Pure Wisdom in Forming Good Relations Abbot President Ven. Guo Dong Visits Malaysia to Meet Devotees and Followers

Pure Wisdom in Forming Good Relations Abbot President Ven. Guo Dong Visits Malaysia to Meet Devotees and Followers

DDM’s abbot president Ven. Guo Dong paid a visit to Malaysia from July 9 to 14 with the company of Dharma Drum Mountain Sangha members, to meet with the devotees from Ipoh and local monasteries, as well as conduct Refuge Ceremonies and give lectures, sharing joy and wisdom. He was also invited to give a speech for the inauguration of Puzhao Buddhist Vihara and the 45th anniversary of the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia.

After the inauguration ceremony, Ven. Guo Dong participated in the Crisis and Opportunities for Buddhism conference, giving a Dharma talk, along with Ven. Ji Cheng and Ven. Jing Yao, for an audience of over 2,000 people. As Ven. Guo Dong pointed out, if we focus too much on the material life without uplifting our spirituality, we will end up suffering physical and mental disharmony. People tend to prefer new things to old ones, and lack the awareness to distinguish needs and wants. Chan practice can train our mind to continually go back to the method of practice instead of constantly going after the external phenomena. Including mindful awareness, repentance, and prostration practices, Chan practice helps us keep a balanced and healthy body and mind. If we can look at things on their plus side and cultivate reverse thinking, we can turn crisis into an opportunity. Also, different religious faiths should stay on good terms with each other and engage in society, working together to create a hopeful future.

In the lecture held at eight p.m. on 12 July at Syeun Hotel organized by the Dharma Drum Mountain, Ipoh, Ven. Guo Dong spoke on “Purity, Wisdom, and Forming Good Relations,” sharing with an audience of around 350 people about widely forming good relations with others whenever possible by living a life of purity, wisdom, and benefitting others, which reflects the Pure Land philosophy in Buddhism. He also said that wisdom and affliction are actually two sides of the same coin, in that we can learn to transform our affliction into bodhi, or wisdom, thereby helping deliver others. The Buddha’s teachings re quire us to cultivate both blessings and wisdom, understanding that the idea of “emptiness” as in a Buddhist saying—The five aggregates are all empty in nature—means neither nothingness nor denial of the value of our lifetime, but implies that we should detach ourselves from all phenomena, while cherishing the resources and relationships we have, as well as learning how to treat people with compassion and do things with wisdom.

Ven. Guo Dong also conducted Refuge Ceremonies respectively in the evenings of July 12 and 14, where he urged the new practitioners receiving the five precepts to keep in mind that “precepts point to purity and prompt us to keep improving ourselves, while the codes of conduct enable us to live in harmony without conflicts. This helps us set rules for a wholesome life, purify our physical, verbal, and mental actions, thereby uplifting and purifying ourselves while protecting and safeguarding others.” He also explained that by taking refuge in the Three Jewels in its true sense, we can then become a Buddhist of right faith, right knowledge, right views, right thinking, compassion, and wisdom.

After the visit in Malaysia, Ven. Guo Dong left for Thailand on July 15 with the company of the Sangha members, to meet and bless local devotees and followers.

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