28th Confucius Festival in Qufu, Shandong of China

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September 28th, 2017 is the Chinese sage , Confucius 2568th birthday.  Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.

In order to celebrate his birthday, Confucius Festival was organized at this day in his  birthplace Qufu, China. The chairman of The International Hua-Yan Buddhist Federation was honorably invited by the organizer to participate the event and the offering ceremony.

During the festival at the Qufu temple there are many activities and entertainments, including musical performances and dancing from ancient times. Mr. Shi delivered speech on The Confucianism and Its Influences in Confucianism Business Summit.  

 

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Chairman of The IHBF Mr. Shi delivered speech on The Confucianism and Its Influences in Confucianism Business Summit.  

Confucius's principles had a basis in common Chinese tradition and belief. He championed strong family loyalty, ancester veneration, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, recommending family as a basis for ideal government. He espoused the well-known principle "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself", the Golden Rule.  He is also a traditional deity in Daoism.

The Confucius Festival in Qufu is celebrated every year. If you are just in China at the period of the year, that's not a bad idea to pay a visit to Qufu 。 You would be amazed.

 

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Global Artist League Organized Donation in Time Square For Hurricane Victims

From left: Nanren Shi, Jicheng Yáo  

From left: Nanren Shi, Jicheng Yáo  

The Global Artist League organized a donation activity in Time Square at 5:00 pm on this busy Friday afternoon of September 21, 2017.

Mr. Nanren Shi, the chairman of The International Hua-Yan Buddhist Federation also participated the event. Mr. Shi is also the chairman for the Religion Culture Committee of The Global Artist League, which has thousands member artists worldwide. 

On the site, artists including Jicheng Yáo, the chairman of Global Artist League; Nanren Shi (Shaogong); Xiyang, Jinhua Wang wrote Chinese calligraphy for people who supported the event. All donations will give to the Red Cross Of America . 

From right: artists with own work for donators. Ms Xi Yang, Mr. Nanren Shi

From right: artists with own work for donators. Ms Xi Yang, Mr. Nanren Shi

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Pilgrim to Putuo Mountain

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Chairman Mr. Shi paid a pilgrim trip to Putuo Mountain, which is located the southeast of Shanghai. is considered the bodhimanda of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara ( Guanyin). Mount Putuo is one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism. 

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Mr. Shi had once lived in Putuo Mountain when he was just 13 years old as a Buddhist monk. He said Putuo Mountain has changed a lot since then. He met the Abbot of  Puji Monastery , Venerable Daoci Shi, he is also the head Abbot for all monasteries in Putuo Mountain. Mr. Shi offered his Chinese calligraphic writing " Liberation from Observation" to Venerable Daoci Shi. In Shurangama Sutra, Buddha Shakyamuni told his students that the Boddhisava Avalokitesvara attained enlightenment through observing sound. In Buddhism, people would like to refer Avalokitesvara (compassion boddhisava) with term " Liberation Through Observation ".

 

 

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Chairman Visited Yanzhou Buddhist Cultural Park in Shandong, China

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On June 30, 2017, Chairman Mr. Nanren Shi was invited to visit Yanzhou Buddhist Cultural Park in Shandong province, China.  The park  occupies about 1062 Chinese mu with the Eastern and Western theme sub parks. 

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The sacred Shakyamuni's head bone relics pagoda is located in the Western theme park. This pagoda was built more than thousand year ago.  Accompanied by Mr.  Xueen  Lou, the director of Yanzhou Buddhist Cultural Park, Mr. Nanren Shi paid a respect to Shakyamuni's relics.  The Abbot of Guangan Buddhist temple and the Vice President of Guangdong Buddhist Association, Venerable Yaoyu Shi recited Buddhist mantra during relics tour. The tour was also accompanied by the general manager of GCIG group, Ms lingzhi Huang and local officers.  

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Chairman Mr. Shi wrote Chinese calligraphy " Spread Buddhism and build correct view" on site as a gift to the park. Mr. Xueen Liu, representing Yanzhou Buddhist Cultural Park accepted Mr. Shi's gift. 

