Visit from Shirley Boys¡¯ High School Christchurch

On 23rd August 2017, 57 students led by 3 teachers from Shirley Boys¡¯ High School visited Fo Guang Shan (FGS) South Island and welcomed by Fo Guang Yuan (FGY) Art Gallery coordinator Vicky Han, and Buddha¡¯s Light International Association (BLIA) members Ding Lih Son and Frida Dai. At the FGY Art Gallery, the visitors were introduced to the ¡¯Ringing True¡¯ Exhibition by Christchurch International Artist, Keith Morant. There, the students watched with enthusiasm the video presentation of Mr. Morant in carrying out his painting. The students exclaimed that this was the first time they were able to view the actual process of painting by an artist, and they were very taken with it.

At the Buddha Hall, Ding guided the visitors to practice and experience Ch¡¯an meditation. The students expressed their liking in meditation because even after merely undergoing a period of 10 minute meditation, they could feel inner peace, tranquillity and a sense of relaxation. The students then asked about Buddhism¡¯s contribution towards society, and why BLIA members choose Buddhism as their religion. One of the teacher, Karine too asked about the meaning and significance of flower, incense and light offering in the practice of Buddhism. To each of these questions, BLIA members offered their detailed answer and explanation.

Later, Ding introduced and demonstrated to the visitors the Buddhist way of praying, and encouraged them to learn by participating in the praying process themselves. Under the guidance of BLIA members, the visitors immediately queued up to take turn practicing the praying. Afterwards, the students, with great joy, each picked up a card with words of wisdom from FGS founder, Venerable master Hsing Yun. Right after getting the cards, the students started reading, and discussed among themselves on the contents.

In the end, BLIA members, on behalf of FGS South Island, presented Karine the publication ¡®FGS NZ 10th Anniversary Report¡¯ and thanked the visitors for their visit. The visitors in turn expressed their gratitude towards the hospitality extended to them in this meaningful visit where they were able to experience Ch¡¯an meditation and to better understand Humanistic Buddhism.