Farewell Party - DDM Youth Delegates Visits to NY Draws to a Close
On 1 November, the last day of their visit to New York, the DDM youth delegates went to Ground Zero in the morning to pay tribute to the deceased.
Led by Venerable Guo Ji, the young delegates observed silence and experienced the sense of shock and fear in the innermost of human hearts caused by the terrorist attack on 11 September. Venerable Guo Ji led the delegates, with palms joined, in a blessing ceremony and prayed for the deceased.
Later the delegates went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a guided tour by Yongfong Yu who is undertaking his doctoral program at the Department of Religious Studies, Princeton University. The Museum has a vast collection of Buddha statutes, artifacts and sculptures that were brought to USA from China, India and Tibet. Yongfong Yu explained to the delegates the characteristics and transformation of Buddhist artwork and sculptures in the different historical periods and places.
In addition to explaining the historical development of Buddhist artwork, Yongfong Yu also reminded the youth delegates to apply the Buddhist concept of 'no-self', and to view themselves and the world from an objective perspective rather than from a narrow scope of 'small self'. The youths were intrigued with the male image of Avalokitesvara (Guanyin) and the Caucasian appearance of the Arhats and Bodhisattvas and raised many questions on Buddhist concepts. Through the explanation of Yongfong Yu, the youths gained a better understanding of the spirit of Buddhism.
Finally, a farewell party was held at DDM Chan Center in New York and was attended by the Convener of the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW), Ms Dena Merriam and the delegates who participated in the Young Leaders Peacebuilding Retreat. They shared their thoughts and experiences gained at the retreat and were warmly received by all in attendance.
When the farewell party began, the Most Venerable Master Sheng Yen thanked all the staff for their hard work, extended his appreciation to Ms Dena Merriam for leading the forum and making it a great success. The Master encouraged the youths to open their heart and mind and to broaden their scope in caring for the world. In response, Ms Dena Merriam thanked DDM for providing such a wonderful venue for the young delegates to speak their minds and establish friendships.
(Translated by Jin Yang/Edited by Agnes Chow)