2018致護法朋友們的一封信

各位護法、朋友們,大家吉祥!

春花秋月、冬去春來,時序來到了二O一八年,大師題寫了一筆字春聯「忠義傳家」祝福、勉勵大家,他表示,世間最可貴的情操是忠義,對上、對下都要忠義。忠於感情、忠於責任、忠於友誼、忠於領導; 人我有情義,天地有正義,社會有仁義,宇宙有撫育的恩義。我們要明白忠義、感謝忠義,實踐忠義,以忠義為傳家之寶。

感謝各位護持佛光山的信徒、朋友、大眾,對佛光山人間佛教的忠義護持,在此報告我們過去一年在僧信二眾的努力合作之下共同完成了什麼。首先告訴大家一個好消息,《星雲大師全集》付梓出版了!就在 五月十六日這一天,佛光山開山五十周年圓滿日,我們在藏經樓舉行《全集》新書發表會,《全集》是大師一生人間佛教的理論與實踐,也是人間佛教的百科全書、生活寶典。

此套書將大師重要的著作重新編排造冊,共三百六十五本、十二大類,三千餘萬字、五萬篇條目。十月,在國家圖書館舉辦贈書典禮,由本山功德主贊助一百套《全集》,捐贈海內外如台大、交通等知名大學 及圖書館。此外,由高希均教授領導、遠見天下文化事業群拍攝的《人間佛教─初心》紀錄片首映會及大師的著作藏書特展首站巡迴展,也同步於國家圖書館舉辦。

與大師有多年情誼的鳳凰衛視總裁劉長樂,五月來台接受南華大學頒贈管理科學榮譽博士學位,與此同時,香港中文大學沈祖堯校長也專程來山為大師頒授社會科學榮譽博士學位。而中國佛教協會會長學誠大 和尚,受邀於九月來山接受南華大學管理科學榮譽博士學位,時逢本山徒眾講習會,學誠大和尚受邀為僧眾開示;大師掛念徒眾,也數度與全球千餘位徒眾接心,勉勵大家為教發心。

為培訓佛教人才,我們在祖庭宜興大覺寺舉辦「佛光山好苗子培養計畫」,讓本山徒眾在未來有能力進行人間佛教的學術研究。此外,佛光山文教基金會承辦之協助社會家貧優秀學生成為好苗子計畫,目前首 批學生已進入普門中學就讀,第二批好苗子也成軍了。

為推動佛教學術研究,星雲文化教育公益基金會元月在祖庭宜興大覺寺頒發「二○一六年人間佛教寫作獎學金」,有北京大學、人民大學、中央民族大學等廿二位碩博俊彥獲頒。十月,在新加坡佛光山舉辦「 第四屆人間佛教青年論壇」、人間佛教研究院與上海大學在上海星雲文教館舉行「星雲大師人間佛教理論實踐研討會」;十一月,與武漢大學文學院、武漢大學中國宗教文學與宗教文獻研究中心聯合主辦的「 從文學到理論—星雲大師人間佛教思想學術研討會」在武漢大學舉行。 

佛光山文教基金會與香港中文大學合作成立之人間佛教研究中心,獲大學審核通過設立佛學研究課程,為香港大學唯一之佛學研究碩士班。佛光山系統大學也再次舉辦「大學校長論壇」,在慈惠法師指導下, 歐、美、澳、亞、印等十六國、四十餘所大學的校長學者,交流辦學經驗,建立互動平台,提升佛教大學的學術地位。

此外,佛光山系統大學在總校長暨佛光大學校長楊朝祥、南華大學校長林聰明、西來大學校長Stephen Morgan、南天大學校長Bill Lovegrove、菲律賓光明大學校長Helen Correa等五校校長的領導下,均 有優秀的表現,如南華大學囊括台灣最具影響力學術資源五項大獎,並獲教育部支持,前往印度設置「生命教育中心」;佛光大學榮獲教育部教學卓越計畫;澳洲南天大學獲「澳洲高等教育品質和標準署」認 證,同時獲得大陸政府教育部認可,並與澳洲新南威爾斯大學商業學院簽訂合作備忘錄,將南天大學前景推向另一里程碑,大師更以一筆字書法所得,捐助成立南天大學獎助學金,並於雪梨成立「星雲大師教 育基金會」,以期永續經營。菲律賓光明大學已舉行校地奠基,期為菲國青年提供良好教育環境。

