Location: City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, 2001 Talmage Rd. / Ukiah, CA 95482
Venerable Master Hsuan Hua arrived in America in 1962. Now, half a century later, the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association is celebrating fifty years of the Venerable Master’s teachings with stories from senior disciples, presentations on his legacies, and vows from DRBA leadership. A rich arts program is featured on Sunday with contributions from monks, nuns, laity and students culminating in a world-class piano concert and interfaith blessings.
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Detailed Description of Program.
Saturday, June 23
8:00-10:00 AM: Reflecting on 50 Years: 1962-2012
This session focuses on the intangible achievements: the powerful inspiration to improve one’s character and seek the Dharma that Master Hua kindled in people’s hearts over these last fifty years. Disciples from each of the five decades will be sharing stories of the teachings and influences they received. Beginning with the early 1960s and the disciples who started Buddhist Lecture Hall and ending with this current generation of young students enrolled in Instilling Goodness & Developing Virtue Schools (IGDVS), we will see the spectrum of people who were influenced for the better by Master Hua.
1:00-5:00 PM: Master Hua’s Legacies
We will present the visible achievements: the institutional legacies that Master Hua left behind. This will begin with a presentation of the Sangha Legacy and a panel of senior monastic and lay disciples. We will hear stories from those who were taught directly by Master Hua when Buddhism was brand new in America.
Next comes the Education Legacy. Dharma Realm Buddhist University and the IGDVS schools will report on promoting virtue in education and their plans for the future. Many of the presenters will be alumni of IGDVS who are now working for our University.
The Translation Legacy will introduce the Venerable Master’s vows to bring the sutras to the Western world and how his tireless efforts created the Buddhist Text Translation Society (BTTS). Many current publications will be available at the BTTS Book Show for free distribution.
7:00 PM: “Fulfilling the Venerable Master’s Vows.” A panel of speakers will discuss their individual visions of how to interpret the Venerable Master’s legacies in the West in the 21st century. This concludes the first day of our celebration.
Sunday, June 24
8:00 AM Annual Observance of Venerable Master Entering Nirvana
This will consist of bowing and then processing to the Wordless Hall, Master Hua’s residence while at CTTB, to pay respects to his relics. The special meal offering includes 108 dishes that are passed from hand-to-hand.
Arts Program Description
Historically, the music, architecture, calligraphy and graphic arts of Buddhism have taken root in each new culture at the same time or in some cases, even earlier than the scriptures, texts and philosophy. Religions often enter a culture more quickly through the body’s senses than through the mind. Thus Buddhist arts have become a powerful means of spreading the Dharma. Master Hua himself was an artist, a painter, a song writer, a poet, an essayist, a sculptor, and a building designer. Following his lead, in the afternoon we have arranged a three-part Arts Program that highlights the four legacies of Master Hua.
1:00-3:00 PM & 3:30-5:00PM: Arts Program, Part 1 & 2
There will be chants by the monks and nuns, Buddhist songs, Dharma stories, and performances by students, disciples, and friends. What would Chinese culture be like without the influence of Buddhism? How will Western civilization influence the Dharma in the 21st century?
7:00 PM: Evening Piano Concert & Interfaith Blessing
Ms. Gwhyneth Chen, a world-renowned classical pianist and a long-time refuge disciple of the Venerable Master, will give a concert to celebrate Master Hua’s legacies. Her program includes J.S. Bach’s French Suite #5 and the Transcendental Etudes of Franz Liszt. It is rare to hear a live performance from an artist of Ms Chen’s calibre, especially so when that artist is a vegetarian and a Buddhist practitioner. The Arts Program and the weekend’s celebration will conclude with blessings from Interfaith leaders.