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Amituofo Buddha Statue  

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Chairman Mr. Shi watched outdoor stage show "Bodhi Going To The Eastern " in the evening.  Mr. Shi said that he wishes more western people would come to  Yanzhou Buddhist Cultural Park to learn the Buddhist culture with 2500 years  history. The International Hua-Yan Buddhist Federation is willing to become a bridge for cultural exchange between two countries. 

 

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Buddhist Leaders Pray World Peace In Toronto

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Corresponding to the " One Belt, One Road" strategy of China, Buddhist great masters pray for world peace in Chan Shan Temple of Toronto. Delegates, including the Chairman of Chinese Buddhist Association-Venerable Xuecheng Shi, Chairman of Canada Buddhist Association-Venerable Dayi Shi, and Chairman of The American Buddhist Confederation-Venerable Pindao Shi,  from China, Canada and United States will hold  Buddhist forum in Toronto university. The core theme of this Buddhist forum is "The Perfect Wisdom In Middle Way for the Sustainability of World Peace" 

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The chairman of The International Hua-Yan Buddhist Federation Mr. Nanren Shi is invited to participate. Mr. Nanren Shi will deliver his theme paper titled " Sustainable Peace In The Perfect Middle Way". 

The Buddhist Forum is organized by Buddhist organizations from three countries: China, Canada and America. It will be the milestone in world Buddhist history, and will be  a breakthrough event for Chinese Mahayana teaching and Chinese traditional culture to participate their roles in Northern America. A powerful country and nation must have same international influence  through its culture. 

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Mr. Nanren Shi said :"Buddhism has been in China for more than 2500 years. It's a very important component of Chinese culture.  Introducing the precious Chinese traditional culture---Chinese Mahayana Buddhism  to Northern America, and even the world, is a realistic step to fulfill the strategy of " The Belt and Road" and "Chinese Dream",  initiated by Chinese leaders。 The success of three-country "Buddhist Forum"  will play an important role in further promoting both Chinese and Buddhist civilizations in Northern America. It also will present Buddhism on the world historical stage in a more positive and vigorous way."

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The 1st Buddhist Forum of three countries will be end on June 18th, 2017. The organizer is planning to hold such event in every two years in the future. 

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Pigeon release ceremony  

 

 

Sustainable Peace In The Perfect Middle Way, Part V

Author: Nanren Shi

Chairman of The International Hua-Yan Buddhist Federation

 

For the same theme, In the “Diamond Sutra”, Buddha said : “ All conditioned phenomenons are like a dream, an illusion , a bubble, a shadow, like dew or a flash of lighting. Thus we shall perceive them.”

In the “ Diamond Sutra”, Buddha repeated that all conditional arisings are relative existence, are not permanent. As it said: “ “Because when the Buddha speaks of particles of dust, they are not, but are (expediently) called, particles of dust.” “World Honoured One, when the Tathagata speaks of worlds, they are not,but are (expediently) called, worlds. Why? Because if they really exist, they are just agglomerations.” “Subhuti, these so-called Dharmas are not, but are (expediently), called all Dharmas.”What Buddha wants to teach us is that all dependant arisings are relative truth, we give phenomena names for communication purpose, but all are not truthly existence. The essence of phenomena is emptiness. This is also the opinion of Nagarjuna in his “ The Middle Way”.

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Chinese calligraphic writing by chairman Mr. Shi of The International Hua-Yan Buddhist Federation 

Buddhist Yogacara school has its unique way to explain the middle way. As stated in Samdhinirmocana Sutra, one of the most important sutra in Budddhist Yogacara school, the two forms of extremist attachments to existence and nonexistence are wrong. The middle way is none of them. Staying away from both extremist attachments to existence and nonexistence is the perfect middle way. Extremist attachments to existence and nonexistence are relative truth.

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In another Buddhist book “ Nadhyanta- Vibhagakarika Sastra”, it said “ Due to the distinguishing mind of illusion, ignorant mind creates the subject of ego “I” and the objects of ‘I”. Then the duality is given birth. But the truth nature of both “ I” and its objects are emptiness. Duality is nonexistence, is empty. However, the ultimate truth of emptiness can only be manifested when the distinguishing mind of illusion act with conditions.

