Buddhist Light International Association (BLIA) North Island New Zealand Young Adult Division (YAD) was established in the year 1996, in South Island, YAD was established in 1998. Under the guidance of Abbess, YAD members treat the Buddhist temple as their home, learn Buddhist instruments, participate in Buddhist classes and become new vitality to Fo Guang Shan (FGS) Buddhist temple.
2011.03.19 BLIA YAD Fund Raising For CHCH Japan Earthquake Relief
Buddha＊s Light International New Zealand Young Adult Division (YAD) had a committee meeting on the 19th of March at 3.30 pm. The meeting was held by the YAD new President, Lin Hao-Tin with 6 of YAD committee members attending the Tea House. The meeting was held to brainstorm about ways to help the people that are affected by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on the 11th of March. There were a lot of ideas in the meeting that includes marathon runs, hair shaving, Wii game competitions, selling bread and cookies, and selling their own treasured things. In the end of the meeting, the FGS South Island NZ＊s YAD decided to sell bread and cookies in help of supporting Japan. Besides that, the YAD members had also decided to help tidy the garden of the Buddhist temple and enjoy desserts at the Tea House next coming Saturday. The YAD group will updated the report for Venerable Juexi of the activities they have planned and run this relief activity as soon as possible.
2011.03.01 BLIA NZ YAD represented donation of NZ$100,000
On 1st March BLIA NZ YAD President Hao-Tin Lin, Vice-president Vanessa Wong and Fan-Ping Chiang and former YAD president Jason Liu have represented BLIA Headquarter and BLIA New Zealand in donating the amount of NZ$100,000 for Red Cross New Zealand. Lyn, the representative of Red Cross New Zealand accepted the donation on behalf. All the Red Cross Staffs and volunteers were surprised and moved as they received the donation. This amount was actually donated by youths which have the average age of 19 and it amazed everyone.
When BLIA NZ Earthquake Relief Center first established, YAD members were active in several relief roles, handling, serving, cleaning, translating, maintaining and other job roles in serving around 300 to 350 people per day. Venerable Abbess Manshin expressed that the BLIA NZ South Island YAD members had perform excellent services that should be praised; YAD members that represented for this donation is also an important task. With these experience, the youths will learn to be compassionate and helpful; respecting, caring and the spirit of ※dare§ in accepting commitments would also be taken.
2010.02.27 BLIA NZ South Island Monthly Meeting
Buddha＊s＊ Light International Association was held the February monthly meeting on 27th February 7 pm. Supervisor Venerable Abbess Manshin and Venerable Juexi were attended. BLIA south Island Vice President Mei-Hwa Chen and BLIA North island president Dolly Tsai and 30 other BLIA members had participated in this meeting. Mei-Hwa stated that the 22nd February earthquake have shocked everyone in Christchurch, BLIA members have clean the temple and calm everyone in short time, the temple had set up a BLIA earthquake relief center and providing free hot food for almost thousand people of Christchurch. Those who visited also gain mental comfort.
All sub Chapter president have reported their status and offer their help to the BLIA earthquake relief center, give hope and confidence to victim of Christchurch earthquake. BLIA Youth Adult Division current President Jason Liu had announced Hao-Tin Lin as the new YAD president, she will lead the YAD with new style and new hope. 5 Agendas have been approved: 1. Helping the Christchurch to rebuild after the earthquake; 2. Most Oceania chapter is already starting donate money for the earthquake relief funding; 3. IBA will propagate Emperor Liang Repentance Service for victim of Christchurch earthquake; 4. Preparation for the Buddha＊s Birthday; 5. Invite BLIA member to join Sub Chapter study groups and dharma talk.
Abbess had given talk stated that at this moment is must encourage BLIA members should give the wisdom, confidence, conform and respect to the people of Christchurch. There are different stage from earthquake recovery, at this stage, religion conform is needed. This could calm the mental spirit of people at this time. Religion is the important dependence for them. Abbess expressed her thanks to BLIA members that offer themselves to take part as relief center team; BLIA member will be always serve and accompany those who needed at this moment.
2011.02.02 Christchurch FGS Celebrates Chinese New Year＊s Eve
In order to show appreciation to the Fo Guang Shan committee members, youth group and volunteers＊ contribution to the Temple, they were invited to a committee/volunteer Chinese New Year＊s Eve celebration dinner on the evening of 2nd February. Venerable Juexi passed on the thoughts of thanks from the Abbess to everyone that evening thanking them all for their teamwork, care and hard work throughout the year to help FGS South Island New Zealand become what it is today and allowing ※Humanistic Buddhism§ to give strength and peace to the minds of everyone in Christchurch.
Being served with scrumptious evening meal that night, everyone also got to enjoy performances organised by each invited group: BLIA Directors presented their duet of ※The Moon Represents My Heart§, the reception group brought their extravagant dance performance, and the YAD group performed their choreographed version of ※There＊s a solution when there＊s Buddhism§ and songs with hand gestures; the administration also brought their singing performance of ※Pilgrimage§ that evening. Along with the performances, there were also spot prize lucky draws to bring more atmospheres to the dinner. The venerable also expressed her appreciation in the end for everyone＊s attendance that evening, hoping that the evening have raised everyone＊s spirit as they enter into the new year and looks forward to a new year with more team work and cooperation. Everyone was thankful for the evening celebration organised for them and promised to be even more hardworking together with FGS for the coming year.
2010.11.20 Water Drop Caf谷 service training
New Zealand South Island YAD member Andy Hsu returned to Christchurch and the Temple during his summer holiday this year. He is currently studying a hospitality degree at Auckland University of Technology and also has a diverse work experience including international five star hotel. On the evening of 20th November, organised by the Temple, he gave a brief introduction to food and beverage service to the staff members of the Water Drop Caf谷.
Andy said that when a guest enters an establishment, the serviceperson begins to lead them on a journey; their appearance, way of speech and attitude, play a major role in their dining experience. He touched on the general use of cutleries, beverage service and other technical skills including carrying plates and clearing techniques.
The participants that night were grateful for trainings and discussions given and have learnt many new professional technique and knowledge. They will aim to apply what they have learnt into their daily shifts in the Water Drop Caf谷 to be their best in this service industry.
2010.11.10 YAD Hao-Tin Lin graduates Papanui High School
Arriving in Christchurch from Taiwan four years ago, international student and YAD member of Christchurch, Hao-Tin Lin has successfully completed her New Zealand high school qualification at Papanui High School. Prize-giving ceremony was held on 10th November and guests of Hao-Tin included venerables and staff of Fo Guang Shan Temple. Receiving three awards in Computer Design, Painting and English as a second language, HaoTin＊s guests, friends and tutors were all present that night to applaud her achievements. She also was given the honour to speak on behalf of the international students and give her appreciation to the tutors, fellow students, friends and families for their undying supports and encouragements.
200 students graduated from Papanui High School this year; Hao-Tin shone like a beacon with her achievements as a Taiwanese overseas student, this served as a role model for the other young members of YAD. Following the prize-giving ceremony, the party was joined by several others from Fo Guang Shan South Island, bringing Hao-Tin the warmth of a close community. She thanked the kindness of everyone, especially her hard working parents in Taiwan to fund her education, her older sister who has constantly given her support and encouragements, and also Abbess Manshin who has never ceased her part of care and support. She also expressed that she will continue to work hard at her tertiary education and return everyone＊s care and kindness.
2010.04.24 BLIA Members Share their Joy during Debriefing Session
On 17th April, BLIA South Island and FGS South Island collaborated to conduct the successful 2010 Buddha＊s Birthday Multicultural Celebrations. Because this was the first time the annual event has been held at the Temple, it attracted a lot of media attention and received many special guests.
On 21st and 23rd April, ※The Messenger§, ※The Sun§, and ※The Press§, came to report on the event, which was published as a major event in the papers. The reporters could feel that the moving of the event from the front of Cathedral Square to the Temple has added a sense of warmth and vivaciousness to the auspicious event.
As the invited guests participated in the well-textured Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration, they took time to admire the dignified appearance of the Temple building and enjoy its art displays. Apart from this, Fo Guang Shan＊s ※Merit Times§ Newspaper also reported on the event, and devotees of South Island could not wait to obtain a copy for themselves. Other devotees eagerly searched the Fo Guang Shan website for related news.
The BLIA members and volunteers felt the joy of their collective creation through the extensive media coverage of the event and had been inspired by it to do more for Buddhism.
2010.02.13 Chinese New Year Culture Festival Attracted Local Eyes
FGS South Island had organized a Chinese New Year Eve celebration called ※Awe-inspiring virtue and oceans of prosperity Chinese new year culture festival§ on the 13th of February, attracting the attendance of approximately 250 members and tourists. There were numerous Westerners who came to visit the Culture Street which comprises the heritage of Buddha＊s history, vegetarian charity sale, publications of Master Hsin Yun, hyacinth tea, tea sets, hand flower, beads, Chinese knots, Chinese medicine, calligraphy brushes and many more. The event created both a cultural and cheerful ambience which led everyone into the Chinese New Year mood.
A wishing ※well§ was set up along the garden for people to make their new year wish. A total of 20 YAD members and volunteers divided themselves at each booth to meet the visitors. When it was near noon time, people kept on coming on and on to the Culture Street. The visitors were impressed with the Buddha＊s heritage and also the medical skill of Dr Gu. Furthermore, the visitors enjoyed all the vegetarian food such as plums, vegetarian noodles, dried tofu, pineapple cakes and so on. The celebration was successfully ended with a sense of achievement and laughter.
2010.02.07 YAD Members Shared Study Technique
New Zealand 2010 School Semester has begun; most of the students are back to school. On the 7th of February, YAD member Annie Chiang has organised a special class for 10 of the BLIA YAD members to develop their study skills, and understanding of the study content rather than memorize to get through the examination. She has explained that everyone has their unique methods to study and it is important to choose the method that suits them.
She has listed out some common studying methods like listening, reading and taking notes, etc and explained those methods in simple terms. The important thing that one must do during revision is to arrange small breaks as this allows recharge of the mind and body to its top form, consequently helping the student to continue studying with a fresh mind and thus score good results in exams.
2010.01.27 YAD Rehearse Hand Gestures for Celebration Dinner
On 27th January, Buddha＊s Light International Association Young Adults Division II President Danny Chen and 3 other YAD members gathered at FGS South Island to rehearse their hand gesture performances for the songs ＆Harmonize＊ and ＆Star and Clouds＊ which will be performed on 30th January during the Volunteers Chinese New Year Eve Celebration Dinner organised by FGS South Island.
Even though most of the YAD members were familiar with their performances, their dedication saw them draw time from their busy schedule to perfect their hand gestures. Apart from their performing on the night, YAD was also in charge of the performance program, meal service and decoration for the Dinner.
To familiarize the reception team with the tasks and procedures of the event and ensure the delivery of high quality service, the Reception Team Staff Meeting was held on 27th January. Meeting attendees included BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng, Vice-president Meihua Chen, Lay Dharma Lecturer Rona Chen and 5 others. Temple Supervisor Venerable Juexi and Venerable Miaoyu were also present to give guidance.
The meeting discussed: task allocation; the seating plan for the Dining Hall and Water Drop Caf谷; the confirmation of the event start time; guest numbers and service issues; the dress code; and the registration procedure. Hoping for a successful event, Venerable Juexi reminded everyone to be attentive and diligent in handling their tasks.
2009.12.17 Celebration for YAD studies completion-
Continuous celebrations are going on in Fo Guang Shan (FGS) South Island New Zealand, with firstly, a celebration happening on November where the Buddha Light International Association (BLIA) South Island NZ awarding Red Cross their 10 years of service. Then in December, BLIA South Island NZ＊s English Social and Education Group＊s President, Lin Shenghan graduated at the University of Canterbury. He has been in FGS Buddhist Temple since 12 years old and has treated the temple as a home. Growing with FGS South Island NZ Buddhist Temple, he always gets encouragements and advices from the Venerables here. Now, in three years time he has successfully graduated in the University.
Compared to the celebration when he got in to university three years ago, with just a bowl of vermicelli soup, FGS South Island NZ this time had prepared a sumptuous vegetarian meal and invited Shenghan＊s parents, brothers with over 60 other friends and members of BLIA. Venerable Abbess Manshin nurtured Lim＊s growth all these years and knows that it＊s a youth＊s dream to graduate in a university. It＊s been a miracle for Shenghan. His parents gave a speech at the celebration thanking everyone that had taken time at his son＊s attention and blessings all these years. Everyone is happy at the celebration witnessing Buddhism doctrine change one＊s destiny.
In appreciation, Shenghan has invited his parents and Venerable Abbess Manshin to his graduation ceremony on the 17th of December. It will start at 10am and all graduates that have been hardworking in their studies, including Shenghan would be attending. Shenghan is now pride of BLIA and would continue pursuing his studies.
2009.11.19 YAD Shares their Heart in Weekly Activity-
A Buddhist Light Association (BLIA) South Island NZ Young Adult Division (YAD) meeting was held at the Tea House on the 19th of November where around 10 members, Venerable Juexi and Venerable Miaoyu attended. It is Child Caring Week at Fo Guang Shan (FGS) South Island NZ and this year the youths, although anxious, had made a lot of effort in planning, learning, expressing and leading. In this meeting, YAD members had discussed where: 1. Must undertake problems and not rely too much on others; 2. Were too anxious while speaking in front of public, must be prepared at all times and deal with changes; 3. While speaking to their guests, mainly young children, they may be very shy. YAD members have to have great enthusiasm so it will move the hearts of the children; 4. The guests may be early, YAD members should come into the venue earlier. YAD members also discussed how compassionate should one be for this meaningful week, where Venerable Miaoyu provides opinion and Venerable Juexi encourages their persistence.
