No one perhaps knows the Heart Sutra of Buddhism better than the disgraced “nun” Sik Chi-ding who has had some hard lessons in life on matters of love and money.
After facing questions over her financial dealings and “sham” marriages, the former abbess of Ting Wai Monastery is under the spotlight again due to yet another complication from a past love affair.
This time, one of her ex-boyfriends wants to seek compensation for jail time that he served, blaming his misfortune for the association with Chi-ding.
In what seems like a modern TVB drama, Chi-ding lived with a mainlander named Yang Rong three years after she became a nun.
Back in 2003, the couple lived together in Shenzhen where Yang is said to have financed a home-purchase for Chi-ding and also spent money on doing up the house, spending more than half a million yuan.
The relationship went well until Chi-ding tried to break up with Yang that same year as she found that the partner was an alcoholic.
But Yang warned her against leaving him, threatening Chi-ding that he will release saucy photos of her and also reveal their relationship to the world if she didn’t comply.
When the pressure tactics didn’t seem to work, Yang mailed some pictures to a work supervisor of Chi-ding. But the move failed to get the desired result.
Chi-ding, meanwhile, reported the matter to Shenzhen police, claiming harassment and blackmail. In March 2005, authorities laid a trap and arrested Yang as he was accepting a 100,000 yuan payoff from Chi-ding.
Yang was given a three-year jail term, which was later cut short, helping him to walk out of prison in March 2006.
Now after a decade, he is still angry with his former lover and feels that he has been a victim.
“I hate her. Why did she set me up and put me in jail? She is such a disgusting woman,” he told Headline Daily.
“I should not have loved her; I paid the price.”
Chi-ding, incidentally, has subsequently been accused of entering into two sham marriages with mainland monks to help them obtain Hong Kong residency.
Last year, revelations surfaced that Chi-ding married a monk named Chi Keung in August 2006, and that she divorced him in 2012. Later she married another monk Chi Kwong, who was nominated to the board of the Ting Wai Monastery in Tai Po.
The bogus relationships were revealed along with allegations that Chi-ding pocketed huge donations from her believers.
The misappropriated funds were said to have been used by the chief nun on things such as purchase of expensive mahogany furniture and a large insurance policy.
As she battles those charges and also now faces potential claims from Yang, Chi-ding must be wondering about the twists and turns of fate and perhaps getting philosophical.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that a protégé of Chi-ding is trying to sell her house in Tai Po at a significant loss.
According to Apple Daily, the 2,400-square-foot home is on the market for HK$28 million, way below the acquisition price of HK$39.5 million.
Having bought the house at the Beverly Hills gated community in 2010, the Chi-ding protégé, who is also a nun, is facing a loss of almost HK$12 million.
Beverly Hills is one of the very few local residential projects that did not see price escalation in the past six years, even as many other housing estates saw prices nearly double in the same period.
The story of the nuns and the monks, known to be people with wisdom because they have a mission to help fellow humans, shows that they are just like the rest of us and not above making mistakes.
Also, as someone said, reality isn’t actually real, it’s just the ghosts of the past that affect our lives today.
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