On 15 January 2011, 72 couples gathered in the Grand Buddha Hall of the Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education, Jinshan District of New Taipei City to exchange wedding vows and commit to starting their new families based on Buddhist principles and guidelines.
The couples made their vows front of the Buddhas and in the presence of over a hundred family members and friends, including Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong and the President of Poh Chung Educational Foundation, Mr. Poh-Hsiung Wu.
Prior to the wedding, the Abbot President presided over the Refuge-Taking Ceremony helping new couples to take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha or the Triple Gem. Having taken refuge, he also advised and encouraged them to live their lives now following the Dharma as taught by the Buddha.
Venerable Guo Dong said that having now taken their vows in front of the Buddhas, every couple should strive to achieve a happy married life as a Buddhist family and follow the Dharma teachings which will ensure the cultivation of inner wisdom. He also advised them to use the Dharma always as their guide to resolve conflicts and problems in their daily lives.
The late Venerable Master Sheng Yen once said, "Building a pure land on earth starts with buillding a happy Buddhist family." Since 1995, there have been 824 couples who have tied the knot at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education, all making their vows with the vision of 'building a pure land on earth'.
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)