Honorable Guests from Haiti visit the Center for Dharma Joy
On 9 April 2009, a group of 18 distinguished guests from Haiti sponsored by the Taoism Goldenmom Cultural Exchange Association made their first visit to the Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education in Jinshan Township for the purposes of learning about Chinese Buddhism and the idea of Protecting Spiritual Environment.
The guests, who were organized by the Taoism Goldenmom Cultural Exchange Association Branch Office in Haiti, included Taiwan’s Minister in Haiti, Mr. Chi Wang Der, the Usher of the Prime Minister's Office in Haiti, Ms. Caze Immacula, the former Ambassador of Haiti in South Korea, Mr. Cherdeville Jacques Renand, a Representative of Haiti, Mr. Louis Joseph Joel and Italy’s Director of Public Relations and Cooperation Office, Mrs. Johanne Affricot.
The Chairman of the Association, Mr. Thomas Cheng (Cheng Cheng-wei), outlined that the purpose of visiting the Center was to introduce the beauty of Orthodox Chinese Buddhism was to enable the guests to understand more about the culture of Chinese Chan (Zen), and to promote a cultural exchange between Haiti and Taiwan.
The Deputy Abbot of DDM, Venerable Guo Hui, welcomed the group on behalf of the Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong and the DDM Sangha community by saying that DDM is the place that pursues the goal of 'building a pure land on earth' through the method of 'Protecting the Spiritual Environment'.
Venerable Guo Hui stated that because the physical world is filled with such chaos and our minds are constantly filled with vexations, keeping a pure mind has become paramount in today's society. If everyone could always maintain a stable and clean mind with less vexation, then one’s outer world would be gradually altered to a more positive outlook. Thus, society would be naturally more peaceful.
Venerable Guo Hui’s welcoming remarks inspired many questions about DDM amongst the guests. They asked about the operations of DDM, monastic life, DDM Buddhist College and even ways to enroll in the College. Venerable Guo Hui was able to answer their questions thoroughly in a briefing session.
In order to enable a deeper understanding about the ideas of Venerable Master Sheng Yen and DDM, Venerable Guo Hui also accompanied the guests to view the film, "How Great is the Dharma Drum" and took questions again following the film.
Guests were invited to have lunch together with other domestic visitors, volunteers, and the staff in the Dinner Hall to add to their cultural experience at DDM. After lunch, a tour was led by an English interpreter by which guests learned the proper method of paying salute to the Buddhas as well as visiting locations such as the Founding History Memorial Hall, the Wish Fulfilling Guanyin Hall, the Grand Buddha Hall, and the Lotus Bell Park.
As the day came to a close in the afternoon, the guests commended the inspirational tour and said they were moved and amazed by the beauty and tranquility of the Center. Many said they would love to visit this 'pure land' again in the future.
(by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)