The Think-Tank meeting of the University for Life and Peace
•Early January saw the official opening of the Precious Hall of Yuan-Tong at LJM’s Hua Tsang (Avataṃsaka Vihāra) as the Chan Hall for the passing-on of the Chan-Dharma tradition.
•Mid-February: the delegation of the “United Association of Humanistic Buddhism ChungHua” (http://www.uahbc.org/) was warmly received at the Da-Shan-Yuan Monastery (Mahā Kusalā Yāma Monastery ) in Yangon, Myanmar. The delegation was there for a pilgrimage and for interactions between different Buddhist traditions of Theravada and Mahayana.
•Master Hsin Tao took part in the presentation ceremony of the country-level PuRen Award in mid-March. The Master accepted the invitation to attend the inauguration ceremony of Master Ben Ru, new abbot of the Jing Yeh Temple of the Zhong Nan Mountains in Xi An, Shaan Xi Province, China, in late March.
•In early April, the Master joined representatives of different faiths invited by the Museum of World Religions to participate in its 10th Interreligious New Year Prayer Sessions for Peace and Blessings.
•From mid-April to early May, the Master officiated/led by example the practice of ascetic retreat to gather up the power of the Great Compassion Dharani chanted a million times. Upon the completion of the chanting at the million’s count, the auspicious day saw the Master preside over the ceremony dedicated to the move-in and setting-in-place of the PiLu Avalokitesvara statue at the Hua Tsang (Avataṃsaka Vihāra) of the Precious Hall of Yuan Tong, as well as the unveiling of the Wall of Merit marking people’s donations at the Grand Hall of Chan.
•May was the month when the Master went to Germany for Chan sessions at respectively the Neumuehle Meditation Center, the BenediktusHof Meditation Center, and the Domicilium. The Master then held the first ThinkTank meeting in Regensburg for international advisors of the University for Life and Peace for in-depth discussions of the University’s ideals and design concept for future syllabus and curriculum of the University.
•The Master then traveled to the Vatican and visited with Pope Francis and shared the ideals of the University for Life and Peace. After the papal visit, the Master called on Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), to extend the invitation for Catholicism to join in the initiative of the University for Life and Peace.
•The month of June marked the 34th anniversary of the establishment of the LJM Buddhist Society.
•In early July, the Master visited Penang, Malaysia, to lead a massive meditation outdoors with participants in the thousands. The Master then went to China to lead a Peace Meditation over 3 days at Qing Pu near Shanghai mid-month.
•The Master received the visit by a delegation of monks under the name Fu Jih Buddhist Monks led by Abbot Ru Jing at LJM’s Wu Sheng Monastery.
•The key event was the 24th LJM Waterland Liberation Ritual ( Large-scaled Salvation ceremony ) in September, and the event tagline ‘Retain the fasting mindset every day / Live a life of simplicity’ was to promote principles of life coined as ‘fasting/alms-offering/repentance/simplicity’ to help safeguard the Earth’s sustainability.
•In late September, the Master went to Myanmar to preside over the Think-Tank meeting of the University for Life and Peace to further pool the advice and studied opinions of scholars and experts.
•Life & Peace music concerts on the theme of ‘Loving the Earth this very instant / Holding world peace in your heart’ were presented in respectively Kaohsiung and Taipei in early October to announce the formal launch of the University for Life and Peace. The outreach promotion ignited a campaign for a new life centering on “Loving the Earth / Loving Peace”.
•In early November, the Master was present at the Museum of World Religions to celebrate its 16th anniversary, which coincided with the ceremonial unveiling of the certificate issued by the Government in recognition of the Museum’s status as Taiwan’s 1st lawfully certified private museum in line with Taiwan’s very stringent ‘Museum Act’.
•In mid-November, the 6th Buddhist-Christian Colloquium: “Buddhists and Christians Walking Together on the Path of Non-Violence” was held at the Sheng Shan Temple of the LJM Monasteries, with the PCID, the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference, and the LJM as organizers, and with Fo Guang Shan,Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, and the Buddhist Association of New Taipei City as co-organizers.
•At the closing ceremony of the 6th Buddhist-Christian Colloquium, the Master and the PCID President, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, issued a joint communique in the form of a 10-point proclamation that calls out to different religions to act in love and compassion on the path of non-violence to heal the Earth with love.
•From late November to early December, the Master led a pilgrimage to Myanmar. But first, a short-term monastic retreat in the Theravada tradition was conducted at the Da Shan Yuan Monastery (Mahā Kusalā Yāma Monastery ) in Yangon. Parallel to that, a first-ever such retreat was held for female Buddhist followers as well. After that, Dharma gatherings to present support to sanghas were held at the Mansu Temple (Lashio), the Da Shan Yuan Temple (Mahā Kusalā Yāma Monastery ) in Naung Mon, and the World Peace Pagoda (Kabar Aye Pagoda,Yangon). Furthermore, stipends were sponsored for scholarly monks dispatched from the Pali University to promote Buddha’s teachings in remote areas of Myanmar.