The Second World Buddhist Forum - the Protection of the Spiritual Environment

The recent second World Buddhist Forum was organized in two parts. After attending the first part in Wuxi in Jiangsu Province on 28 and 29 March, the participants moved to Taiwan on 30 March to participate in the second part of the Forum that was conducted at different venues on 31 March and 1 April 2009.

On the morning of 31 March 2009, a sub-forum of the Second World Buddhist Forum titled "Protection of Spiritual Environment" was held at the Dharma Drum Degui Academy in Taipei. Over fifty distinguished guests including Venerables and Buddhist scholars from around the world attended. The sub-forum was co-organized by the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Foundation..

The Abbot President, Venerable Guo Dong, and the Principle of the Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Venerable Hui Min, expressed the warmest greetings of the Dharma Drum Mountain Sangha community as over 30 inspirational theses were presented in the sub-forum.

Venerable Guo Dong said in the welcoming remarks that the idea of protecting the spiritual environment goes beyond the limits of ethnic, religion and national boundaries. The Venerable stated that Dharma Drum Mountain is a Buddhist organization that aims to uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth through the practice of Three Types of Education and the propagation of Six Ethics of the Mind in society.

This idea attracted active discussion and approval from the attendees. For example, Venerable Jing Ding, the Abbot of Yuan Zhao Temple in Kaohsiung stated that our spiritual world is like the earth and before it gets destroyed, it needs to be well protected. After being polluted, it needs to be kept clean and well maintained.

When our mind is pure, our group is pure. When the small group is pure, the bigger environment composed of the small group will be pure. Through this, she believed that then the whole world will gradually be pure and in harmony.

Venerable Jian Yin, Vice Director-General of the Buddhist Association of Taiwan, praised the idea of "Protecting the Spiritual Environment" of DDM by saying that human beings have enjoyed material comfort to a great degree since the late 20th century. However, in the mind, there exists a void of emptiness and a lack of satisfaction in the quest for materialism. Through this dissatisfaction, things are thrown into disorder. Therefore there is a need to consider the issue of the environmental protection and purification of human minds. The Venerable went on to say that she believed that the promotion of mindful peace is now urgent and recognized in every corner of the world.

The sub-form proceeded to 14:45 p.m. in the afternoon. To enable the honorable guests to truly experience the atmosphere of Buddhist practice built on the spirit of "Protecting the Spiritual Environment" and to realize the present situation of Buddhism in Taiwan, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Foundation arranged for them to visit the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education in Jinshan Township.

This was with the hope that they would understand how DDM has embodied the idea of "uplifting the character of humanity, building a pure land on earth" and sense the beauty of Chan from the tranquil and delightful environment of the Center.

The closing ceremony was held at Taipei Arena at central Taipei in the afternoon of 1 April. The Abbot President, Venerable Guo Dong on behalf of DDM joined the ceremony to pray for global peace and for the sustainable development of Buddhism.

(by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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