A Great Man Full of Unconditional Love
◎大 岑 Big Sam
There is simply no easy way to describe Elder Pun. Elder Pun was a gentle and kind person. He was quiet yet full of great wisdom. I never heard of any complaint from Elder Pun, nor anyone ever complained about him. He never says "no" to anyone who requested for his help. He was beloved by everyone who knew him. His teaching deeply touched every newcomers in the temple, including myself.
在記憶中，後學記得在我第一次遇到潘前人時的每一個片段。在母親的一個偶然介紹下，後學大約十五年前在香港求道，亦是溫點師慈悲點道的。不過，在我求道後三個月，後學便要返回美國紐約。在溫點師慈悲之下，介紹後學回到紐約之後，便去拜訪美國紐約重德佛堂。溫點師更叮囑後學，當到達重德佛堂時，要找一位名叫「潘前人」 。當然，後學是「天道佛堂」的一位新道親，對「天道」未有認識，更不知道什麼是「潘前人」 ，除了只不過明白是一個名稱罷了。
I still remembered every frame of memory from my first encounter with Elder Pun. I obtained the Tao in Hong Kong about fifteen years ago, amid a fortunate introduction by my mother. Eric Wan Dian Chuan Xi helped me obtain the Tao. However, I was scheduled to return New York three months after I obtained the Tao. Wan Dian Chuan Xi referred me to visit the New York Chung Te Buddhist Association once I returned. Wan Dian Chuan Xi also reminded me to ask for "Elder Pun" when I visited the New York temple. Of course, I was a newcomer for the Tien Tao temples; I had little understanding of Tien-Tao temples, and I had no idea about what "Elder Pun" meant, other than just a plain title.
On a Saturday after a few weeks of jet-lagging, I drove with my mother to New York City's Chinatown where New York Chung Te Buddhist Association is situated. I rang the door bell. After a few minutes, an older-looking person answered the door. He was surprised to see me in front of the temple. I was absolutely positive that he was a bit scared of me. It is because that my physical size was about three times bigger than him and in that area there were some crime problems in the past. Luckily, my mother was right next to me and she greeted the man, explained our purposes, and asked for Elder Pun.
The older-person who politely replied was the one we were looking for--Elder Pun.
I still recalled Elder Pun's face at the moment of the first encounter. He was shy and his face was full of wrinkles from life of experiences. Once we introduced ourselves, I could see Elder Pun's face exhibiting a gleam of smile and a pleasant surprise. His previous concerns were all but gone. He sincerely invited us to return the temple on Sundays, where regular temple services would be performed. At this juncture of meeting, I still thought of him as a maintenance person living in the temple. I had no idea how much Elder Pun would have touched and changed my life thereafter. My first impression of Elder Pun was a man with utmost sincerity.
With Elder Pun's kindness, my family and I started coming to the Chung Te temple regularly. After a week of hard work, it was a welcoming atmosphere to come to the temple on Sunday for lectures and services. Elder Pun taught us a lot of things; specifically, he taught us things that we did not have the opportunity to learn outside of the temple ?he taught us how to apply the meaning of Tao to our daily practice and living. He taught us how to become a spiritually better person. He shared his difficult challenges and hardship experience with us. He was a role model for all of us who learned to have faith in Tao. He walked the path to Heaven and he constantly encouraged us to achieve the same path as well.
Although Elder Pun taught us much of his valuable wisdom, the most influential wisdom he gave me was "never give up ?no matter how difficult the challenge is." In 1993, I injured a tendon on my right arm. The injury was not caused in doing temple-related work, but Elder Pun was very kind to volunteer his acupuncture treatment. A handful of treatment procedures were needed. While Elder Pun performed his acupuncture treatments on my right arm, we talked about a variety of subjects. In one session, Elder Pun emphasized the importance of persistence. In summary, he told me that if a person has persistence, he will "never give up ?no matter how difficult the challenge is in front of us." This becomes a motto for my life, even as of today. Proven by his unimaginable hardship experience in China, I cannot think of anyone else who could be better qualified to teach the meaning of persistence than Elder Pun.
Elder Pun was a towering figure in my life. He had the paramount spiritual strength that can't be measured by any earthy standard. He was a brave leader, a bright guiding lamp, and a wise shepherd.