Author: Leann Moore

Born into Tribulation, Raised in Adversity, yet Experienced a Lifetime of Joy

People often ask me, “What ad­versity have you experienced in your life?” And for a moment, I can­not come up with an answer. I have always maintained the attitude of taking things as they come, as in the sayings “When the soldiers come, de­ploy the generals to fight back; when there is a flood, use earth to stop it” and “When encountering a mountain, cut a path through; when encounter­ing water, build a bridge.” Therefore, what adversity could there be? Today, at the age of ninety [2016], my life can be expressed by twelve words: “Born into tribulation, raised in adversity, yet experienced a lifetime of joy.”

My Reflections on Venerable Master Taixu’s Fiftieth Birthday Poem

In fact, what I have enjoyed the most in my reading, and it could be said that a piece of writing that has had an important influence upon
my life is the poem “Thoughts on My Fiftieth Birthday,” written by Venerable Master Taixu during his visit to India when the lay Buddhist Tan Yun-shan, Chairperson of the Institute of Chinese Language and Culture at Visva-Bharati University held a celebration for his fiftieth birthday.

Am I Really Like a Monk?

Given that I have become a monk,
I have placed demands upon
myself. My sense of leaving the secular
and focusing on the path must
surpass others; my sense of self restraint and
doing for others must be
strengthened. I must learn to endure
disadvantage, and I must let others
gain some advantage at my expense; I
must learn how to be patient and how
to undergo adversity. This is all as it
should be.

My Progress of Faith

I once copied out a sutra in blood by pricking myself, and once I also burned my arm as an offering. I once remained silent for a year without speaking, and once I also kept my eyes closed for three months without seeing. Later on, I would occasionally open my eyes and suddenly feel: Oh, there are still verdant mountains; there are still trees; the sky is still there; and my feelings would then return to this world. Ever since I was young, I have had such sheer enthusiasm.

Eighty Notable Characteristics

Many different sutras contain descriptions of the thirty-two marks and eighty characteristics, each with slight variations:
Top of his head not visible to others.
A prominent nose with well-concealed nostrils.
Eyebrows shaped like a new moon.
Large, round ears that are long and thick.
A strong body.
Closely-fit bones.
When he turns, his whole body turns, just like a majestic elephant.