【2019致護法朋友們的一封信】

各位護法、朋友們,大家吉祥!
「千門萬戶曈曈日,總把新桃換舊符」,2019己亥年是豬年。十二生肖中,豬,代表一個循環的圓滿和繼起。星雲大師題寫「諸事吉祥」一筆字春聯,祝福大家,身心自在。
兩年前,大師腦部手術,在高雄長庚醫療團隊的照護下,復原良好。92歲的大師說:「我沒有痛苦,我沒有生病,只是有點不方便。」心繫兩岸和平及人間佛教的發展,大師說:「我還要更努力。」佛世難逢,大善知識難遇,僧信二眾當奮起飛揚,追隨大師推動人間佛教的腳步。
休養中的大師,為幫助優秀貧困的「好苗子」,勉力書寫「病後字」與人結緣。陸續在佛光山傳燈樓、南京天隆寺、溧陽博物館展出,期盼更多有緣人共同響應,讓台灣、印度、菲律賓、巴西、南非等偏鄉學子,因教育改變人生,進而成為國家社會的棟梁。

{佛教藝文結合,音樂弘萬億國中}

文化藝術無遠弗屆,大師一生以文心行佛,藏經樓近百米的石刻一筆字,展現人間佛教的要義。前總統馬英九先生參觀後稱許:「星雲大師的一筆字就是現代佛經最好的詮釋」。藏經樓平日也以一筆字法座會,接引十方信眾。
佛陀紀念館在館長如常法師與五位副館長依潤、永融、永均、如元、有賢法師等齊心努力下,文化、教育、藝術各弘法事業日益蓬勃發展。如1月,針對《佛光大藏經》、《世界佛教美術圖說大辭典》的數位資料庫、展覽交換等赴倫敦和大英圖書館討論合作計畫。
3月,星雲大師一筆字書法展,在歐盟立法基地布魯塞爾歐洲議會大廈開幕,前斯洛文尼亞總理Lojze Peterle、匈牙利的歐洲議員Adam Kosa等人出席,比利時智庫歐盟亞洲中心主任 Fraser Cameron讚歎,大師推動的人間佛教與歐洲議會重視和平與和諧契合。
5月佛館與英國杜倫大學、東方文化博物館聯合策展「與佛同行──發現佛陀的故鄉」,展出佛陀誕生地「藍毗尼園」最新考古研究成果,並有多國考古學者專家進行國際學術研討會。
為了推動佛教辦學國際化,佛光山系統大學總校長楊朝祥、南華大學校長林聰明及覺元、覺禹法師等11月攜手策劃第三屆「大學校長論壇」,來自17個國家地區、46所大學、126位校長及專家學者與會,建立佛教大學的資源平台。大師出席致意,並以佛教〈十修歌〉、〈雲湖之歌〉、〈觀音發願文〉祝福與會者。
音樂是大師弘法上大力倡導的善巧方便,佛館邀請江蘇省演藝集團來台演出歌劇《鑑真東渡》,菲律賓的《佛陀傳──悉達多太子》音樂劇在美國紐約各地演出,經由音樂弘法加深兩岸、東西文化交流。

{人才永續培養,戮力不懈}

「三好運動」屆滿二十周年,大師勉勵全球佛光人要把歡喜、平安、吉祥撒播人間,共建「三好社會」。菲律賓光明大學在校長Dr. Helen Correa、永光、妙淨法師努力下,走入百所校園推動「三好運動」,首屆27位畢業生,邁向人生的新里程。
南天大學在校長Bill Lovegrove、滿可、覺舫、覺瑋法師的努力下,獲澳洲教育部核准增設佛教研修學所,開設人間佛教研究生證書課程,「人間佛教」正式納入澳洲教育體系,開啟全球高等教育先河;南華大學獲頒我國最高榮譽的經營品質獎項「國家品質獎─永續發展典範獎」。西來大學新任校長張錫峯,加入佛光山教育團隊。
人才永續培養,刻不容緩,由慈惠法師指導的五大洲學術弘法,除了人間佛教研究院,在南天大學、香港中文大學、美國西來大學、南華大學以及佛光大學,亦設立人間佛教研究中心。
設在藏經樓的「人間佛教徒眾短期研究班」,每年提供世界各地領職的徒眾回山進修,深化人間佛教思想。海內外別分院開辦青年書院以及大覺文化培訓班等,為佛光山叢林學院增加許多優秀人才,全球16所佛學院也為培養人才戮力不懈。
每年由妙凡法師、程恭讓教授舉辦的「星雲大師人間佛教理論實踐研究學術研討會」、人間佛教座談會等,出版專書、翻譯著作已達50餘本。來自世界各地數百位佛教學者,已然建立人間佛教的共識。誠如大師所言:「倡導人間佛教,才是佛教未來的前途,是世界的一道光明。」
感念佛陀恩德,大師曾八次到印度,復興印度佛教是大師的心願。印度新德里沙彌學園近百位沙彌在慧顯法師、黃進寶教士努力下績效斐然,繼續深造者,如:南京大學的乘光、乘戒;佛光大學的乘提、乘量、乘迦;泰國摩訶朱拉隆功大學的乘法、乘福、乘菩。菩提迦耶的印度佛學院,由妙軒法師引領師生們以「大樹下的課堂」,將「三好」帶入印度社會,頗受當地人士肯定。
在大師的鼓勵支持之下,覺誠法師帶領佛光人在印度清奈設立「佛光希望之村」,改善村民生活,並舉行皈依儀式;在斯里蘭卡、印度大吉嶺、尼泊爾興辦「三好學堂」,為失學的青少年,提供受教育、翻轉生命的契機。

