Hsi Lai TAG School celebrated the opening ceremony for the Spring 2022 semester on Sunday, March 20, in a joint class with the preschool, kid, and youth groups. A wonderful emcee, Ms. Phyllis, from the youth class, greeted participants and invited the Abbot of Hsi Lai Temple, Venerable Hui Dong, to extend a warm welcome to all, including Venerables, teachers, parents, and students.
While the Abbot expressed hopes for in-person classes in the near future, he also encouraged the students to take this opportunity to spend quality time with friends, and to make new friends virtually. Classes were previously held at the temple; although everyone anticipates a return to in-person classes, the temple is continuing to take extra precautions during this time by offering online classes to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.
Venerable Hui Dong also emphasized the value of learning and practicing TAG, or the Three Acts of Goodness: do good deeds, speak good words, and think good thoughts. “The three acts of goodness can be practiced by everyone”, he said, encouraging students to practice good conduct so they can become good kids at home, at school, and amongst friends. He noted they would even become popular by good example. Furthermore, the Abbot spoke about the world’s current condition as more people are becoming increasingly enchanted with fame and wealth. These desires are causing chaos all around us, and the only solution is to practice good conduct using TAG as a rule of thumb to cultivate compassion and selflessness for the betterment of society.
Following the Abbot’s words of positivity and wisdom, Venerable Zhi Ching—one of the guiding monastics of the TAG school—reviewed the semester schedule with the students and parents, and announced key dates during which in-person events will be held at the temple for the Buddha’s Birthday Celebration and for the Spring Semester Closing Ceremony. Although classes are virtual this semester, students and parents can look forward to numerous safe, fun events.
Before being separated into breakout rooms to review the curriculum in further detail, Venerable Abbot Hui Dong honored the teachers and volunteers of the program, thanking them for all their hard work with Letters of Appointment. Together with monastic leaders, the TAG teachers have been dedicated to planning and delivering invaluable, interactive courses. Their aim has been to teach a future generation of leaders how to apply the three acts of goodness into their own daily lives for personal development and how to make positive contributions to society. The main goal of the TAG school program is to help develop and support good citizens with a strong moral foundation and character to face life’s challenges. We are thankful for our monastics, teachers, parents, and students for participating in this program, and we anticipate another successful semester full of Dharma light.