2009.11.14 Child Caring Week 2009 a success, YAD members adds Value to Life-
Child Caring Week 2009 was held on the 14th of November welcoming 15 children from the Heart Children Society to Fo Guang Shan (FGS) South Island NZ. Just before the event started, BLIA South Island NZ Young Adult Division (YAD) vice-president, Chen Jinhua has assigned posts and jobs for all YAD members. Everyone was co-operating in a good result showing loving care for the event. The children arrived at 10 am where Jinhua acted as the host of the event welcoming happily.
The event started where YAD member Lin Haotin brought the group to the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery. Followed by another YAD member Jiang Fanping guided everybody to the ※Time Tunnel§ and YAD president, Chen then brought the group to the Buddha Hall for a visit. The group was amused by the tour.
YAD members then led the group in some ice breaking games and activities as the previously shy children become more open to the environment. YAD members had lead them in origami and prepared a dance performance for them. In the end, YAD members performed Star and Cloud Hand-sign Song and leading everyone into the simple movements of the Ehipassoko hand-sign. Later on, everyone enjoyed tea and took group photos in the warm and happy environment.
When the event ended, some of the parents came and they were thankful of YAD members in providing time and venue for their children in this meaningful event. Some of the children ran up to the Wishing Bell in the Buddha＊s Hall and vowed to visit the Buddha Temple again. The Child Caring Week 2009 is now a success and YAD members had added value to life of the young children in this meaningful event.
2009.11.13 Young Adults Light Up the Lamp of their Hearts-
The high schools and universities in New Zealand have reached the end of their academic year for 2009. Youth member Hao-Wen Lin will be pursuing her tertiary studies in her home country of Taiwan, and will be leaving for home along with many other members who will be returning for family visits.
On Canterbury Show Day, 13th November, the youth members gathered at the Temple to pay homage to the Buddha and bid there farewells. Temple Supervisor Venerable Juexi organised a simple yet solemn light offering ceremony in the hope that the youth members will grow in maturity year by year and become rich in heart.
In front of the altar, the YAD members lined up to make a light offering to the Buddha and after a reading ※Prayers for Offering Lights§ by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, everyone diligently chanted along with the Venerables to pray for a bright future and life full of wisdom. Venerable Juexi encouraged everyone to: treasure their youth; to be diligent in expanding their knowledge and developing their minds; honour their parents and teachers; to become open minded people who have hearts of light and joy; and to be beneficial members of society.
2009.11.12 Heart to Heart Connection, Unrestricted by Language
On 12th November, the Young Adults Division organised Heart of a Child Week received invited guests from two groups: children from the Heart Children Society, as well as Society member Mr. Jim Vince, and several students from Riccarton High School, together with their teacher, Mr. Kevin Walker.
Together with YAD 1 President Jason Liu and the team of youth group members, BLIA Advisor Mr. Ron Wright, BLIA President Mr. Almeric Cheng, Venerable Juexi and Venerable Miaoyu welcomed the visitors and young V.I.Ps to the Temple. ＆The Sun＊ newspaper Reporter Ms. Chen specially came to inquire into the event, and after Venerable Juexi explained to her the origins of Heart of a Child, Ms. Chen also interviewed many of the guests who participated that day as she immersed herself in the activities of the event.
Member of the Heart Children Society Mr. Jim Vince suffers from a heart condition, as do the children that he brought with him that day. The six students from Riccarton High School are born with Down＊s syndrome, and among them, many have already visited the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery in the past to view the ※Wonders of Embroidery§ exhibition. Thus, the Temple environment was already very much familiar to them. The organising team for the ※Heart of a Child§ event put everything they could into making it as purposeful as possible, bringing joy and happiness to the children.
Part one of the program was a tour of the Temple, with YAD member Shenghan Lim introducing the current ※Way of Life§ photography exhibition of the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island to the visitors, who showed their keen interest in the photographs of the building designs of the North and South Island Fo Guang Shan Temples. YAD member Weichia Cheng introduced the ※Time Capsule§ hallway, where he showed everyone the eight portraits of Venerable Master Hsing Yun＊s life which depict his life story in a chronological order.
At Buddha Hall, the YAD 1 President Jason Liu introduced to everyone the Jade Buddha Statue and Dharma Instruments, and demonstrated the way of prostrating to the Buddha as well as making a wish at the wishing bell. A sense of excitement pervaded throughout the guests and everyone could not wait to have their turn on the wishing bell; one guest wished for their school to never give them homework ever again!
At the end of the Temple tour, everyone gathered at the Dining Hall for some interactive activities, including writing a wish or message on a piece of paper and folding it into an origami heart before sticking it up among the ever growing collection of hearts on the wall.
The glorious weather that day allowed the organizers to bring the series of exciting activities and performances to the courtyard. YAD members prepared a short break dance performance for the guests to enjoy, for which they received much applause. Following on was hand gestures to the song Ehipassiko, and the youth members, Venerables, volunteers and guest all gathered in a circle and learnt the hand gestures under a joyous atmosphere.
BLIA Advisor Mr. Wright delivered a short speech, thanking the guests and youth members for mutually creating the opportunity to learn how to look after and care for the others around them and hoped that the guests will return to the Temple in the future. Following the speech, BLIA President Mr. Cheng gave out gifts to the visitors and everyone enjoyed a scrumptious morning tea at the Sunkissed courtyard.
At the conclusion of the program, two of the guests, Scott and Bruce shared their experience and feedback with everyone, saying that they have thoroughly enjoyed the visit and were thankful for the performances and morning tea provided for them, and that they have also become good friends with members of the youth group.
After the group photo the guests began to bid their farewells, and many anticipate their return to the Temple sometime in the future for another happy gathering. Visitors from Riccarton High School also stayed back after the conclusion of the event to view the Egg Art exhibition, where they received commentaries from FGY Public Relations Officer Seeshen Lee.
2009.11.10 Heart of a Child Week Kicks off to a Start!
The annual ※Heart of a Child - Children＊s Week§ event, which is organised by YAD this year, kicked off to a start on the morning of 10th November. The first group to participate was a family of four; father and mother, Robin and Linda and daughter and son, Kalika and Toby.
The program that morning was hosted by YAD members. YAD 1 President Jason Liu and Temple Staff Shenghan Lim took the Temple tour and led the fun games, while Temple Staff Benny Wong was the photographer and YAD member Fujian served the delicious finger food for the day.
When the guests arrived, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island Public Relations Officer Seeshen Lee introduced to them Fo Guang Shan South Island and its YAD as she warmly welcomed the first group of the weeklong event. The family was first taken for a tour of the entire Temple building, starting at the ※Way of Life§ photography exhibition in FGY Art Gallery.
The children and their parents were very much fascinated by the Chinese style building of Fo Guang Shan North Island Temple＊s building, and also praised the artistic design of Fo Guang Shan South Island. The second stop was the Time Capsule hallway where the series of portraits illustrated the chronological periods of Venerable Master Hsing Yun＊s life.
The family was amazed at the fact that Venerable Master has managed to establish Fo Guang Shan Temples in all corners of the world within four decades. The Buddha Hall came to be one of the favorite places for the young children. The Buddha statue and the decorations and set up for the Medicine Buddha Dharma Function were a fresh sight for them, in which resulted in their enthusiasm for answers to their never ending questions.
After learning how to prostrate before the Buddha statue, everyone was given the chance make a wish at the wishing bell. The ※Egg Art§ exhibition came as another surprise for the guests and became another favorite for the children as they admired the delicate and inspiring artworks.
At the conclusion of the Temple tour, they children were brought to the Dining Hall for the second half of the program organised for them. The youth members began the activities session by teaching the children how to make an origami heart in which they got to draw or write a message on the paper before folding them. On completion, the guests stuck their paper hearts onto the wall, creating a display of colorful hearts.
The youth members then performed the song ※Come and See§ accompanied by hand gestures bringing the morning to its climax. Both the children and the adults were touched by the music and eagerly joined in with the youth group in song and dance. The performance marked the end of the program and the guests were treated to a delicious morning tea prepared by the Temple. As they enjoyed the refreshments, the parents inquired about the annual events organised by the Temple, showing great interest in what the Temple does.
After a group photo, the first day of ※Heart of a Child§ arrived at a fruitful conclusion. The visitors were more than satisfied with the contents of the program and expressed their gratitude for the youth group in taking the responsibility of organising such a meaningful event. The next visiting group of 20 people will be on 12th November, and the youth group will seek out to achieve as much as they can.
2009.11.07 YAD Learn Break Dance and Temple Tour Guiding
7th November was another purposeful Temple Day for the YAD members. After participating in the final preparation meeting for the ※Heart of a Child§ event, they rehearsed their break dance routine in the Dining Hall under the guidance of YAD 1 President Jason Liu.
Even though this was many YAD members＊ first attempt at learning break dance, everyone concentrated hard on learning the moves and had a splendid afternoon. Following the rehearsal, they moved their learning to the kitchen. Under the guidance of the kitchen aunties, they learnt how to cook stirred fried vegetables, sesame sauce noodles, fried bean curds and carrot soup.
After the post-dinner clean up and some general Temple chores, the youth members participated in a session of Temple tour training. They learnt how to introduce the Temple building and its architectural features; the ※Way of Life§ photography exhibition and the ※Egg Art§ exhibition. Another fulfilling Temple Day has gone by, and as they departed, they acknowledged their departure to the Venerables and left with the anticipation of another fun-filled gathering at the Temple.
2009.11.07 Final Heart of a Child Preparatory Meeting Kicks off Event!
The final preparatory meeting for the ※Heart of a Child§ children＊s week was held on 7th November and was chaired by both the presidents of YAD 1 and YAD 2. Around 20 people attended this final meeting, including the guiding Venerables, administration team, media team, publicity team and members of BLIA South Island.
The meeting discussed the final details of the event such as the confirmation of group bookings, visits from the media, final recommendations, event schedules and guest speakers. This year＊s ※Heart of a Child§ is organised solely by YAD, and through the many meetings and discussions, each YAD member has gained new skills and experiences and further developed their ability to create and work with structures and systems. They have also adopted a strong will to execute their plans, and have brought joy to all those who have witnessed them grow with time.
Later in the evening of the same day, the youth members were taken on a final run through of the Temple tour, and were reminded of things to keep in mind and be cautious about during the event, including possible scenarios that may occur. Venerable Juexi also encouraged everyone to put their hearts and souls into helping out with this event, and use their loving and compassionate heart to establish good affinities with the children guests.
2009.10.31 Yet Another Exciting and Eventful Day for YAD!
YAD＊s Temple Day at FGS South Island was a fulfilling and exciting one on 31st October. Upon arriving at the Temple, around ten YAD members took part in sutra calligraphy in the Buddha Hall, under the guidance of Venerable Miaoyu.
After the explanation of the merits and purposes of copying sutras with calligraphy, the youth group members sat down and with a sincere heart, copied the ※Heart Sutra§ using ink and calligraphy brush. At the completion of sutra calligraphy, the youth members reported to the kitchen to learn the art of culinary under the supervision of the kitchen staff; they learnt the basics of stir-frying foliage-type vegetables as well as deep frying mushrooms.
Through the YAD members＊ hard work in the kitchen, everyone enjoyed a tasteful evening meal of vegetarian dishes. Following the after-meal cleanup, everyone watched a film during evening movie time. Participating in such a busy Temple Day, the youth group members gained a sense of fulfillment, and left for their homes in the anticipation of a fresh and hopeful tomorrow.
2009.10.31 Heart of a Child每 YAD turns up the Heat in Preparations
The third general preparatory meeting for the YAD organised ※Heart of a Child§ children＊s week was held in the afternoon of 31st October. The meeting was chaired by administration advisor Tracy Chen in place of YAD 1＊s President. Attendees of the meeting included YAD 1 Vice-president Andy Hsu, YAD 2 President and Vice-president Danny Chen and Jay Chen and several other YAD committee members, as well as the guiding Venerables.
Each group reported the progress they have made since the previous meeting and strived to provide elaborate details and explanations regarding their progress. Each group has so far completed approximately 70 percent of their work, and seeks out to complete the remainder of their tasks to bring to the schools and children of Christchurch a meaningful event.
Venerable Juexi has also accepted the proposal of scheduling Heart of a Child for next year as soon as possible, since many schools plan their school events and trips one year in advance. The Venerables expressed their appreciation for the support from YAD and BLIA, who together have allowed the southernmost Fo Guang Shan Temple in the world to light up their beacon of warmth and existence.
2009.10.28 Serving Humanity-Heart of a Child from the Outset Till Now-
Fo Guang Shan South Island, which is situated on the corner of Riccarton Road and Harakeke Street, will be holding ※Heart of a Child-Children＊s Week§ from 10th to 15th November. This year, FGS South Island will be the main organiser of the community welfare oriented event, and will be assisted by BLIA South Island South Island YAD. The activities during the event will be hosted and led by YAD.
