2010.11.13-2011.03.31 Amazing Stone Teapot Exhibition
The famous Taiwanese stone carving artist Liao Tian Zhao exhibited over 90 stone teapots at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island from 13 November 2010 to 31 March 2011. An opening ceremony tea party was held on 13 November, attended by over 70 Friends of Fo Guang Yuan. Presiding over the unveiling ceremony were Venerable Abbess Manshin, artist Liao Tian Zhao, President of BLIA (South Island) NZ Almeric Chang, local artists Dale Gallagher and Gail Batchelor.
After the ceremony, the artist gave a demonstration of one of his ＆bird cry＊ teapots; when water is placed into the teapot it emits a sound similar to the song of a bird.
Liao Tian Zhao explained that when he starts, he does not have a pre-determined design in mind, but let the art develop from the shape of the rock. Therefore, different tools are required for carving; sometimes simple carvings are used to show the original beauty of the rock, while more time is spent on other stones to merge the design in mind with natural beauty.
2010.11.06 New Zealand Young Artist Dale Gallagher Exhibition
On 6 November 2010, 25 year old Christchurch artist Dale Gallagher displayed his first public exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. Venerable Abbess Manshin presided over the opening ceremony as well as being one of the VIP guests. Dale＊s family attended the opening ceremony together with 50 other supporters, including a couple of well-known local artists.
Venerable Abbess Manshin said that even though Dale is only 25 years old, he has excellent observation of his environment. Day by day his maturity is reflected in his art, where he will develop into an artist that produces even more depth and life in his art. Dale is a self taught New Zealand landscape artist where his medium is acrylic. He has never attended any art classes.
The theme of his exhibition was his favorite New Zealand landscapes. He hopes that audiences will feel like they are looking at the real thing when observing his art. ＆Blown away＊ by his artwork were the words of many of viewers and a number of pieces were sold on the opening day. Dale hopes that his art will be able to touch the hearts of viewers over the duration of his exhibition.
2010.11.05-07 Nature and Life Flower Arrangement Exhibition
The first ※Nature and Life§ floral exhibition by the Ikebana association in 2008 at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island was well received by the local residents. Last year, the two organisations worked together again to orchestrate ※Nature and Life§ floral exhibition for the third time which ran from 5 to 7 November 2010, at the same time celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Ikebana Association. At the exhibition, 28 pieces from three distinct factions were up for display.
The curator of Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island Venerable Abbess Manshin and the Japanese Diplomat Mr. Shoichi Kawai were invited to the ribbon cutting and gave speeches during the opening ceremony. Along with the 50 guests present that day, President of the Canterbury Horticulture Association, Chairperson and the Second Chair-person of the Garden City Trust as well as the Former Presidents of the Ikebana Association were also present.
The President of the Ikebana Association in his speech thanked the gallery for the provision of exhibition space and the opportunity to work together to organize the exhibition while Curator Venerable Abbess Manshin also presented a series of articles written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, which outlined the characteristics of flowers and its interaction with life and mentioned the close relationship between the theme of this exhibition and the architecture of the Temple. Mr. Kawai also expressed his gratitude for having the opportunity of being a tutor for many years and for the co-operation between himself and the association.
Visitors that day were able to appreciate the elegance and beauty of the simplistic floral arrangements. The ceremony then concluded with a lunch service in the Water Drop Cafe to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ikebana Association.
2010.10.03-07 Converging From Four Corners of the World for BLIA Annual General Meeting
The 2010 BLIA Annual General Meeting was held at the Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Kaoshiung, Taiwan from 3 to 7 October. Over 2000 BLIA directors, Dharma Lecturers, BLIA advisors, Presidents, representatives, as well as local and overseas entrepreneurs, educators and politicians attended the conference.
All the way from New Zealand, Fo Guang Shan (NZ) was represented by Abbess Manshin, Venerables Manwang, Juexi and Miaoyu, BLIA (North Island) NZ President Dolly Tsai, Advisor and BLIA (South Island) NZ Directors and members in a group of 20.
Founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order Venerable Master Hsing Yun led the flag rising and opening ceremonies, presided over conferences and interacted directly with members from all over the world. In his speech during the opening ceremony, Venerable Master Hsing Yun mentioned that there are four stages of life: from physical to society, progressing to faith and then to transcend the cycle of birth and death. The objective of Humanistic Buddhism is to remove all defilements, which is also the greatest and heartfelt wish of every Buddhist. The purpose of the annual conference is to allow BLIA members worldwide to get together, enriched each other spiritually, broaden our horizon and lead an everlasting spiritual life.
Newly established BLIA sub-chapters were also announced during the conference and certificates of establishment were presented. Awards for best performing BLIA chapters in different categories were given out. BLIA (North Island) NZ was awarded ＆Charity and Social Welfare award＊ and BLIA (South Island) NZ received the ※Cultural Propagation Award§. A handing over ceremony between the new and old advisors also took place during the opening ceremony.
2010.09.04 BLIA Members Attend Band Together Concert
Following the magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch on 4 September 2010, Christchurch City Council organised the ※Band Together§ Concert in Hagley Park on October 23 to bring people together. Many religious groups were invited to give prayer to the city. Abbess Manshin lead 8 Fo Guang Shan members and chanted Founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order Venerable Master Hsing Yun＊s ※Earthquake Prayer§. Prime Minister Hon John Key, Ministers and many Members of Parliament were also in attendance along with an estimated 100,000 local residents.
2010.07.29 The Art Of Sharing
The Winter Warmth Morning Tea Party is an excellent way for Friends of Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery to get together, warm up and share their love and appreciation for art
Friends of Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery Christ-church was established in January 2010. By the end of the year, there were over 1000 members. On the morning of 29 July, a Winter Warmth morning tea party was hosted to enable members to get together and share their love for art. Over 100 guests attended, including many local artists.
Venerable Abbess Manshin gave an opening speech and invited everyone to visit the gallery more often and enjoy upcoming exhibitions. Mr. Ron Wright, President of New Zealand Faberge Egg Association, Ms Shona Ross, President of Canterbury Cake Design Association, 25-year-old artist Dale Gallagher, Ms Lindley Denie, Ms Ruth Town and Mr. Sam Lamberton brought their art collections to share with the other guests.
Of the guests that attended, the eldest was 90 years old, accompanied by her 70-year-old daughter. She said she came to the gallery seven times to view the ＆Wonders of Embroidery Yao Hong Ying Art Exhibition＊, bringing different friends with her each time. She felt very happy every time she came to visit and thought of herself as a professional tour guide for the gallery. Tea and refreshments prepared by Water Drop Cafe were served, and everyone enjoyed the lovely gathering. The guests voiced their appreciation to Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery in hosting this Winter Warmth morning tea party and looked forward to more events in the future.
2010.07.04 A Humanistic Impression
The Chinese Ambassador in New Zealand visited Fo Guang Shan South Island and was impressed by the richness of Humanistic Buddhism and its meaningful application to the architecture of the Temple
The Chinese Ambassador in New Zealand visited Fo Guang Shan South Island on 4 July. Accompanied by his wife and ten staff members, they marveled at the modern and artistic design of the Temple, the remarkable career of Founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order Venerable Master Hsing Yun, and were moved by the Venerable Master＊s ※One-Stroke Calligraphy Art§. They also found the ※Yao Hong Ying Embroidery Exhibition§ on display at the gallery incredibly striking. The ambassador was much impressed by the development and richness of modern day Buddhism.
