GBM’s 2012 Chinese New Year Events

GBM’s 2012 Chinese New Year Events

GBM will have festivities starting from the lunar new year eve until the 7th day of the lunar month. There will be activities and bowing sessions to pray for blessings. We ask the Triple Jewel of the ten directions, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, dharma protectors and deities and virtuous sages to bless us with peace, blessings and wisdom and for our bodhi roots to grow. May the merit accrued from these activities bring peace to world, favourable weather, a prosperous society, calamities to vanish and more blessings. May all leave suffering and gain happiness and attain the sages ground.

During the festivities, plaques may be written to pray for blessings or for crossing over the deceased. Lamps can also be lit to pray for blessings. Registration must be done in person.

We welcome all to join us, in praying for the world, our country, the society and our families.

1/22 (Sunday) Lunar New Year’s eve
(1) Great Compassion Mantra Recitation – 8:30am ~
(2) Sutra Copying – 1:00pm ~ 4:00pm
(3) Lamp Lighting Ceremony – 8:00pm

1/23-29 (Monday ~ Sunday) The 1st to 7th Day of the Lunar Calendar
(4) Compose and sign wishes for the New Year
(5) Three Thousand Buddhas Repentance – 8:30am ~ 4:00pm

The Liberation of Life ceremony will resume on 1/29 (Sunday)

PDF photo books



As construction work has started, we are open to the public on Sundays only, with Earth Store Sutra recitation and Great Compassion Repentance in lieu of our regular schedule. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience due to our renovations. If a visit is needed, please call to make arrangements ahead of time.

Gold Buddha Monastery

Emperor Liang’s Jeweled Repentance

Emperor Liang’s Jeweled Repentance

To pray for world peace, countries’ peace and prosperity, favorable weather conditions,
proper Dharma to exist and the turning of the Dharma wheel, Gold Buddha Monastery will host the Emperor Liang’s Repentance Ceremony. This is a great Dharma event to pray for the eradication of calamities and an increase in blessings. All are invited and welcome to join in the event and share in the showering of dharma rain.

Emperor Liang’s Jeweled Repentance
A talk by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Emperor Wu of Liang Dynasty was a Buddhist and always made offerings to the Triple Jewel. One of his wives, Lady Chi didn’t believe in the Triple Jewel – the Buddha, the Dharma or the Sangha. Because of that, she was reborn as a python and came back to ask Emperor Liang to rescue her. She said, “Do you remember who I am? I was your wife, Chi Hui. Because I didn’t believe in nor did I respect the Triple Jewel, I fell to the animal realm and was reborn a python.” Emperor Wu requested Chan Master Bao Zhi to cross her over. Actually, when Lady Chi was alive, she opposed Master Bao Zhi. It wasn’t until after her death and being reborn as a python, did she bow in repentance to him.

Chan Master Bao Zhi complied what we know today as the “Emperor Liang’s Jeweled Repentance”, for Emperor Wu to bow this repentance for his wife. The merit and virtue from bowing this repentance helped Lady Chi attain liberation from her python body and she was reborn in the heavens.

Notice: Schedule Change

Notice: Schedule Change

Due to renovation construction work, the public schedule will change after September 5, 2011. Dharma assemblies will take place on Sundays only, with Earth Store Sutra recitation in the morning and Great Compassion Repentance in the afternoon.

This will be in effect until further notice. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Transmission of Three Refuges & Five Precepts

Transmission of Three Refuges & Five Precepts

Date: September 5, 2011 (Monday)
Time: 1:00pm

For those who are interested in taking refuge or taking the five precepts, an application form must be filled out and two passport size photos need to be supplied. Application fee is by donation. Application forms with photos can be returned to Gold Buddha Monastery. Download PDF application form

Taking refuge: going through a formal ceremony to become a Buddhist. The Triple Jewels or Three Refuges are the Buddha,the Dharma and the Sangha.

Taking the five precepts: to refrain from killing, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from taking intoxicants.

Anticipating the Future with a New Face of a Buddha Hall

Anticipating the Future with a New Face of a Buddha Hall

A report of the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Expansion of Gold Buddha Monastery

By Editorial Staff
Translated into English by Stephanie See

On May 7, 2011, Gold Buddha Monastery in Vancouver held a “Groundbreaking Ceremony” for Expansion of the Buddha Hall. Dharma Master Heng Chiang together with American senior Bhiksunis, Dharma Master Heng Chih and Dharma Master Heng Liang from City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, came to host and witnessed this historical event. Gold Buddha Monastery will now be entering a new chapter — anticipating the future with a new face of a Buddha hall.