巴西如來寺再遴選六位如來之子,於九月赴笈南華大學就讀。佛光童軍團相繼在巴西如來寺、印度德里文教中心成立,其中印度德里童軍團由沙彌組成,為史上第一個沙彌童軍團。南半球舉辦澳紐佛光青年生 命成長營,邁入第廿年;美國拉斯維加斯蓮華寺成立國際佛光會青年分團,為內華達州首個佛教青年團體,在誘惑極大的賭城,有一群十五至卅五歲的青年傳承佛教,實是可喜可賀。此外,繼大師在宜興大覺 寺成立雲湖書院後,人間佛教研究院也以「書院」概念,於去年九月舉辦海內外一百間書院授證典禮,帶動海內外各道場成立接引青年的佛學班。

再來,佛光山的體育弘法也寫下新頁。普門中學女籃隊三月贏得高中籃球甲級聯賽(HBL)冠軍,成軍四年的普中棒球隊在全國高中棒球聯賽獲得鋁棒組冠軍。三好體育協會分別舉辦首屆南華盃高中棒球邀請 賽及兩岸青少年棒球邀請賽,嘉義市博愛社區大學則成立「佛光山嘉義圓福寺樂齡長者棒球隊」,南華大學足球隊首度參加「大專五人制足球錦標賽」,勇奪首場冠軍。十一月,在三好體協會長賴維正及星雲 文化教育公益基金會祕書長張靜之的帶領下,佛光大學女籃隊與北京師範、清華、上海交通、浙江、南京等大學進行三好女籃大陸巡迴交流賽,欣見兩岸學子以體育來交流。

在文化出版方面,滿謙、如常、妙祥法師及楊威博士等人組成之佛光山、佛陀紀念館代表團,前往世界第二大書籍典藏的大英圖書館,捐贈《佛光大藏經》、中英文版《世界佛教美術圖說大辭典》與《佛光大 辭典》,並舉行雙邊合作交流,開啟東西方交流盛事,也為佛教的文獻典籍的研究及推廣邁進了一大步,更將本山出版品推廣至全球重要的學術及美術殿堂。

八月,覺培法師代表參加在浙江雪竇山舉辦的太虛大師圓寂七十周年紀念大會,提到《人間佛教回歸佛陀本懷》、《人間佛教思想文庫》學術研究系列等大師著作,對人間佛教有完整的說明與詮釋,為大會重 要的陳列著作,獲得與會學者一致肯定。

另外,人間衛視依開山星雲大師編著《人間佛教》叢書改編之「我愛歡喜」動畫卡通,將三好融入故事,榮獲第五十二屆電視金鐘獎「動畫節目獎」,由覺念法師代表領獎,同時還獲得二○一七美國金勳章國 際影片大賽動畫卓越獎及美國景深國際影展最佳動畫短片。

去年佛陀紀念館參加每三年一次的ICOM米蘭年會,三月成為美國博物館聯盟(AAM)會員。四月受邀參加蘇州創博會,與上海博物館、南京博物院、浙江省博物館、蘇州博物館等共同在全國博物館文創聯展 區展出;八月與金門文化園區歷史民俗博物館簽署友好博物館;十一月與河南博物館簽定友好博物館,讓全世界因佛館而看到了台灣。

佛館於國際書展暨蔬食博覽會期間,首度推出:千人曬經、千人抄經、千人茶禪、千人讀經等活動。而由揚州鑑真圖書館與揚州柳絲藝術團舉辦之「故鄉的雲──獻禮音樂會」,將大師一生弘法利生的歷程, 以交響樂、歌唱、相聲、戲劇、歌舞等多元藝術呈現人間音緣音樂會,於高雄至德堂、佛館演出,超過三千人聆聽。再者,大師在鑑真圖書館創辦的公益文化講座「揚州講壇」,開講十周年,先後邀請近二百 位各領域的主講人登壇講說,不負「北有百家(講壇),南有揚州(講壇)」的稱譽。