2010.05.22-08.29 Liao Tian Zhao Stone Teapot Exhibition (North Island)
Liao Tian Zhao Stone Teapot Exhibition was held from 22 May to 29 August 2010 at Fo Guang Yuan North Island. Liao Tian Zhao is the founder of the art of creating stone carved teapots, which he began 40 years ago in Taiwan. He is fastidious in the modeling of teapots which incorporates aesthetics and practicality in that they can also be used for making tea. During the past 30 years he has created more than one thousand teapots, including one which holds the Guiness World Record for being the ＆Smallest Teapot＊. For Liao Tian Zhao, stone evokes a unique emotion within him. He says that life is short but stone, because it comes from nature, will last forever and this way he can record his life in something solid and tangible; retaining the beauty of nature while merging it with his own creative ideas.
2010.04.17-06.12 Fay＊s Hand Painted Chinaware Exhibition
The Fay Porcelain Painting Exhibition was held at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery from April 17 to June 12. The opening of the exhibition coincided with the Buddha＊s Birthday Festival and was attended by many guests of honour, including Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson, MP Brendon Burns, MP Nicky Wagner, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and representative from Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. Accompanied by the Abbess, Ms Hsu gave a personal guided tour of her artwork; the collection took more than 10 years to create.
2010.04.17 Buddha＊s Day Multicultural Festival
The significance of Bathing the Buddha is to encourage everyone to acquire properties of water; clean, pure, soft and tolerant, in order to experience equanimity among all human races and freedom of life.
On 17 April, Buddha＊s Light International Association (BLIA) held the 2010 Buddha＊s Birthday Multicultural Celebrations. Special guests included Minister of Labor and Minister of Conservation Hon Kate Wilkinson, Labor Party MP Brendon Burns, National Party MP Nicky Wagner, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office representative Mr. Tsai, BLIA (South Island) NZ President Almeric Cheng and BLIA (North Island) NZ President Dolly Tsai. Representatives from other religious groups were also in attendance. Together with more than 200 devotees, they were led by Venerable Abbess Manshin and solemnly participated in the Bathing of the Buddha Ceremony. Other activities of the day included Taking Refuge in Triple Gem and Five Precepts Conferring Ceremony, Baby Blessing Ceremony, vegetarian food fair and cultural performances. This annual event broke the attendance record, attracting over 1000 people to the Temple to celebrate this auspicious day.
Minister of Conservation Hon Kate Wilkinson thanked the Temple for inspiring Christchurch locals by bringing to them this artistic space. The Minister was moved after reading Founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order Venerable Master Hsing Yun＊s Prayer for World Peace, and hoped that everyone could, together, work towards world peace. She hopes to attend Fo Guang Shan＊s Buddha＊s Birthday annually.
Labor Party MP Brendon Burns thanked Fo Guang Shan for inviting him to this solemn and sacred ceremony, and expressed his admiration towards the fact that there are more than 200 Fo Guang Shan temples worldwide working to benefit society.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker was pleased to once again attend the ceremony, and said that the Buddha was born 2554 years ago and gained enlightenment, bringing to mankind the great Buddhist Philosophy. On behalf of the people of Christchurch, he welcomes Buddhism to the city, bringing to its residents a higher quality of life.
2010.03.02-04.30 Gail Batchelor＊s Buddhism Abstract Artworks
Gail Batchelor＊s Abstract Artwork Exhibition is a series of oil paintings that was displayed in Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island from 2 March to 30 April 2010.
Gail is a part time painter, who graduated with a Bachelor＊s degree in Art History from University of Canterbury. She is a member of the Meditation Class at Fo Guang Shan South Island. With her unique view and interest in Eastern philosophy and art, she has created a series of artworks inspired by Zen and meditation.
One such series is the ※Wrest-ling the Ox§, which describes the various levels of meditation, and
was inspired by the famous Buddhist Zen drawing ※The 10 Ox§ from 12th century China. The struggling ox can be regarded as our desire and troubled mind; it also symbolizes that every sentient being has a Buddha nature.
Gail Batchelor also demonstrated her skills on site every Wednesday to Friday during the duration of the exhibition.
2010.02.13 Chinese New Year Cultural Festival Attracts Locals
The ※Awe-inspiring Virtue and Ocean of Merits Chinese New Year Cultural Festival§ was held on 13 February, attracting the attendance of approximately 250 members and tourists. Numerous Westerners visited the ※Cultural Street§ which was comprised of 14 stalls featuring Buddhist crafts, vegetarian food, publications of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the Founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, hyacinth tea and tea sets, hand flower beads, Chinese knots, Chinese medicine, Chinese calligraphy and many other festive activities.
2010.01.30 Chinese New Year＊s Eve Volunteer Celebration Dinner
The Chinese New Year＊s Eve Volunteer Blessing Dharma Service and Dinner was held on 30 January 2010 to thank all the Temple volunteers and devotees for their services and contributions during the past year. Venerable Abbess Manshin led 150 volunteers and their family members in chanting.
Special guests included former Minister of Ethnic Affairs Hon Pansy Wong, Christchurch City Councilor Helen Broughton, Riccarton-Wigram Community Board Member Jimmy Chen, New Zealand Police Ethnic Advisor Portfolio Constable Liying Cai, New Zealand High Court Barrister Xiaolei Sun and his wife, Christchurch Sister City Kurashiki of Japan Committee Chairman Malcolm Harris, oil painter Gail Batchelor and her husband, Christchurch Chinese Lions Club President Ing Ma and her husband, and Buddha＊s Light International Association BLIA (South Island) NZ President and Advisor.
BLIA (South Island) NZ President Almeric Cheng thanked the volunteers for helping with numerous activities during the past year, giving Christchurch locals many beautiful memories.
Former Minister Hon Pansy Wong praised BLIA members for their educational and charitable contributions to the community, saying that they have become excellent models for others. She also commended BLIA for becoming an advisor of the United Nations, working hard towards realising world peace, and Fo Guang Shan for sending a young and promising Buddhist to represent the Buddhist faith in New Zealand during the 2009 Interfaith Dialogue in Perth.
Abbess Manshin gave a Dharma talk on the significance of the Dharma words ＆Awe-inspiring Virtue and Ocean of Merits＊, encouraging everyone to develop the might of a tiger and adopt the mannerisms of The Virtuous One so that they may gain merits as vast as the ocean. The Abbess also mentioned the causes and conditions behind Founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order Venerable Master Hsing Yun＊s ※One-Stroke Calligraphy Art§ and encouraged everyone to learn from the Master＊s perseverance and industriousness. The Abbess wished everyone a hopeful New Year and gave every-one an auspicious red packet.
2010.01.28 Way of Life Photography Exhibition
On 28 January 2010, Fo Guang Shan North Island launched the ＆Way of Life Photography Exhibition＊. Founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order Venerable Master Hsing Yun, who has dedicated his whole life to the propagation of Humanistic Buddhism said, ※Humanistic Buddhism encompasses the concepts of our existence, life and death and the way we live our lives.§ The process of life and death is the form of Humanistic Buddhism, while the way we live our lives is the essence, the characteristic and the practice of Humanistic Buddhism. Thus, by integrating Buddhism into our daily life it is ＆a way of life＊.
Located in the South Pacific, Fo Guang Shan New Zealand continues to propagate the ideals of Humanistic Buddhism by working towards the goals of localization and multicultural through education, culture, charity and cultivation. The ＆Way of Life Photography Exhibition＊ tells the story of Fo Guang Shan New Zealand; recording the changes and touching moments through its history and development.
2010.01.01 Pilgrimage Greets New Year
Through taking part in the pilgrimage with a sincere heart, one could repent their sins, develop a compassionate mind, make firm resolutions to improve one self and enhance their cultivation
To welcome the arrival of the New Year, Fo Guang Shan South Island held a Pilgrimage Procession. Starting at 6:30am on the first day of 2010, Venerable Juexi and Venerable Miaoyu led 60 devotees in an hour-long chanting procession to the Temple＊s Buddha Hall. Venerable Juexi explained the meaning of a pilgrimage: far to near, outwards to within, low to high, dark to bright, cold to warm, hard to soft, and from arrogant to humble and compassionate. Through taking part in the pilgrimage with a sincere heart, one could repent their sins, develop a compassionate mind, make firm resolution to improve oneself and enhance their cultivation.
