Humanistic Buddhism Recognition from Important Roles

Into understanding more about the status of Humanistic Buddhism in New Zealand, the Dean of Xuanzang Institute of Northwest University in China 每 Professor Li An, LI and two of his students visited at Fo Guang Shan (FGS) South Island New Zealand (NZ) on 25 February, meeting with lecturers, police, religious representatives and those that have important roles in Christchurch NZ. An in depth interview was conducted with the Riccarton/Wigram Community Board Deputy Chairperson 每 Helen Broughton, Joint Head of Department of Physics & Astronomy and Chemistry for the University of Canterbury 每 Professor Michael Reid, Justices of Peace in Christchurch 每 Ron Wright, President of the Christchurch Multicultural Council 每 Dr Surinder Tandon, NZ Police Road Policing Manager 每 Inspector Al Stewart and Director of PEETO, the Multi Cultural Learning Centre in Christchurch 每 Patrick O*Connor. Venerable Abbess Manshin from FGS NZ, Venerable Juexi which is the Temple Supervisor of FGS South Island NZ, Buddha*s Light International Association President 每 Seeshen Lee, Vice President 每 James Low and Louisa Kuo, together 30 over BLIA members joined the event.

Firstly, Professor Li thanked the distinguished guests that came for the interview and explained his purpose to New Zealand is to study the development of Humanistic Buddhism. Prof Li then started the interview to know further on ※How locals evaluate the FGS and BLIA Buddhist devotees in Christchurch§, ※What activities and benefits does these Buddhist devotees bring to the community of Christchurch§, ※The development and problems of Multiculturalism in Christchurch§, ※Whether Christchurch*s law and order are related to different races and religious beliefs§, ※Promoting Buddhism in Schools§ and respective matters were discussed where the guests all gave their thoughts professionally.

Helen Broughton, which is a Christian herself have participated in a lot of activities at the temple and always feel joy when she is at the temple. She also feels tranquil, relaxed and compassionate in her busy Christchurch life. Ron Wright JP has then continued that he has at least 10 years of interaction with FGS and BLIA. From the old venue to this new temple, he has witnessed every historical moment and each time he is at the temple he could feel the enthusiasm of the members here. The door here is open to everyone and NZ always welcomes the presence of Buddhism. Humanistic Buddhism brings life and human nature into a new point of view to everyone and the founder of FGS 每 Venerable Master Hsing Yun*s culture of ※Giving§ have touched Ron*s heart, and prompted him in giving more time to work during the Christchurch like what the FGS and BLIA members have done, offering thousands of free hot meals and moved the hearts of the residents in the city.

Professor Michael Reid has also kept in line with Buddhism for 10 years and mentioned that the connection in between Buddhism and science is important. Buddhism helps to solve problems in live, Buddhism tells us the truth and Buddhism tells the authenticity of an individual and as a whole. Dr. Surinder, which is a believer of the Hinduism, is very open to different religions because every religion has its own value. In between religions, as long as one could find a balance in gender, could respect each other and be compassionate, then one can live in peace. Christchurch is a city which has good friendships in various ethnics and religions, which creates a common development with a future full of hope.

Inspector Al Stewart said that during the earthquake, FGS South Island and the police force are working together at the front line to serve the public. FGS and BLIA members have helped the NZ Police in doing lots of translation work and assisted in other community service. Director Patrick O* Connor then presented a souvenir of appreciation to Venerable Abbess Manshin and Professor Li, expressing that he reads the words of wisdoms from the Venerable Master everyday, promoting education in his school, furthermore, teaching students and giving them the essence of ※Three Good.§

The lively and joyous atmosphere interview has completed and the guests did their best in providing information and views to this event giving participants a lot of valuable knowledge and contents.