{透過文字般若,加快佛教本土化}

透過文字般若的菩提種子,能在各地生根茁壯,開花結果,為熱惱的世間帶來芬芳與清涼。
11月中旬,佛光祖庭宜興大覺寺雲湖書院舉辦人間佛教經典研修班,以大師著作《佛法真義》,引領眾人看見佛陀「示教利喜」的本懷,從積極樂觀中,重新估定義理的價值。
2016年出版的《星雲大師全集》,由佛光文化滿觀法師及佛光山資訊中心慧肇法師等集體創作,推出繁體版《星雲大師全集》APP,大師慈示免費提供大家使用,期以人間佛教的法雨潤澤人心。
更令人鼓舞的是,《星雲大師全集》發布會和論壇走進倫敦英國國會。並在國會內舉辦星雲大師一筆字展覽和佛誕慶祝活動,同時,由國會主席正式宣佈倫敦佛光山為英國國會教育推廣部門的佛教首席代表。
大師葡文版《成佛之道》,日文版《人間佛教的行者──星雲大師》漫畫、韓文版《佛光祈願文》也問世了。再者,人間佛教研究院國際中心妙光法師帶領團隊搜羅人間佛教專業用語,完成《人間佛教中英文辭彙選》,提供全球人士研究,並陸續在美加等地培訓英語弘法人才,加快佛教本土化腳步。
由佛館、人間佛教研究院聯合舉辦「2018神明聯誼會學術會議」暨「中華傳統宗教總會幹部成長營」,有來自海峽兩岸、菲律賓等專家學者,發表七年來舉辦八屆的「世界神明聯誼會」之研究成果。與會學者對大師對二千多年的民間宗教,取名為「中華傳統宗教」,深表贊同。三年前,大師發起成立「中華傳統宗教總會」,由王金平擔任總會長,陳嘉隆為祕書長,致力各宗教的往來聯誼,如大師所言:「宗教之間,同中存異,異中不必求同,神明就好像燈光,這個也亮,那個也亮,而彼此光光無礙。」各個宗教在世界每個角落,照亮人間。