After breakfast, everyone watched a documentary on the construction of the Buddha Memorial Centre in Taiwan. This was followed by a sutra transcription session, and everyone transcribed their own unique copy of the Heart Sutra, word by word, one stroke at a time, with their most sincere heart and utmost focus.
In response to One Million Heart Sutras in the Buddha program, subsequent sutra transcription sessions were held until the end of March. Although unable to read or understand the Sutra, many locals still attended and participated with all their heart and sincerity. This was very moving for everyone to witness; their determination is something that we should all learn from. 500 copies of the Heart Sutra were transcribed in total, and the merits were transferred to the participants＊ families and friends as well as the community in special ceremonies lead by Venerable Abbess Manshin.
2009.12.04 Flowers Galore! Floral Masterpieces Depict Nature and Life
The Nature and Life Floral Exhibition, organised by Fo Guang Shan South Island and Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202, opened at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island on 4th December. This has set a record for FGY Art Gallery South Island, as there are now three current and ongoing exhibitions at the same time, including ＆Helena Egg Art Exhibition＊, ＆Walking Comfortably through Floriculture Pressed Flower Exhibition＊ and ＆Nature and Life Floral Exhibition＊. This brought massive crows to FGY Art Gallery South Island with almost one hundred visitors on the first day.
The 2009 Nature and Life Floral Exhibition was the second time that FGY Art Gallery South Island had collaborated with Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202. With 20 Floral Arrangement Teachers, over 30 Floral Artworks and three styles of floral arrangement, it amazed all the visitors. The exhibition is planned to go for three days with two live floral arrangement demonstrations each day. The numerous floral arrangements combined with the architecture of the building, created harmony and beauty of nature throughout the building.
The exhibition wrapped up for year 2009 on 6th December. Christchurch＊s Japanese Ambassador Shoichi Kawai and wife Kaori Kawai congratulated the event organizers on the success of the event at the closing afternoon tea. Malcolm Harris, Chair of Christchurch-Kurashiki Sister City Committee also attended the closing afternoon tea. Many Japanese visitors also rushed to FGY Art Gallery South Island on this day to catch a glimpse of the artwork before it is due to close.
Venerable Abbess Manshin thanked Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202 on behalf of the Temple for making this exhibition possible and so elegant. With Former President of Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202 Ray King, Ambassador Kawai and his wife, Chairman Harris, they toured the exhibition for one last time, savoring each image in their minds. The guests commended FGY Art Gallery South Island on continuously putting on such amazing and touching exhibitions.
2009.11.29 When North Meets South at FGS South Island＃
In order to foster a close inter-island relationship between the North and South Island Chapters of Buddha＊s Light International Association New Zealand, BLIA North Island＊s English Subchapter President Leslie Ruki-Willison brought members of the Subchapter to Christchurch for a social gathering on 28th November. The group of six also participated in the Opening Ceremony of Shan Shan Shiao＊s Pressed Flower Exhibition at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. On the morning of 29th November, BLIA North and South Island got together at the Water Drop Caf谷 for a social gathering and invited Venerable Abbess Manshin to share some words and answer questions related to Buddhism.
2009.11.28 - 2009 BLIA AGM Promotes the ＆Three Good Deeds＊
In order to encourage Buddha＊s Light International Association members to bring out their enthusiastic attitudes while participating in Temple activities, and encourage more people to join the BLIA, the BLIA South Island Annual General Meeting was held on the afternoon of 28th November in the Buddha Hall of Fo Guang Shan South Island. BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng, BLIA Advisors and Directors and 70 other members attended the meeting which was hosted by guiding Venerable, Venerable Abbess Manshin. Guests included BLIA North Island President Dolly Tsai and members of the BLIA North Island English Subchapter.
Mr. Cheng gave a report on behalf of the fellow BLIA members who were also Red Cross Meals on Wheels volunteer deliverers, acknowledging the ten years anniversary of their commitment to the worthwhile service, and the recognition they received from Meals on Wheels organizers. The meeting also brought forth several major proposals, namely propagating the ＆Three goods deeds and four good giving＊s＊ advocated by Venerable Master Hsing Yun; confirming the 2010 Chinese New Year Celebration date; announcing the date for the Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration; and organising a diversity of Buddhist classes and cultivation activities. New BLIA members were also welcomed and given BLIA vests. Venerable Abbess Manshin encouraged everyone to make their lives more fulfilling by taking the initiative to shoulder more responsibilities at the Temple. At the conclusion of the annual general meeting, the Abbess passed on her blessings to everyone present, wishing that they may all find their own direction and standing in life.
2009.11.28 World Tour of Pressed Flower Exhibition Arrives in Christchurch!
The World Tour of Shan Shan Shiao＊s Pressed Flower Exhibition opened at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island on 28th November. The special guests who were invited to cut the ribbon were FGY Art Gallery South Island Curator Venerable Abbess Manshin, Artist Shan Shan Shiao, Minister of Ethnic Affairs Honourable Pansy Wong＊s representative, National Party MP Nicky Wagner, Labour Party MPs Hon. Lianne Dalziel and Brendon Burns, and Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Consultant Ron Wright.
Also present for the opening ceremony were: Ikebana President Fred Hollingworth, Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee Representative Mr. Chang, Christchurch Lion Association President Ing Ma, Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office Representative Mr. Tsai and 120 visitors and guests from the local community.
Curator Venerable Abbess Manshin expressed that art is an important component in the propagation of Humanistic Buddhism; and that the staff team at Fo Guang Shan South Island are willing to help bring the best quality artworks to the viewers. This is because the team hopes that every exhibition may bring out the melody in everyone＊s lives. Ms. Shiao noted that people of Christchurch have treated her like a family member, making her feel at home along with the beautiful plants that inhabit here. She hopes that she will have the chance in the future to return to this Garden City again.
The World Tour of Shan Shan Shiao＊s Pressed Flower Exhibition was displayed at FGY Art Gallery South Island for several months, and closed on 31st January 2010. This exhibition has attracted many art fanatics from the local community to FGY Art Gallery South Island; once again, producing above average results for the propagation of art at FGY Art Gallery South Island.
2009.10.05 Tea Chan Talk Where Dharma Music Resonated-
Fo Guang Shan＊s Abbot, Most Venerable Hsin Pei arrived in Christchurch on 5th October, accompanied by Venerable Abbess Manshin, Venerable Huihao, Buddha＊s Light International Association North Island President Dolly Tsai and committee members. At the airport, the Most Venerable was welcomed by Venerable Juexi, BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng, Advisor John Lai and committee members. At Fo Guang Shan South Island, in the company of everyone present, the Most Venerable toured around the Temple building, visiting the Buddha Hall and ※Way of Life Photography Exhibition§ while engaging in a simple yet interesting conversation with his respectful escorts.
During the evening, BLIA South Island organised a ＆Tea Chan Talk＊ at FGS South Island as a way of respectfully inviting the Most Venerable to share the Dharma with everyone. Those who attended the Talk included Christchurch Chinese Lion Club＊s Ing Ma and her husband, the BLIA North and South Island Presidents, committee members and YAD members, totaling over 80 people. Through a relaxed and humorous manner and with a taste of Chan, the Most Venerable began the Talk and at times, sang Chan verses, giving everyone present a pleasant surprise. The Most Venerable reminded everyone to live a life of gratitude, to treat others with compassion, to practice the Way with a mind of impermanence and to deliver sentient beings with their Bodhi mind.