Venerable Abbess Manshin pointed out that caring for fellow humans and giving back to society is one of the missions and purposes of Buddhism, and Heart of a Child is an event aimed at providing children with an atmosphere of arts and culture where they can learn compassion and adopt a joyful attitude towards life.
With the times moving ahead and despite living in such a tight and restrictive community, the event may give those children who participate a reason to smile, a warm feeling that the community still cares for them and hope that will help them grow. Through Heart of a Child, YAD are acting in accordance the missions and purpose of Buddhism, and are able to implement the duty of caring for human beings＊ bodies and minds Venerable Master Hsing Yun has always industriously advocated.
In response to the excellent feedback during the inaugural Heart of a Child event in year 2008, YAD have begun to conduct the necessary preparatory work for the event, with the support of the guiding Venerables and help from the BLIA. One after another, preparatory meetings have been held, and tasks have been attended to; and all the effort has been channeled into ensuring the smooth and successful running of the event.
Invited guests include students and children from Addington School, Allenvale Special School, Autism New Zealand, Campbell Centre, CanTeen- The NZ Teenage Cancer Patient＊s Society, Canterbury Down＊s Syndrome Association, the West Coast Branch of Children＊s Cancer Foundation, Cholmondeley Children＊s Home, Children with Disabilities Association of Canterbury, Canterbury Deaf Association, Discovery 1 School, Heart Children NZ of Canterbury, IHC Mental Disabilities Group and Riccarton High School. Several schools and groups have already replied, confirming their participation.
During the week-long event, the Temple will be hosting many sessions, and during each session, participating children will have the opportunity to visit the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery and enjoy the wonderful Photography Exhibition and Egg Art Exhibition on display. Art is a bridge between different cultures and is not bound by the limitations of language barriers. Art also contributes to spiritual interaction and communication.
After enjoying fine artworks, the guests will be taken on a Temple Tour which will introduce and explain the significance of the Temple building design and its functions. After familiarising the children with FGS South Island, various fun activities will be organised in accordance to the wishes of the visiting groups. Activities include origami, DIY creative crafts, interactive games and many more. The Temple will provide delicious refreshments for the children to enjoy after their session of fun activities; their visit to the Temple will surely be a memorable one!
Every child is tomorrow＊s pillar of the country, and every child is a treasure that needs to be cared for, and the team at Heart of a Child are more than willing to create a warm and loving atmosphere for the children to grow up in, and in the process, build on their communication skills and self-confidence, and gain an understanding of the world around them. The Heart of a Child- Children＊s Week community welfare initiative not only builds strong links between the various ethnic groups in the community, but also enriches the lives of children with love and warmth.
2009.10.27 Multiple Meetings Held to Ensure the Success of Event
YAD 2 President Danny Chen convened a meeting for ※Heart of the Child§ for the evening of 27th October, in order to allow YAD 2 members to report their work in progress, discuss the specific issues and task details of the Venue Setup and Dining Service Groups and consider the possible problems and difficulties that may be encountered during the event.
The 20 meeting attendees included YAD 1 President Andy Hsu and YAD 2 Vice-president Jay Chen, together with other YAD committee members, as well as Venerable Juexi and Venerable Miaoyu.
The annual ※Heart of the Child§ event began last year, and students were invited to the Temple for a day of fun and learning. Activities included a Temple tour, watching YAD perform hand gestures, participate in group recreational activities and enjoying delicious vegetarian finger food. Because of the support from the various schools and the enthusiastic participation by their students, Heart of the Child will once again be held this year, with YAD taking charge of planning the event.
In order to ensure the success of the event, and for the new YAD members, to foster a better understanding and familiarity of the processes during the event, the youth will continue to hold meetings so that they can deliver the best when the time comes and sincerely inviting the little guests who will be coming to join in the joyous activities.
Venerable Juexi also encouraged everyone to learn through the activities team spirit, the ability to plan and the way to take care of new blood, so that the YAD family may grow in numbers.
2009.10.24 YAD＊s New Blood Learn Spirit and Joy of Group Chores
On 24th October, YAD had another Temple Day, and in the afternoon, Venerable Miaoyu led more than 10 youths in watching the final episodes of the ※Lighting the Eternal Flame 每 Story of Fo Guang Shan§ series. This movie session covered the ※Great Compassion Kindergarten§, ※Fo Guang Vihara§, and the origins and purposes of the ※Good Wisdom Floor§.
The Great Compassion Kindergarten has been in operation since the establishment of Fo Guang Shan, and has a history of close to 40 years, and was originally known as ※International Children＊s Village§.
Regardless of nationality or background, the Kindergarten receives children in need of a nurturing environment and through the Venerables, volunteers and teachers, these children learn life skills and self-reliance, and are guided in planning for the future. Many children who have graduated from the Kindergarten are grateful for the compassion of Venerable Master and the volunteers at the Kindergarten, and have become productive and grateful members of society.
The Fo Guang Vihara is a pureland for the elderly to spend their golden years; and the Good Wisdom Floor was especially established to provide accommodation for female Buddhists and a place where they can be diligent volunteers and practice good speech and cooperation.
At the conclusion of the film, everyone wrote down their thoughts and feelings on the film and submitted it to Venerable Miaoyu, so that during the next movie study group session, the feedback may be shared with everyone.
After dinner, the YAD members shared amongst themselves the chores of cleaning the temple environment, with some cleaning the pond and some weeding the garden. This was an opportunity for the new YAD members to experience something fresh to them.
2009.10.24 2nd Heart of a Child Children＊s Week Preparatory Meeting
With preparations well under way for ※Heart of the Child§ Children＊s Week, BLIA YAD South Island held a meeting on 24th October to report on the past week＊s work in progress for each group of the event committee. The 20 people who attended the meeting included YAD 1 President Jason Liu, YAD 2 President Danny Chen and BLIA South Island Committee members. Venerable Miaoyu was also present.
Apart from progress reports, adjustments to human resources were made and task descriptions were explained in detail, with which the event committee gained a better understanding of their tasks at hand. At the conclusion of the meeting, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery Assistant Curator Seeshen Lee led everyone for a Temple tour to familiarise them with the activities that will be held during the event.
This meeting and Temple tour has allowed the YAD members to gain a better understanding of the significance of the event and demonstrated to them the way of introducing the serene and majestic Temple to others.
2009.10.17 YAD Members Continue Retracing FGS＊s Origins
Following on from last week＊s viewing session of ※Lighting the Eternal Flame 每 Story of Fo Guang Shan§ series, on 17th October, YAD members continued enjoying the latter part of the series, which introduced more of Fo Guang Shan＊s buildings as well as the concepts disseminated by the Venerable Master Hsing Yun himself. Venerable Miaoyu was present to provide guidance to the youth throughout the viewing session.
The film outlined the features and functions of the ※Yun Ju§ building along with the Pilgrim＊s Lodge. The eight-storey high Yun Ju building is one of the tallest buildings at Fo Guang Shan, and consists of a dining hall capable of catering for 300 people and a thousand seat auditorium. Because the design concepts and engineering of the building has eliminated the need for internal beams and pillars, the interior of the building is seen to be very wide and spacious.
The Pilgrim＊s Lodge is one of the earlier buildings to have been constructed during the times of mountain excavation, and was established to accommodate for the devotees who came to Fo Guang Shan in the earlier times and did not have access to any accommodation, food and beverage facilities.
At the conclusion of the film, Venerable Miaoyu encouraged the youth group members to learn Venerable Master＊s spirit of selfless ＆giving＊, and reminded that at meal time, one must hold a heart of gratitude and appreciation as each grain of rice does not come easily. From crops to harvest, and processing to packaging, each grain of rice represents the droplets of sweat from those who worked hard to bring the meals to our tables.
2009.10.17 The Importance of ※Heart of the Child§ Explained
BLIA YAD South Island held a preparatory meeting for ※Heart of Child§ week on the evening of 17th October. Attendees included the presidents of YAD1 and YAD2, BLIA South Island Vice-president Mei-Hua Chen and around 20 committee members, along with Venerable Miaoyu.
The meeting agenda consisted of group allocation, job allocation and explanations of the task descriptions and responsibilities for each group. Many new YAD members have also volunteered to help out hoping to learn new skills and gain valuable experience.
The BLIA members have also kindly devoted their time to assist the youth and guide them with valuable advice. By the end of the meeting, the date of the following meeting was decided and a meeting resolution was made, that is, to achieve some progress before the following week.
Venerable Miaoyu shared a few thoughts with the participants after the meeting, pointing out that this event not only brings children to the Temple, it gives the children, joy, happiness, and most importantly, brings out the compassionate nature of everyone. This event also serves the purpose of helping the YAD members develop vital life skills in helping other people.
Venerable Miaoyu reminded everyone that Venerable Master Hsing Yun＊s Great Compassion Children＊s Home is an example of the way we should treat all living beings, to nurture and care for all, regardless of who they are.
2009.10.10 YAD Study Group Experience Spirit of Venerable Master
In order to demonstrate to the YAD members the concept and spirit of Fo Guang Shan＊s Humanistic Buddhism, a weekly Saturday Dharma Class at 2pm in the afternoon has been held since September, with Venerable Juexi leading the class. On 10th October, the Venerable continued on the documentary series of the previous class; ※Passing on the Lineage每 The Story of Fo Guang Shan§ to a class of fifteen youth.
The documentary film outlined the magnificent Great Buddha Land as well as the feature and functions of the Buddha Hall. The youth members witnessed the painstaking process of excavating the bamboo forest without any water source and also learnt about Venerable Master＊s compassionate vow to transform his blood into drinking water for living beings during the water cut-off incident during a summer camp.
The YAD members also discovered that all the statues of the Great Buddha Land were constructed from cement; however, as there is a Buddha within our hearts, what people see, therefore, are majestic Buddhas instead of boulders of cement.
At the conclusion of the film, everyone shared their experiences in a group discussion and took the opportunity to consult the Venerable on the issue of communication breakdown. The Venerable explained the need to learn to ※turn around§ the situation by maintaining a comfortable space between oneself and family members, as this leaves room for adjustment at a time of rapid adolescent growth and change.
The YAD members also brought up the issue of witnessing students being bullied and how to deal with that situation, by which the Venerable advised to never use one＊s fist to show one＊s strength, but to use a compassionate heart and one＊s wisdom, as with that one can naturally alter the course of things.
2009.10.03 YAD Movie Study Group- ※The Story of Fo Guang Shan§
On 3rd October, YAD organised a movie study group, where Venerable Juexi led a dozen youth in watching Buddha＊s Light Television＊s ※Passing the torch- The Story of Fo Guang Shan§. From the opening of Fo Guang Shan to the establishment of the Buddhist College, the youth intently enjoyed the documentary.
During the viewing session, they gained an understanding of the causes and conditions surrounding Venerable Master Hsing Yun＊s renunciation, the arduous times Master coursed through, and the difficulty of the construction of Fo Guang Shan. During the documentary, the youth could sense the compassion in Venerable Master, and were deeply moved by it.
After the movie viewing session, the youth shared their thoughts on the documentary with each other, recollecting: all the sufferings endured by Venerable Master in his youth, especially when he fell ill with Malaria and the immense sense of gratitude he had when his master for prepared half a bowl of pickled vegetables for him in a time of commodity scarcity; Venerable Master＊s emphasis on education, and for the sake of Buddhism, fostered talent by sending his disciples overseas to further their education; all the Dharma services Venerable Master had to conduct to raise the necessary funds for the construction of Fo Guang Shan; the typhoon that struck during the construction phase and the collective spirit to stop the landslide that resulted; all the unimaginable situations which faced Venerable Master left a deep impression on the youth.
Venerable Juexi encouraged everyone to follow the example of Venerable Master＊s ※for Buddhism§ spirit; and while they are still young, be diligent in learning, accumulate merits and the right causes and conditions, lay a good foundation for the future and ultimately offer service to Buddhism.
2009.10.03 YAD say ※Thank you§ with Mid-Autumn Spectacular
In order to express their gratitude to the Temple uncles and aunties and Venerables＊ for taking good care of them, YAD South Island organised a Mid-Autumn Festival Spectacular for them. The 20 over invited guests included the Venerables, the parents and siblings of the YAD members and Kitchen staff.
During the Spectacular, the youth performed the deeply moving hand gestures to the songs ※Star and Cloud§ and ※Transform and Contribute§. There was no shortage of variety; under the lead of YAD 1 President Jason Liu and Vice-president Hao-Wen Lin, the youth also presented an energetic hip-hop showcase, with each YAD member contributing their talent. Through song and dance, the youth expressively conveyed the messages from their hearts to the audience who watched in admiration as they enjoyed the fine vegetarian cuisine prepared by the Temple.
Venerable Juexi expressed her gratitude for the youth＊s performance and under the blessings of the Buddha, extended her wishes for a successful Mid-Autumn Festival to everyone present.
2009.09.05 Yet Another Action-packed Temple Day!
Saturday is always the youth group＊s ※Temple Day§, it is the day where the members all gather at the Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple for a day of learning, enjoyment and forging closer relationships.
Under the guidance of YAD1 President, Jason Liu, the group of ten youth members rehearsed their hand gestures and practiced their break dancing on the 5th September, along with three new additions to the group in which their energy created a new atmosphere in the slowly warming Christchurch spring.
