Special Topics

The Festival Related to Repaying Kindness

Yulanpen Festival July 15 in the Lunar calendar marks the Yulanpen Festival, one of the most important Buddhist festivals. It originated from the story which recounts how Maudgalyayana saved his mother.   According to the Yulanpen Sutra, Maudgalyayana, one of the Buddha's disciples, saw with his Divine eye (dibba-cakkhu) that his mother became a hungry ghost after death, and suffered endless tortures. He couldn't bear to see his mother suffer starvation, so he brought a basi...

​Bodhi Day: Buddha's Enlightenment Day

December 8 of the Lunar calendar is the day when Chan Buddhists eat Laba congee. How does it relate to Bodhi Day? It is said that after years of practicing asceticism, Siddhartha had become as thin as a stick. He gave up such an extreme ascetic practice, because it didn't at all help him liberate from suffering. Dragging his weak body to Phalgu River, he fell down by the river. Witnessing this, a female shepherd gave him a bowl of gruel made of grains, fruit, and water. Siddhartha rest...

Practice on Monthly Fasting Days and Experience the Monastic Life

Six Fasting Days   The Sanskrit term for fasting, Upavasatha, means "to cultivate good karma and lead a life of purity" Ancient Indian legend maintains that, on fasting days, hundreds of ghosts gained power and took advantage of humans. Thus, during these days, people abstained from meat, upheld precepts, fasted, and performed good deeds to prevent ghosts from ushering disasters. In contemporary Buddhist traditions, fasting days are considered the days when Buddhists dilige...