2009.09.28 Most Venerable Hsin Ting＊s Enlightening Dharma Lecture-
The 28th September marked the auspicious day when the President of Buddha＊s Light International Association Headquarters, Most Venerable Hsin Ting arrived in Fo Guang Shan South Island, accompanied by Venerable Abbess Manshin, FGS North Island devotee representative Ming Tai Huang, BLIA North Island President Dolly Tsai and several committee members. The Most Venerable＊s arrival was met by the warm welcome of 20 BLIA South Island committee members and Temple staff. On the same night, Most Venerable Hsin Ting was respectfully invited to deliver a Dharma Lecture on ＆Great Compassion, Great Bodhi Mind and the Wisdom of Emptiness＊ for 150 devotees at FGS South Island. Reporters from Christchurch＊s ＆The Sun＊ newspaper and ＆Hong Kong Journal＊ came to capture this auspicious occasion with photos and print. After receiving news about the Dharma lecture, many Christchurch locals promptly secured tickets to come and listen to the Dharma.
Citing from the Diamond Sutra, Most Venerable Hsin Ting described the great compassion, the great bodhi mind, and empty wisdom of the bodhisattva. Using many illustrative examples, the Most Venerable explained the difference between the love of a bodhisattva and the love of a regular sentient being, noting that the love of a bodhisattva is for all sentient beings and the love of the latter is for the sake of oneself; and that through the realization of the emptiness of the five skandhas, a bodhisattva is able to purify themselves, abandon worldly love and transform to benefit all sentient beings through engaging in virtuous deeds. The vivid stories told by Most Venerable Hsin Ting received warm applause, and the audience listened intently and joyfully. Everyone praised the Most Venerable for equipping them with Dharma wisdom which will allow them to re-evaluate the true meaning of life.
2009.09.01 Fine Craftsmanship of Egg Art Exhibition Amazes All
Korean Artist Helena Kim＊s Egg Art Exhibition opened at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island on 29th August. Due to its popularity and by demand of the visitors, it has been extended many times, now scheduled to close on 31st January 2010. This is the last exhibition that Ms. Kim will be having in New Zealand and her works of over 300 Egg Arts are based on fairy tales such as Cinderella, emotions such as Nostalgia and history such as Greek Mythology.
During the exhibition period, National Party MPs Melissa Lee and Nicky Wagner, Councillor for Fendalton Waimari Ward Sally Buck, Assistant Secretary of the Korean Ambassador in New Zealand Sukdong Woo, President of Korean Community Christchurch Kevin Park and locals of Christchurch all grabbed the chance to come and see amazing works of Egg Art, and the exhibition quickly became the talk of the town.
2009.07.25 East Meets West 每 Two Embroidery Artists Become Friends
On 25th July, Australia＊s well-known embroidery artist Alison Cole arrived at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island to experience the highly commended embroidery artworks of Yao Hong Ying. While at the Art Gallery, little did she know; it was only there that she would have had the chance to see Ms. Yao＊s embroidery, and meet the creator behind all the extraordinary works! The two embroidery artists engaged in a dialogue, where Ms. Yao confided that being able to meet another embroidery artist outside of China has made her trip to Christchurch all the more worthwhile, while Ms. Cole expressed that it was such an honour to be able to meet an embroidery grandmaster of Suzhou here in Christchurch.
In the elegant environment of the Art Gallery, the artists shared with each other their experiences in embroidery art, and even though there was a language barrier, nothing could stop the dialogue in its path, compliments to Venerable Abbess Manshin＊s translation. The two international artists discussed Western and Oriental embroidery in great detail, sharing ideas along the way.
2009.07.08 Heart Warming ＆Abbess Time＊ for Temple Volunteers
On the evening of 8th July, a Dharma Discussion Class with Venerable Abbess Manshin was held at Fo Guang Shan South Island. Those who attended this heart-warming discussion were 16 female volunteers and Temple members, including Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Vice-president Meihua Chen and BLIA South Island committee members. Also present were Venerable Juexi and Venerable Miaoyu. Venerable Abbess Manshin said that FGS South Island is the fruition of everyone＊s hard work, and that the devotees should fully apply Humanistic Buddhism in their daily lives. The volunteer tour guides at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island have contributed immensely in attracting visitors from both the local community and Australia. Venerable Abbess Manshin expressed her appreciation for the helping hands of the Temple volunteers and devotees, and hopes they will continue to aid the propagation of Buddhism.
2009.05.16 Celebrating International Buddha＊s Light Day
On the afternoon of 16th May, International Buddha＊s Light Day was held by Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island at Fo Guang Shan South Island. Those attending this celebration included Venerable Abbess Manshin, BLIA North Island President Dolly Tsai, BLIA North and South Island committee members and over one hundred devotees.
The celebration commenced with BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng＊s welcoming speech and a description of the purpose and origins of International Buddha＊s Light Day by BLIA South Island Director Eugene You. Mr. You also gave a brief overview of the history behind the establishment of BLIA South Island and how it developed to what it is today. Following on, BLIA South Island Director Louisa Guo proudly gave a slideshow presentation on the dedication and achievements of BLIA South Island members over the past decade in the areas of art, culture, charity and education in the local Christchurch community. Next, BLIA South Island Young Adults Division President Andy Hsu showcased the many events the youth group had organised and conducted during the past few years and noted what they had learnt from these events.
During Venerable Abbess Manshin＊s address to the BLIA members, the Abbess encouraged everyone to use the opportunities provided by the Temple to form good affinities with the public and to open the door of the Buddha Dharma to young people, so that they may experience its joy and benefits and one day shoulder the great responsibility of propagating Buddhism. The day of celebration successfully concluded with big rounds of applause from the audience for the YAD members＊ hand gestures performance to the song ＆Home of Light＊.
2009.04.18 Majestic Buddhist Matrimony Ceremony-So Moving!
On 19th April, Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Vice-president Meihua Chen had a lot to be delighted about. Her eldest son, Hu Weiqin Gao tied the knot with bride Huo Fu through a Buddhist Matrimony Ceremony conducted at Fo Guang Shan South Island, with celebrant Venerable Abbess Manshin presiding over their matrimony. Those present to witness the happy occasion and pass on their blessings to the couple included BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng and his wife, Advisors John Lai and Sandy Liao, BLIA North Island President Dolly Tsai, friends and family of the bride and groom, members of BLIA South Island Young Adults Division and Temple staff, totaling over 200 people.
Venerable Abbess Manshin bestowed the newly-weds with some useful advice by citing Venerable Master Hsing Yun＊s words of wisdom: ※Be grateful towards your parents, family, friends and the Temple for their help and opportunities, and treasure what you have, start a Buddhist family and set a good example for other couples to follow§.
Friends and family of the bride and groom＊s parents were happy to see that the young couple had chosen to conduct their wedding using the Buddhist way and were also happy that they treasure the conditions for being able to practice Buddhism. Fellow BLIA members, the Venerables, and friends and family all gave the couple their blessings and wished them a wonderful marriage and a happy Buddhist family.
2009.04.18 Buddha＊s Birthday Embodies Spirit of Omnipresence-
The 2009 Fo Guang Shan South Island Buddha＊s Birthday Festival Multicultural Blessing Ceremony, which was organised by Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island, was held on 18th April in front of Christchurch Cathedral Square of New Zealand. Over two hundred special guests and devotees joined us in chanting and bathing the Buddha. New Zealand＊s Deputy Minister of Immigration and Labor, National MP Honourable Kate Wilkinson, Labor Party＊s Hon. Lianne Dalziel and Hon. Ruth Dyson, the Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, New Zealand Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Mr. Tsai, President of Christchurch Interfaith Council Dr. Ronald Macintyre, representatives of various religions, President of BLIA North Island Dolly Tsai, Vice-president of BLIA North Island Peter Chen and committee members of BLIA South Island were among the guests who attended the Ceremony.