At the conclusion of the evening meal, everyone spent their time assisting with the clean up chores. At the same time, they were absorbed in their everlasting conversations. Later that evening, following the suggestion of YAD2 Vice-president Hao-Wen Lin, Jason brought the youths to central city to listen to Vince Harder, a New Zealand singer perform as well as to watch the ＆Swarm＊ dance performance.
The atmosphere was further stirred up to breaking point as Vince Harder pumped more excitement into the vast crowd of participants giving the youth group members a night to remember and a reason to look forward to Temple Day the following week.
2009.09.04 Father＊s Day Special- Weekly Dharma Service With a Twist
Another session of the weekly Dharma Service was held on 4th of September at Fo Guang Shan South Island. Over 50 devotees attended the service, including BLIA South Island Advisor John Lai, BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng, Vic-president Mei-Hua, committee members and Temple devotees. Everyone followed the Venerables lead in chanting the Amitabha Sutra.
After the service, Venerable Juexi shared some words with everyone on the importance role of parents＊ love towards their kids in the early stages of their lives by citing from ※The Sutra About the Deep Kindness of Parents and the Difficulty of Repaying it§. The Venerable said that children should always listen to their parents and remember the valuable advice they give them.
To celebrate Fathers Day, which will be on the first Sunday of September, the YAD members dedicated a hand gesture performance of the songs ※Home of Light§ and Droplets of Gratitude to all the fathers present, as an early celebration to the special day. YAD＊s passionate performance received the applause of everyone present. YAD 1 President Jason Liu and YAD 2 President Danny Chen shared their thoughts on Father＊s Day and expressed their appreciation for the selfless love and care their fathers have given them. The service concluded with all the YAD members shouting out ※Happy Fathers Day§ to all the fathers present.
2009.09.03 Fathers Watch Out! YAD Have a Surprise For You!
BLIA South Island YAD 1 and 2 will be celebrating the coming Father＊s Day by performing hand gestures. To prepare well, the youth held a hand gesture practise session on 3rd September. Nine YAD members attended the session; including their two new YAD members. The YAD members will be performing the hand gestures on 4th of September after the weekly Dharma Function for an early celebration of Father＊s Day.
Two songs will be performed, namely ※Home of Light§ and ※Droplets of Gratitude§. New YAD member Vicky said that she was in the audience when YAD performed hand gestures during Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration earlier this year, and the YAD left her with a good impression; and now that she has been given the opportunity to be part of the YAD performing team itself, she is over the moon.
The YAD Presidents 1 and 2 led the training session, and even though most of the youth have already had several experiences of performing the songs, they still seriously practiced alongside their new members. As ※Droplets of Gratitude§ contains many complex hand gestures, it was not easy for the new members to remember them all; however the older YAD members were enthusiastic in helping YAD＊s new blood in mastering the movements. Everyone practiced hard, as everyone hope to deliver the best performance during the Father＊s Day celebratory performance.
2009.08.29 YAD Buddhism Class Now Part and Parcel of Temple Day
Dharma is like water, and is embraced by all. Venerable Master Hsing Yun has established Temples around the world to foresee the development of Buddhist youths; so to allow them to feel at home at the temple, and help them develop a better understanding of Buddhism.
A Dharma class was conducted on 29th August at Fo Guang Shan South Island, and those who attended included YAD 1 President Jason Liu, YAD 2 President Danny Chen and 10 other YAD members. During the class, Venerable Juexi introduced to everyone basic Buddhism concepts.
This week＊s class was a continuation from last week＊s topic of the ※Five Skandhas§, where the Venerable gave an in-depth explanation of the topic, suggesting that the five Skandhas are a synonym for the constituents of body and mind and consciousness. These five constituents include physical form, feelings, conceptions, impulses and consciousness.
During the class, everyone also had a discussion on the notion of ※form is void§, as well as the relationship between the six roots, the six desires and the six consciousnesses.
The Venerable employed practical and lively examples to allow the YAD members to gain a clearer understanding of the topic discussed, and evoked great interest from the youths who asked many questions during the class.
The youth thanked the Venerable for her enthusiastic guidance and for allowing them to deepen their understanding of Buddhism. The Buddhism class is a part of every Saturday＊s YAD Temple Day, and is something YAD cannot do without.
2009.07.08-10 2010 Australian New Zealand Buddhist Youth Conference (ANZBYC) rises spiritedly-
This year＊s ANZBYC was held by (Young Adult Division) YAD, Queensland, Australia and was entitled ※A Spirit Rising§. There were 110 participants that went to Brisbane for the conference. This year＊s conference emphasizes enhancing the nature of youths, observing people and things around and practicing the Noble Eightfold Path in using it in everyday life.
Various creativity and activities raised in the 4 days conference. There were ice breaking, treasure hunt and other curriculums that teaches Humanistic Buddhism and way of life, etcetera. The concept of this conference is also based on ※Three Good Deeds§ which consists of ※Speak Good Woods§, ※Do Good Things§ and ※Think Good Thoughts§. In addition, the conference also create awareness for the youths to observe people in studying contemplation, where most people always finds another person＊s weakness before they realise their own. The youths have also learned the importance in keeping vows and promises in achieving goals. There were also performances like the YAD South Island NZ current President Jason Liu and Ex-President Liu Jienhsing going hand in hand in a break dance performance with YAD Queensland Aus President Ye Baihong playing the drums.
This yearly activity of ANZBYC also shares different feelings and knowledge with all different YAD members from different places, which all of them gets a special sentiment in this special activity.
2009.07.10 Where is the Party At? 每Temple! Dance Battles and More
Every year, South Island YAD organises their annual YAD party; which is a time for YAD members to have fun and to bring their friends to the Temple so that they may share the fun with them. On 10th July, the annual event was held, and over 20 YAD members, including eight new members attended the event. The festivities began at 3pm, and started off with a Karaoke competition and a session of Wii Games.
At 5.30pm, everyone assembled at the Temple for the Temple tour. YAD 2 President Danny Chen began the tour by introducing everyone to the design concepts of the building, so that the newcomers may gain a deeper understanding of their wisdom home. Following on, YAD 1 President Jason Liu introduced the Buddha Hall and its design to everyone. He also demonstrated the correct way of making a wish at the wishing bell, and explained the purpose of Dharma Instruments. The tour concluded with a tour of the Embroidery Exhibition by YAD member Hao-Wen Lin.
During the party, the YAD members also celebrated the birthdays of members whose birthdays fell during the first half of this year. As the youth got into party mode, a session of Wii games and a dance battle began. The youth expressed their own styles of dance during the battle, and in doing so, got to know each other better.
After the draining battle, the youth devoured party food prepared by the Temple. At the end of the day, everyone had a sharing session with Venerable Abbess Manshin, where Abbess bestowed valuable encouragement and blessings to the YAD members one-by-one. The YAD party concluded at 10pm, and after such a successful party, everyone expressed their wishes for the next YAD activity to be held as soon as possible, as in anticipation they will be wait.
2009.07.08 YAD Abbess Time- Shares Stories of ※Growing Up§
South Island YAD had a lot to be excited about. On the evening of 8th July, 11 YAD members, including YAD 1 President Jason Liu, YAD 2 President Danny Chen, Auckland YAD 2 President Max Lim, attended the special session with Venerable Abbess Manshin. Also present were Venerable Juexi and Venerable Miao Yu.
The YAD members shared their feelings and experiences of working at the Tea House and Art Gallery, while the YAD presidents also commented on their experiences of shouldering the responsibility of being a YAD president. The youth expressed that they have learnt many skills and gained experience through working at the Tea House and Art Gallery. They also suggested that while being the receptionist at the Art Gallery, they have developed their communication skills and have witnessed a marked improvement in their English skills. BLIA members Tracy Chen, See Shen Lee and Benny Wong also shared their experience with the YAD members.
Venerable Abbess Manshin and the other Venerables encouraged the YAD members to continue to develop their potential and enrich their lives with Buddhism. At the conclusion of Abbess Time, the YAD members expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to have time with Abbess and the Venerables. They also vowed to shoulder more responsibility at Temple, and to make the Temple their wisdom home.
2009.07.05 YAD Winds Down After Exams
On 5th July, YAD 1President Jason Liu and 10 members of YAD 1 and 2 went to the Harvey Norman Super Center to play Laser Strike, as a way of winding down after their rounds of tiring exams. Auckland YAD 2 President Max Lim also participated in the challenging game.
During the game, everyone was divided into three teams. The youths were filled with excitement, as it was the first time for many of them to play Laser Strike. Everyone enjoyed their pleasant afternoon, even though they did not do well during their game.
2009.07.04 News Flash-YAD Reports!
To prepare for the upcoming ANZBYC 2009, YAD members of BLIA South Island conducted a movie shooting session at Fo Guang Shan South Island on 4th July, as a part of their YAD report project. They adopted the news broadcasting style for their presentation to showcase their activities which have been held over the past year.
During YAD Temple Day, the planning team prepared a script and dressed the YAD actors and actress with props before rolling the camera. YAD 1President Jason Liu played the role of the newscaster and reporter while Hao-Wen Lin was in-charge of the camera. The other YAD members were interviewed in groups during the course of the shooting. The youth displayed great talent, imagination and creativity during the shooting process as they went through their scripts adroitly, adhering to the meaning of their role yet acting with their own style. Everyone eagerly helped out with the entire filming process, as they wish that the report may be finished in time for the opening ceremony of ANZBYC 2009.
2009.07.02 YAD Meeting Plans Activities for the Next Half Year
BLIA YAD South Island held a meeting on 2nd July to discuss about the activities report that will be presented during ANZBYC 2009. The meeting was chaired by YAD 1 President Jason Liu, and was attended by 7 other YAD members. During the meeting, everyone decided to present the YAD report with a news broadcasting style.
With the school holidays ahead, the youth also decided to organise some activities, including a birthday party for the YAD members whose birthdays falling in the first half of the year. During that day, there will be a Karaoke competition, candle-lit dinner and a session of playing Wii games. All YAD members are welcome to participate. Jason also encouraged YAD members to maximize their use of their holidays and return to the Temple help out with Temple tasks.
2009.06.19 YAD Members Chauffeured to the Ball in Style
YAD members of BLIA South Island Hao-Wen and Hao-Tin Lin, who are from Papanui High School attended their formal dinner organised by their school on the night of 19th June. They invited three fellow YAD members Danny, Jay and Cindy to share the night of fun with them. The youth were well prepared for the event, dressed with stunning outfits and ball gowns.
Before they set off to the venue of the Ball, the youth arrived at FGS South Island to bid-farewell to the Venerable and aunties at the Temple, where they were met with applause and praise for their statement-making attire. Staff of the Temple chauffeured the youth to Riccarton Race Course, where the night of fun was to be.
The theme of the annual function was Phantom of the Opera, where everyone in attendance wore a phantom mask. YAD members were eager to join formal events, as they wanted to add to their experiences in such activities. Dancing was the highlight of the function and YAD members were immersed in the joy of dance with their peers. After several hours of dancing with their friends, the youth further strengthened their social skills. The YAD members expressed their appreciation for the assistance and valuable advice provided by the Venerable, aunties and seniors.
2009.05.30 Temple Day Brings Yet Another Day of Excitement
Last Saturday, a Christchurch local visited Fo Guang Shan South Island and attended a session of evening chanting, which was conducted by BLIA Young Adults Division members. He was drawn in by the tune of the chanting and the atmosphere during the session. On 30th May, he brought a friend from Australia to join the chanting session.
At the Temple, the visitors＊ curiosity about Buddhism and the Temple was attended to by YAD members, who intently received the visitors＊ queries and enthusiastically answered them. Prior to their departure, the duo expressed their gratitude for the answers to their questions as well as the high level of service from the Temple.
Later in the evening, eight YAD members attended the Cantonese speaking class. During the class, the students played games which helped them gain familiarity with Cantonese conversations. Because the learning tasks and games were made interesting, everyone had fun and effectively increased their vocabulary. The students expressed that they were eagerly anticipating the next class on the coming Saturday.
2009.05.16 Re-Election of BLIA-YADSNZ President
On the afternoon of 16th May, a re-election of Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Young Adults Division President was held by BLIA South Island YAD. This re-election was attended by Co-Acting President of BLIASNZ YAD I Andy Hsu and Jason Liu, President of BLIASNZ YAD II Danny Chen, not to mention various other members of BLIASNZ YAD and with Venerable Juexi sitting in at the meeting.
During the session, Jason Liu was elected by fellow members as the President of BLIASNZ YAD I. Venerable Juexi congratulated the newly elected president and urged members of YAD to give the new president their full support so that the great work done by BLIASNZ YAD can continue without fail.
2009.05.12 The Young and Old Prepare for Buddha＊s Light Day
To prepare for the coming International Buddha＊s Light Day, Cantonese class teacher Benny Wong began a rehearsal class for his students on 12th May. They will be performing a Dharma song in Cantonese during the special day. Among the performers were YAD 1 President Jason Liu, YAD 2 President Danny Chen and several other YAD members. Memorising the lyrics and singing in Cantonese proved a difficult task for everyone, as they did not have a strong background in the language. During practice, although they were faced with many obstacles, they were armed with the spirit of perseverance, and with that, they encouraged each other to try their best, so that they can produce their best performance during the event.
On another note, BLIA South Island North One Sub-Chapter President, Mrs. Yang, led her team of six in preparing a performance for the event. Since 9th May, they had already begun preparing their preparations. They selected a well-known Fo Guang Shan song as their performance, in hope that the members will adopt Fo Guang Shan＊s spirit while practicing.