二○一七世界神明聯誼會更創造了宗教大融和,有法國猶太教、英國伊斯蘭教、巴西天主教,以及菲律賓、馬來西亞、新加坡及台灣等地之基督教、儒教、道教、一貫道的參與,在「愛與和平祈福音樂會」獻 唱各教聖歌、吟詩及梵唱。尤其香港三教融和的黃大仙祠及大陸武當山道教協會,均為首次蒞臨,媽祖祖廟及分支也來了十五餘家,兩岸三地總計七百家以上的宮廟團體。各宗教因慈悲無國界、音樂無國界, 共同走進佛陀紀念館聯誼,讓世界更美好。

美國休士頓中美寺也首度與史丹佛市政府合辦「青年以歌舞傳遞三好給世界」演唱會,以說唱弘法,讓人間佛教走出去;三月,墨爾本佛光協會舉辦人間音緣總決賽;五月,維也納佛光青年愛樂團以梵唄、人 間音緣、歐洲名謠、大陸及台灣名謠,於世界最著名五大音樂廳之一的維也納金色大廳演出;六月,祖庭宜興大覺寺妙士法師與宜興市音樂舞蹈家協會聯合主辦《佛光菜根譚》歌曲徵集比賽;八月,有八年歷 史的國際青年生命禪學營,吸引來自哈佛、劍橋、北京、復旦及台灣大學等名校近千位學員來山參學。佛光緣美術館總館也在九月舉辦「僧眾作品聯展」,有慧昭、道璞法師等一○四位徒眾的二二九件作品展 出,涵蓋攝影、繪畫、書法、陶藝,並頒贈獎金,鼓勵徒眾以文化弘揚佛法。

泰國第一座唐式建築泰華寺,在心定和尚的努力下,四月舉行吉祥金觀音開光儀式;當天,摩訶朱拉隆功大學與佛光山寺建教合作備忘錄簽訂儀式,為南北傳佛教共弘佛法做見證。

歷時廿年,匯聚新加坡、馬來西亞、印尼、泰國、汶萊等信眾的護持與願力,由大師賜名,寓意「新加坡和馬來西亞共有」的新馬寺,十月於新山市舉行落成典禮。大殿的玉雕壁畫「人間佛教行化圖」,呈現 了大師帶領四眾弟子於全球推動人間佛教的情景,「國際佛光會世界總會二○一七年理事會議」也在新山啟建大馬首次的禪淨共修祈福法會。

經慈容法師、滿潤法師等多年籌建下,日本佛光法水寺大雄寶殿的玉佛開光也在十月舉行,為日本最大的玉佛,新設的「伊香保溫泉佛光山法水寺」巴士站,每天有巴士從成田機場開往法水寺,接引更多人來 到伊香保。此外,在台灣也有潮州講堂於元月舉行落成典禮,新惠中寺在九月舉行奠基典禮。

台灣中部海線行腳托鉢舉辦至今已廿四年,現在地方宮廟如龍井天上聖母老四媽鑾轎團、梧棲真武宮玄天上帝神轎團都主動參與,遶境祈福,有更多信眾共同護持百萬人興學。佛館首次舉辦的「佛光大佛分香 我家」迎請法會,有三千多人共同恭迎五百尊大佛分身到世界各地供奉。為慶祝佛陀成道日法寶節,本山和全球別分院同步煮臘八粥分送大眾,共送出逾兩百萬份臘八粥,透過鳳凰網直播各地施粥盛況。

此次二○一七年供僧法會,海外友寺不約而同捐贈珍貴藏經,和大師有近四十年情誼的韓國東國大學榮譽教授法山法師,斯里蘭卡Purwarama寺代表Wickramapala Liyanarachchige居士,分別呈贈《韓國佛 教全書》、《僧伽羅大藏經》、《西藏大藏經》,典藏於佛光山藏經樓。

上世紀六○年代,星雲大師前往馬來西亞弘法期間,曾到麻坡淨業寺拜訪。去年五月,我與覺誠法師前往祝賀第三任方丈住持禪亮和尚陞座,延續大師在星馬法緣。十一月,台南大仙寺舉行新建三寶殿等諸佛 菩薩聖像開光安座大典,我代表常住前往開光;旋即出席陝西法門寺佛指舍利重光三十周年紀念暨締結兄弟寺典禮,當初佛指舍利重現時,趙樸初長者曾以:「影骨非一亦非異,了如一月映三江」贊頌,大師 也特別贈與一筆字「千江有水千江月,萬里無雲萬里天」的對聯表示祝福。