{以出世的發心,做入世的事業}

佛光祖庭宜興大覺寺在妙士、妙笙法師等人建設下,第四期工程即將峻工,歡迎大家前往參訪。為更妥善的關照員工,大師慈示負責營建工程的慧知法師興建「吉祥樓」,於11月初已完成。覺方、妙志法師接力重建蘭陽仁愛之家,於9月底舉行落成啟用典禮,作為長者的安養樂園。
歷經17年,連接南天寺與南天大學的南天大橋,在7月亦正式啟用。新州州長Gladys Berejiklian及臥龍崗市長Gordon Bradbery均代表出席,意謂東西文化的交流深化,也象徵佛教辦學受到當地政府的肯定支持。
大師為鼓勵佛教團結、兩岸友好,由台灣佛教界所成立之「中華人間佛教聯合總會」,亦首度與「中國佛教協會」共同訪問日本,大正大學校長大塚伸夫表示兩岸佛教攜手來訪,必將納入日本佛教史冊。同時,也在兩岸佛教代表熱誠的邀請下,日本各宗派領袖更出席佛光山「法水寺」落成典禮,這所莊嚴的寺院,在滿潤、覺用法師等人努力下,歷經15年終於完成。中國佛教協會副會長湛如法師表示:「法水寺乃鑑真大師後,中國佛教在日本發展的重要里程碑。」
大師說:「佛光山要以出世的發心,做入世的事業,朝文化、體育、音樂、藝術等面向,把與民眾生活有關係的,想方法來給他。」
由「公益信託星雲大師教育基金」成立的「真善美傳播獎」,今年邁入十周年,11月,主任委員、天下遠見創辦人高希均教授舉辦「2018第十屆星雲真善美傳播論壇──新時代傳播媒體的機會與挑戰」,邀請歷屆得獎者:張作錦、陳長文、柴松林、李濤、沈春華、王健壯等媒體界翹楚,於台北道場共論媒體的社會價值及全球化的挑戰與機會。
體育弘法在「三好體育協會」會長賴維正、慧知、慧功法師的努力下,八個球隊頻頻告捷,如:南華大學棒球隊,以創隊3年的年輕資歷,奪得梅花旗亞軍,創下台灣棒球史上,成軍資歷最短、打進梅花旗冠亞軍賽的紀錄;普門中學女子籃球隊,在HBL全國高中籃球聯賽成功二連霸;普門中學棒球隊,拿下全國高中棒球聯賽鋁棒組冠軍、木棒組的亞軍。除了頻創佳績,隊員在各種場合的自律、品德、禮貌、笑容,不僅改變體壇文化,並被列為教育培訓的學習目標。

{推動信仰傳承,實現和諧社會}

人間佛教在五大洲百花齊放,全球佛光人今年又再度回到本山出席國際佛光會世界大會,這次大會主題以「信仰與傳承」,期許佛光人將正信佛教代代傳承,以令正法永續。同時,感謝大家對心保的肯定,受任為第七屆總會長,劉長樂、劉招明為副總會長,並聘任署理會長慈容法師,法制長吳志揚、財務長陳居、祕書長覺培法師,繼續為佛光會員服務,共同發心推動人間佛教在全球之發展。
「第五屆世界佛教論壇」,10月在大陸福建莆田舉行,有55個國家地區出席。佛光山五大洲等20餘位代表受邀,由心保率隊前往,並代表大師作大會主題發言,同行法師亦分別發表人間佛教在世界各國的發展,受到與會者之迴響,讚許大師的遠見與弘觀,對佛光山為佛教國際化帶來嶄新的一頁。
大師說,凡偉大的人事物,都懂得「平等」。每個人若要讓自己「偉大」起來,就要有「平等心」。
3月,國際佛光會以聯合國NGO會員身分,由覺培、永固、滿謙、覺誠、有望法師等代表,首度出席「聯合國婦女地位委員會」(CSW62),並宣揚星雲大師落實平等的精神,由南非南華寺「天龍隊」學生代表,分享了非洲的村莊女孩如何翻轉生命的故事。
11月,世界最大的跨宗教會議「世界宗教議會」在多倫多會議中心舉行,80個國家代表參加,佛光山美加道場法師們出席及專題發表「人間佛教──女性教育」,多倫多佛光山、美國佛光出版社聯合於展覽區設置佛光文化書攤,推介《人間佛教何處尋》等書。同時,荷蘭「第三屆和平會議」,佛光山荷華寺妙益法師受邀出席,是唯一的佛教代表,也是唯一的女性演講者,依大會主題「建立融和的社會」,發表英文演說。
12月,「國際佛光會中華總會2018年會員代表大會」有2000人參與,選出新任總會長趙怡博士以及副總會長趙翠慧、丁守中、吳欽杉,監事長潘維剛。