2009.05.10 Even an Ocean of Tears Cannot Repay Mothers＊ Sacrifice
To celebrate Mother＊s Day, which is on 10th of May, the ※Difficulty of Repaying One＊s Parents Sutra§ Dharma function was held on 9th of May at Fo Guang Shan South Island. The purpose of the Dharma function was to transfer merits to all the parents in the world, wishing for their health and happiness.
During the Dharma talk, Venerable Juexi said that it is difficult for us to repay our mothers for the sacrifices they have made for our benefit. Since it is hard for us to even come close to repaying our parents, she encouraged devotees to do all they can; that is to lead their parents into having their faith in the Triple Gem, to chant for parents and to print Dharma books on behalf of their parents.
Following on was the performance by YAD. YAD 1 President Andy Hsu led over ten members of YAD 1 and 2 to sing the song ※You Raise Me Up§. The performance began with Andy playing the violin, and other YAD members singing expressively. After singing, five YAD members come forward to share some words about their mother. The mothers who were present were left with uncontrollable tears, while some of the youths were also in tears from the absence of mothers. From the bottom of their hearts, the youth conveyed their love and appreciation to their mothers.
After the emotional sharing, YAD members presented all the mothers who attended the function with carnations. To wish all the mothers a Happy Mother＊s Day, the Celebration ended with a cake-cutting ceremony by Venerable Juexi and the representative for the mothers, Mrs. Wong.
This year, the Mother＊s Day celebration ended with tears of love and gratitude. The sincere affection between the YAD members and their mothers has surely been revealed, if not also deepened.
2009.05.09 Against All Odds- YAD Continue Unfinished Project
On 9th May, six YAD members again participated in a working bee, under the leadership of YAD 1 President Jason Liu. They continued their unfinished project from last week, which was to move excess pebbles away from the car park.
Due to the unforgiving rain during the past few days, the work got tough, with wet ground and cold weather to work with. However, those factors could not stop the youth from working harder. With determination, they reached their target of completing their task in cold weather. After two sessions of strenuous work, they managed to even the ground at car park. Not only did the youth feel a sense of achievement through their work, the bond between YAD members was also strengthened.
2009.05.09 Advancing in Dharma Instruments 每 Youth Work Together
On 9th May, a Dharma instrument class was held under the guidance of Jason Liu. As there were many new students, Jason took everyone through the entire process of a Dharma function. He also taught the new students the standard beats for ※Lu Xiang Incense Anthem.
Since it was the first time for many students to learn about ※Gu Shan Diao§, the students were a little nervous, but after lots of effort, they showed great improvement. After the practice session, everyone had more confidence for the coming Dharma function.
2009.05.08 Preparation meeting for Mother＊s day Celebration
In conjunction with the coming Mother＊s Day, BLIA YAD South Island will be holding a Mother＊s Day celebration on Saturday, 9th of May. Under the leadership of YAD President Andy Hsu, seven YAD members held a preparation meeting on 8th May to discuss the contents and schedule for the activity.
The youth decided that they will sing the song ※You Raise Me Up§ to convey their love towards their mothers, and five YAD members will also be selected to share words of gratitude with their mother. This will be followed by presenting flowers to all the mothers and finally a cake cutting ceremony to conclude the celebration. After the meeting, the youth had a practice session for the song they will be performing. YAD members practiced hard and tried to memorise the lyrics of the entire song, as they wish to bring out the best performance during the event.
2009.05.08 Where Quality Matters - Tea House Staff Training Session
A training session for the staffs of the Tea House was held on the night of 8th May, under the guidance of BLIA committee member See Shen Lee. The session was held to improve the quality of service at the Tea House so that the customers are left with a positive and lasting impression. YAD 1 President Jason Liu, YAD 2 President Danny Chen and four other YAD members attended the training session.
See Shen shared with the staff her past experience as a waitress and briefed them with the working code of the Tea House. Quality promoting issues and topics that were covered included cleanliness, speed, enthusiasm and personal observation capability. She also demonstrated the routine to be followed for all the staffs at the Tea House before and after business hours. She also reminded all the frontline staff to be self-motivated during work and poised for seeking advice when in doubt.
The Tea House is now well-established and its vegetarian food is continuing to gain popularity in Christchurch. It is therefore inevitable to continue improving its service. Ms. Lee encouraged everyone to work harder and promised to give the staff a hand when needed. She also hopes that everyone will use their heart in their work while at the Temple.
2009.05.06 University Students Express Their Appreciation
Three University of Canterbury students, Mina Chan, Cherry Yong and Terry Guo, who are friends of YAD members Wei-chia Cheng, visited Fo Guang Shan South Island. They were welcomed by Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery Assistant Curator See Shen Lee and Venerable Juexi.
After already been in Christchurch for few years, they finally had the opportunity to visit the Temple. The students expressed their appreciation for Buddhism＊s contribution to society, and for providing them a spiritual home. After lunch at the Tea House, they began their tour of Yao Hong Ying＊s Embroidery Exhibition. The combination of rainy weather that day and the Temple＊s serene building created an atmosphere of peace and solace.
After viewing the Embroidery, Wei Chia took his friends for a guided tour of the Temple, as they were interested in the design of the building. While at the Buddha Hall, they paid homage to the Buddha. Mina and Cherry were interested in both the arrangement of the sculptured works and the food at the Tea House. They commented that they will visit the Tea House more regularly and spread the word about the delicious vegetarian cuisine at the Tea House. Venerable Juexi encouraged the visitors to participate in the temple activities, and invited them to attend BLIA Day on 16th May. On behalf of Temple, Venerable Juexi presented everyone a copy of the ※Activity Report of YAD South Island 2008§.
2009.05.02 YAD Working Bee- A Time for Bonding
During the afternoon of 2nd May, ten YAD members participated in a working bee which involved clearing pebbles from the car park. Under the guidance of Venerable Juexi, YAD 1 President Jason Liu, YAD 2 President Danny Chen, Vice-president Jay Chen, committee member Hao-Wen and 4 other YAD members contributed their time and worked hard together.
The previous construction project left many small stones along the driveway, and made it difficult to walk on due to the uneven surface. During the working bee, the youth removed all the small stones from the gravel driveway and surrounding lawn, and leveled the road surface using spades. Everyone shared the workload; some of them cut the grass, and some were responsible for carting the stones away.
Working closely together allowed the youth to share their life experiences with each other. Everyone seemed to enjoy the arduousness of the task at hand, as through the hard work they were able to bond closer with one another. They managed to clear half of the stones in a swift two hours, and promised to have the rest done next week. Two young YAD members, Wayne and Maggie, who are both at the tender age of 13 years, worked hard along with their older Dharma brothers and sisters. Although the task proved tiring for them, they gained a sense of achievement through their efforts.
2009.04.02 In Need of Good Coffee- Teahouse Brings Coffee to Next Level
The food and coffee at FGS Tea House is famous around Christchurch, and this is proven by the never-ending orders that are taken on weekends and public holidays.
To improve the quality of service at the Tea House, professional barista Andy Hsiao was invited to share his expert knowledge on coffee brewing with the staff at the Tea House. He is currently running the Dose Caf谷 in the city＊s center, and is strict about the quality of coffee that is served to his customers.
BLIA Young Adults Division President Jason Liu and fellow YAD members, as well as BLIA South Island committee member Benny Wong were among those who took part in the coffee brewing class. Andy equipped the students with basic knowledge on the types of coffees available and demonstrated the correct way to work the coffee machine; by which all the students had a chance to brew some coffee.
In addition Andy also taught everyone the correct way of cleaning and maintaining the coffee machine. At the end of the class, everyone had gained enough confidence to serve the customers at Tea House with good coffee.
2009.03.29 Undeterred by Difficulty of Task- YAD Reaches Out
On 29th March, BLIA South Island Young Adults Division 1 and 2 Presidents Jason Liu and Danny Chen led four YAD members to Cathedral Square and Art Gallery to distribute the pamphlets of the Baby Blessing Ceremony.
While at the Square, the youths organised themselves into three pairs and walked around the venue, introducing the Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration and Baby Blessing Ceremony to passing-by tourists and visitors.
In the city, where the majority of the population is Christian, promoting religion-orientated events is a tough and challenging task. However, the YAD members were brave enough to take on the challenge and shoulder the task, regardless of the result that may yield.
Venerable Juexi encouraged the YAD members to continue to take up the challenge, since the propagation of Dharma depends on the combination of various causes and conditions.
2009.03.21 Temple Day- Bringing Dharma Instruments To Next Level
During YAD Temple Day on 21st March, BLIA South Island Young Adults Division members had a Dharma Instrument class following the Dharma Function in the morning.
The curriculum for the class included learning how to chant and play the Dharma Instruments to the ※Incense Anthem Chieh Ting§, Medicine Buddha＊s Grand Anthem, 88- Buddha General Repentance and Standard Prostration Prayers. Eight YAD members attended the class by Venerable Juexi.
Everyone attended the class with a serious attitude, as they hope that the acquisition of more skills and knowledge in chanting and Dharma Instrument playing may be of benefit when they need to use it during Dharma Functions. More importantly, the fine tuning that occurs during the classes will allow them to help make the Dharma Function as majestic as possible.
Venerable Juexi also shared with the youth important hints and tips when playing the Dharma Instruments to help them in the learning process.
2009.03.07 YAD General Meeting Produces Outline and Direction for 2009
On 7th March, BLIA South Island Young Adults Division held their first General Meeting for year 2009. The meeting agenda included the coming Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration as well as YAD＊s annual activities schedule.
The meeting was chaired by YAD President Andy Hsu, and in attendance were YAD 1 President Jason Liu, YAD 2 President Danny Chen, Jay Chen, Hao-Wen Lin and other committee members, totaling ten youth.
During the meeting, the youth discussed about the draft YAD activities schedule, and brainstormed activities and events for each month. In addition, jobs for the Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration were allocated to the YAD members.
YAD is responsible for: the sound system for the entire event; being MCs; the publicity for the baby blessing ceremony during the Celebration; the YAD Stall, where the youth will be selling candy and ice red tea as fundraising for YAD. YAD members will also be performing five songs with hand gestures, namely ※Transform and Contribute§, ※Harmonise§, ※Star and Cloud§, ※Home Of Light§ and ※Droplets of Gratitude§.
The brave YAD members have also resolved to accept the responsibility of finding more volunteers to help out with the Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration. The YAD President also encouraged YAD members to be more involved with the activities organised by BLIA South Island, and gain some valuable life experiences which will inevitably enrich their lives.
2009.03.07 Maiden YAD English Class Begins!
On 7th March, the English writing class for YAD members began. Six YAD members attended the first lesson, and under the guidance of English teacher Ms. Maggie, they have learnt new vocabulary and synonyms.
Ms. Maggie incorporated Buddhist teachings into her syllabus to enable students to learn Buddhism while learning English. She also used examples to make the learning process more interesting.
Some students may have felt that the class content was too difficult for them. However, they understand that throwing themselves in the deep end is an efficient way to learn and build up their language proficiency. The students expressed that they appreciate the kindness of Temple for arranging the class and providing them an opportunity to learn.
2009.02.21 Saturday becomes YAD＊s ※Temple Day§!
On 21st February, under the guidance of Venerable Juexi and BLIA Young Adults Division President Weichia Cheng, 20 BLIA South Island Young Adults Division One and Two members had their committee meeting.
During the meeting, a resolution was made; that is to set every Saturday as ※YAD Temple Day§. Venerable Juexi encouraged all the YAD members to come to the Temple on ※Temple Day§ to join in the Dharma Service, as well as participate in the Dharma instrument class and Dharma class. Apart from Buddhism studies, Venerable Juexi also hoped that during the day, the youths can also learn the methods and skills required for writing news, updating the website and editing pictures.
From the first Saturday of March onwards, the Temple will employ a local English teacher to help the youths in improving their English writing skills. The YAD also expressed their willingness to take up the responsibility of preparing dinner on Saturday nights, and thus spend a fruitful, well-structured and contented weekend at the Temple.
2009.01.28 YAD Car Washing Service Alive and Well
With the end of the summer school holidays for high school students closing in, on the 28th January, YAD members Sheng-Han Lim, Cindy Hsu and Anne Chiang took to FGS South Island＊s car park and washed 2 cars as part of their carwash fundraising effort.
As the youths washed the cars, feelings of team spirit and contentment filled their hearts, as they were aware that servicing the community and being industrious are attributes of a good Buddhist youth.
As the YAD members are well aware that the people of Christchurch seldom have their cars washed by car washing parlours who charge an arm and a leg, they only ask for 20 or 25 dollars for a car to be washed, inside and out without a compromise in quality.
The purpose of the fundraising activity is for the YAD to create good affinities with the supporters of the car wash service, and show the power of young people-who are capable of using the Dharma in their everyday lives.
2009.01.23 Former YAD President Returns to Celebrate the New Year
On 23rd January, former Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island YAD president Hiking Liu returned to Christchurch from Melbourne for Chinese New Year. A day after returning to Christchurch, Hiking attended FGS South Island＊s regular Saturday Dharma Function along with all the devotees.
Later in the day, in the presence of Venerable Juexi, Hiking shared his Melbourne experiences with members of South Island YAD. Hiking encouraged the youths to seize the opportunity to learn and volunteer in the Temple so that the YAD can improve together as a team. He also shared his experiences which he gained from Melbourne YAD.