Venerable Abbess Manshin said that: ※We are very thrilled...It is with the causes and conditions of the Buddha＊s Birthday Celebrations that we are able to share this moment with the various religions, races and cultures congregated here. We are also able to combine the various sources of water to form the pure, deep and expansive pool with which we bathe the Buddha. This is the harmonization of the economy, culture and even more so, the harmonization of life and faith. The harmonization of life and faith has incited a rich variety of culture. The harmonization of life and faith has also created values exceeding the worldly economics.§
At 1pm, over 50 babies participated in the Baby Blessing Ceremony, where they received blessings from Venerable Abbess Manshin. Many teenagers and adults at the venue obviously did not want to miss out on receiving blessings from Abbess; they also came forward to be blessed. The various cultural performances attracted the attention of the audiences and won many rounds of applause. The Ceremony came to a successful conclusion at 3.30pm, and witnessed the participation of over 5000 people.
Hon. Brownlee commented that he was delighted to see FGS New Zealand＊s contribution to society; bringing high quality artworks to the country. During the humorous and relaxed conversation with the Minister, Venerable Abbess Manshin introduced to him the role of Fo Guang Shan in the local community. On behalf of the Temple, the Abbess presented Hon. Brownlee with a copy of the books ＆80 Years of Star and Cloud＊ and ＆Cloud and Water＊. The Minister promised he will donate the books to the Parliament House＊s library after he finishes reading it, as he hopes other National MPs and parliamentary staff may also gain a better understanding of Humanistic Buddhism as advocated by Venerable Master Hsing Yun.
2009.03.05 Limited Edition Memorabilia Now Available
In conjunction with the launch of the ＆Yao Hong Ying 每 Wonders of Embroidery＊ Exhibition, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island released limited edition commemorative memorabilia. Items released included sets of stamps with a series of four different embroidery designs printed on them as well as envelopes with a series of special stamps on them. Since its release, visitors have shown great interest in making it a part of their own collection.
2009.02.28 Departing on a Good Note after Taking Christchurch by Storm-
Since it＊s opening on 28th February through till it＊s closing on 26th July, the ＆Wonders of Embroidery 每 Yao Hong Ying Embroidery Exhibition＊ has continued to amaze its audiences day after day.
On the day of the Exhibition Opening, Venerable Abbess Manshin, Minister of Ethnic Affairs Honourable Pansy Wong＊s representative, MP Nicky Wagner, MP Hon. Chris Carter, Minister of Immigration, Hon. Lianne Dalziel and the Advisor of Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island John Lai took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Other guests who attended the ceremony included Riccarton-Wigram Community Board representative Jimmy Chen, President of Egg Art Association Ron Wright, President of Ikebana Association Ray King, President of BLIA North Island Dolly Tsai, BLIA South Island committee members and devotees totalling over one hundred people. As Venerable Abbess Manshin said, ※art is able to cross the barriers set by language, and through art and religion, we can bring happiness to people and raise our quality of life§.
On the evening of 26th July, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island held a Finale Dinner to farewell artist Yao Hong Ying＊s Exhibition. Over a hundred people from Christchurch attended the memorable dinner with Ms. Yao. Australia＊s renowned embroidery artist Alison Cole, Consultant of BLIA South Island Ron Wright and the President of BLIA South Island delivered speeches and shared their words of amazement and appreciation. Ms. Yao thanked Venerable Master Hsing Yun for giving her the opportunity of her life to take her works to the international stage. She also expressed her appreciation to the people of Christchurch for their encouragement and support for her works. She said that the few days she had spent in Christchurch will surely become a fountain of inspiration for her future works.
＆Wonders of Embroidery 每 Yao Hong Ying Embroidery Exhibition＊ was on exhibition at FGY Art Gallery South Island for five months and during this time, created memories that will never be forgotten. Visitor numbers rose from just over a hundred per day to over two hundred per day and continued to rise. On the day of the exhibition finale, numbers reached an amazing 500, putting the total number of Art Gallery visitors throughout the five months at over 13000. For Christchurch＊s population of 400,000 people, Yao Hong Ying＊s Embroidery has changed the lives of a relatively large proportion of that population.
2009.02.21 Eye-Dotting Ceremony Inaugurates Meaningful Race-
On 21st February, the Aoraki Dragon Boat Association of Christchurch New Zealand held a series of dragon boat competitions at Avon River. Three months ago, President of the Association Meri Gibson wrote a letter inviting Venerable Abbess Manshin to inaugurate the Dragon Boat Competition by conducting an eye dotting blessing ceremony for the six newly bought dragon boats from China.
The Abbess led more than ten Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island committee members and members of BLIA South Island Young Adults Division to Avon River to attend the ceremony. There, they chanted the ＆Heart Sutra＊ and read the ＆Prayer for the Dragon Boat Festival＊. Over one hundred people and competition participants witnessed the moving dragon boat eye-dotting ceremony.
On behalf of all the participants, Ms. Gibson expressed her gratitude for Venerable Abbess Manshin＊s willingness to inaugurate the dragon boats as well as for introducing the majestic Buddhist Culture to the Christchurch community. The extension of the Chinese culture in far away Christchurch boosts the significance and value of the Dragon Boat Festival.
2009.02.14 Lantern Festival-A Chance for BLIA to Form Good Affinities-
The annual Lantern Festival once again returned to Christchurch＊s Victoria Square! This year＊s Festival was held on 14th and 15th February. Fo Guang Shan South Island staff and Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island members took part in the event with the purpose of promoting the culture and education of Buddhism as well as vegetarian foods to the local community. BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng and 40 others, including BLIA South Island Young Adults Division members, Venerable Juexi and Venerable Miaoyu from FGS North Island arrived at the venue to give moral support to the BLIA members.
At Victoria Square, over 50 stalls were set up and two stages were reserved for cultural performances. The New Year atmosphere could be felt through the decorations of big traditional Chinese lanterns and animal shaped lanterns. Over the two days, over ten thousand visitors came and went, taking with them, the culture and vegetarian delicacies. In an attempt to raise funds for events, BLIA YAD members sold over 400 corns, and over 1200 of the famous BLIA coriander pancakes were also sold. The neat and tidy uniforms, the happy-in-work atmosphere; despite the differences in age amongst the Fo Guang team members, all accrued to the same festive atmosphere they brought forth. In due course, this made them the most dazzling and popular team at the Festival.
2009.01.16 Annual Reunion Dinner
As a token of appreciation to the Temple volunteers and devotees for their contribution, time, energy and effort throughout the past year, on 16th January, the annual Fo Guang Shan South Island Reunion Dinner was held. The celebrations began with Venerable Abbess Manshin leading everyone in chanting. Special guests of the night included Christchurch MP Lianne Dalziel, Labor Party Representative MP Sam Yau, President of Riccarton Wigram Community Board District Council Jimmy Chen, Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island committee members and BLIA South Island Young Adults Division, totaling around 350 people.
Venerable Abbess Manshin focused her speech on the Dharma words by Venerable Master Hsing Yun for year 2009, which were ＆Earnest Cultivation Yields Fruitful Harvests＊; and the idea of acknowledging the contribution and effort put in by the volunteers and devotees. The Abbess explained the purpose of the Dharma words; that is to motivate the public to be diligent in their lives and cultivate their minds to achieve holistic internal and external harvests.
During the Dharma function, Venerable Abbess Manshin presented everyone with an ＆Earnest Cultivation Yields Fruitful Harvests＊ red packet as a gesture of sending out her blessings to all the attendees of the Dharma function. Newly elected Directors of BLIA South Island were also presented with their certification during the Dharma function. After the function, a series of entertaining performances were showcased to the audience. BLIA South Island Young Adults Division also sang and performed the hand gestures for the songs ＆Harmonize＊, ＆Droplets of Gratitude＊ and ＆Transform and Contribute＊. With the blessings of the Temple, everyone welcomed the New Year with a fresh and happy mind.