{融入國際社會,廣結人間善緣}

人間佛教在世界各地能夠給人接受,受到肯定,這是僧信二眾共同傳播佛陀的慈悲與智慧所成就。
1月慶祝佛陀成道日法寶節。都監院和世界各地別分院,在僧信二眾齊心協力下,全球送出超過250萬碗臘八粥。
佛光山、佛陀紀念館與巴西如來寺,從2014年起,連續五年獲TripAdvisor貓途鷹優等證書,雙雙躋身Hall of Fame名人堂。佛館還躍登紐西蘭發行量最大的《先驅報》。美國佛光出版社印行大師《星雲禪話》,榮獲美國圖書「活在當下」精神領導項目「銅牌獎」;人間衛視《我愛歡喜》3D動畫,榮獲第13個獎項──澳洲影像國際影展「動畫獎TOP10」,並入圍第五十三屆電視金鐘獎「動畫節目獎」。
童軍發源地在英國,以基督教義發展110年後,英國童軍史上,首次全團以佛教童軍誓言宣誓的英國佛光童軍團成立,引起英國主流媒體英國《衛報》、英國廣播公司BBC和英國獨立電視台ITV和各界關注,為人間佛教在歐洲多元宗教開展寫下歷史。
此外,紐西蘭南島佛光山榮獲2018年「基督城園藝獎」;邁阿密佛光山接受塔瑪拉克市市長Harry Dressler頒發褒揚狀,並宣布5月為「釋迦牟尼佛誕辰紀念月」,以5月20日為「釋迦牟尼佛感恩日」。
11月,西來寺慶祝建寺落成三十周年紀念。美國史上首位女性台美人州參議員張玲齡(Ling Ling Chang)與參議員艾丘利塔(Bob Archuleta),把掛在美國國會山莊、象徵最高榮譽的美國國旗頒贈給西來寺,表彰西來寺對美國社會的貢獻,由住持慧東法師代表接受。
12月,世界神明聯誼會聚集海內外768家宮廟、3478尊神尊來到佛館,創下「世界最多佛像與神像同時聚集的全球多元宗教聯誼會」世界紀錄,宗教融和,平等美好。
佛光山開山即將邁入53年,大師說:「我的人生沒有個人,我的人生是大家的,能為大眾貢獻發心才重要。」只要我們效法大師無私、無我的精神,人人落實五戒十善、六度四攝、三好四給,人間佛教便能在世界上發光發熱,實現五和「自心和悅,家庭和順,人我和敬,社會和諧,世界和平」的人間淨土。大眾共勉之。

敬祝大家
人和家慶 諸事吉祥

佛光山宗務委員會
宗長心保暨全體宗委 合十
二○一九年元旦

【A Letter to Dharma Protectors and Friends in 2019】

Dear Dharma protectors and friends,
Auspicious greetings!
“In every home a new day dawns; old peach wood charms are replaced anew.” 2019 is the Year of the Pig. Of the twelve zodiac signs, the pig symbolizes a way to round up the year and start a new beginning of life. For this year’s One-Stroke Calligraphy spring couplet, Venerable Master Hsing Yun writes “Always Well-rounded and Auspicious,” wishing everyone perfect ease in body and mind.
Under the care of his Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital medical team, Venerable Master has recovered well from his craniotomy two years ago. At 92 years old, Venerable Master says, “I am not in pain, nor am I sick. I am only slightly inconvenienced.” Concerned about Cross-Strait peace and the development of Humanistic Buddhism, Venerable Master says, “I need to work harder.” As it is rare to encounter the Buddha’s teachings and have such a great Dharma teacher, both monastic and lay disciples should strive vigorously to follow in Venerable Master’s footsteps of propagating Humanistic Buddhism.
As a part of his recovery, Venerable Master continues to write One-Stroke Calligraphy to build affinities and support outstanding but underprivileged students in the Seeds of Hope Program. His “One-Stroke Calligraphy: Post-Recovery Works” is exhibited at the Light Transmission Building in Fo Guang Shan Headquarters, Tianlong Temple in Nanjing, and Liyang Museum. It is hoped that many will show their support in changing the lives of students from the remote areas of Taiwan, India, Philippines, Brazil, and South Africa through education, so they may become future leaders of society and their countries.