Welcoming all living beings, Gold Buddha Monastery first opened in the spring of 1984 in Chinatown on East Hastings Street and later moved to East 11th Avenue in the year 2000. However, for the past few years due to the old building, the monastery experienced a lot of water leakage and required emergency maintenance. In addition, the Buddha hall has gradually been meeting its maximum capacity. After several rounds of communications and consultations, the expansion plan for the Buddha hall was finalized. This new expansion includes: (1) a 12-foot bronze Vairochana Buddha to be placed at the center of the hall; (2) ten thousand Buddhas from the five directions on the surrounding walls, each 12 cm x 12 cm plated in gold; (3) a 3-foot bronze Maitreya Buddha in the dining hall; (4) 18 stone arhats in the courtyard; (5) 4 great Heavenly Kings; and (6) Wei Tuo Bodhisattva and Qie Lan Buddhisattva to protect this monastery that upholds the proper dharma.

The plan for the expansion was approved by board of directors of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association in May of 2009. By October 2010, the monastery received approval for land use, building plans, and construction permits. April 29 of this year, the city of Vancouver officially approved the expansion plan. The construction for the extension will start from our current parking lot and the roof will be gold in color. We estimated the work to be done in half a year. After the work is done, we would then combine the current Buddha hall with the extension. The total area of the golden hall will be 5,500 square feet; and it will truly be a “Gold Buddha” Monastery.

On the day of the ground breaking ceremony, it continuously rained but it did not stop many dharma protectors from coming to join and rejoice on this assembly. From early in the morning, they started setting up tents, helped in the kitchen or helped prepare for the ground breaking ceremony. The ceremony started at 8:30am, the Dharma Masters led the assembly in reciting the Great Compassion Mantra in the Buddha Hall, using the mantra’s power to pray for today’s ceremony so that it would run smoothly. After that, they circled the monastic ground, sprinkling the ground with purified water so that those who were attending the ceremony and volunteers would also be purified.

At 10am, the ground breaking ceremony started. The Dharma host, Bhikshu Heng Chiang, lit incense and prayed. After the prayer, the rain suddenly came down and the whole sky became translucent and cool. We believe the dragons and heavenly protectors knew that great Buddha’s work was about to begin. After that three Dharma Masters put on gloves, each holding a shovel and started digging the soil, starting the ground breaking ceremony.

At the end, a group of volunteers of Gold Buddha Monastery performed a splendid taiko drum performance. With sincere and steady drum beats, beat after beat vibrating people’s mind—all the way up to the clouds, as if speaking to heaven and earth—for the sake of Gold Buddha monastery, let the proper dharma stay in the world, let the dharma wheel be turned so that its foundation would be solid. At the end of the ceremony, we invited the three Dharma Masters to speak during lunch.

Dharma Master Heng Chih said: Breaking the ground is a ceremony, but the meaning is deep. As said in the Earth Store Sutra, “Breaking the ground is like inviting the host of the ground to protect and support” Gold Buddha Monastery for a smooth expansion. The “earth” has ten qualities: (1) vast and great, (2) relied upon by sentient beings, (3) not given to likes and dislikes, (4) acceptance of great rains; no matter how much rain falls or how big snow falls, the earth could bear it; (5) enables vegetation to grow, (6) a repository for seeds; all the seeds are buried underground, (7) harbors many treasures, (8) yields various medicines, (9) unmoved by blowing winds, and (10) not startled by the lions’ roars. I wish that the earth will have many qualities to protect and support Gold Buddha Monastery.

Dharma Master Heng Liang said: Although the ground breaking ceremony was only an hour, but the meaning is important and big. The Venerable Master in 1980 had lectured: “This year is not a good year, there were a lot of big disasters that  happened. But everyone should focus on the good; do more good deeds, then disasters would not happen.” All Dharmas are impermanent. This is the philosophy of Buddhism and is different from other religions. Whether in the future we would encounter good or bad would depend on how we do things. If we do something good, a great meritorious deed or build a Buddha hall, then (our future) will change. And so, in this process, even if we encountered small obstacles, it is okay. We should “accord to conditions and not change” and continue moving on until the job of the Buddha hall is finished. Actually, the hard part is not finishing the job, but managing our mind — don’t get angry, be compassionate, be patient and have a proper conduct.

Dharma Master Heng Chiang said: The rain was very good and very delightful, because the heavenly dragons and the eight divisions had brought down sweet dew of dharma rain to purify the earth, so that everyone would feel cool. This rain also showed the sincerity and dedication from everyone and the Dharma Masters who were not afraid of wind and rain to finish the ceremony. In China, rain is very precious because general water resources are scarce, unlike in Canada where water is abundant.

During the ground breaking ceremony, the Dharma Masters held shovels and turned the soil over three times, representing three things. First: We pray to all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, heavenly dragons and protectors for their compassion, so that today’s ground breaking ceremony would be completed. Second: We pray to the mountain gods and earth spirits for their compassion, so that everything would run smoothly during the construction. Third: To pray to the mountain gods and earth spirits for their protection, and once the monastery is completed, to strike the great drums and turn the great Dharma wheel to help Canada and its surrounding areas to have good weather and peace.