覺誠法師應馬來西亞佛教青年總會邀請,在東馬舉辦三場「認清附佛外道」巡迴座談會,又與大馬十三個佛教團體在吉隆坡舉辦「清流論壇」,再與該國五大中文報合辦「媒體論壇」,促進種族與宗教和諧。

慧傳法師應邀前往湖北武漢,在「台鄂佛教文化交流與兩岸融合發展論壇」上,闡述星雲大師提出的「復興中華文化,佛教不可缺席,尤其在全世界重視中華文化的現今。」北島佛光山的滿信法師,近兩年半 ,積極將二萬多本星雲大師英文著作《366 Day’s with Wisdom》,送至各旅館,接引政府及不同宗教團體,如紐西蘭人權委員會團隊、奧克蘭多元宗教交流委員會,讓更多人認識人間佛教與中華文化。

中華人間佛教聯合總會組成「兩岸南北傳佛教融合交流訪問團」,由大陸廈門市佛教協會、台灣中國佛教會、佛光山教團、福智僧團、靈鷲山教團等兩岸佛教中青代,首訪緬甸、泰國交流,為兩岸佛教界首次 聯合展開南北傳交流訪問。

巴西如來寺與羅馬天主教會舉行宗教聯誼會,恭迎阿帕雷西達聖母蒞臨如來寺,與佛教教主釋迦牟尼佛,一同接受大眾的參拜及祈福,會中有「世界和平籲請書」,由南美洲總住持妙遠法師代表大師,與聖保 羅州樞機主教Cardeal Odilo及區主教Dom Bosco共同簽署,見證巴西人間佛教與天主教交流的歷史性一刻。

其實,想講述的弘法報告太多,紙短情長,唯有感謝佛陀的慈悲加護、大師的帶領,以及全球信徒、大眾、有緣人有情有義的護持。新的一年,我們僧信二眾,發願秉持大師「忠義傳家」的精神,人人本著正 義、仁義的菩薩義工情懷,跟隨大師推動人間佛教的腳步,繼續教育、文化、體育、藝術、音樂的弘法,將菩提種子播散人間。

在此也祝福大家,奮起飛揚,福慧圓滿!

佛光山宗務委員會
宗長心保暨全體宗委 合十
二○一八年元旦

A Letter to Dharma Protectors and Friends in 2018

Dear Dharma Protectors and Friends,

Auspicious greetings!

Spring flowers, autumn moon, winter goes, and spring arrives once again. As the seasons follow their order of time, we welcome 2018. Venerable Master Hsing Yun gives his blessings and encouragement to all through his spring couplet, “A Family of Loyalty and Honor.” Loyalty and honor are most important in life. We must remain loyal and righteous towards people. We must stay loyal in our relationships, responsibilities, friendships, and towards our leaders. We must show sensibility towards human relationships, remain righteous towards the world, have benevolence for society, and sense our connection with the whole universe. It is essential to understand, be grateful for, realize, and keep as family legacy the spirits of loyalty and honor.

We are thankful to all our devotees, Dharma friends, and the general public for your loyalty and honor in supporting Fo Guang Shan’s propagation of Humanistic Buddhism. I would like to report to you all on what we have accomplished this past year through the collaboration of both monastics and laity.

Firstly, good news: the Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun has been published! On May 16, the last day of Fo Guang Shan’s 50th anniversary, we launched the Complete Works at FGS Sutra Repository. The Complete Works, an embodiment of Venerable Master’s lifelong principles and actualization of Humanistic Buddhism, is an encyclopedia of Humanistic Buddhism and an invaluable guide for living.

The publication is a compilation of Venerable Master’s major works, consisting of 365 volumes, twelve categories, more than 30,000,000 characters, and over 50,000 entries. In October, a book donation ceremony was held at the Taiwan National Central Library where 100 sets of the Complete Works were donated by Fo Guang Shan’s benefactors to renowned universities and libraries worldwide, such as Taiwan National University and Jiao Tong University. Furthermore, the documentary Humanistic Buddhism: Initial Resolve, produced under the leadership of Prof. Charles H.C. Kao, CEO of Commonwealth Corporation, premiered alongside the opening of an exhibition on Venerable Master’s collected writings at the National Central Library.

