Profound and abundant teachings from Venerable Master Sheng Yen

Venerable Master Sheng Yen once said that death is neither a joyful matter, nor an occasion for grief; rather it is an occasion for a noble and solemn Buddhist ritual.

In order to enable people to understand the significance of Venerable Master Sheng Yen, Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) hosted an extraordinary seminar, titled "Profound and Abundant Teachings from Venerable Master Sheng Yen" at Taipei International Convention Centre in the afternoon of 13 September 2009.

Nearly 4,700 people had packed the hall before the seminar formally began at 14:30 p.m. Apart from the Abbot President of DDM Venerable Guo Dong and Venerables of the DDM Sangha Community, honorable guests, including His Eminence Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-His, Director of Department of Religious Studies at Hsuan Chuang University in Hsin Chu County, Venerable Shi Chao Hwei, formal Director of the Department of Social Work at National Taipei University, Dr. Yang Bei, and a senior researcher at Taiwan's Academia Sinica, Dr. Shan Te-Hsing, attended the seminar to share their reflections.

Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong said in his welcoming remarks that although the Most Venerable Master Sheng Yen had left us, the Dharma and compassionate teachings the Master had taught as well as the attitudes the Master had shown in his lifetime have given us all for us wisdom to cherish and to follow.

In his speech, his Eminence Cardinal Paul Shan said that he had benefited much from a dialogue with the Master held in the past. He stressed that both he and the Master agreed that life is valuable and one must therefore hold a strong faith in respecting all sentient beings on earth and alleviate the suffering of living creatures. His Eminence paid his respects to the Master for his efforts to make society brighter and warmer.

Venerable Shi Chao Hwei pointed out that the noble and solemn Buddhist "ritual"of the Master's own funeral had in itself questioned a practice that stems from a traditional myth among the Chinese that the relics of an eminent and prestigious monk should be collected. By asking followers not to continue this practice in his own funeral rites, the Master showed that this is only another form of attachment, asking people to truly understand the meaning of "Quiescent Cessation Is Blissful".

The seminar was meaningful and educational. DDM hope that through these reflections the power of virtue shown in the life of the Master could be further spread out to every corner of the society.

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

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