In addition, the ground breaking ceremony also has another meaning and that is it represents Gold Buddha Monastery for the past 20 years, all past and present managing hosts and dharma protectors who strived to protect the monastery and let their dharma work has flourish. That is why after 20 years the monastery is able to expand further. All the Dharma Masters together with the laity are able to build a new Gold Buddha Monastery. After extending the Buddha hall, they would be able to gather in more living beings, can receive the benefits of the dharma, end birth and death, leave suffering and attain bliss. Lastly, everyone should take the merit and virtue of this ground breaking ceremony and transfer it to living beings of the dharma realm, to attain dharma bliss, increasing their blessings and wisdom, and attain Buddhahood.

Guan Yin Session

Guan Yin Session

July 19th is the actual day of Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s  Enlightenment (19th day of the 6th lunar month). This Sunday is the celebration, followed by a week long Guan Yin Session. All are welcome to join this event.

Date: July 17 – 23, 2011
8:00am – 4:30pm
Recitation of the Universal Door Chapter of the Lotus Sutra twice, recitation of Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name, dedication of merit.

Every year we have a weekly session,
This is for the sake of the ridding the world’s poison.
The world’s air is now polluted,
The universe is brewing poisonous air,
Any method to rid this is useless.
We can only sincerely ask the Buddhas to emit light, purging this poison,
Eliminating this shadowless and formless air.

2011 Cherishing Youth Day

2011 Cherishing Youth Day

In keeping the tradition of our annual events, Cherishing Youth Day will be held on June 12 this year. All activities will take place in the parking lot behind GBM’s building. The event is FREE and registration for participation takes place at the Wishing Tree.

Schedule is as follows:
10:00 am – Performances
10:20 am – Lunch ceremony
10:50 am – Vegetarian lunch
11:20 am – Wishing-tree & Games start
01:30 pm – Giving out prizes
01:55 pm – Verse for Transferring Merit
02:00 pm – Clean up

Avatamsaka Sutra Recitation

Avatamsaka Sutra Recitation

Universally Turning the Great Flower Adornment Dharma Wheel
In Memory of the Virtue and Kindness of the Venerable Master Hua

“The Flower Adornment (Avatamsaka) Sutra is the Sutra of the Dharma Realm. It is also the Sutra of Empty Space. To the end of empty space and pervading the Dharma Realm, there is not a single place where the Flower Adornment Sutra is not present. Any place where the Flower Adornment Sutra is found is also a place where the Buddha is, a place where the Dharma is, and a place where the assembly of sages are.” ── Venerable Master Hua

Because the Venerable Master Hua deeply understood the inconceivable state of the great Flower Adornment Dharma and wanted his disciples to begin at the most basic level, he frequently exhorted his disciples to recite the Flower Adornment Sutra and even to memorize it. In his final instructions, the Master also said, “After I leave, you can recite the Flower Adornment Sutra.” Therefore starting on June 5th, GBM will host a 21-day Flower Adornment Dharma recitation session, hoping to offer everyone the opportunity to steep themselves in the Great Flower Adornment Dharma, understand a little bit of its flavor, and plant limitless good roots.

The Venerable Master often said, “The Flower Adornment Sutra is just like an auspicious cloud in empty space, pervading the three thousand great thousand worlds and giving moisture to all living beings. Once a week, the disciples solemnly and with proper deportment performed the Flower Adornment Repentance, in which they universally bowed in homage to the infinitely infinite Triple Jewel of the Flower Adornment Sealike Assembly. Cleansing the body and mind with the Flower Adornment Dharma rain, they sincerely repented and reformed themselves, began anew, and purified their actions, speech, and thought. This is what the Venerable Master had hoped his disciples would do.

Avatamsaka Sealike Assembly
Avatamsaka Sealike Assembly
Nagarjuna Bodhisattva
Nagarjuna Bodhisattva
 National Master Qing Liang of the Tang Dynast
National Master Qing Liang of the Tang Dynasty
Commemoration & Gratitude

Commemoration & Gratitude

The Avatamsaka Sutra Assembly & the Ceremony Commemorating the Sixteenth Anniversary of Venerable Master Hua’s Entering Nirvana

The Venerable’s vision was vast like the Dharma Realm. For the sake of bringing peace to living beings and promoting mutual harmony between religions, he worked endlessly.

The Venerable’s kind and compassionate vows pervades the Dharma Realm. Due to living beings ignorance and hindrances from seeing their true nature, he was mindful of them. He resolved to teach living beings compassionately to their benefit, until they too reached Buddhahood.

The Venerable was modest and selfless, compassionately drawing affinities with all, unconditionally. For the sake of living beings, he lifted the torch of wisdom to shed light for those in the dark.

In expressing our deep gratitude & recollection of the Venerable Master Hua, the Commemorating Ceremony & Passing of Offerings will be held on June 5. GBM will also host the Avatamsaka Sutra Recitation Session from June 5-25, 2011. The Avatamsaka Sutra will be recited from 8am – 4pm daily. You are cordially invited.