With the continued impact of the novel coronavirus in North America, the BLIA Young Adult Division in North America surpassed distance, generating strength in faith. The BLIA World HQ Western North America Deputy Secretary-General, Ven. Abbot Hui Dong was invited to teach Buddhist Studies online to nearly 40 youth, as far as Paris, France, on May 9.
Ven. Hui Dong first inquired about the effects of the pandemic in each area attendees were in then asked everyone to share on how your “strength in faith” helps the current situation? Montreal YAD President, Kimfay said martial arts, cooking, Buddhist Studies, as well as movie time classes have been arranged online to unify the interaction of members.
San Francisco youth, Katrina Chak, shared that in the face of the epidemic, people are terrified and troubled. In the supermarket she works at, many people have asked for leave or even resigned. Upholding the spirit of Buddhist compassionate service, she makes every effort she can to maintain the normal functions of life for the general public.
"Because of the strength of the Buddha’s teachings, even in a risky work environment, one can maintain mindfulness, be free of fear, and think positively whenever one encounters any situation," said Vincent Liu, a Los Angeles youth who works in a hospital. During this time, he was at another hospital and realized the facemasks used by the medical staff were donated by Hsi Lai Temple and BLIA. He was very happy, moved, and felt blessed to be learning and growing in an organization of proper faith.
Ven. Hui Dong tells us that the North American temples of Fo Guang Shan have donated over 3.5 million facemasks as well as gloves and PPE to various hospitals, police and fire stations across the nation. When China was deep in the epidemic, countries around the world sent them facemasks; now that the pandemic has moved worldwide, now China is supporting others with facemasks—this is basic cause and effect in Buddhism.
Lastly, he encouraged youth saying, Humanistic Buddhism teaches everyone to maintain right mindfulness and to reflect upon one’s own mind in order to allow one’s spirit to be fearless and bravely face the various difficulties of life. Utilizing the current causes and conditions, one can calm the mind down and deepen our understanding of the Buddha’s teachings. By applying the Three Acts of Goodness: do good deeds, speak good words, and think good thoughts, we can increase our own compassion and wisdom in our daily lives.