〔 Propagating the Dharma Through Buddhist Art and Music 〕

As art and culture have no boundaries, Venerable Master has used literature to promote Buddhism throughout his life. This is evident from the stone inscriptions of Venerable Master’s One-Stroke Calligraphy at the Sutra Repository, which convey the essence of Humanistic Buddhism. Former President Ma Ying-Jeou praised during his visit, “Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s One-Stroke Calligraphy is the best interpretation of modern Buddhist scripture.” Moreover, the Sutra Repository also holds “One-Stroke Calligraphy―A Meeting of Dharma” on a regular basis, receiving devotees from all walks of life.
Cultural, educational, and artistic Dharma propagation endeavors have flourished at the FGS Buddha Museum under the united effort of Director Venerable Ru Chang and Deputy Directors Ven. Yi Run, Ven. Yung Rong, Ven. Yung Jun, Ven. Ru Yuan, and Ven. You Xian. In January, representatives of the Buddha Museum met with the British Library in London to discuss collaborative plans on a digital database of the Fo Guang Buddhist Canon and the Encyclopedia of Buddhist Arts, as well as exhibition exchanges.
In March, Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s One-Stroke Calligraphy Exhibition was held at the European Parliament in Brussels. Former Prime Minister of Slovenia, Lojze Peterle, and Hungary EU Representative Adam Kosa, participated in the opening ceremony. Fraser Cameron, director of EU-Asia Centre in Belgium, praised that Humanistic Buddhism, as propagated by Venerable Master, aligns with the European Parliament’s emphasis on peace and harmony.
In May, the Buddha Museum co-organized the “Walking with the Buddha: Discovering the Natal Landscape of the Buddha Exhibition” with Durham University and the Oriental Museum from the UK. The exhibition concerns the latest archaeological findings at Lumbini Garden, the birthplace of the Buddha. An international academic conference was also held, attended by archaeologists from several countries.
In order to promote the internationalization of Buddhist education, Fo Guang Shan International University Consortium’s Chief President Yung Chaur-shin and Nanhua University President Lin Tsong-Ming, as well as Ven. Chueh Yuen and Ven. Chueh Yu collaborated for the third University Presidents Forum in November. 126 university presidents and scholars from 17 countries, representing 46 institutions, established a resourcesharing platform for Buddhist universities. Venerable Master attended the forum, sending his regards through Buddhist songs, such as the “Song of Ten Cultivation and Practices,” “Cloud Lake Song,” and “Verse of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s Vows.”
As music is highlighted by Venerable Master as a skillful means to propagate the Dharma, Buddha Museum invited the Jiangsu Performing Arts Group to perform the opera Eastward Sea Voyage of Jianzhen. Likewise, Siddhartha: The Musical from the Philippines, toured the United States, performing in various cities including New York. The propagation of Dharma through music has enhanced exchanges between the Cross-Strait as well as the East and West.

〔 Ensuring the Continuity of Talents Through Ceaseless Effort in Education 〕

The Three Acts of Goodness Campaign is in its 20th year. Venerable Master encourages Fo Guang members to spread joy, peace, and auspiciousness to the world, building a society on the Three Acts of Goodness. With the efforts of Guang Ming College President Dr. Helena Correa, Ven. Yung Guang and Ven. Miao Jing, the Three Acts of Goodness Campaign has been promoted in over a hundred schools in the Philippines. Moreover, Guang Ming College celebrated its inaugural graduation of 27 students, who will now begin a new chapter in their lives.
The combined efforts of Nan Tien Institute President, Dr. Bill Lovegrove, Ven. Man Ko, Ven. Jue Fang, and Ven. Jue Wei has enabled Nan Tien Institute to offer a graduate program on Applied Buddhist Studies as well as a graduate certificate program in Humanistic Buddhism, both accredited by the Department of Education in Australia. Humanistic Buddhism is now officially included as part of the Australian education system, a new beginning in higher education worldwide. Additionally, Nanhua University was awarded the National Sustainable Development Award, the highest honor of all development quality awards. Furthermore, University of the West’s new President Otto Chang joined the Fo Guang Shan education team.
There is no time to lose when it comes to fostering talent. Apart from the FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism, Nan Tien Institute, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of the West in USA, Nanhua University, and Fo Guang University have all respectively established a center devoted to the research on Humanistic Buddhism under Venerable Tzu Hui’s guidance in propagating the Dharma through international academia.
The Short-Term Monastic Study Program held in the Sutra Repository offers a chance for all monastic disciples serving in different parts of the world to return to the monastery to further their understanding of Humanistic Buddhism. Youth Buddhist Academies established in branch temples globally, as well as the Dajue Cultural Training Program, have strengthened the number of talented young students entering Fo Guang Shan Tsung Lin University. Likewise, the 16 Buddhist colleges worldwide are also tireless in their efforts of fostering talents.
Over 50 scholarly and translated works resulting from the annual “Academic Conference on the Theory and Practice of Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s Humanistic Buddhism” and the “Symposium on Humanistic Buddhism” organized by Ven. Miao Fan and Professor Cheng Gongrang have been published to date. Over a hundred scholars across the globe have established a consensus on Humanistic Buddhism. It is as Venerable Master said, “Propagating Humanistic Buddhism is the future of Buddhism and also a light in the world.”
Full of gratitude for the Buddha’s kindness, Venerable Master previously travelled eight times to India with the wish of reviving Buddhism there. Under the efforts of Ven. Hui Xian and Ng Chin Poh Jiaoshi (a layman who lives the monastic life), nearly a hundred novices from FGS Cultural and Educational Center at New Delhi have excelled and are now furthering their studies. For example, Cheng Guang and Cheng Jie are currently at Nanjing University; Cheng Ti, Cheng Liang, and Cheng Jia are at Fo Guang University; Cheng Fa, Cheng Fu, and Cheng Pu are at Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in Thailand. Furthermore, students from FGS Institute of Buddhist Studies in Bodhgaya have brought the Three Acts of Goodness to Indian society through the Under the Big Tree program with the guidance of Ven. Miao Xuan, receiving recognition from the local people.
With Venerable Master’s encouragement, Ven. Jue Cheng led Fo Guang members in founding the Fo Guang Hope Village and held a refuge ceremony in Chennai, India, with the aim of bettering the villagers’ lives. Three Acts of Goodness Schools were also founded in Sri Lanka, Darjeeling, India, and Nepal, providing education for youth as well as a catalyst for transforming their lives.

