Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hsi Lai Temple on CNN

CNN came to Hsi Lai Temple and did a short feature for CNN Headline News. Venerable Miao Hsi featured in an interview. Link

Friday, March 20, 2009

Photos from Meeting at Church of Good Shepherd

I have uploaded the photos from the interfaith meeting on March 9th at the Church of Good Shepherd

Album: Interfaith meeting on March 9th

- Alex

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Booklet 3: The Essence of Buddhism

Essence means truth and also refers to the fundamental Dharma. Sometimes we say the doctrine of the Three Dharma Seals (also known as the Three Characteristics of Existence) is the essence of Buddhism, or that Dependent Origination is the essence of Buddhism. Other times we say that it is emptiness (sunyata) or the Four Noble Truths. What, then, is the essence of Buddhism? Actually, all of these concepts are the fundamental truths of Buddhism.

This is our study topic for March. Please read details at (go to the download for free link) and post your comments below.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Photos from Interfaith Meeting on March 4th

The photos from our Interfaith Meeting on March 4th at Arcadia Congregational United Church of Christ are now uploaded to Picasso. At this meeting we each described a particular object of practice.

Complete Album: Interfaith meeting on March 4th

- Alex

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Booklet 2: The Fundamental Concepts of Humanistic Buddhism

We know that the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni Buddha, is the Buddha of our world. He was born into this world; he cultivated his spiritual development, attained enlightenment, and shared with others the deep truths he had realized in this world. The human world was emphasized in everything he did. Why did the Buddha not achieve Buddhahood in one of the other five realms? Why did he not attain enlightenment in one of the other ten dharma worlds? Why did he, instead, attain complete awakening as a human being? Taking this question one step further, why did the Buddha not attain enlightenment in a past or future [kalpa]? Why did he choose our saha world and our present [kalpa]? There can only be one reason: the Buddha wanted the teachings of Buddhism to be relevant to the human world. The Buddhism that the Buddha gave us is humanistic, and Humanistic Buddhism is the integrating of our spiritual practice into all aspects of our daily lives. Humanistic Buddhism has the following six characteristics.

This is our Hsi Lai Friends Study Group topic for this month. Please study the booklet at the Buddha's Light Publishing link below. Add your comments to the blog.

Read more link:

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Great Oak Bodhisattva

Hidden in Temecula, Southern California is a wonderful secret: an old oak tree over 1,500 years of age, probably the oldest and largest known coastal live oak tree in the world. Nestled in the Pechanga Indian reservation, this oak tree is anything but a decrepit tree. From the outside, one cannot distinguish its magnificence. However, upon entering “its world,” one cannot fail to be enraptured by its size, serenity, and magnanimity. What we see above ground is only the tip of an iceberg. It stands majestically at more than 96 feet high, with a massive trunk nearly 20 feet in circumference. Much more is hidden from view underground.

From Thai Temple and Indian Reservation

To me, this oak tree is like a bodhisattva teaching us a lesson in Karma. This bodhisattva offers shelter, protection, happiness, and memories to those who have had the fortune to encounter it. In its quiet but powerful demeanor, this bodhisattva has demonstrated the power of karma over time, space, weather, and human designs. Master Hsing Yun spoke about the several principles of “karma” in “The Unique Characteristics of Buddhism.” He mentioned that karma is self-created i.e. it is not created by divine power: this oak tree is testimonial to the fact that it has withstood the tests of time and weather. Karma also means equal opportunity: this oak tree has made the best use of its existence, against all odds. Karma gives us hope and a bright future: this great oak bodhisattva reminds us that our future is in our hands. Karma means good begets good, and bad begets bad: certainly, this oak tree bears witness to the sowing of conditions through time. Karma is neutral, it is up to our mind to interpret and apply it towards positive goals.

Nature embodies the Dharma – animals, plants, and worlds are gently speaking to us. May we all celebrate the success of the Great Oak bodhisattva, and dance in the world of the Dharma.

Read about the oak tree at the Pechanga Reservation web site:

By Venerable Jue Wei

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Notes on the Meeting about the March Activities

Wildomar, CA, Feb. 7, 2009, 1:15pm

After lunch, we took 15 minutes break to explore the surroundings of the Ratanapannya Meditation Center. Then we had a short meeting was proceeded to discuss the coming activities in March.

1. Alex, Eddie, Ven. Chuan Jue, and Wan Jia continued the brainstorming to enhance the blog. Everybody appreciated their contrition to construct the blog. Suggestion was made to make the display to be more appealing to read, for instance, shortening the display length of the web page by making a summary version that is expandable to a complete verion.

2. Thanks Wan Jia for having posting our monthly reading materials in the blog. The reading article for March: The Unique Characteristics of Buddhism (

3. A preliminary participants list has been generated for two activities led by Ven. Jue Wei in March, the participants as follows, please let us(either Jacky or Ven. Jue Wei) know if you want to join this event:

Interfaith meeting on March 4th(Wed.), 7pm at Arcadia Congregational United Church of Christ (2607 S. Santa Anita Ave. Aracadia, CA 91006)

The theme is “Interfaith series on Art and Artifacts in Worship.” A vegetarian dinner will be provided at 6pm.

Ritual objects will be brought by these people:
- Ven. Jue Wei — hand bell
- Ven. Chuan Jue — Avalokiteśvara statue
- Ven. Jue Ji — Wooden fish
- Alex — beans
- Nathan — Tibetan gong
- Eddie — Singing bowl
- Wan Jia — Buddhist stupa
- Jacky — meditation chime

Each person will have a few minutes presentation about the object they bring. Since we have enough object and presenters already, those of you also want to attend this event will not need to bring certain objects anymore.

Interfaith meeting on March 9th (Mon.) at 7pm at Church of Good Shepherd (400 W Duarte Road Arcadia, CA 91007)

Venerable Jue Wei will be speaking on the topic: “Hsi Lai Temple – The Dharma Coming to West” to the American Association of University Women.

People are willing to go (the participants probably will join the presentation of the powerpoints about Hsi Lai Temple and its mission/accomplishment). Please let Jacky know if you want to participant in presenting at this event.

Other notes about the talk by Ven. Sompoch Sripund in Ratanapannya Meditation Center, the talk by Ven. Jue Wei in Ratanapannya Meditation Center about “Meditation from Humanistic Buddhist Perspective,” and notes on the exclusive visit to Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians can be view on this blog