Guatemala Vice President and his wife visit DDM World Center to experience the faith of Guanyin Bodhisattva

To further experience Buddhist culture, Republic of Guatemala’s Vice President, Excmo. Sr. Juan Alfonso Fuentes Soria, his wife, daughter, confidential secretary, and Guatemala’s Minister of Labor visited Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education at 10am on December 27, 2015. He was accompanied by Larry R. L. Tseng, Taiwan Director-General of Protocol Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other officials. Ven. Gong Dong (果東法師), DDM’s abbot president, together with Ven. Chang Yuan (常遠法師), Ven. Guo Gao (果高法師), Ven. Guo Yue (果悅法師), Ven. Guo Shu (果樞法師) cordially welcomed the group of VIPs, and gave them a guided tour of the Buddha Hall to pay respect to the Buddha, the Founding History Memorial Hall, and the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall. Finally, the guests were presented the Great Compassion Water and the spiritual prescription slips as blessings.

Over tea, Ven. Guo Dong explained DDM’s vision: to uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth, to achieve the purification of human minds and society through Threefold Education. He emphasized that as a center for Buddhist education, DDM organized activities and events with an aim to show care to participants and popularize Buddhist education. Fuentes gave a positive feedback and expressed his appreciation of DDM’s efforts in providing such an ideal learning environment, where true tranquility, serenity, and harmony can be experienced. He also praised DDM for naming the place the World Center for Buddhist Education, instead of using “temple” or “monastery, for it is through education that the character of humanity can be uplifted.

Ven. Guo Dong further illustrated the Center’s environment filled with the spirit of Chan as an education tool, to inspire compassion and wisdom in people and evoke their feelings of calm and joy. Chan helps us calm our minds and remain stable under any circumstances we encounter. Chan also teaches us to employ wisdom and be free of affliction, undisturbed by unfavorable situations. This is transforming the environment with our minds. Compassion and wisdom transcend language and religion. When we regard the world with wisdom and compassion, we will perceive it as one filled with brightness, warmth, and harmony.

To allow the guests to have a taste of the ease and freedom of Chan, Ven. Chang Cheng (常乘法師), director of Chan Practice Office, offered guidance on how to experience relaxation. Impressed with the Chan practice, though only a ten minute session, the guests all expressed that it was a beautiful experience, and that they looked forward to having more interaction with DDM in the future. Ven. Guo Dong went on to explain: DDM is a Dharma center dedicated to Guanyin Bodhisattva, and angels in Catholicism embody the spirit of the bodhisattva. Moved to tears several times by the solemn faith of Guanyin Bodhisattva through Ven. Guo Dong’s explanation, the Vice President’s wife Sandra Rosales sincerely made a wish that the compassionate Buddhas and bodhisattvas can bless and protect all beings.

Toward the end of the visit, Ven. Guo Dong presented Dharma gifts on behalf of the Sangha, including the calligraphy scroll that reads “Protecting the Spiritual Environment,” crystal desk decorations with the image of Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Bodhisattva, crystal necklaces with the image of Welcoming Guanyin Bodhisattva, and booklets of 108 adages of wisdom. The visit wrapped up with a group photo session.

Text and Photography by Lin Ya-Ying (林雅櫻)
Translation by Kate Wanchi Huang, edited by Chiacheng Chang.

Ven. Guo Dong explained Buddhist compassion and wisdom that transcend language and religion, and that by regarding the world with compassion and wisdom we will perceive a world of brightness, warmth, and harmony.

Abbot President presented Dharma gifts to the guests, including calligraphy scrolls, crystal desk decorations, crystal necklaces, and booklets of 108 adages of wisdom.

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