Visit of Venerable Soma to FGS South Island

On 4 January 2018, Venerable Makuludenive Somarathana (Soma) from the Samadhi Budhist Vihara which provides its services to the Sri Lankan Buddhist community in South Island NZ, together with 3 other Venerables, visited FGS South Island. On hand to receive the visitors were FGS Minister in Charge Venerable Juexi, and BLIA South Island Vice Presidents James Low and Ding Lih-Son.

The visitors were led by James into the Main Shrine, where they performed incense offering and chanting of Sutra. James also took the opportunity to explain to the visitors the affinities leading to the gifting of the Green Stone to FGS by the Maori Chief during the opening of FGS South Island. Venerable Soma and his entourage were later taken for a tour of the library and the ¡°Walking like Smoke¡± oil painting exhibition by local artist Gail Batchelor and the ¡°Ch¡¯an, Fun and Life Protection¡± comic exhibition by international artist, Feng Yiyin at the Fo Guang Yuan (FGY) Art Gallery and the Time Corridor.

Venerable Juexi later briefed the visitors on the project undertaken by FGS New Zealand in the distribution of the book ¡®366 Days with Wisdom¡¯ written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun to hotels, retirement villages, and prisons in all parts of New Zealand, free of charge. To date, 20,000 copies of the book have been distributed and warmly received by the public. Venerable Juexi narrated the story of a Chief Prison Officer from the Auckland prison who was able to remove his feeling of fear in him after reading the book ¡®366 Days with Wisdom¡¯. The Officer later paid a visit to FGS North Island and had a meaningful conversation with Venerable Abbess after which he experienced some degree of spiritual emancipation and a feeling of peacefulness.

Before their parting, Venerable Juexi presented the visitors with the book ¡°366 Days with Wisdom¡±, ¡°FGS NZ 10th Anniversary Report¡± and 2018 FGS calendars. Venerable Soma then thanked the host for their hospitality and invited them to visit the new Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple at Rolleston.