In May, Phoenix Television CEO Liu Changle, for many years a devoted friend of Venerable Master, was conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Management Science from Nanhua University, Taiwan. Concurrently, Vice Chancellor Joseph Sung of the Chinese University of Hong Kong specially came to Fo Guang Shan to bestow on Venerable Master an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Social Science. In September, Most Venerable Xuecheng, President of the Chinese Buddhist Association, accepted an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Management Science from Nanhua University at Fo Guang Shan. The ceremony coincided with the annual FGS Monastic Seminar, and Most Venerable Xuecheng was invited to speak to the assembly of monastics. Always caring for his disciples, Venerable Master spoke on several occasions to the gathering of over a thousand disciples from around the world, encouraging everyone to strive for Buddhism.

To nurture Buddhist talents, we initiated the Fo Guang Shan Seeds of Hope Project at Fo Guang Shan’s Ancestral Temple, Dajue Temple in Yixing, to provide monastic disciples opportunities to engage in academic research on Humanistic Buddhism. Moreover, Fo Guang Shan Cultural and Educational Foundation implemented a project that fosters the talents of worthy students from disadvantaged families. The first batch of students are currently enrolled in Pu-Men High School, while the second batch of young talents has been recruited.

In promoting academic research on Buddhism, the Master Hsing Yun Cultural and Educational Foundation (Mainland China) presented the 2016 Humanistic Buddhism Writing Scholarships at Dajue Temple in January. 22 outstanding graduate scholars from Beijing University, Renmin University, and Minzu University were recognized.

In October, the 4th Humanistic Buddhism Youth Forum was held at FGS Singapore; and the Academic Conference on Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s Theory and Practice of Humanistic Buddhism, jointly organized by the FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism and Shanghai University, was held at the Hsing Yun Cultural and Educational Center in Shanghai. In November, Wuhan University College of Chinese Language and Literature, and Wuhan University Institute for Chinese Religious Literature and Scriptures jointly conducted a seminar on Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s philosophy on Humanistic Buddhism from literature to theory.

The Centre for the Study of Humanistic Buddhism, jointly founded by FGS Cultural and Education Foundation and Chinese University of Hong Kong, received university accreditation to offer research programs on Buddhism, becoming the only master’s degree program in Buddhist Studies in Hong Kong. Under the guidance of Venerable Tzu Hui, the FGS International University Consortium again held the University Presidents Forum. Presidents and scholars of over 40 colleges from 16 countries in Europe, America, Australia, and Asia came together for exchanges on their educational endeavors, building a platform for interactions and enhancing the academic status of Buddhist universities.

urthermore, under the leadership of FGS International University Consortium President and Fo Guang University President Dr. Yung Chaur-Shin, Nanhua University President Lin Tsong-Ming, University of the West President Stephen Morgan, Nan Tien Institute President Bill Lovegrove, and Guang Ming College President Helen Correa, much has been accomplished. Nanhua University was recognized as most influential in five categories of academic research in Taiwan and received support from the Ministry of Education in establishing a Life Education Center in India. Fo Guang University was honored by the Ministry of Education for its outstanding academic planning program.

Nan Tien Institute in Australia received accreditation from the country’s Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) as well as the recognition of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. A memorandum was signed with the New South Wales University Business School, a milestone furthering the development of Nan Tien Institute. Venerable Master donated proceeds from his One-Stroke Calligraphy works to establish the Nan Tien Institute Scholarship, and the Hsing Yun Education Foundation (Australia) was founded in Sydney for the institute’s sustainable development. Guang Ming College in the Philippines already conducted its foundation stone laying ceremony for its campus in hopes of providing Filipino students an exceptional educational environment.

In September, Zu Lai Temple in Brazil again selected six “Sons of Zu Lai” to study at Nanhua University. BLIA Scouts Troops were established at Zu Lai Temple in Brazil and the FGS Cultural and Educational Center New Delhi, India. The latter consists of sramaneras becoming the first sramanera scouts troop. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Australia New Zealand Buddhist Youth Conference entered its 20th year. FGS Lian Hua Temple in Las Vegas, USA established its BLIA YAD subdivision, the first Buddhist youth group in the state of Nevada. It is indeed worthy of recognition when a group of 15 to 30 year-old youths is able to carry the torch of Buddhism in a city full of temptations. Moreover, after Venerable Master founded Yunhu Academy at Dajue Temple in Yixing, the Fo Guang Shan Institute of Humanistic Buddhism also sanctioned the concept of shuyuan (“academy”) in certifying 100 academies worldwide last September, sowing the seeds for branch temples around the world to conduct courses in Buddhism for young adults.