2008.12.13※Nature and Life Floral Week§, organized by BLIA South Island, began on 13th December and successfully concluded on 19th December. On 13th December, over 30 staff and members of BLIA and over 100 members of our local community came to FGS South Island to be one of the firsts to see this amazing exhibition. More than 20 teachers of Ikebena International Christchurch Chapter 202 submitted over 45 pieces of floral arrangement in support of this exhibition. BLIA South Island Advisor Ms. Liao submitted many pieces of works of her own, mainly based on lavenders.
Vice-President of Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202 Yumiko Akashi, teachers Kay Thomson and Mei Wang held flower arrangement demonstrations every afternoon at FGS South Island also. Many of them commented that, the spacious Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island and its architecture supported the works very nicely and provided them with the best stage to flourish. The week long ＆Nature and Life Floral Week＊ successfully ended on 19th December and over the week, had attracted over 400 visitors. On 20th December, a special afternoon tea session was held for the artists behind this successful event to show our appreciation for their support. This afternoon tea was attended by almost 20 people including President of Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202 Ray King, Vice-President Yumiko Akashi, Secretary Wendy Johnson and Mei Wang. On behalf of FGS South Island, Committee Members of BLIA South Island thanked the artists for their hard work and input towards the event.
2008.12.12 BLIA South Island Vice-President Mei-Hua Chen celebrated the one month milestone of Louis, her first grandson. Over 70 friends and members of BLIA South Island attended the celebratory dinner held at the Fo Guang Tea Houseng. Abbess Venerable Manshin specially flew down to Christchurch from Auckland to attend the celebration.
Abbess Venerable Manshin wished that Louis will be blessed by the Buddha and be able to grow up in a safe and caring Buddhist family environment so that he will grow up to be a contributor towards society. Abbess also presented Louis with prayer beads as a gesture of conveying the blessings to the baby. Mei-Hua very gratefully conveyed her gratitude towards the temple and those who came to share her joy.
2008.12.11 Abbess Venerable Manshin led a group of ten to BLIA South Island West Division President Lisa Tsai＊s house for a household blessing. Even though Lisa is newly elected as President of First West Chapter, she has a willing heart and is ready to learn, this will aid her in becoming a good leader.
Abbess shared some words on the experiences she gained at the ※6th International Buddhism Conference§ held in Auckland and suggested that people should just do what needs to be done, instead of making excuses to try and wriggle out of the responsibility. Abbess reminded everyone to treasure what they learn and use that knowledge to help promote Buddhism as it is more than just a religion, but a way of life.
At the start of the year, Venerable Abbess Manshin and Venerable Juehao went to BLIA South Island Director Gina Chen, Christine Wang and Tracy Wang＊s homes to do a household blessing. Venerable Abbess Manshin thanked them for their contribution towards the Temple and encouraged them to keep on improving their knowledge about Buddhism.
2008.11.09 Members of BLIA South Island and FGS South Island devotees headed up to FGS North Island to participate in ＆Sakura Blossom Feast＊, ＆2008 Humanistic Buddhism Study Group Graduation Ceremony＊ and ＆North and South Island BLIA Social＊ on 9th November. BLIA South Island President Mr. and Mrs. Cheng and BLIA South Island Advisor Ms. Liao were invited to be judges for ＆Prince and Princess Sakura Competition＊.
North and South island BLIA Social took place in Fo Guang Tea House of FGS North Island on the night of 9th November. Over 70 members of BLIA attended this social including BLIA Presidents of North and South Island, Advisors, Directors and staff. Abbess Venerable Manshin reminded BLIA staff of North and South Island to communicate and exchange ideas more often, to support each other so that together they can create a brighter future and spread the messages of Humanistic Buddhism. On the night of 9th November, BLIA members of both North and South Island had a heart to heart session with Abbess Venerable Manshin and shared their thoughts about the event and what they can learn from it.
2008.11.01 ＆2008 9th BLIA South Island Annual General Meeting＊ was held in FGS South Island. Abbess Venerable Manshin chaired the meeting, with around 50 attendees. Then the election for Advisors was conducted and those elected were John Lai, Sandy Liao and Li-Fai Ng. Of the thirteen BLIA South Island Directors, Almeric Cheng was once again elected as the President while Mei-Hua Chen and Jack Liu were elected as his Vice-Presidents.
During the AGM, certificates were also presented to the newly elected Presidents of First West and First North Chapters, Ms. Chen and Ms. Tsai respectively. Abbess Venerable Manshin thanked everyone who attended the meeting and said that Buddhism has finally rooted in New Zealand after a decade of hard work by members of BLIA and FGS South Island. She hopes that the effort to nurture talents should be continued, as doing so will improve the dynamics of the team.
2008.10.23 Under the arrangement of Mr. Kefeng Chu, Strategic Advisor of New Zealand Police, on 23rd October, FGS New Zealand Venerables and BLIA New Zealand Committee Members visited the Police Headquarters in Wellington. On behalf of Police Headquarters, Superintendent Wallace Haumaha welcomed them and gave them a guided tour of the Police Headquarters.
Following on, Superintendent Wallace Haumaha, Superintendent Gill Gibson, Mr. Kefeng Chu, along with other members and volunteers of the Police Headquarters had a meeting with the Venerables and BLIA members regarding security within New Zealand. During the meeting, staff of police headquarters showed their concern for the nation＊s crime rates, and shared their ideas on how to reduce the crime rates. One of the ideas was to encourage all the associations to collaborate to reduce crime rates. After the meeting, Abbess Manshin presented them ＆80 Years of Star and Cloud＊, ＆Illustrated World Buddhist Arts＊ , as well as other works by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. The meeting concluded successfully.
2008.10.22 Representatives of FGS New Zealand attended the Diwali, an Indian Festival, in Wellington. The representatives were invited by New Zealand＊s Minister of Education and Ethnical Affairs Honourable Chris Carter.
Before the festival began, New Zealand Police Strategic Advisor Mr. Kefeng Chu organized a visit to New Zealand Parliament House. They also visited the gothic style library which was built in 1897, as well as the ＆Chamber＊, which is the place where the politicians conduct their meetings. Of these, the most modern construction was the ※Beehive§, otherwise known as the Executive Wing of the Parliament. The temple representatives admired the construction of the Parliament buildings, paying attention to the different architectural style.
As the festival began, Venerable Abbess Manshin and the BLIA South Island committee received Hon. Chris Carter＊s warm and cheerful welcome. Around 500 people came to celebrate and the Indian performances of the night portrayed the true colours of Indian culture, which is simplicity and power.
2008.10.11 the election of BLIA South Island First West and First North Chapter Presidents and Vice-Presidents took place in FGS South Islandㄛwith around 50 members. After some enthusiastic nominations, Ms. Yang and Mr. You were elected as President and Vice-President of First North Chapter; Ms. Tsai and Ms. Lin as President and Vice-President of First West Chapter.
2008.10.11 ※Art and Culture Festival§ was held at FGS South Island Temple, drawing 250 of the invited guests which included the temple volunteers, BLIA members, as well as members of the local community. Also present were special guests New Zealand Minister of Education and Ethnical Affairs Honourable Chris Carter and New Zealand Police Strategic Advisor Mr. Kefeng Zhu. Venerable Abbess Manshin and BLIA North Island President Ms. Sufen flew in from Auckland directly after attending the Ormiston Road Bridge opening to take part in the festival.
Honourable Chris Carter was amazed at how the temple building had so much art and culture within it, and how the building could depict the liveliness and meaningfulness of Buddhism. He commented on how different FGS South Island was from FGS North Island Temple, and how each temple had its own style. At the conclusion of the festival, Venerable Abbess Manshin had a talk with all the staff and volunteers in the courtyard. Mr. Kefeng Chu commented on how energetic, caring and kind the members of BLIA YAD were, and that they are good models for the youths of today's generation.