The former YAD president encouraged all the youths to attend the upcoming International Buddhist Youth Conference to broaden their views and experiences. Members of South Island YAD also took the opportunity to discuss about the proposed YAD events for 2009, namely Young Adult Study Groups, Dharma Instrument Classes and Dharma Classes.
2008.12.07 A Picturesque Memory for YAD Member Takumi to Keep
YAD member Takumi, a Japanese International student, will be leaving for Japan on the 18th of December, after attending Riccarton High School of Christchurch for over one year as part of his student exchange program.
On the 7th of December, Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Young Adults Division 2 members went to Sumner Beach to hold a memorable farewell for Takumi. YAD 1 vice president Jason Liu, YAD 2 vice president Jay Chen, members Fan-Ping Chiang, Wayne and Kirsten, a total of 6 people, took the bus to Sumner for a day of fun.
Under the shining sun and beautiful blue skies, the youths began to enjoy their time at the beach as soon as they arrived. Some rolled around in the sand, some ran straight towards the sea, and of course some were dragged into the sea.
After lunch, everyone started to enjoy the special commodities at the beach 每 the sea and the sand. After a day of fun, the youths were covered in sand, but as the youths had so much fun, that was the least of their worries. Al the youth wish that Takumi will be able to remember the day as an amazing and wonderful memory.
2008.12.05 Reviewing the Successes of ※Heart of a Child§ Week!
The ＆Heart of Child＊ week concluded on the 5th of December, and was rounded up with a review meeting at the Tea House with Venerable Juexi, Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island president Almeric Cheng, advisor Sandy Liao, director Louisa Kuo and BLIA Young Adult Division South Island members, to a total of 15 people.
Previously, Mr. Cheng encouraged the youths to take on the responsibility of events with courage and enthusiasm. With this week＊s event, the youth showed they could do just that with their display of maturity and growth. In the interest of future events, Mr. Cheng offered to start a class on organization and tour guiding skills; all in a bid to help the youths unlock their potential.
Advisor Liao expressed to the youths that they should value and treasure being at the Temple, as they can learn many valuable skills. She explained that the experiences and knowledge gained at the Temple will always be useful throughout life, and is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the most out of. Director Kuo encouraged the youths to do their best, broaden their horizons, and keep working hard to grow and develop.
The youths took in these wise words and learned from their experiences through this event, namely how to take care of younger children and how to introduce the Temple and its artwork. YAD 1 vice president Jason Liu expressed that he will work hard with the YAD members to get them even more familiar with the hand gestures, so to allow for even better performances in the future.
2008.12.05 YAD Fundraising Car Wash Service back into full swing
As the end-of-year holidays have arrived for the high school students, Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division members have reinstated their car wash for fundraising activity.
On the afternoon of 5th of December, YAD fundraising leader Shenghan Lim, YAD 2 president Danny Chen and members Fan-Ping Chiang and Takumi worked together to wash and vacuum 4 cars for Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple staff.
The youths efficiently divided the tasks between themselves, with a pair washing and hosing the car, and the other pair drying and vacuuming. The youths meticulous cleaned the vehicles, and presented the owners of the cars with a sparkling car, inside and out.
The youths felt proud of their achievement, as their collective efforts in fundraising will surely work towards lowering their debt. The youth were happy to have the opportunity to provide service for the community. The fun day of car washing swung the fundraising effort back into full ball.
2008.12.05 ※Heart of a Child§ Week Draws to a Conclusion
※Heart of a Child§ week, which was organised by Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division, concluded on the 5th of December after the last group of 17 children and 5 teachers from Discovery 1 School arrived at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple for their session of fun, which fell between 10am and 11:30am.
Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island president Almeric Cheng, advisor Sandy Liao, director Louisa Kuo and consultant Ron Wright joined the YAD for their final session of the week-long event.
YAD 1 vice president Jason Liu, YAD 2 president Danny Chen and YAD members Jay Chen and Fan-Ping Chiang guided the group around the Temple, with their first stop being Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery 2, where the children and parents took time to appreciate the artworks of the exhibition ※Draw with Heart§.
Their next stop was the Buddha Hall, where they were given the opportunity to make a wish at the wishing bell. The children waited in anticipation as they lined up to have their turn to make a wish in front of the Buddha.
As they walked downstairs, they were lead to the Dining Hall to participate in the activities the YAD had lined up for them. The first of the activities was time to write a comment or wish on a piece of paper. They were taught how to fold the piece of paper they wrote on into a shape of a heart, which they then stuck onto the wall.
Following on, YAD presented ※Stars and Clouds§ hand gestures and the ※Mi Lu Egg Dance§ to the eager children who also joined in with the dancing. In a reciprocal fashion, Discovery 1＊s children performed the Maori song ※Te Aroha§ and an English song called ※Aroha is Love§ for the people at the Temple.
Before they left, the children assembled at the Tea House, where they enjoyed a lovely morning tea prepared by Tea House and Kitchen staff Gina Chen, Grace Fu and Lynn Ferguson. This group marked the conclusion of the successful ※Heart of a Child§ week.
2008.12.04 Come on, Bring on the ※Mi Lu Egg Dance§!
On the 5th of December, students and teachers of Discovery 1 School will be arriving at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple to participate in ※Heart of the Child§.
To prepare for the school＊s visit, members of Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division gathered at the Temple on the 4th of December to practice a dance which will be presented to the 19 children who will be visiting on the 5th.
YAD member Judy Huang came in her spare time to teach the ※Mi Lu Egg Dance§ to 5 members of YAD, namely vice president Jason Liu, YAD 2 president Danny Chen and members Fan-Ping Chiang and Jay Chen. The youth feel confident that they will be able to produce a solid performance tomorrow.
2008.12.03 Nothing is Impossible, Not Even the Woodenfish!
On the 6th of December, the Amitabha Dharma function will be conducted at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple. In order to refine their Dharma instrument playing skills, Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division 2 president Danny Chen and vice president Jay Chen arrived at the temple on the 3rd of December to learn how to play the Woodenfish during the Dharma function.
Temple administrator Tracy Chen patiently demonstrated to the youth the way to play the Woodenfish, and ran through all the procedures for Saturday＊s Dharma function. Both YAD members learned zealously, and practiced playing the Woodenfish until they were confident with it. The youth hope that by being well prepared, they can play the Dharma instruments smoothly during the Dharma function.
2008.11.30 ※Heart of a Child's§ first guest- Chch Heart Association
In the afternoon of November 30th, ※Heart of a Child§ Week rolled off to a start with the Christchurch branch of New Zealand Heart Association for Children bringing little ones Summer, Georgia, Amy and Corey- aged from 5 years old to 13-year-old- to attend the week-long event at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple. The children were accompanied by parents Lee-anne, Leona, Trevor, Anne and Jenny.
The main objective of the Heart Association is to provide the best care and support for New Zealand children living with heart disease by helping to cover the cost of surgery, reducing the strain on the families caused by the suffering, preventing premature death due to heart disease, as well as publishing research journals on children's heart disease.
The session commenced with a guided tour of the Temple, where Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division members Danny Chen and Fan-Ping Chiang led the group around the Temple, introducing them to the concepts behind the construction building, as well as basic ideas of Buddhism. The guests were also shown around exhibition ※Draw with the Heart§ at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery 2, where they looked upon the artwork in awe.
At the Dining Hall, the children and parents witnessed an enthusiastic presentation of ※Stars and Clouds§ hand gestures by YAD members, which they surely found impressive. Following on, the children and adults were taught how to fold paper hearts; in which the children listened and learnt with great determination and had lots of fun in the process.
The session concluded with BLIA president Almeric Cheng giving gifts to the children while well-wishing them for the coming holidays, as well as a delicious afternoon tea at Fo Guang Tea House. The little ones also had the chance to take time out from having afternoon tea to feed the fish in the pond.
2008.11.29 YAD get serious about hand gestures!
In preparation for "Heart of a Child", an event organized by Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division which will be held from the 30th of November through till the 5th of December, 5 members of YAD practiced hand gestures for the song ＆Stars and Clouds＊ on the 29th of November, as it will be performed for each session of the event.
The practice session was led by YAD 1 vice president Jason Liu, where he familiarised the hand gestures and lyrics to YAD members Tom Chen, Danny Chen, Jay Chen, Shenghan Lim and Fan-Ping Chiang. All members put in all their effort into the practice, and they were all passionate about the event and making most of the time they have with these children.
As part of YAD＊s effort in inviting different children association＊s to attend the ＆Heart of a Child＊ event, the first session will be held on the 30th of November from 2:30 p.m. The group will consist of 7 people 每 3 children and 4 parents 每 from the Heart Children New Zealand- Christchurch Branch. The ages of the kids range from 4 to 13 years of age, and there will be 4 members of YAD and BLIA guiding them around the temple.
The youths hope that with the "Heart of a Child" experience, they will be able to help these association members have a great time, and build their self-confidence as well as skills. More importantly, they will be able to provide the community with their Bodhisattva spirit.
2008.11.22 2nd meeting for ＆Heart of a Child＊
On the 22nd of November, a second meeting for ※Heart of a Child"- an event organised by Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division- was held in the presence of Venerable Juexi.
The meeting was chaired by Buddha's Light International Association South Island president Almeric Cheng and YAD 1 vice president Jason Liu, and around 20 volunteers and organisers for the event attended.
Topics which were discussed during the meeting included the progress of the preparation for the event, the number of organizations and children who are attending so far, how each of the sessions will be led and the activities which will be included.
YAD members will take on the challenge of being responsible for guiding the visitors around and welcoming them. Doing so will allow the YAD members a chance to grow and develop, as well as become familiar with the knowledge on how to guide and lead a group.
2008.11.18 Time to....Say Goodbye!!
Buddha＊s Light International Association Young Adult Division member Ann Hsiao will be leaving for Taiwan on the 19th of November, after over one year of attending high school in New Zealand. One day before her departure, YAD 2 president Danny Chen organized a farewell party at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple＊s Dining Hall.
15 YAD members gathered to share their final words and thoughts with her, with Venerable Juexi giving her valuable advice for her life ahead as well. Venerable Juexi suggested to Ann that whatever path she aspires to follow in life, it is important not to compare the self with others, as everyone has their own unique aspirations and strengths. Venerable Juexi also emphasized that we should not do things just to satisfy others, but to follow our hearts and live our dreams.
2008.11.14 Exams Closing In - 2nd Week of YAD Study Marathon
On the 14th, 15th and 16th of November, Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division 2 members arrived at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple for their second week of their study marathon. As their exams are closing in, the youth diligently revised their school work, and utilized the Temple＊s quiet and peaceful meeting room to focus their minds on the task at hand.
Their study sessions were filled with intermissions for afternoon tea and time to stretch and relax. On Sunday, apart from study, the youth also engaged in a laughter-filled session of watering the garden, where the 8 YAD members cooperated to water a vast area of Tussocks in the Temple＊s carpark in a swift time of 15 minutes.
The working bee was a chance for the youths to wind down and relax after a strenuous three days of study. Venerable Juexi wishes that all YAD members will do well during their exams, and that all their efforts in preparing for the exams will pay off with good results.
2008.11.14 A Big Day Out at the Shows
On the 14th of November, 7 members of Buddha＊s Light International Association Young Adult Division 2 had a fun day at the 2008 Royal New Zealand Show, which was held at Canterbury Agricultural Park. This once a year event is organized by Christchurch City Council.
Under the guidance of YAD 2 president Danny Chen and YAD 2 vice-president Hao-Tin Lin, everyone paced around the park with excitement and happiness as they visited the various vibrant and interesting stalls.
The shows and stalls showcased at the Show included wood cutting competitions and animal watching, where the visitors could mingle with and look at the sheep, cattle, chickens, alpacas and many more animals up close. There were also some animals which allowed visitors to touch and hold them.
Other events at the show included carnival rides such as the ferris wheel, go karts, round up, kamikaze, merry go round, and side shows such as darts and clown games. There were also many stalls which sold food and a variety of objects, such as toys and horse saddles.
Members of YAD 2 walked around the park several times to try out and see all the different sorts of activities and shows at the park. They also had the chance to hold a wide variety of animals, such as alpacas, little chicks, young cattle and goats. They also went on many of the rides and tried all sorts of the food which were sold at the show.
On the day, there were also several contests for the animals, such as the best looking animal and the largest cattle, from which the youths witnessed a 1286 kg cow. At the end of the show, all the members waited in anticipation to see England＊s Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise give out the prizes. Recipients of prizes included a person who bought a house in contribution to the Cure Kids fund.
2008.11.09 YAD Study Session
Many Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division 2 members will be having exams over the following few weeks. On the 9th of November, the temple provided a study session at Fo Guang Shan South Island temple's meeting room for YAD 2 members to prepare for their end of year of exams.
In the quiet and supportive environment, YAD 1 member Anne Chiang tutored the high school members through their problems on various subjects. The youths supported and encouraged each other, and studied quietly with great concentration on their work.
YAD 2 members who came to study included president Danny Chen, vice president Hao-Tin Lin, Hao-Wen Lin, Ann Hsiao, Fan-Ping Chiang and Brian Kuo. Even Takumi, an overseas＊ Japanese student who does not have any end of year exams, sat quietly so he could be with the rest of the group.
