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That day, she successfully recited more than nine-thousand words from The Analysis on Clear Realization at an astonishing speed of thirty-eight minutes. A requirement of this year’s recitations exam, she was fast, smooth, accurate, and at ease. Her sincerity revealed a great strength from deep within. If you look at this year’s exam results alone, you’d never be able to guess that this is the grades of someone who’s been having trouble completing her exams for the past three years.

She is known for her passion in helping others. But as kind as she is, she’s met obstacles big and small ever since she’s started learning the Five Great Treatises, and have gone through a period of self-discovery. In order to keep herself on the right track, she carefully watched each and every thought, mindful of how one leads seamlessly to the next.

A month and a half before the exam, you’d find her in the Prayer Hall almost all the time, going over what she’s already memorized. I’ve seen her prostrate to the Buddha whenever she’s grown weary of her studies. And if that doesn’t work, she’d pray and make offerings. As someone who’s in charge of the monastery’s gardening, she’d often patrol the monastery lands with a wheelbarrow in hand, carefully nurturing every plant. Whenever there’s the need for a helping hand, she’d always be the one to take the lead, never a moment of slight hesitation.

Underneath a surface as calm as the water, lies the great strength of a practitioner in pursuit of her life goals, and the will to remove all fear and self-doubt. Such strength came from the perseverance of every thought, creating a legend that turned the world upside down.

“Why did you choose to finish the requirement this year?”
I asked her after the exam.

After a long while, she looked at me and said with much sincerity,
“Because I want to be worthy of myself!”