In Memory of Dharma Master Huiseng

He continued to expound the teachings even in the midst of illness and spared no effort to guide and bring up the younger generation.

Dharma Master Huiseng was a native of Liaoning Province in Manchuria, China. At a young age, he studied the teachings and contemplations at Guanzong Monastery. He went to Yongquan (Bubbling Spring) Monastery at Gushan (Drum Mountain) in Fujian Province, where he drew near to the Elder Master Yun. Later, he returned to Manchuria and became the abbot of Ci’en )Compassionate Kindness) Monastery in Fengtian (old name for Liaoning) Province. During the Japanese occupation, under the Manchukuo puppet government, Dharma Master Huiseng expended great effort in turning the Dharma wheel and protecting Buddhism.

In 1947, on my way from Lingyanshan Monastery in Suzhou back to Manchuria, I stayed overnight at Yunshui (Clouds and Water) Temple. That was the first time I observed this Dharma Master’s exemplary manner. He stayed in the Abbot’s quarters, and since I had no chance to make his acquaintance, I didn’t get to exchange a single word with him. Later, we unexpectedly met at Nanhua Monastery in Canton, and had a casual, friendly chat. Afterwards, he departed for Hong Kong and I went to Dajue (Great Enlightenment) Monastery in Yunmen County.

In 1948, we met again at Dongputuo (East Potola) Monastery in Hong Kong. Then he went to Southeast Asia to propagate the Dharma in Singapore, Malaysia, and elsewhere. Multitudes were influenced by his virtue, and many brought forth the Bodhi resolve after hearing about his cultivation. When conditions ripened here in the U.S., he came across the ocean to devote all his strength to the Dharma. He continued to expound the teachings even in the midst of illness and spared no effort to guide and bring up the younger generation.

In 1980, at the invitation of the fourfold assembly at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Master Huiseng delivered a lecture series in Diannan Hall, Dharma Realm Buddhist University, on the Bodhisattva Precepts as expounded in the Brahma Net Sutra. The assembly of both Easterners and Westerners listened with great joy as they partook of a rare and sumptuous Dharma feast. His explanation of that Sutra has been published in Chinese/English bilingual format, and it will be circulated for generations to come, passing down the lamp of Dharma until the end of time. Recently, I heard that Dharma Master Huiseng manifested the stillness in Singapore, so I composed these words in his memory.

The verse says:

The proper energy of the universe nourished a virtue so within the Dharma,
Who was respected by both sentient and insentient beings.
Teaching people according to their potential, he swept away the dust.
His teachings embraced both what was and was not the Tao.
Born and raised in Fengtian Province of northeast China,
He was generous, patient, and unfailing in his vigor.
He taught throughout Southeast Asia and propagated the Dharma everywhere.
Never retreating from his vows, he is gone but will return.