〔 Enhancing the Localization of Buddhism Through Prajna Wisdom in Letters and Writings 〕

Bodhi seeds planted through the words of prajna wisdom can take root, blossom, and bear fruit everywhere, bringing soothing fragrance and cool breeze to this burning and irritable world.
In mid-November, Fo Guang Shan Ancestral Temple―Dajue Temple’s Yunhu Academy held a Humanistic Buddhism Sutra Study Program. Through reading Venerable Master’s True Meaning of the Dharma, students are guided to understand the original intents of the Buddha, which are: inspiration, education, assistance, and joy. New definitions are given to Buddhist concepts from a positive and auspicious point of view.
The Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, published in 2016, now has an app in traditional Chinese, a creative collaboration between Ven. Man Kuan from Fo Guang Cultural Enterprise and Ven. Hui Zhao from the FGS Information System Center. Venerable Master compassionately directed that it be free of charge, hoping the Dharma water of Humanistic Buddhism will nourish people’s hearts.
More elating was the launch of the Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun and its forum in the UK’s Westminster Parliament. Concurrently, Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s One-Stroke Calligraphy Exhibition and the Buddha’s Birthday Celebration were also held in the Parliament. The Palace of Westminster Chairperson officially announced FGS London as the first Buddhist partner of the UK Parliament Education Team.
The following translations of Venerable Master’s works have been published: The Path to Enlightenment in Portuguese (O Caminho para a Iluminação); Star and Cloud: Venerable Master Hsing Yun comic book in Japanese (人間仏教の行 者); and Pearls of Wisdom: Prayers for Engaged Living in Korean (부처님 광명 기원문). Moreover, Ven. Miao Guang and her team at the FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism Center of International Affairs have collected terminology specific to Humanistic Buddhism and completed The Glossary of Humanistic Buddhism. They have also held workshops for English Dharma propagators in North America, accelerating the process of localization.
Co-organized by the Buddha Museum and the FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism, the “2018 When Buddha Meets the Gods Event Academic Conference” and “Chunghua Federation of Traditional Religious Associations Leadership Training Seminar” was attended by experts and scholars from the Cross-Straits and the Philippines, presenting research gathered from the When Buddha Meets the Gods Events held over the past seven years. Scholars heartily agreed on Venerable Master’s notion of naming folk religions, some dating over 2,000 years old, as Chunghua (Chinese) traditional religions. Three years ago, Venerable Master initiated the Chunghua Federation of Traditional Religious Associations, with Wang Jin-Pyng as President and Chen Chia-Lung as Secretary-General as a platform for interfaith and interreligious exchange. As Venerable Master said, “Religions should strive for mutual understanding, but it is not necessary to seek conformity amongst differences. Every god and deity is a light, each shining without hindering the other.” As each religion shines in different corners of the earth, they all bring light to the human world.