Additionally, Fo Guang Shan’s Dharma propagation through sports has turned a new page. In March, Pu-Men High School Girls Basketball Team won the championship for HBL Class A. Its baseball team, formed just four years ago, was champion of the Aluminum Bat Division. The Three Acts of Goodness Sports Association conducted the 1st Nanhua Cup High School Baseball Tournament and the Cross-Strait Youth Baseball Tournament. Chiayi Open University established the FGS Chiayi Yuan Fu Temple Seniors Baseball Team. On its first participation, Nanhua University’s soccer team won the Collegiate Five-Player Soccer Tournament. In November, led by Three Acts of Goodness Sports Association President Lai Wei-cheng as well as Master Hsing Yun Cultural and Educational Foundation (Mainland China) Secretary General Zhang Jing-zhi, the Fo Guang University Women’s Basketball Team played against Normal University and Tsinghua University in Beijing, Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, and Nanjing University in Zhejiang. It was heart-warming to witness students holding Cross-Strait sport exchanges.

In terms of cultural publishings, Venerable Man Chien, Venerable Ru Chang, Venerable Miao Shiang, and Dr. Yang Wei led a delegation from Fo Guang Shan and the Buddha Museum in donating the Fo Guang Buddhist Canon, Chinese and English editions of the Encyclopedia of Buddhist Art, and the Fo Guang Buddhist Dictionary to the Great British Library, holder of the world’s second largest collection of books. The event opened new opportunities for bilateral cooperation, initiating cultural exchanges between the East and the West. It is a major step for the research and popularization of Buddhist scriptures and writings, introducing Fo Guang Shan publications into significant international venues of academia and arts.

In August, Venerable Chueh Pei participated in the memorialization of the 70th anniversary of Master Taixu’s passing at Mt. Xuedou in Zhejiang. She presented an analysis on Humanistic Buddhism based on the academic publications by Venerable Master such as Humanistic Buddhism: Holding True to the Original Intents of Buddha, and the Series on Humanistic Buddhism Philosophy. The volumes were key exhibits at the event, receiving recognition from participating scholars.

Furthermore, BLTV’s “I Love Happiness” animated series, based on Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s Humanistic Buddhism Series and filled with Three Acts of Goodness stories, won the 52nd Golden Bell Award for Animation Program. Venerable Chueh Nien accepted the award on behalf of Fo Guang Shan The production also won the Accolade at the Global Film Competition 2017 Awards of Excellence and 2017 Best of Show at the Depth of Field International Film Festival Competition in the US.

Last year, FGS Buddha Museum participated in the ICOM (International Council of Museums) conference in Milan, held once every three years. In March, the Museum was accepted as a member of the American Alliance of Museum (AAM). In April, the Museum participated in a joint exhibition with Shanghai Museum, Nanjing Museum, Zhejiang Museum, and Suzhou Museum at the Creative & Design Cultural Industry Expo in Suzhou. It also signed an alliance to be sister museums with Taiwan’s Kinmin History and Folk Museum in August and Henan Museum in November, promoting Taiwan on an international level.

During the annual International Book Fair and Vegetarian Expo, the Buddha Museum for the first time, organized a series of activities such as sutra sunning, sutra copying, tea and chan, and sutra reading, with over a thousand participants each. Jianzhen Library in Yangzhou and the Yangzhou Willow Silk Art Troupe jointly held the “Cloud of the Hometown: Music Concert,” a Sound of the Human World presentation of Venerable Master’s lifelong Dharma propagation in diverse art forms such as symphony music, songs, comic dialogue, drama, and musicals. The presentation was held at Chi Te Hall in Kaohsiung and the Buddha Museum, attended by over 3,000 people. The Yangzhou Forum, established by Venerable Master for conducting public cultural talks, entered its 10th anniversary. It invited around 200 speakers from various fields to present at the forum, truly worthy of the renown presented in the popular Chinese saying, “Baijia Forum in the north, Yangzhou Forum in the south.”

