Prayer Ritual for the Lunar New Year at Nung Chan Monastery

Prayer Ritual for the Lunar New Year at Nung Chan Monastery

DDM hosted the Prayer Ritual for the Lunar New Year at Nung Chan Monastery on March 7, 2015; about one thousand five hundred devotees, volunteers as well as their family members attended this ceremony in which Ven. Guo Dong, the Abbot President, offered his blessings to each and every attendee. In addition, the president of Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) provided an update on the current situation and future vision of the new school advocating “Extensive Academic Education”. He is very grateful to the general public for supporting and fulfilling the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen’s great vow to set up a school that brings hope to future generations.

The vitality of Karma in regards to cause and effect can be seen from the energy generated by the Prayer Ritual in uniting those present. A constructive thought arises from its purity just as yearly plans are made in Spring; in his speech, the Abbot President gave thanks to the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen, the DDM Sangha, devotees as well as the general public for their effort in cultivating wisdom and virtue in addition to developing pure and bright Buddha nature. In this respect, with the ideal of “uplifting the character of humanity and build a pure land on Earth”, DDM promotes the Buddha Dharma, Chan meditation as well as advocates “protecting the spiritual environment” to purify the human mind and the society.

Elaborating on the 2015 DDM theme of “Great Light”, the Abbot President emphasized that everyone has an inherent Buddha nature. Many people experience a variety of misfortunes and suffering; however, instead of feeling bitter and hard, these experiences could be a tool in helping others in the manner that Bodhisattvas radiate compassionate light of wisdom, teaching us the Dharma of impermanence, cause and condition, non-self as well as emptiness. So, in facing a variety of situations, we could change our perception with wisdom in seeing the un-repulsive in the repulsive, open our heart and mind to help others with compassion and develop infinite hope. The Abbot President blessed the devotees with “8 kinds of righteous calmness” and prayed that everyone will be “energetic in repaying the kindness of all sentient beings and live a harmonious life”.

After the event, Ven. Hui Min, President of DILA, urged all devotees to encourage their friends, family members and colleagues to enroll in the first MA program offered by the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Besides the new MA program, the Department of Buddhist Studies also offers Bachelor, Master and Doctoral programs. He added that the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen had high hopes that DILA will be a cradle of virtue and kindness that helps students in attaining mental and physical strength besides promoting lifelong learning. Moreover, the curriculum covers all levels of mental development, life, community, society and environment, in accordance with “Liberal Arts” and “protecting the spiritual environment”.

Vincent Shaw, the former Vice President of R.O.C, who made a special appearance in this event, commented that he is very grateful for the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen’s encouragement; the late Ven. Master Sheng Yen gifted Mr. Shaw with a calligraphy piece “Enrich the Nation and Benefit its People”; Mr. Shaw also expressed his appreciation to Ven. Guo Dong in leading the devotees of DDM to promote the spirit of Master Sheng Yen and praised Ven. Hui Min for his educational ideals which is lacking in the present education system. Convinced that DILA will be a university with its own unique features, Mr. Shaw revealed that the late Master appealed to him for help in setting up the University and appealed to the public to continue their support for DILA to fulfil the wish of the late Ven. Master Sheng Yen.

(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by Leefah)

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