English | Vietnamese
June 23, 1974, Sunday evening
On the Masterís Hope for All Beings
Ven. Master Hsuan Hua
Gold Mountain Monastery and Sino-American Buddhist Association were formerly known as the Buddhist Lecture Hall. At that time, the Buddhist Lecture Hall was a small place on the fourth floor of a building. It was opened at the beginning of the summer session in 1968. Many people came from Seattle to attend the 96-day summer session. We maintained a busy schedule. There was no time to rest during the day. There was only a half-day break on Saturdays for people to do laundry or take care of personal business.
At first there was one lecture on the Surangama Sutra each day. After a while, thinking that there was not enough time, we scheduled two daily lectures. Still thinking that was not enough, we began to hold three lectures a day. Finally, near the end, we had four lectures per day, and we managed to finish lecturing the Surangama Sutra in 96 days.
At that point, five people asked to leave the home life. Three became Bhikshus, and two Bhikshunis.
These were the first Americans to officially enter monastic life and receive full ordination. Sessions were held every summer after that, and people came to study.
The number of students has been neither too many nor too few. Why do I say itís not too many? There could never be too many people in this country truly studying Buddhism. Why do I say itís not too few? Gold Mountain Monastery values quality, not quantity. As long as the participants genuinely investigate the Buddhadharma and earnestly resolve to cultivate, then even one is plenty, not to mention more than one.
Gold Mountain Monastery publishes a Buddhist monthly journal, Vajra Bodhi Sea. We at Gold Mountain Monastery are panning for gold in the sand. Some people who come to Gold Mountain Monastery feel as if they are coming home. They think everything is perfect here. Although it gets a bit cold, they find the coolness refreshing. Although there is little conversation, they find it easy to read a book without being interrupted. One can investigate the Buddhadharma every day.
Among the massive population of the United States , those who truly study the Buddhadharma are extremely few. People become Buddhas one by one, not in hordes. In the world, whatever is rare is valued. Therefore, the few of you who have come to study the Buddhadharma at Gold Mountain Monastery have also become invaluable. Each of you, once you master the Buddhadharma, will be able to propagate the Dharma in all places, teach and transform sentient beings, and quickly bring them to Buddhahood. This is my hope for all of you.
Each participant in the summer session should be mindful of the time. Don't let the time go by in vain. It's important not to waste precious time. You must learn some true principles.
Timely Teachings, page 38 - 39