The 2017 Reunion of Religious Associations enriched religious harmony with delegations from Judaism in France, Islam in the UK Catholicism in Brazil, as well as Christian, Confucian, Daoist, and I-Kuan Tao followers in Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan. They came together to sing hymns, recite poems, and chant at the Love and Peace Prayer Concert. Notable first¬time participants were Wong Tai Sin Temple from Hong Kong, a region where the three traditional Chinese religions are practiced in harmony, and Mt. Wudang Daoist Association from China Over 700 temples and organizations from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau participated in the event, including about fifteen Mazu temples and sects. Because compassion and music are without borders, religions come together at the Buddha Museum for fellowship and exchange to make the world a better place.

FGS Chung Mei Temple in Houston collaborated with Stafford City to organize the Youth Represents the World Concert to spread the words of Humanistic Buddhism through song and lecture. In March, BLIA Melbourne held the Sounds of the Human World singing competition. In May, the Vienna Fo Guang Youth Symphony Orchestra performed Buddhist music, songs from Sounds of the Human World, European music as well as famous songs from China and Taiwan at the Musikverein, one of five world-renowned concert halls. In June, at Fo Guang Shan’s Ancestral Monastery, Dajue Temple in Yixing, Venerable Miao Shi joined the Yixing Dancers Association in holding the Humble Table, Wise Fare music competition.

In August, the International Youth Seminar of Life and Ch’an entered its eighth year, attracting close to a thousand students from Harvard, Cambridge, Beijing, Fudan, and Taiwan National universities to learn at Fo Guang Shan. In September, Fo Guang Yuan Main Art Gallery conducted the Joint Exhibition of Monastic Artworks, a display of 229 pieces of artistic creations in photography, painting, calligraphy, and ceramics by 104 monastic disciples, including Venerable Hui Chao and Venerable Dao Pu. Awards were given for outstanding works as encouragement for spreading the Dharma through cultural endeavors.

FGS Thaihua Temple, through the efforts of Most Venerable Hsin Ting, held the inauguration of its Auspicious Gold Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva statue in April, the first temple in Thailand featuring Chinese architecture. On the same day, Mahachulalongkom University and Fo Guang Shan Monastery signed a memorandum of collaboration, a testimony to Southern and Northern traditions joining together to propagate the Dharma.

Fo Guang Shan Hsingma Temple in Johor Bahru, Malaysia (so named by Venerable Master to signify “joint ownership by Singapore and Malaysia”) was inaugurated in October after twenty years of support and through the vows of devotees in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Brunei. The jade mural in its Main Shrine, The Spread of Humanistic Buddhism Teachings, depicts scenes of Venerable Master leading the four divisions of disciples in propagating Humanistic Buddhism worldwide. The 2017 BLIA World Headquarters Board of Directors Meeting was held at the temple and Malaysia’s first Chan and Pure Land Prayer Ceremony was also conducted.

Construction of FGS Housuiji Temple was made possible through many years of planning by Venerable Tzu Jung and Venerable Man Run. The jade buddha statue inside its main shrine was inaugurated in October and becoming the largest of its kind in Japan. The newly installed “Ikaho Onsen FGS Housuiji Temple” bus stop provides transportation services from Narita Airport to FGS Housuiji Temple, helping to bring more people to the Ikaho Onsen region In Taiwan, Chao Chou Temple conducted its opening ceremony in January and the New Hui Chung Temple held its foundation stone laying ceremony in September.

The central Taiwan alms-round along the coast has been held for twenty-four years. Local Daoist temples such as Longching Tianshang Shengmu Laosima Temple and Wuchi Chenwugong Hsuantien Deity Temple also offered to participate in the event. The alms rounds offered blessings for the local communities, providing the opportunity for more people to join in supporting the Million-Member Fundraising Campaign for the universities. The FGS Buddha Museum held the first “Bringing Home the Fo Guang Big Buddha” Dharma service with more than 3,000 people welcoming 500 statues of the Fo Guang Big Buddha into their homes around the world for enshrinement. In celebration of Dharma Day, the Buddha’s enlightenment, Fo Guang Shan Headquarters and FGS branch temples worldwide cooked laba porridge for the public to enjoy. Over two million bowls of laba porridge were distributed, and the activities were broadcast live by Phoenix Television.

