TYPING IS THE DHARMA-DOOR THAT I CULTIVATE
By Pan Bo-Ru
Copied from Varja Bodhi Sea Monthly Journal April 1994
I came to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas for the second time at the end of May 1990. My first visit was at the end of March 1985. My second visit was mainly because my husband was going to construct houses for the monastery. Another reason was to provide a better environment for our son to grow up in. At first, I was afraid to come, but when my husband told me it would only be for five years, I agreed. Before coming, I asked the Venerable Master for advice, saying, "I'm confused and I don't know what work I can do". The Master said, "Well, you can type!"
Therefore, I jumped right into the work of typing Chinese into the computer, and in a twinkle of an eye, nearly six years of typing have gone by! This includes the time when I helped to type at Gold Wheel Monastery in Los Angeles. Over the years, I have typed many of the Venerable Master's wonderful commentaries on the Sutras, such as the Shurangama Sutra, Nirvana Sutra, Sutra of the Buddha's Names Spoken by the Buddha, Sutra of the Great Compassion Heart Dharani and so forth; commentaries on Mantras such as the Shurangama Mantra and the Great Compassion Mantra; ceremonies for transmitting the Three Platforms of Great Precepts, the Three Refuges, the Five Precepts and the Precepts for the Deceased; and the Venerable Master's Instructional Talks and so on.
I think that typing is just the Dharma-door that I am cultivating. I'm grateful to the Venerable Master for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to approach the Buddha-dharma while working. It has turned the boring, monotonous job of typing
into something meaningful. When I come to exciting parts of a text, I not only forget about eating and resting, but even get up at midnight to continue typing. In the beginning, I just typed in the Chinese and someone else would proof-read it. Later on, I started checking it myself, on the other hand to avoid typos, and on the other hand to deepen my impression of the texts.
When typing is mentioned, many people back off right away because they are afraid that long term typing leads to all kinds of problems and illnesses. I discovered that typing really drains the energy. So whenever I became tired from typing, I would go to the main kitchen to help chop vegetables, or go sweep the grounds in order to alleviate my mental and physical weariness.
It is my wish that more people would undertake the work of typing, so that the Venerable Master's commentaries on the
Sutras can quickly be circulated in this Saha World, giving Americans the benefit of the Buddha-dharma and saving the world.