The YAD members studied diligently and wholeheartedly, and apart from the odd question or two for Anne Chiang, everyone worked hard towards the end of year exams.
After a day of studying, everyone gained more knowledge and confidence. For the next 2 weeks, the youths will continue with these study sessions, in hope that by putting all their efforts in preparing for these exams, they will do their best and gain good marks.
The long day drew to a conclusion with a delicious dinner prepared by the temple, some ice-cream and a good movie-all in a bid to help the youth wind down after a toiling day of study.
2008.11.08 Special Weeks to Come
On the 8th of November, Buddha's Light International Association South Island Committee as well as it's Young Adult Division had a meeting to discuss about the ※Special Week for Special Children§ and the ※Nature and Life Floral Week§.
In the presence of Venerable Juexi, the meeting was conducted by BLIA president Mr. Almeric Cheng and BLIA YAD 1 president Wei-Chia Cheng. In attendance were BLIA vice president Ms. Mei-Hua Chen, Mr. Jack Liu, BLIA advisor John Lai and Ms. Sandy Liao as well as other BLIA and BLIA YAD members, totaling around 30 people.
During the meeting, the events ※Special Week for Special Children§ and the ※Nature and Life Floral Week§ were discussed, such as what the events will involve during that period and assigning people with their tasks.
The ※Special Week for Special Children＊s§ includes admiring the exhibition ※Draw with Heart§ at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery 2, under the guidance of YAD and BLIA members, who will be introducing them to the temple.
The tour of the temple will be followed by morning or afternoon tea at Fo Guang Tea House. The ※Nature and Life Floral Week§ will include live performances of flower arrangements, lavender themed afternoon tea as well as products for sale, and flower arrangement competitions by vote. The BLIA members will be on a roster and take turns to guide the floral expo.
BLIA South Island president Mr. Almeric Cheng expressed his thoughts on how BLIA YAD and BLIA committee members should cooperate and support each other during these 2 events to facilitate a successful outcome. The youths can also learn from the committee members during these events, and also discover their passion through these experiences.
At the conclusion of the meeting, BLIA president Mr. Almeric Cheng thanked everyone for their ideas and opinions, which are sure to make the events more exciting. He also set the dates for the next meetings, which will be on the 22nd of November and the 29th of November, and hopes that with our efforts, the 2 events will be successful.
2008.11.07 Selling Wheels for a Good Cause
Fo Guang Shan South Island kitchen chef Ms. Gina Chen kindly donated her car to Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division so that the youth can sell it as part of their fundraising effort. The car was sold today on the 7th of November for NZ$1700. The money raised from selling the car will be use to organize YAD activities and promote education.
Ms. Gina Chen said she was delighted to donate her car to the YAD to sell, as throughout the year, she has been touched by the growth and maturity of YAD. She hopes that by this donation, she will be able to help encourage YAD and help to take them a step further.
BLIA South Island YAD activities organiser Shenghan Lim helped to sell the car online, and during the short time of two or three days, the car was sold. With this money, YAD will be able to organize more activities and contribute to the community. YAD expressed that they will use the money wisely, and use it in a helpful manner. They also expressed their gratitude to the Temple, Abbess Manshin, the Venerables, BLIA members and devotees for their ongoing encouragement and support.
2008.11.01 YAD Basketball Battle
On the 1st of November, Buddha's Light International South Island Young Adult Division 2 activity leader, Brian Kao organized a basketball match for YAD members at Burnside High School. YAD 2 president Danny Chen, Deputy Jay Chen, Hao-Wen Lin and ten other YAD members attended this outdoor activity.
Each YAD member gave the match their best and showed great cooperation to try and win the match as a team. There were many interesting moments during the basketball game.
The outing lasted for 3 hours in total despite the weather not being as good as they had previously predicted.
2008.10.29 Minister of Ethnic Affairs Hon Chris Carter's letter
On 29th October 2008, Minister of Ethnic Affairs Hon. Chris Carter sent a special email to all the Buddha's Light International Association South Island members who helped with neighborhood day on the 11th October. In the email Minister Hon. Chris Carter praised YAD's performance, which was the ANZBYC 2008 camp song ＆Transform and Contribute＊. Minister Hon. Chris Carter also encouraged us ※to spread the Buddha＊s message of peace and harmony§. He also emphasized that for us, immigrants, we should value our parents＊ hard work and sacrifice by aiming high in our education.
2008.10.26 YAD Badminton Session at St. Thomas
To help the high school students relax before their end of year exams, Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division 2 president Danny Chen, vice president Jay Chen and Hao-Tin Lin led a group of 10 YAD 2 members to St. Thomas to play at a weekly Sunday badminton practice session on the 26th of October.
Under pro-badminton player vice president Jay Chen's coaching advice, the less experienced players learnt many tips on how to play badminton and in doing so, enhanced the group's mutual support between peers.
The more experienced showed their true skills on the court, which livened up the atmosphere. The event allowed everyone to relax, and gave them a chance to socialize cheerfully with their peers through a healthy and safe activity.
2008.10.19 Draw With Heart Exhibition
On the 19th of October, members of Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division 2 helped to take down and carefully pack up the artworks from the exhibitions of ※Hospitality for the Heart§ and ※Fo Guang Shan Ink Rubbings of the Hundred Masters Plaque§, as the new artworks from the exhibition ※Draw With The Heart§ will begin to be exhibited from the 21st of October until the 30th of November.
YAD 2 president Danny Chen, vice president Jay Chen, Fan-Ping Chiang, Ann Hsiao, Hao-tin Lin, Takumi, Shenghan Lim and Seeshen Lee all helped with setting up the new exhibition.
On the 20th of October, YAD 1 president Wei-Chia Cheng came to help complete the set up of the exhibition. During the process of arranging and hanging up the artworks, the youths co-operated well, which was illustrated in the efficiency of the set up process and the end result of the youth＊s effort. They also became more appreciative of artworks, and learned how to arrange the artworks in a particular way to allow the exhibition to look its best.
The artworks for this exhibition were created by children between the ages of 4 and 14 years. Their creative artworks are depicted through the powers of water colour, pastels, ink, three dimensional houses, books etc. They have used their creativity to produce their artworks, and their inspirations have come from animals, self-portraits, environment, plants and artworks using various materials.
2008.10.19 A Fun-Filled Session of Table Tennis at FGS South Island
On the 19th of October, Buddha's Light International Association Young Adult Division held a table tennis tournament at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple. Those present included YAD 2 president Danny Chen, vice-president Jay Chen, YAD members Fan-Ping Chiang, Hao-Tin Lin and Yun-Ying Hsiao to name a few, as well as Fo Guang Tea House manager Lynn, kitchen chef Gina Chen and others, totaling over 10 people. The table-tennis table was donated by Jay Chen and Danny Chen lent his table-tennis bats and balls to the participants.
When the table-tennis table arrived at the temple, the youth zealously worked together to move the table into the dining hall, as they were all excited about the new addition. Although the kitchen aunties confessed that they could not play table-tennis, it was a different story when they had a turn playing.
The kitchen aunties＊ table-tennis skills were a pleasant surprise to the youth, and proved to them that the auntie＊s were also as capable as them when it comes to playing ping-pong. Through playing table-tennis, the volunteers gained happiness, and developed a deeper mutual understanding between the youth and themselves. The session concluded with happiness and laughter.
2008.10.18 South Island YAD Monthly Meeting
On the 18th of October, Buddha's Light International Association Young Adult Division South Island gathered at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple for their monthly meeting. In the presence of guiding Venerable, Venerable Juexi, YAD 1 president Wei Chia Cheng chaired the meeting. In attendance were vice-presidents Jason and Andy as well as YAD 2 members totaling 15 in number.
Issues and topics discussed and addressed during the meeting include;
1. Points that need to be remembered - Venerable Juexi reminded YAD that they need to respect, love and support each other and also collaborate in protecting the youth group and temple＊s reputation.
2. Summer Camp 2008 - The camp will be held between 20th December 2008 and 10th January 2009. Many YAD members signed up to attend during the course of the meeting.
3. Translation Class - Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple will organize a translation class for YAD, to allow the youth to learn the skills of translation add meaning and depth to their lives and make Fo Guang Shan South Island daily news become more vibrant.
4. New Year＊s Gathering Dinner - On 16th of January, 2009 temple will hold the New Year＊s Gathering dinner. YAD will help out with meal service and performance organization. During the event, YAD need to be hard-working and maintain a mature attitude toward their responsibilities on the day.
Ven Juexi stressed that YAD need to put themselves in the front line for everything they do, and that they also need to learn how to take photos, write new reports, develop interpersonal skills and adopt Venerable Master Hsing Yun＊s spirit of perseverance. Venerable Juexi concluded by encouraging us to all be warriors of Dharma promotion.
2008.10.12 A Meaningful Bike Ride To Hagley Park
One day before school resumed after the term break, on the 12th of October, Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult's Division 2 gathered together at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple to go for a bike ride. Around 15 people attended, with YAD 1 president Wei Chia, YAD 2 president Danny Chen, YAD 2 vice-president Hao-Tin Lin and activity co-ordinator Shenghan Lim taking responsibility for their safety. As they left for their journey to Hagley Park, Venerable Juexi and North Island BLIA president gave their support, and reminded them to put safety first.
Everyone enjoyed their ride on the brilliant day, and everyone laugh with joy as they rode along. Fellow YAD members also gave their support and encouragement for the members who had less experience with riding bikes, which brought the team even closer and stronger. YAD 1 president Wei Chia even donated some mouldy bread so that the youths could use it to feed the ducks, and in doing so, brought the youths closer with the ducks!
2008.10.11 Special Dinner with Venerable Abbess Manshin
On the 11th of October, 25 Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division members enjoyed a candle-lit dinner with Venerable Abbess Manshin and FGS North Island president, Ms. Sufen at the Fo Guang Tea House.
Fo Guang Tea House manager Lynn, kitchen chef Gina, and kitchen volunteer Hsiao Lin prepared the delicious vegetarian dishes for the dinner. The candles which decorated table created a warm and relaxing atmosphere.
The Tea House was filled with laughter and happiness as everyone devoured their dinner eagerly. While they were dining, each youth shared their thoughts and experiences of being a YAD member.
Venerable Abbess Manshin shared her thoughts with all, commenting that as a group, the YAD members had become more mature, and suggested areas in which there was room for improvement. Venerable Abbess Manshin also gave her support and encouragement to YAD.
2008.10.11 YAD member Takumi- a very special young man
A friend from Japan, Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division member Takumi, -through YAD member Danny Chen＊s recommendation-joined YAD at the beginning of 2008. In this short time, he has learnt and improved in many ways.
During the middle of October, his parents flew to Christchurch from Japan to visit him. Takumi invited his parents to the Art and Culture Festival that was held on the 12th of October at the FGS South Island temple, for which they especially came. At the temple, they met all the other YAD members, but more importantly, they had the opportunity to meet with Venerable Abbess Manshin and Venerable Juexi, where the parents showed their appreciation for taking care of Takumi.
As Chinese and English aren＊t Takumi＊s first languages, during activities and classes run by YAD, he uses his observation skills to understand what the group is talking about, and by using his instincts, he helps to meet others＊ needs. By this, he overcomes his language barrier, in which he has also helped Venerable Juexi and the youths in many tasks. For this, he has received much gratitude from his peers and adults around the temple.
Takumi＊s parents were touched to see their son＊s improvement in learning by being part of YAD, and were very grateful to the temple. They said that at the year＊s end, Takumi will be going back to Japan, and that will round up his over sea＊s education and the experiences and activities he has been part of at the temple.
However, they explained that the experiences will be memories to treasure when he goes back. Abbess Manshin encouraged Takumi to join Fo Guang Shan Temple in Japan, and by doing so, allow him to share his experiences with the YAD there, as well as his family and friends.
2008.10.11 YAD's Hand Gesture Practice Session
On the 11th of October, Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division members will be performing hand gestures for the song ※Transform and Contribute§ during the Arts and Culture Festival.
In preparation, YAD members gathered at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple's Dining Hall on the evening of 8th of October to rehearse. YAD 1 vice-president Jason Liu and YAD 2 president Danny Chen led the group, and all members zealously learnt the lyircs and hand gestures for the YAD song.
The youth practiced with determination until perfection, in hope that the performance on Saturday will be flawless. During the practice session, YAD member Hao-Wen Lin showed her popping dance skills, and Jason Liu break danced as everyone cheered. All the YAD members practiced with a cheerful smile, wishing that all the hard work will pay off with a great performance.
2008.10.05 A Class On The Important Things In Life
On the 5th of October, 15 Buddha's Light International Association Young Adult Division members gathered at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple to attend a class by Venerable Juexi. Attendees included the president of YAD 1 Wei Chia Cheng, vice-president Jason Liu, president of YAD 2 Danny Chen and other YAD members.
During the class, Venerable Juexi asked the YAD members what they though was the most important element in their lives. Responses from the youth included health, wisdom, happiness, family and friends, love, faith, money and compassion.
In addition, Venerable Juexi discussed with the youth pragmatic solutions to their concerns and queries, and tailored homework to suite each of the youth＊s needs. Members were asked to submit their homework in a month＊s time. The class became interesting when meeting participants shared their different opinions and experiences with each other.