2008.09.21/05.16/01.04, board meetings of BLIA South Island were held by President Almeric Cheng. Abbess Venerable Manshin and Venerable Juehao sat in the meeting along with almost thirty attendees including BLIA Directors, Supervisors, members and YAD members. The Presidents of each chapter gave a report of their current events and President of BLIA YAD Wei-Chia updated everyone on the progress of 2008 Australia and New Zealand Buddhist Youth Conference. During the meeting they also discussed various proposals and the organization of events for the future.
Abbess Venerable Manshin reminded the members present that to learn about Buddhism, you must learn the compassion and wisdom of Buddha; the tolerance and offers of Bodhisattva and to use all methods of meditation to improve our quality of life. Abbess also encouraged members to apply the spirit of Buddhism in ways that are required by the locals to help the roots of Buddhism grow even deeper into their hearts.
2008.09.20 A moon festival banquet was held at Fo Guang Tea House. The banquet was organized by BLIA South Island, together with BLIA YAD South Island as co-organizers. 150 guests, including locals of the Christchurch community, as well as members of the Chinese community, attended the banquet. Distinguished guests included New Zealand National MP Nicky Wagner, Christchurch City Councilor Helen Broughton and many more.
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.
On 26th September, FGS South Island received a letter from MP Nicky Wagner. The contents of the letter conveyed her appreciation for the invitation. She commended the banquet＊s variety of delicacies and the many interesting performances of the night, in particular was BLIA YAD South Island＊s performance.
2008.09.20 ＆Hundred Master Wall＊ was situated at FGS Monastery contains collections from famous litt谷rateurs, painters and Buddhist Venerable Masters. There is a wide collection of literature, philosophy, calligraphy, seal carving and stone rubbing which shows the depth of Chinese culture and profound wisdom. Originally, it would take about 4-5 hours just to imprint one engraving. Fortunately, the process was largely improved after visits were made to the Sian Stone Rubbings Museum in China. Training was provided and a trainee, Mr. Chen, was able to bring back sets of tools specifically designed for imprinting. It now only takes about a month and a half to imprint 120 items and 50 of these are display in the exhibition.
On 20th September, FGS＊s Ink Rubbings made from the Hundred Master Wall Plaque Exhibition opened at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. New Zealand National MP Nicky Wagner, Christchurch City Councilor Helen Broughton and more than 150 BLIA New Zealand members attended the opening. Items on display include ancient sutras from famous calligraphers, dharma phrases and paintings of Bodhisattvas appearing.
2008.09.13 Around 18 members of Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202 held their meeting in Fo Guang Tea House. After the meeting, they also had some lunch and had a guided tour of the temple led by BLIA member Mr. Jack Liu, Tracy Wang and Young Adults Division South Island member Rebecca. During Mr. Jack Liu＊s conversation with them, they conveyed their sense of a serene atmosphere within the temple and felt that they had gathered more knowledge in regards to Buddhism. President of Ikebana International Christchurch Chapter 202 was very impressed by the tasty food choices served by Fo Guang Tea House and expressed her wish to hire a space within the temple for flower arranging classes and add the serenity of the temple to their works of art.
2008.08.28 Interfaith Council Annual General Meeting was held at FGS South Island. Over 30 people attended this meeting, including Bishop Barry Jones, Christchurch Interfaith Council Acting Chairman Dr. Ron Macintyre, Dr Kennedy Graham of New Zealand Green Party and many more. Interfaith Council thanked FGS South Island for providing such a nice venue which aided the smooth running of the meeting. Through the works of FGS South Island, the guests could all feel the liveliness and motivation of Humanistic Buddhism.
2008.08.17 ＆Hospitality for the Heart 每 Humble Table, Wise Fare: A Collection of Calligraphy＊ opened at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island of FGS South Island. Until the end of October, it had already attracted over 600 visitors. Grand Master Venerable Hsing Yun has compiled words that are broad and deep, usually written in language that is not easy to grasp. In ※Humble Table, Wise Fare§, he has put in to words that are brief, to the point, tactful, and charming, but rich in philosophical elegance. The meaning and significances of these words are beautifully conveyed through the calligraphy of Dr. Yu Kuo-Ching.
2008.08.09 ＆Helena Egg Art Exhibition 每 Harmonic Inspiration＊ opened at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. Helena Kim Ju is an egg artist from Korean and this exhibition displays almost 100 pieces of work which have taken her almost ten years. Special guests at the exhibition included Minister of Commerce Lianne Dalziel, MP Nicky Wagner, MP Gerry Brownly, Christchurch City Councillor Helen Broughton and many others. Venerable Abbess Manshin, along with our distinguished guests opened the exhibition and over 60 people attended the opening.
Helena Kim Ju and our guests showed their appreciation for the beautiful venue because it nicely brings out the artwork and provided them with the best stage. Venerable Abbess Manshin said that, art is an important component of Humanistic Buddhism, and wishes that everyone can take advantage of this stage to pass on the beautiful messages of life. During the period that the works were on exhibition, Christchurch egg artist Beverly Hill came and demonstrated the various techniques of egg art. At the closing ceremony, on the 16th August, on behalf of FGS South Island, Venerable Abbess Manshin presented Helena and event organizer, Ron Wright, with gifts to thank them for a successful event.
2008.07.21 ＆Traditional Chinese Poem Calligraphy, Painting Exhibition by Prof. Kuo Yen-Chiao＊ opened at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island. Our distinguished guests at the opening included Korean egg artist Helena Kim-Ju and her husband, Mr. Bruce Ullrich and his wife, Mr. Don Dalley and his wife, Mr. Mike Dawson and his wife and many others.
During his speech, Prof. Kuo said that being able to display his works in a New Zealand art gallery is his honour and he would very much like to share his joy with everyone and appreciate them for coming. Since 2004, this is Prof. Kuo＊s second time holding an exhibition in FGS New Zealand Temple. This exhibition includes over 40 of his best works, big and small and will continue until the end of July.
2008.04.19 In order to show our gratitude towards the volunteers of Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration and to welcome the arrival students from Srimala Buddhist College, FGS South Island and BLIA South Island held a social event in Fo Guang Tea House of FGS South Island for them on 19th April. Abbess Venerable Manshin thanked the contribution of every volunteer and said that, without the volunteers, Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration could not have been so successful. Each team of volunteers shared their words with those present and they said that, every event is a chance for them to learn, because by learning, they can make the next one even better. To conclude this social event, students of Srimala Buddhist College and members of BLIA Young Adults Division South Island performed hand gestures to the song ＆Droplets of Gratitude＊.
2008.04.05 Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration - On the morning of 5th April, Buddha＊s Birthday Celebration was held by FGS South Island at Cathedral Square and was attended by over 7000 people. Under the leadership of Venerable Abbess Manshin and BLIA South Island President Almeric Cheng, our special guests entered. Special guests included Minister of Commerce Hon. Lianne Dalziel, National Party MP Representative Mr. Marc Alexander, Christchurch City Councilor Helen Broughton, Christchurch Cathedral Archdeacon Canon Diana Rattray, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New Zealand Representative Mr. Chen, Roman Catholic Representative Rev. Carl Telford and Christchurch Interfaith Council Muslim Representative Mojdeh Moghaddam and many more.
Venerable Abbess Manshin used the special properties of water to explain how, like water, religion, culture and life is combined as one and together creates the miracle of life. Baby Blessing took place at 2 o＊clock in the afternoon and over 30 babies, held by their parents received Holy Water Blessing from Venerable Abbess Manshin and were gifted with prayer beads also. Abbess went to each individual stall to thank the volunteers and gifted them with ＆Prosperous Future Generations＊ lucky charms.
2008.02.09 ※Purple Sand 18 Lohans Figurines Exhibition§ opened at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery South Island of FGS South Island. Wang Xiao Li＊s Purple Sand 19 Lohans are very different from other lohan figurines in that they break the tradition of normal lohans. The use of purple sand and the variety of colours nicely convey the freedom and unrestricted nature of the lohans. Since the opening of this exhibition, it has attracted many people to the exhibition and helped them gain a better understand of the Buddhist Culture.
