Reflection and reunion: Mid-Autumn Festival at Nung Chan Monastery

When celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival facing the same moonlight, who would you like most to reunite with?

Nung Chan Monastery organized a Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 celebration event at the Water-Moon Pool at 6 p.m. on September 30. After the Dharma assembly of offering light to the Buddha, some 1,000 participants started to circumambulate the pool while holding lamps in their hands, to send out good wishes as witnessed by the full moon reflection in the water.

The Dharma Drum World Youth Group chorus heated up the event by singing songs, including “Moonlight in Town”, “Ode to Water-Moon”, and “The Power of Dharma,” becoming the highlight of the celebration. Ke Wanrou, a first-year senior high school student and the youngest in the chorus, participated in the event organized by DDM for the first time. She had spent a whole week practicing for the performance, and was happy to have made new friends and brought joy to the celebration.

Chen Bizhi, who already arrived at the venue at 4 p.m. with her son, usually follows the updates of the monastery’s events from its Facebook page. A participant in a New Year’s Eve celebration organized by the monastery before, she felt grateful to Master Sheng Yen and DDM’s monastics and volunteers for helping establish the monastery near where she lives, allowing her easy access to a Dharma practice center. While lighting up the lamp, she made a wish that everyone in society can live in safety and peace.

Li Yanjiao, who took the High Speed Rail all the way from Kaohsiung particularly to visit and reunite with monastics and volunteers at the monastery, thanks to her friend’s reminder, expressed that she had experienced the inner peace and comfort by joining Dharma assemblies at Nung Chan Monastery before, and she was especially impressed by the volunteers’ kindness and gentleness. She made a wish that all people can live in peace, safety, and auspiciousness.

Some participants came as far as from America and China, including Wu Yunsong and Wang Gaoxin, who study architecture in Shanghai. They visited the monastery early in the morning, and had a chance to experience the calm and peace by sitting in meditation. So, at the suggestion of a volunteer, they decided to come back again in the late afternoon, for their first-ever Mid-Autumn Festival celebration experience in Taiwan. They appreciated the volunteers for preparing a variety of delightful snacks, and commented that the mooncakes here were outstandingly delicious because they symbolize the taste of happy reunion at full moon.

At the beginning of the assembly, Ven. Guo Yi, director of Nung Chan Monastery, gave a Dharma talk explaining that the Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional holiday for reunion, not only with one’s own family but also with Buddhist friends, by bathing in the light of the Dharma. The venerable expressed thanks to volunteers for providing the snacks and tour guide services, and to the chorus for their excellent performance. She also wished everyone well-being in the body and mind, with the nourishment of the Dharma. Finally, the venerable led all participants to chant the Sutra on the Merit of Donating Lamps and circumambulated the Water-Moon Pool with lamps in hands, feeling most touched in their hearts.

Texts:Chang, Yao-Chung (張曜鐘)
Photo:Liao, Shun-de (廖順得)
Translation: Hsiao, Chen-an (蕭宸安)
Editor: Chang, Chia-Cheng (張家誠)

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