To round up, Venerable Juexi suggested that one only has hope when he or she is alive, and takes responsibility for their own lives. The youth were left with a deeper understanding of life, and discovered the significance and meaning of life.
The next class will be held on the 12th of October, and will feature special guest Venerable Abbess Manshin. Venerable Juexi hoped that the youth will prepare for it and make it more interesting.
2008.10.03 Birthday Celebration On The Beach
During the secondary school holiday, Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division 2 held a birthday party on the 3rd of October for YAD member Ann Hsiao at Sumner Beach.
The party was organised by vice- president Hao-Wen Lin, with 9 YAD members participated in the picnic outing. They prepared a cake the day before at YAD member Fan-Ping Chiang's house. Danny Chen, president of YAD 2 led the group to the beach. Upon arrival, they had lunch and cut the birthday cake.
Blessed with good weather and low tide, the youth went for a swim after the picnic and had fun on the beach. Although they got dirty and wet, they left with a feeling of satisfaction and contentment.
2008.10.01 Holiday Special Wii Challenge
On the 1st of October, Buddha's Light International Association Young Adult Division gathered at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple's Dining Hall to take part in the ※Holiday Special Wii Challenge§. The fun began at around 10:30am, and as the number of youths arriving increased, the more fun they had.
At first, the youths played in a relaxed manner, but at around lunch time, as the volunteering aunties came in for lunch, the room became louder and was a whole lot more intense with competitiveness.
After lunch, the youths competed in a Wii Boxing Tournament, organised by YAD member Tom Chen. Everyone had a go, and played with all their effort, having fun along the way. Around 13 people competed, and every member was very supportive of their peers. Everyone was tired by the end of the day, but it was the fun that the youths had that was more important at the end of the day.
2008.09.30 On Bikes For a Mission - Letter Boxes, Here We Come!!
On the 30th of September, Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division 1 president Wei Chia and South Island YAD 2 president Danny Chen, along with youth group members Sheng Han Lim and Fan-Ping Chiang, parted along the roads around Riccarton to deliver 250 invitations in a short time of 30 minutes.
These invitations were for the ※Art and Culture Festival§, which will be held on the 11th of October at Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple. Event organizer and BLIA committee member Jack Liu marked out the roads on a map to show the YAD members where they will delivering.
On another note, the customers at the Tea House all smiled with delight as they received their invitations. The ※Art and Culture Festival§ will be an afternoon to look forward to, and we welcome all family and friends to attend for an afternoon of fun.
2008.09.28 Poster Preparation For WII Playstation Session
Buddha's Light International Association South Island Young Adult Division will be hosting a Wii playstation session on the 1st of October.
The purpose of having the Wii session is for the youth's from the temple to engage in healthy and safe activities, have a good time, relax and keep fit over the upcoming holidays. It is also a reward for their zealous effort in volunteering at the temple.
On the 28th of September, YAD gathered at the meeting room of Fo Guang Shan South Island Temple to design a ※Holiday Special Wii§ poster for the upcoming Nintendo Wii session on 1st October. The poster will help act as a shade to block the sunlight from shining into the room, as a projector and screen will be used to display the game.
YAD 2 president Danny Chen and members Hao-Wen Lin, Hao-Ting Lin, Fan-Ping Chiang, Ann Hsiao and Jason Liu used oil pastels to create their artwork.
2008.09.20 Moon festival banquet
In the evening, a moon festival banquet was held at South Island FGS＊s Tea House. The banquet was organized by South Island BLIA, together with South Island BLIA YAD as co-organisers. 150 guests, including locals of the Christchurch community, as well as people from the Chinese community, attended the banquet.
Distinguished guests included New Zealand National MP Nicky Wagner and Christchurch City Councilor Helen Broughton, as well as North Island BLIA president Peter Young, elected incoming president Cai Su-fen and Chapter president Wang Qiu Xing who specially flew down from Auckland to attend the banquet.
South Island FGS temple＊s Abbess Manshin welcomed all the guests by sharing a few words. Abbess explained that the moon festival is a time when family and friends gather, and in doing so, just like the round full moon, everyone is complete. Abbess continued by extending the significance of the moon festival by wishing that everyone will be impartial in wisdom, merits, life and spirit, and that everyone is content and abundant.
South Island BLIA presented 12 delicious dishes to the guests and South Island YAD organized over 10 spectacular performances, including a solo singer, a choir, jazz dance, ballet, hip-hop, break-dance and a traditional Chinese instrumental with the ※Gu Zhen§, which received praise and applause.
The final collection of performances by South Island YAD spiced up the evening, with the youth performing Fo Guang hand gestures and songs, and were joined by the distinguished guests who enthusiastically sang along and followed the hand gestures. Evidently, both performers and guests were left with a collective feeling of content and happiness.
MP Nicky Wagner praised the FGS community on the way in which the young and old worked closely together. She continued by explaining that in FGS, three generations, namely young, middle and old, collaborate to organize and conduct the many kinds of cultural events and activities.
She also stressed that the quality standards of the results yielded from the cultural events and activities conducted by FGS are not an easy feat.
2008.09.17 BLIA YAD committee training meeting
At 6.30pm Young Adult Division committee members gathered at South Island FGS Temple＊s Tea House to attend a committee meeting with general guiding Venerable Abbess Manshin and guiding Venerable Venerable Juexi.
The meeting was chaired by the president of YAD, Wei Jia Cheng. The purpose of the meeting was mainly to discuss the progress and organizing of the moon festival celebrations, as well as bring to light issues within the YAD group. These include;
-Job allocation for each youth group member
-Performance rehearsal arrangement
-Updating the progress of the refining of programmes.
-Updating the progress of stage set up.
Under the guidance of Abbess Manshin, resolutions were made to deal with the issues facing the youth group.
The meeting concluded with everyone agreeing that;
-No rude or bad words are allowed to be used in the temple.
-There needs to be more connections and communications between YAD 1&2.
-YAD meeting attendance for committee members is compulsory, and if one can not attend, a reason and pre-notice are necessary. Three warnings will be issued for unjustified absence. Action will be taken after the third warning.
2008.07.07 ANZBYC 2008 Report
From the 4th to 7th of July 2008, the Buddha＊s Light International Association Young Adult Division South Island (BLIA YADSNZ), together with Fo Guang Shan South Island and Buddha＊s Light International Association of South Island hosted the 12th Australia and New Zealand Buddhist Youth Conference (ANZBYC).
The theme for the conference was ※Transform and Contribute§, and was adopted from the theme ※Transform and Benefit§, which was proposed by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. The organizing of the Oceanic Conference commenced one year ago, just after the conclusion of ANZBYC 2007 in Auckland, after Venerable Abbess Manshin encouraged South Island YAD president, Hiking Liu to host this year＊s conference. Venerable Abbess Manshin, as well the other Venerables, provided YAD their full support and guidance throughout the entire organizing process, as well as during the days of the conference.
The Conference was held at Blue Skies, a conference centre in Kaiapoi, Christchurch, in which over 120 participants and staff attended. During the 4 day conference, participants learnt about the basic concepts of Buddhism, such as the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path through classes, and also learnt how to practice what they learnt through engaging in activities based on Buddhist concepts.
Guest speakers included Venerable Abbess Manshin, Venerable Juexi, Dr Eric Chan and Minister Hon. Ruth Dyson. Collectively, they transmitted wisdom and insight to the participants during the talks and classes of the conference.
During the first day, participants learnt about Buddhist Etiquette and attended a session on ANZBYC History and YAD Reports. Following the session, participants engaged in ice breaking activities.
During the second day, Venerable Abbess Manshin delivered an inspiring talk on ※Transform and Contribute§. Following Abbess＊s talk was Venerable Juexi＊s class on ※Concepts of Buddhism§.
After lunch, Dr Eric Chan held a seminar themed ※Seeing ourselves through the eye of wisdom§. Activities later that day included drama activities and night games.
The third day began with a workshop on ※Modern Communication§. Concurrently, the ※Oceania Meeting§ was held for committee members. Later in the morning, participants paced around the camp grounds for the activity ※Dharma Hunt§. After lunch, Dr Eric Chan held his second seminar on ※Challenges and Changes§.
Following on, participants actively raised questions during Venerable Abbess Manshin＊s Q & A session, and were bestowed practical insight and solutions, in which they clearly found helpful and satisfying.
The day continued with a talk by Minister Hon. Ruth Dyson on ※The youths＊ responsibility toward society§. The eventful day concluded with the ※Endless Night Party§ where participants performed group performances, YAD performances as well as expressed themselves through dance during the dance floor session.
Day four began with the ※Confidence Course§, where participants were put through a series of challenging activities. Following the action packed morning, the 8 YAD from the Oceania region showcased their impressive presentations.
The conference continued with Venerable Abbess Manshin leading the Taking Refuge Ceremony. The touching ceremony left many participants and staff with tears of gratitude, not only for the Taking Refuge Ceremony, but also for the many conditions that made the conference a great success, particularly the support the temple, Venerable Abbess Manshin and other Venerables provided.
The closing ceremony marked the conclusion of the conference. Participants left equipped with the wisdom and inspiration which will allow them to improve themselves and ultimately ※Transform and Contribute§.
2008.04.05 Buddha's Birthday Festival 2008
On the 5th of April 2008, South Island Fo Guang Shan conducted the Buddha＊s Birthday Festival, which was held at Cathedral Square. The lion dance marked the beginning of the festive event.
Later in the morning, 11 offering groups, accruing to 110 people in total, participated in the offering ceremony. The groups offered incense, flower, light, fruit, tea and statues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
South Island Fo Guang Shan＊s Abbess Manshin and Buddha＊s Light International Association president Almeric Cheng cordially received the distinguished guests, namely New Zealand Cabinet Minister Hon. Lianne Dalziel, representative for NZ nationals MP Mr Marc Alexander, Christchurch City Councilor Helen Broughton, Christchurch Cathedral Square associate Dean Canon Diana Rattray, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office representative John Chen, Catholic representative, Rev. Carl Telford and Islam representative Mojdeh Moghaddam.
Abbess explained the significance of bathing the Buddha, and doing so gave the metaphor that just like how water is soft in nature, and can diffuse with anything and everything it comes into contact with, we can adopt the characteristics of water, and present religion, culture and life as an interconnected entity. The festival was a success, with 7000 people in attendance.
A baby blessing ceremony was held at 2pm, with close to 30 babies receiving the blessings of the Buddha. Abbess Manshin approached each stall with gifts, giving volunteers ※Prosperous future generations§ souvenirs. The festival drew to a conclusion at 4pm.
2007.07.28 ※Geneva International Buddhist Youth Conference§
President of YAD South Island Hiking Liu, representative from YAD North Island Belle Wong and others attended the 2007 Geneva International Buddhist Youth Conference. In the meeting they referred to the outcome of the ※Australia New Zealand Buddhsit Youth Conference§ Also shouldering with Sydney YAD one of the proposals; ※Strengthening Buddhist Youth Group.§ This would bring Australia and New Zealand Buddhist YAD onto the international stage and also help the development of the YAD.
2007.07.06 The 11th※Australia New Zealand Buddhist Youth Conference§
※Australia New Zealand Buddhist Youth Conference§ (ANZBYC 2007) was undertaken by International Buddhist Trust (North Island) and its Youth Group. It was held in the Fo Guang Shan Temple in the North Island and lasted 4 days from 6th July, with the subject ※Enlightenment with Compassion§. More than 120 young people from Oceania attended. Chairman of Botany District Mr Roy Bootle also attended the opening ceremony.
The courses were made by Venerable Abbess Manshin 每 ※The thoughts of a Bodhisattva§, New Zealand National Party MP Pansy Wong 每 ※The Responsibility of Contemporary Young People§, New Zealand well known lawyer, Mr Len Brown 每 ※Rebelled Youth§, ※The Compassinate Concept of Buddhism§, ※New Zealand Maori Culture§, ※Times with Abbess§ and ※Endless dinner§ etc. Venerable Abbess Manshin prayed for all participants at ※Endless Night§, and given the precious Buddhist necklace which has the meaning of ※enlightenment with Compassion, Passing the light to the Youth§, hope the young generation would hand on the Buddhist light with their passion.
The next host for this conference will be at South Island. The President, Hiking Liu from South Island had encouraged 20 YAD to join to this conference and donated 1000 Dollars collected from car-washing to Linda, the President of the YAD North Island. During the closing ceremony on the 9th, the organizing committee presented a short film, in which the President of YAD North Island Linda Chiang passed the sponsorship to Hiking Liu, the leader of the YAD South Island, in a similar way to passing the Olympic flame. This gained wild applause from all ANZBYC participants and everyone looking forward for 2008 ANZBYC.
2007.01.14 ※Children＊s Happy Camp§
※Buddhist Children＊s Happy Camp 2007§ was firstly organized by the International Buddhist Trust of New Zealand, North Island. It was undertaken by the Youth Group of the Auckland, assisted by the Chinese School. 40 children aged from 5 to 12 were led by the leader of the YAD, North Island, Stanley Chow and the other ten co-leaders, understanding and practicing the co-operative spirit of the Happy Camp每 ※Speaking politely, doing good things with a kind heart.§ It was aimed at improving children＊s awareness of teamwork and comprehending the beauty of the soul by harmonizing motion and rest.
Venerable Abbess Manshin wishes children to study well and grow up happily. ※Best Team§, ※The Most Polite One§ and ※The Most Popular One§ received special awards.