2008.02.07 The Chinese New Year Day 每 Thousand-Buddha Chanting Dharma Function was held at Fo Guang Shan South Island. Almost 100 devotees attended under the leadership of Venerable Juehao at the Dharma Function. After the Dharma Function, Venerable Juexi gave a Dharma talk on the meaning of Thousand-Buddha Chanting, hoping that in this New Year, everyone will reach even greater achievements. Venerable Juehao gave out New Year Lucky Buns and gifted everyone with Grand Master Venerable Hsing Yun＊s ＆Prosperous Future Generations＊ and ＆Harmonious Conditions in All＊.
2008.01.01 New Year Pilgrimage - On 1st January was the first ever New Year Pilgrimage held in Christchurch. Almost 70 devotees of Fo Guang Shan South Island, under the leadership of Venerable Juehao, began their journey from the end of Harakeke Street towards the temple. After the pilgrimage, Venerable Abbess Manshin had a talk with our members and shared their experiences and thoughts of the past year. Abbess said that, the architecture of FGS South Island is one of Buddhism＊s artistic temples, even though it may be small; it has all the necessary requirements to attract visitors and gather devotees. Abbess thanked the devotion of our members and hope that everyone will work hard to help make the future of Buddhism even brighter.
Buddha＊s Birthday Festival
The Buddha＊s Birthday Festival, which is co-organized by the Fo Guang Shan and the Buddha＊s Light International Association of South Island New Zealand, was first held outside the temple at Cathedral Square on the 19th May 2001 and was attended by few thousand people and over the years more people attended this event and in 2007 the attendance was more than 6000 people.
Major religious leaders including Dean Peter Beck from Anglican Church, Mr Ibrahim Abdelhalim of the Muslim community and Dharma Masters from the Southern School of Buddhism came to pray for World Peace. Other distinguish guests included New Zealand Cabinet Minister Hon Lianne Dalziel, Christchurch City Mayor Garry Moore, Labour MP Tim Barnett, National MPs Pansy Wong and Nicky Wagner, City Councillor Helen Broughton, The Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office Representative John Chen, Karolin Potter of the New Zealand Human Right Commission and the Canterbury District Police Commander Superintendent Sandra Manderson.
Each year, Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island made donations to other charity organisations including The Christchurch Art Gallery, Trees for Canterbury Trust, Cancer Society etc. In 2006, we had the first Baby Blessing ceremony and in 2007 we had the first Young Adulthood ceremony; together with the Multicultural Performance show these had made the festival a unique event. Through the water bathing the Buddha, Abbess of South Island Fo Guang Shan Venerable Man Shin spreads the compassion of the Buddha to every corner of this world enabling the compassion, respect and tolerance to enhance the religious faith and to pray for the world peace and the tranquility of human hearts.
2007.08.19 A gift of New Zealand Green Stone from Maori Police Kaumatau Rev Maurice Gray -
Through the arrangement by Mr Kefeng Chu, the advisor to New Zealand Police Commissioner, the elders of the Maori Tribe KAITAWHO came to the South Island Fo Guang Shan on the 19th August 2007 to bless the new temple. More than 30 distinguished guests including Maori Kaumatau Rev. Maurice Gray; Superintendent Wallace Haumaha, who representing the New Zealand Police Commissioner; Inspector Dave Lewry, District Commander of South Canterbury Police District; representatives from the Christchurch City Council, the Christchurch Interfaith Council and many other community groups attended the ceremony. Abbess Venerable Manshin, venerables of North and South Islands, Buddha＊s Light International Association South Island Supervisor John Lai and President Almeric Cheng and over 120 other members and friends of the association also attended the ceremony.
Maori Kaumatau Rev. Maurice Gray presents the South Island Fo Guang Shan a local Green stone as a gift welcoming the completion of the new Fo Guang Shan temple. Abbess Venerable Man Shin delivered a speech to thank the causes and the achievements of this ceremony, she also thanked the New Zealand police who had worked diligently with South Island Fo Guang Shan to allow the Maori people and Buddhist practice Humanistic Buddhism in this world＊s southernmost Buddhist temple.
2007.05.20 New Zealand South Island Association holds the directors and supervisors meeting, presides by President Almeric Cheng under guidance of Abbess Man Shin, over 20 people attend.
2007.04.21 Neighbors Day - South Island Fo Guang Shan had held the first Neighbor Day event in the new temple inviting neighbors from Riccarton and neighbor district Fendalton to visit and share the facilities of the new temple; over 200 neighbors who are lawyers, architects, engineers, local government officials, school principles and company mangers came and joint the event.
2007.03.16 New Zealand South Island Association holds the first directors meeting in South Island Fo Guang Shan, presides by President Almeric Cheng, supervises by Venerable J Hao. 17 people participate.
2006.11.19 New Zealand South Island Association holds 2006 Annual General Meeting, presides by President Almeric Cheng under the guidance of Abbess Man Shin, over 60 members attend the meeting.
2006.10.04 New Zealand south island Fo Guang Shan Supervising Reverend Venerable J Hao, south island association supervisor John Lai, President Almeric Cheng lead 25 members to return to Taiwan to participates in 2006 BLIA annual conference.
2006.07.07 The Third Social meeting for Oceanian BLIA was held on 7~9th in the Brisbane Chung Tien Temple, New Zealand south island Fo Guang Shan Abbess Man Shin, Venerable J Hao, Association President Almeric Cheng and Supervisor John Lai participated.
2006.01.14 New Zealand South island Association presidents handing-over ceremony is held in south island Fo Guang Shan, under the supervision of Abbess Man Shin, President John Lai hands over the office to new President Almeric Cheng. Over 500 people attended the ceremony.
2005.10.30 120 people attended the New Zealand South island Association general meeting and the election of directors presided by President John, Abbess Man Shin, Guiding Dharma master J Hao, Supervisors Sandy Liao and Consultant Ron Wright. During the meeting, Almeric Cheng was elected as the new president and Louisa Liao and Mei Hwa Chen were elected as the new vice president.
2005.10.12 Public release of the police reference book ※A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity§ - The New Zealand Police specially invited religious leaders of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Jews, Maori to the Christchurch Cathedral to an officially release of the book ※A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity§. Abbess Venerable Man Shin specially arrived from Australia to represent Buddhist religious to pray for the police at the event.
2005.07.03 Foundation Laying Ceremony - Over 100 guests including the representative of Internal Affair Minister Hon Chris Carter, National Member of Parliament Pansy Wong, Christchurch City Councillor Helen Broughton, Riccarton District Board Chairman Peter Laloli, Roman Catholic Bishop John Cunneen, Dharma Masters from the Thailand and Sri Lanka temples attended the Foundation Laying Ceremony of the new South Island Fo Guang Shan temple.
2005.01.02 New Zealand South Island Association holds the first directors and supervisors conference for 2005, President John Lai presides the meeting which were attended by Abbess Man Shin, Guiding Dharma master J Hao, Supervisors Sandy Liao and 13 other participants.
2003.03.15 The South Island Fo Guang Shan and BLIA jointly organize 'the Dharma Lecture and Taking Refuge Ceremony§ at the Aurora Centre for The Performing Arts of Burnside High School. Over 800 people attended including Christchurch Huaxing Association President Fu bright, City Councilor Ron Wright. Abbess Man Chien delivered the lecture ※The spring of life§ and take refuge for 60 devotees including 10 Kiwis.
2002.11.22 Over 100 members attended the handover ceremony for the New Zealand South island Association, President Sandy Liao officially pass the office to New President John Lai.
2002.10.19 President Sandy Liao presides the election of new executives of the South Island Association at the Annual General Meeting, more than 50 members attended the meeting and Mr John Lai was elected as the new president, Ms Mei Hwa and Mr Sheung Lau were elected as the new vice presidents together with 11 other new directors.