BLIA Radiance Chapter held online reading club for the second time on April 18. Young adults from BLIA Radiance Chapter in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, Toronto, Dallas, Edmonton and Sydney attended this event. The reading club also had the honor to have BLIA YAD Executive Director Venerable Hui Chuan, Hsi Lai Temple Abbot Venerable Hui Dong and Toronto Fo Guang Shan Abbess Venerable Jue Fan. In total, 50 participants attended the online reading club.
Venerable Hui Chuan started the event by express his concerned about the pandemic conditions in different places and shared what BLIA members have done to care for the society, eg: composed songs, wrote cards to bring encouragement to hospital workers, donation of face masks etc. When people are facing problems that cannot be solved, the most importance thing to keep in mind is the power of faith. By quoting teachings in Between Ignorance and Enlightenment-Levels of Faith and The Core Teachings from Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, he explained to the young adults that religion is a subject that must be approached with great delicacy. Believing in demons and heretics is similar to having poison. Your life will be endangered once the poison reaches its effect.
Venerable Master Hsing Yun once said that it’s better to not have a belief than to believe in demons and heretics, and it’s better to have a superstition than to not have a belief. Although it’s superstition, at least it has the idea of good and evil, cause and effect. And eventually, having a belief is having the right faith in Buddhism. The teachings from Buddhism, for example Dependent Origination and the Middle Path, causes, conditions and retributions, the cycle of birth and death and Nirvana can help us to find an answer to the confusions in our life. Master Hsing Yun said that the right faith has the following properties: 1. Does the faith you believe in have historical foundation? 2. Does the faith you believe in have moral and ethics? Does the faith you believe in have the ability to save people from suffering and distress? Does the faith you believe in have personality evolution? During the Total Merits Transfer Dharma Service for Ceasing the COVID-19 Epidemic, Master Hsing Yun said that we cannot depend on the Buddha to bless and help us at all the times. We should help others, practice Three Acts of Goodness and care for members in the society as well. This is the right belief. If you have the right belief, you will apply the Buddhism teachings into daily life. Venerable Hui Chuan encouraged all the young adults to apply what they have learnt in the reading club into their daily lives.
Hsi Lai Temple Abbot, Venerable Hui Dong also asked everybody to take care and stay safe. He was very grateful for young adults from Canada, Europe and United States for participating in the online reading club and sharing their stories. Toronto Fo Guang Shan Abbess Venerable Jue Fan also felt grateful for young adults from BLIA Radiance Toronto Chapter in helping BLIA for donations to hospitals and collaboration with local supply donation.
BLIA YAD chief, Jenny Chen Chenhui said in the summary that we were thankful for the caring words from venerables during the pandemic. This helps us to find faith and value in our lives. When faced with crises and dilemma, Buddhism brings light. BLIA Radiance Subchapter online reading club provides a great opportunity for us to learn from each other. Hope every time during the meeting, we will cherish the process of learning and growing together.