Visit of Russley Girl Guides to FGS South Island

On 13th September 2017, 14 members of Russley GirlGuiding, aged between 6 to 10, visited Fo Guang Shan South Island. They were led by guide leaders Kimberley and Melissa and were welcome by Buddha¡¯s Light International Association (BLIA) South Island members Ding Lih Son, Frida Dai and James Low who guided them through a tour of the various sections of the Temple, inclusive of the Fo Guang Yuan (FGY) Art Gallery Christchurch, the Buddha Hall and the Library. The GirlGuiding claimed that this was their first ever visit to a Buddhist Temple in Christchurch, and they were curious to learn about the layout of the Temple, and the arrangement of various items therein. Melissa enquirer about the function and meaning of the water channel in front of the Temple, and was impressed with this simple yet meaningful design as explained by BLIA member.

At the FGY Art Gallery CHCH, the GirlGuiding toured the ¡®Ringing True¡¯ Art Exhibition where they freely offered their comments and views on the exhibited works. Later, they were taken to visit the Buddha Hall. There, guided by BLIA members, the visitors took part in ¡®Chan¡¯ Meditation. After the meditation session, the GirlGuiding claimed that this was their first ever experience on meditation, and they really enjoyed and treasured this unique opportunity.

Under the guidance of BLIA members, the GrilGuiding learned and practised the Buddhist way of praying and making vow. It was so interesting that even the parents and GrilGuiding leader could not help but joined in the practice. The GrilGuiding also asked about the life story of Buddha. BLIA members then took the opportunity to introduce to them the life of Buddha from the days as Siddhartha the Prince, to one seeking relieve for universal suffering for mankind and finally, to his Enlightenment as Buddha. Among the visitors, two GirlGuiding claimed that they had attended ¡®Siddhartha the Musical¡¯ last year, and said they enjoyed the Musical very much.

At the end of their visit, Charlotte representing the GirlGuiding, thanked FGS for their hospitality and for giving them the chance to learn and gain new knowledge. GirlGuiding leader Melissa also thanked FGS for allowing the GirlGuiding to better understand Humanistic Buddhism and Chinese Culture. Before their departure, BLIA members presented to Melissa the publication ¡®FGS NZ 10th Anniversary Report¡¯ and thanked the visitors for the visit.