Humanistic Buddhism Workshop
June 2o, 2010, Univ. of the West
Highlights of the Workshop
This time round, the center piece of the Humanistic Buddhism Workshop on Compassion in daily practice was none other than the subject ‘Food’. The presenters for the day were Venerable Miao Hsi, Venerable Jue Ji, Venerable Jue Qian, Venerable Jue Wei, and Venerable Miao Zang.
This was perhaps one of the most informative forums organized yet, as participants who included practitioners from the temple together with students from the University of the West as well as from other California colleges such as California Baptist University, were guided through healthy dietary habits with the focus being on awareness of the individual as well as the entire surroundings.
Present also were a dozen devotees from Hsi Lai Temple together with Venerables
from both the temple as well as from University of the West. The atmosphere was
very cordial as the participants were engaged in a number of educative
discussions and activities which included Dharma Talk by Venerable Dr. Jue Ji,
meditation using the six sensory body organs led by Venerable Jue Qian, and
presentations from Venerable Miao Zang and Venerable Jue Wei.
Putting all the teachings into practice was successfully tested at lunch time as the participants were divided into three groups which were assigned different tasks during meal preparation, serving and the cleanup that followed thereafter. The seamless interaction between group members who for the most part were previously unknown to each other in getting the task at hand done with a high success rate was testimony to the team spirit that had been inculcated into the minds of all the participants.
The afternoon session was witnessed by an opening presentation by Venerable Miao Zang which also included the chanting of the Heart Sutra closely followed by the Transfer of Merits. There were round table discussions for each of the participating tables namely Cheese, Wok, Salt N Pepper, and Soy with each nominating a representative to make a brief presentation of the benefits that they achieved in working together. The groups were further given the task of transcribing the Sutra whose separate pieces were eventually joined together to form one complete Sutra.
The events of the day were culminated with an exciting round table discussion which was moderated by Venerable Miao Hsi in which participants openly talked about their overall experience and the major points that they had taken away. This was also a Q&A session with topics ranging from various life experiences with a focus on how the Buddha Dharma can play a big role in compassion and overall awareness. Participants were treated to a group photo after which each was presented with a certificate of attendance together with a free gift of one choice of any of the books on display from the Buddha’s Light Publishing. This was closely followed by the closing ceremony.
A word of thanks goes to all the Venerables, devotees, students and participants who worked tirelessly to ensure that this day’s events were concluded successfully.