DDM Anhe Branch Monastery Hosted the Buddhist-style Joint Birthday Celebrations for the Elderly

The DDM Anhe Branch Monastery in downtown Taipei hosted a Buddhist-style Joint Birthday Celebration for the Elderly on Monday morning, October 10, 2014. About one thousand seniors and their family members attended this celebration. The participants recited the Heart Sutra, Verses of the Medicine Buddha as well as his sacred name to pray for the well-being of all seniors present in addition to the well-being of all sentient beings.

Before heading to Hong Kong to spread the Dharma, the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong, made a special detour to attend this event. During his speech, he mentioned that there are seniors who feel insecure as they aged and this in turn causes vexation. However, through the habit of reciting the Buddha’s name, emulating the compassion and wisdom of the Guanyin Bodhisattva as well as readily providing care for their children and grandchildren, this vexation could be eliminated and the negative energy associated with it will be transformed into positive energy that benefits all sentient beings. As a result, longevity could be enjoyed peacefully without any hardship or disasters.

“Insight arises from right mindfulness; pure land arises from pure thought”.

Ven. Guo Chyi, who hosted this event, quoted the advice by the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen, “Do not regret the past, prepare for the future and make every present moment counts”. Ven. Guo Chyi urged the seniors to not live in the past but to refocus their mindset to live positively in accordance to Master Sheng Yen’s advice.

Zhou Yu Zao, who participated in this event and also a member of the DDM Elderly Program organized by the Anhe Branch Monastery, mentioned that she regained the purpose of life after participating in Buddhist studies and foreign language classes in addition to Chan arts, drama and other activities. She also draws her inspiration from the life experience of Dr. Pan Wen Zhong; even though Dr. Pan suffers from Spinocerebellar Atrophy, he treasures every moment in life and believes that a day lived is a day earned and everything will eventually come to a past. Only by cherishing the present will we be able to gain merits and blessings for ourselves and loved ones.

Ven. Guo Shih, Director of the DDM Anhe Branch Monastery, mentioned that DDM is committed to offering care to senior citizens; besides classes for seniors, DDM organizes 26 Buddhist-style Joint Birthday Celebrations for the Elderly all over Taiwan during this period of the Double Ninth Festival.

(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by Leefah)

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