still put their best efforts into teaching students. They are even better than the regular teachers. In Canada, I have encountered two teachers’ strike so far. Unfortunately I had to come back to Canada in grade 5 because my mom couldn’t stay in USA for that long. But I hope one day I can go back again.
I thank my mother for teaching and correcting all my errors. I thank my teachers for teaching me how to be kind to others, not to be selfish or prideful. Also, I thank them for teaching me school subjects. I thank my friends who help me and comfort me when I am in need. I'm very lucky to have all this.
Lastly I thank Venerable Master Hua the most, because if Buddhism hadn't come to the West I would never have been able to be Buddhist.