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DDMBASF celebrates the Elder Day

DDMBASF's Guitar Group was invited to participate in the annual Honoring Elders Day in Gold Mountain Monastery (GMM) on October 25, 2009. GMM is located right in the heart of the San Francisco Chinatown and it’s one of the oldest Buddhist Monasteries established by the Master Hsuan Hua in 60s’. When our Shifu, the Ven. Master Sheng Yen came to the U.S. in 70s’, he had visited the Ven. Master Hsuan Hua and stayed in GMM for some days.

The Guitar Group was formed about six months ago with six members: Andy Wang, Henry Wan, Chung-An Tan, Eric Sun, Stella Cheng and Jiang Kuang. The DDMBASF Chorus members, Lulu Wang, Jing-I Lu and Meng-Fu Shih also joined the performance warmheartedly. The founder of DDMBASF, Sister Hsieh enthusiastically came to support our performances in GMM. It was the first time the Guitar Group performed outside of the Chan center.

About 200 elders came to celebrate the Honoring Elders Day. Most of the elders live around the San Francisco Chinatown and they could only communicate in Cantonese dialect. Fortunately, one of our members, brother Jiangtao can speak English, Cantonese and Mandarin fluently. He introduced our Shifu, the Ven. Master Sheng Yen, the DDM’s vision: to uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth, and the Four Environmentalism in both Mandarin and Cantonese wonderfully. Jiangtao also invited everyone to visit the Chan center in Sunnyvale.

Three songs were played for the event: Jasmine Flower, Sailing in the Peaceful Lake and It's the Small World. After we sang the original lyrics of the Jasmine Flower, we sang the same melody with Namo Guan Shi Yin Pusa (Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva in Sanskrit). For the Sailing in Peaceful Lake, we sang with Namo Earth Treasury King Bodhisattva (Dìzàng Wáng Púsà in Chinese). We composed these two tradition songs with two Bodhisattva’s names so to share the dharma joys and the bliss with elders on this special day.

It's the Small World is the well known theme song from the Disneyland: It's a world of laughter, a world of tears; It's a world of hopes and a world of fears, There's so much that we share, that it's time we're aware; It's a small world after all…

In addition to these three songs, DDMBASF also helped out other programs such as playing the music for GMM’s Chinese School’s students when they were singing. When the most senior gentleman (94 years old) came to the stage to cut the birthday cake for the event, we also played violins of the Happy Birthday’s melody. At the end of the celebration, all GMM’s volunteers came to the stage and sang together. The Guitar Group played guitars and sang with GMM’s members harmoniously.

Our Shifu, the Ven. Master Sheng Yen and the Ven. Master Hsuan Hua both emphasized the importance of honoring elders and being respectfully to parents and teachers. The DDMBASF members appreciated this great opportunity for participating in this celebration in GMM. We all felt that we spent a very meaningful day by sharing the music, dharma joys and blessings with the elders. Hopefully, in near future, we would have more chances to engage and to share our gratitude in community services.

(shared by DDM San Francisco)

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