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According to the Trisvabhava of Buddhist Yogacara school, the Parikalpita-svabhava of the unenlightened is the form produced from conceptual construction. It is nonexistence. This matches the view of “ all phenomenons are emptiness” of the middle way school. Both Buddhist Madhyamaka school and Yogacara school believe that the phenomena are conditional existence. There are no truthly existence. We give phenomenon name as labels for communication purpose.

In the Treatise in Thirty Stanzas, it was said: “The metaphors of self and dharmas, which function in so many different ways, take place in the transformation of consciousness. “

In the Diamond Sutra, it was said:” “Subhuti, these so-called Dharmas are not, but are (expediently), called all Dharmas.” The is how the enlightened mind perceive phenomena. It was also said: “All Bhadras and Aryas differ on account of the Eternal Asamskrta Dharma.” This coincides the concept of Parinishpanna-svabhava (“the form perfectly attained”), the ultimate truth of transcendental emptiness in Buddhist Yogacara school. Therefore, it is said in the Diamond Sutra that “ the Dharma the Tathagata expounds cannot be clung to and cannot be expressed (in words); it is neither Dharma nor Not-Dharma.”

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Through comparing the different views in Agama, Buddhist Madhyamaka school, Buddhist Yogacara school and the Diamond Sutra, we can cultivate our view of the Buddhist middle way. We will realize its true meaning once we can apply it in the real world.

Sustainable Peace In The Perfect Middle Way, Part IV

Author: Nanren Shi

Chairman of The International Hua-Yan Buddhist Federation

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Buddhism with more than 2500 years history, teaches  perfect wisdom and compassion to benefit the world. The current challenge is how Buddhism will adopt  itself to the changing world. The " Three Country Buddhist Forum" in Toronto University  would be the great opportunity for Chinese Buddhism to entering the western. It is the heart felt voice of Buddhists.

 

The middle way or the middle path is the core value and the most important fundamental opinion in Buddhism. Both Buddhist Hinayana and Mahayana practice the middle way. There are differences in how to understand and practice the middle way. However, both schools treat "the middle way"  as the most important view in practice. 

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Venerable Jingyi Shi (center), Chairman Mr. Shi in the United Nations Headquarter Square  during the Vesak day, 2017

 

From the lines in Madhyama Agama, we can see that "the middle way" is a mental process which will not look at the objects of our mind in extreme way. Buddha taught us do not indulge in desire-satisfaction and do not practice extremely ascetic activities. Both way of living will not bring benefits to us. Staying away from both extremists would fit the meaning of the middle way. With the view of the middle way, we could achieve samadhi and attain wisdom through meditation. Finally, we will attain nirvana.

Hinayana's view of middle way was also expounded in its teaching of "The Twelve Links of Interdependent Origination" and  the teaching of " The Eight-fold Path". 

 

Mahayana's view of the middle way focuses on our own mind. We could have comprehensive understanding of the perfect middle way through studying both Buddhist Madhyamaka school and Yogacara school. 

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In Buddhist Madhyamaka school, the core concept of the perfect middle way is regarding the dependent arising of all phenomena.  In Nagarjuna’s “The Middle Way”, it was said: “ All phenomena are dependent arising. Whatever is dependently originated, it is to be empty of true existence. That is dependently designated. Therefore, it is said to be the Middle Way.” ( * please refer the Chapter 4, Section 24 of The Middle Way).

 

In Nagarjuna’s another commentary “ Great Treatise on the Perfection of Wisdom”, He said: “ The truth reality of the dependent origination of all phenomena is emptiness. We can call it relative truth, or call it  the middle way. If all phenomena is truthly existence, then it should have no birth. But since phenomena has birth, it is not truthly existence.”

 

 

To be continued..... 

Chairman Mr. Shi's Chinese calligraphic handwriting  

Chairman Mr. Shi's Chinese calligraphic handwriting