〔 Accomplishing This-Worldly Endeavors with Other-worldly Aspiration 〕

The fourth phase of the construction of FGS Ancestral Temple―Dajue Temple at Yixing, led by Ven. Miao Shi and Ven. Miao Sheng, is drawing to an end, welcoming all to visit. Moreover, to provide quality lodging for temple staff, the Auspicious Building was completed in November by Ven. Hui Zhi, appointed by Venerable Master to oversee construction projects. Likewise, Ven. Chueh Fang and Ven. Miao Zhi also completed the reconstruction of the Lanyang Ren Ai Senior Citizen’s Home, with its opening held in September.
Nan Tien Bridge, connecting Nan Tien Temple and Nan Tien Institute, was inaugurated in July after seventeen years. The Premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, and Lord Mayor of Wollongong, Gordon Bradbery, attended the event, heralding a deeper exchange between East and West, and showed local government support for Buddhist-founded education.
In the spirit of Venerable Master’s advocacy for unity between Buddhist groups and Cross-Strait peace, the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism Chunghua, founded by Buddhist groups in Taiwan, and the Buddhist Association of China visited Japan together for the first time―an occasion which Taisho University President Otsuka Nobuo said will inevitably be recorded in the annals of Japanese Buddhist history. Concurrently, representatives from both Cross-Strait Buddhist associations cordially invited the leaders of different Japanese Buddhist schools to attend in the inauguration of FGS Housuiji Temple. After 15 years of hard work led by Ven. Man Run and Ven. Chueh Yung, this magnificent temple was finally completed. In the words of Buddhist Association of China Vice-President Venerable Zhanru, “Housuiji Temple is another important milestone in the development of Chinese Buddhism in Japan after Master Jianzhen.”
Venerable Master once said, “Fo Guang Shan should undertake this-worldly endeavors with transcendental aspiration, and connect with people through culture, sports, music, and art.”
The “Truthful, Virtuous, and Beautiful Media Award,” founded by the Venerable Master Hsing Yun Public Education Trust Fund, celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. In November, the “10th Hsing Yun Truthful, Virtuous, and Beautiful Media Forum: Opportunities and Challenges of New Age Multimedia” was held by the commissioner of the award and founder of Global Views―Commonwealth Publishing Group, Professor Charles H.C. Kao. Past laureates Zhang Zuojin, Chen Charng-ven, Chai Song-Lin, Li Tao, Jennifer Shen, and Wang Chien-chuang gathered at Taipei Vihara to discuss the social values of the media, as well as the challenges and opportunities that come with globalization.
In terms of propagating the Dharma through sports, our eight sports team have seen continuous victory under the leadership of President Lai Wei-Cheng of the Three Acts of Goodness Sports Association, Ven. Hui Zhi, and Ven. Hui Gong. For example, the Nanhua University Baseball Team, in its third year since its founding, became the youngest team in the history of Taiwanese baseball to compete in the Victory Baseball Cup Finals. The Pu-Men High School Girls Basketball Team won the High School Basketball League (HBL) championship for two consecutive years. The Pu-Men High School Baseball Team won the Aluminum Bat Division and runner-up in Wooden Bat Division of the High School Baseball League. Victories aside, the discipline, moral values, respect, and bearing shown by these athletes are changing the culture of sports, and now included as an educational goal in athletic training.

〔 Realizing Peaceful Society Through Faith and Legacy 〕

This year, Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) members returned to Fo Guang Shan Headquarters to participate in the BLIA General Conference, showing how Humanistic Buddhism has flourished across the five continents. The theme of the conference, “Faith and Legacy,” is the hope that BLIA members continue the lineage of the Dharma by passing on their faith generation to generation. At the same time, I would thank everyone for their recognition in nominating me as the seventh BLIA President, as well as Liu Changle and Liu Chao-Ming as Deputy Presidents. Venerable Tzu Jung was appointed as Acting President, Wu Chih-yang as Legal Affairs Officer, C. Jim Chen as Treasurer, and Ven. Chueh Pei as Secretary General. We will continue to serve the members of BLIA, aspiring to work unitedly for the development of Humanistic Buddhism across the globe.
In October, the Fifth World Buddhist Forum was held in Putian, Fujian Province, Mainland China with representatives from 55 countries and regions. I was invited to lead around 20 international representatives from Fo Guang Shan and delivered a keynote speech on behalf of Venerable Master. Our venerables also presented on the development of Humanistic Buddhism worldwide, receiving much feedback from fellow participants who praised Venerable Master’s vision and Fo Guang Shan’s groundbreaking efforts in the internationalization of Buddhism.
Venerable Master believes that all magnanimous people understand the concept of equality. Therefore, if a person wishes to make themselves greater, they need to possess a mind of equality.
In March, BLIA participated for the first time as a United Nations NGO in the 62nd Commission for the Status of Women (CSW62), represented by Ven. Chueh Pei, Ven. Yung Ku, Ven. Man Chien, Ven. Jue Cheng, and Ven. You Wang who shared how Venerable Master realizes the spirit of equality. Students from Nan Hua Temple Performing Arts Group, South Africa, also attended and discussed personal experiences about how their lives as village girls in Africa were transformed.
In November, the largest interfaith event worldwide, the Parliament of the World’s Religions, was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, with representatives from 80 countries. Venerables from Fo Guang Shan branch temples in North America presented in a panel on “Humanistic Buddhism: Education for Women and Girls.” At the conference, FGS Toronto and Buddha’s Light Publications jointly hosted a booth to promote books published by Fo Guang Shan, such as Where is the Way: Humanistic Buddhism for Everyday Life. Concurrently at the Third Peace Conference (Vredesconferentie) in the Netherlands, Ven. Miao Yi from FGS He Hua Temple was invited to speak as the only Buddhist representative and female speaker, delivering a speech in English on the theme of the conference, “Creating an Integrated Society.”
In December, 2,000 members participated in the 2018 BLIA Chunghua Headquarters General Conference and elected Dr. Chao Yi as the new president; Sophia Hsieh, Ting Shou-chung, and Wu Chin-shun as Deputy Presidents; and Pan Wei-kang as Supervisor.

〔 Broadening Human World Affinities Through Globalized Communities 〕

The acceptance and recognition of Humanistic Buddhism by people around the world is the result of the efforts of both monastics and laity in spreading the Buddha’s compassion and wisdom.
In January, in celebration of Dharma Day, which commemorates the awakening of the Buddha, over 2.5 million bowls of Laba Congee were distributed by the Executive Council and branch temples with the help of monastic and lay members.
Beginning in 2014, Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Buddha Museum, and Zu Lai Temple in Brazil have been Winners of TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence for five consecutive years, and are now listed in TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame. The Buddha Museum was also featured in The New Zealand Herald, most circulated newspaper in New Zealand. Additionally, Pick it Up!: Chan Stories to Inspire published by Buddha’s Light Publications won a Bronze Living Now Evergreen Book Medal for Spiritual Leadership. Moreover, Beautiful Life Television (BLTV)’s 3D Animation I Love Happiness received its 13th award―the Colortape International Film Festival Top 10 Animation Award―and was also shortlisted for the 53rd Golden Bell Award for Best Animation.
110 years after scouting began in England and developed according to Christian values, the Buddha’s Light Scout Group became the first Buddhist Scouting group established in the UK, unprecedented in the country’s scouting history. This drew attention from The Guardian, BBC, and ITV, a historical milestone in terms of the development of Humanistic Buddhism in a multireligious Europe.
In addition, Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple Christchurch received the 2018 Christchurch Street and Garden Award. FGS Miami received a proclamation from the Mayor to the City of Tamarac, Harry Dressler, declaring the month of May as Sakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday Month, and May 20th as Sakyamuni Buddha Thanksgiving Day.
In November, Hsi Lai Temple celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Senator Ling Ling Chang, the first Taiwanese-American female US senator, and Senator Bob Archuleta, presented an American flag flown over the United States Capitol to the abbot, Ven. Hui Dong. It is the highest honor that commends Hsi Lai Temple’s contributions to American society.
In December, 768 local temples and 3,478 deities gathered at the Buddha Museum for the When Buddha Meets the Gods Event, breaking the “Global Multireligious Reunion Attended by the Greatest Number of Deities in the World” world record, proving that religious harmony brings equality and goodness.
As Fo Guang Shan enters its 53rd year, Venerable Master says, “In my life, there is no self. My life belongs to all. What matters is serving the multitude with an aspiring mind.” As long as we follow Venerable Master’s spirit of selflessness and practice the Five Precepts, Ten Wholesome Deeds, Six Paramitas, Four Means of Embracing, Three Acts of Goodness, and Four Givings, Humanistic Buddhism will shine in the world. Consequently, a Pure Land on Earth will be realized through the Five Harmonies: individual harmony achieved through joy, interpersonal harmony achieved through respect, family harmony achieved through deference, social harmony achieved through cooperation, and world harmony achieved through peace. May these words serve as encouragement to all.


Lastly, my best wishes to you in:
Interpersonal and familial harmony.
May everything you encounter be well-rounded and auspicious!

Hsin Bau
Head Abbot
Chairperson, Fo Guang Board of Directors
New Year’s Day, 2019
(Translated by Fo Guang Institute of Humanistic Buddhism Center of International Affairs)