At the 2017 Sangha Day celebration, overseas temples donated priceless Buddhist canons. Venerable Sim San, Venerable Master’s friend for almost 40 years and honorary professor at Dongguk University in Korea, as well as Mr. Wickramapala Liyanarachchige from Purwarama Temple in Sri Lanka, presented the Korean Buddhism Volumes, Sanghaloka Canon, and the Tibetan Buddhist Canon, all housed at the Fo Guang Shan Sutra Repository.

In the 1960s, Venerable Master Hsing Yun went to Malaysia to spread the Dharma, and he visited Jin Ye Temple in Muar. In May, Venerable Chueh Cheng and I went to offer our congratulations to its third Abbot Most Venerable Chan Liang at his installation ceremony, enhancing the Dharma connection of Venerable Master in Malaysia and Singapore. In November, Tainan’s Ta Hsien Temple held an inauguration ceremony for its newly constructed Main Shrine and Buddha statues. On behalf of FGS, I was present at the event In November, Famen Temple in Shanxi celebrated the 30th anniversary of the rediscovery of the Buddha’s finger bone relic and also for the temple alliance signing ceremony. When the Buddha’s finger relic was first discovered, Elder Zhao Puchu offered a verse in praise: “Shadow bone is not one and not different clear as the moon reflecting in three rivers.” Venerable Master also wrote a piece of One-Stroke Calligraphy marking the special occasion to offer his blessings, “A thousand moons reflected in a thousand rivers, ten-thousand miles of cloudlessness are ten-thousand miles of sky.”

Venerable Chueh Cheng was invited by the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia to three seminars on “How to Recognize Cults Claiming to be Buddhist” in Eastern Malaysia She also joined 13 Malaysian Buddhist organizations in Kuala Lumpur for a “Clean Stream Forum,” as well as jointly conducting a “Media Forum” with the country’s five major Chinese newspapers for enhancing harmony between different ethnic groups and religions.

Venerable Hui Chuan was invited to Wuhan, Hubei, for the Taiwan and Hubei Buddhist Cultural Exchange and Cross-Strait Harmonious Development Forum. He explained the concepts behind Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s words, “In the revival of Chinese culture. Buddhism cannot be absent especially now when the whole world is placing significant importance on Chinese culture.” For past two and a half years, Venerable Man Shin of FGS New Zealand - North Island, has tirelessly distributed over 20,000 copies of 366 Days with Wisdom by Venerable Master to hotels across the country. She has successfully made connections with various government agencies and religious organizations such as the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and Auckland City Interfaith Project, allowing more people to know about Humanistic Buddhism and Chinese culture.

The United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua, organized the Delegation for Buddhist Development to Myanmar and Thailand, consisting of a new generation of leaders from Xiamen Buddhist Association, Buddhist Association of the Republic of China (BAROC), Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, Bliss and Wisdom Sangha and Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society to promote dialogue between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. It was the association’s first visit to Myanmar and Thailand, fostering initial exchanges for Cross-Strait Buddhists between Northern and Southern traditions.

Zu Lai Temple in Brazil held a religious fellowship meeting with Roman Catholics. It welcomed Our Lady of Aparecida to Zu Lai Temple, and together with Sakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, accepted prayers and homage from the public. “A Pledge for World Peace” was jointly signed by FGS South America Chief Abbess Venerable Miao Yuan, on behalf of Venerable Master, Sao Paulo Cardinal Odilo and Bishop Dom Bosco, a historic affirmation of religious exchanges between Humanistic Buddhism and Catholics in Brazil.

Certainly, there are many more Dharma propagation reports, but there is too much to relate and too little time. We are thankful to the Buddha for his compassionate blessings, Venerable Master for his leadership, as well as devotees worldwide, the general public, and those with affinities with the Dharma for their devotion and support In the new year, we, both monastics and laity, resolve to uphold the spirit of Venerable Master’s “A Family of Loyalty and Honor.” Together, we shall embrace the honor, righteousness, and benevolence of bodhisattva volunteers, following the footsteps of Venerable Master in propagating Humanistic Buddhism through endeavors in education, culture, sports, arts, and music in spreading the Dharma, sowing Bodhi seeds in this world.

My best wishes for you all to thrive and be fulfilled in merits and wisdom!

Hsin Bao
Head Abbot
Chairperson, Fo Guang Board of Directors
New Year’s Day, 2018
(Translated by Ven. Miao Hsi, edited by FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism)