A Letter to Dhama Protectors and Friends in 2017
Dear Dharma protectors and friends, Auspicious greetings!
Gazing at beautiful sceneries of life, in the blink of an eye, it is time once again to welcome a new year. As Fo Guang Shan enters its 51st year, Venerable Master, though still in recovery, has instructed that I present a report to the public, especially our devotees and friends, on what we have accomplished over the past year as well as what the future development of Humanistic Buddhism will be.
This past year, Fo Guang Shan celebrated its 50th anniversary with much warmth, diversity, and jubilance. To begin with, amidst anticipation and excitement, we held “Fo Guang Shan: Retrospection” to celebrate the 50th year of our founding. The establishment of Fo Guang Shan was only possible through the collaborative effort of millions of devotees, benefactors, friends, and thousands of temples, all working together in the spirit of cooperation. From May 14th to 17th, we invited, as an expression of our gratitude, those with an affinity with Fo Guang Shan to share their memories on learning and practicing Buddhism.
For the first three days of “Fo Guang Shan: Retrospection,” speakers featured public figures (such as Wu Po-hsiung, Chen Chaolong, Li Chi-mao, Charles H. C. Kao, Yang Chao-hsiang, Lin Tsong-ming, Lai Weicheng, Chang Yia-chung, and Li Jui-teng) and those who helped Venerable Master build Fo Guang Shan half a century ago. Notably, there was Hsiao Ting-shun who helped with construction, as well as Tai Paocheng who cooked at the Pilgrim’s Lodge for over 40 years and is now retired at Fo Guang Shan Senior Home. More than 50 speakers, including Lin Chin-chi, Cheng Shih-yen, and Chao Tsui-hui, selflessly gave decades of support, and are manifestations of diligent, aspiring bodhisattvas in our world. Of course, those who have contributed to Fo Guang Shan are not merely limited to those mentioned above. We can only list a few people as exemplary representatives as a token of our sincere appreciation. We would like to thank everyone for helping to turn a page in our history and dedicating your merits to society. May you uphold wisdom and peace for you and your whole family. Furthermore, a reunion was held for the first eight classes of Fo Guang Shan Tsung-Lin University to share their memories on Fo Guang Shan’s early days. Those in attendance included: Venerable Shou Yu, Abbot of Ten Directions Buddhist Center; Venerable Hong Yi, Associate President of Texas Buddhist Association; Venerable Pu Huei, Chairman of the Chinese Bhikkhuni Association; and Venerable Hsing Ying, Chief Editor of Cheng Wen Publishing. All are graduates of Tsung-Lin University who have been propagating Buddhism worldwide since the completion of their monastic education. Concurrently, the Buddha Museum invited the Academy of Performing Arts of the Philippines to perform