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GBM Inauguration Ceremony Events Schedule

GBM Inauguration Ceremony Events Schedule

8/30 (Friday)
8:00~10:00am Earth Store Sutra recitation
10:20~11:00am Meal offering
11:00am~12:00pm Lunch
1:00~3:00pm Earth Store Sutra recitation
6:00~7:00pm Evening ceremony

8/31 (Saturday) – Transmission of Three Refuges and Five Precepts [ poster ] & Precepts for the Deceased [ poster ]
8:30~10:00am Dharma talks by Rev. Heng Sure
10:20~11:00am Meal offering
12:30~1:00pm Universal bowing
1:00~3:00pm Transmission of Three Refuges & Five Precepts
4:00~5:00pm Evening ceremony
5:00~5:30pm Universal bowing
5:30~8:00pm Precepts for the Deceased ceremony

9/01 (Sunday) Inauguration Ceremony [ poster ] & High Meal Offering [ poster ]
9:00~ Performances

  • 9:00am – Dragon & Lion dance starting in the Buddha Hall by City of Ten Thousand Buddha’s Boys’ Developing Virtue High School
  • 9:20am – GBM Taiko drumming
  • 9:40am – CTTB Boys’ Developing Virtue High School drumming

10:00am Inauguration Ceremony in the Buddha Hall
11:00~ High meal offering & meal offering
3:00-5:00pm Dharma talks by Rev. Heng Sure

2013 Events

2013 Events

Dear Dharma friends,

We sincerely invite you to take part in the following Dharma Assemblies which will be held at Gold Buddha Monastery in the second half of the year.

  • 8/4 – Water Repentance
  • 8/7 ~ 8/30 – Earth Store Sutra Recitation (2 recitations daily at 8am & 1pm) [ POSTER ]
  • 8/25 – Liberation of life (10am)
  • 8/31 – Transmission of 3 Refugees and 5 Precepts [ POSTER ] & Transmission of Precepts for the Deceased [ POSTER ]
  • 9/1 – Inauguration Ceremony [ POSTER ] & High Meal Offering [ POSTER ]
  • 9/2 ~ 9/10 – Emperor Liang’s Jeweled Repentance [ POSTER ]

If you wish to participate and require lodging, please contact us in advance to make arrangements.

Invitation to the Inauguration Ceremony at Gold Buddha Monastery

Gold Buddha Monastery, located in Vancouver, Canada will celebrate the completion of its 10,000 Buddha Hall at the end of August, after more than two years of construction. As part of the inaugration of the Vairochana Buddha statue, Gold Buddha Monastery will hold a series of events:

August 31st (Saturday) afternoon: Transmission of the three refuges and five precepts. In the evening, Reverend Heng Sure will host the ceremony for transmitting precepts for the deceased. This is a ceremony for those who wish to take precepts on behalf of their deceased relatives and friends, so that they may also plant seeds of the Jeweled Vajra precepts life after life. This ceremony is beneficial for both the living and the deceased. After the ceremony, Dharma Masters will give talks on the dharma.

September 1st (Sunday): Dragon and Lion Dances by members of the Boys’ Developing Virtue High School and Gold Buddha Monastery’s Taiko Drumming group will open the day. After that a High Meal Offering Ceremony will commence. The ceremony is a formal request for the Dharma host to speak Dharma. The Venerable Master had said, ”This kind of ceremony is very important to the monastery. Members of the fourfold assembly who live in the monastery must attend this ceremony. A billboard will post the talks given for one and half months or a week … The high meal offering is held in a lively setting; the drum and bell are played and then Dharma is spoken for those who make the request.” This ceremony will be the first held in North America after the Venerable Master’s entering nirvana, so there’s profound meaning in this.

Sept. 2nd – Sept, 10th: Emperor Liang’s Jeweled Repentance, We welcome all, old and new, to attend.

Gold Buddha Monastery sincerely invites all of you to attend these activities mentioned above.

Precepts for the Deceased: An Inconceivable Dharma Door

Taking the Precepts for the Deceased is an act of great filial respect. People who recite the Earth Store Sutra ought to know this. We’re here in the yang (positive energy) realm but when people die they leave the yang realm. And their intermediate body are in purgatory, and it can be called the realm of King Yama. Sometimes King Yama does not immediately determine a soul’s next rebirth, and so it remains in the underworld. ( Continue reading )

Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Fourteen Fearlessnesses

Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Fourteen Fearlessnesses

Date:March. 30-31, 2013
Time:Sat., Sun. 7:00pm – 8:30pm

As Gold Buddha Monastery’s Buddha hall expansion and renovation is coming to an end, we would like to present another gift – you are invited to attend Dharma Master Heng Chih’s lecture on Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Fourteen Fearlessnesses.

Venerable Master Hsuan Hua said: “If you do not listen to dharma lectures, you will be unable to open your wisdom. This is especially true of the Shurangama Sutra, for it is the sutra that can open one’s wisdom. Hearing these principles, you should apply them to yourself. ‘Through which sense organ should I cultivate?’ you ask. Don’t worry. Guan Yin Bodhisattva uses the ear organ; it is also the best one for us. Guan Yin Bodhisattva perfected his cultivation through the ear organ and Ananda followed him in cultivating the same way. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of former times have left us with such a wonderful dharma door that we should also study this method. This is the easiest practice in cultivation.”

All talks are in English with Mandarin Chinese translation.
Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s fourteen fearlessnesses as presented in the Shurangama Sutra:

World-Honored One, through the effortless, wondrous power of my vajra-solid Samadhi, which I enter by redirecting my faculty of hearing inward to merge with the enlightened nature of hearing, I feel, as if they were my own, the sorrows and yearning of all beings in the six destinies in all ten directions and in the three periods of time. Therefore, by using both body and mind, I can cause all beings to develop such perfect merit that they will have nothing to fear in fourteen kinds of dangerous situations.

First, because I did not listen to sounds and instead contemplated the listener within, I can now hear the cries of suffering beings throughout the ten directions, and I can bring about their liberation.

Second, I was able to turn my awareness around and restore it, and therefore, should beings be caught in a conflagration, I can make sure that they are not burned.

Third, since I was able to turn my awareness around and restore it, I can make sure that beings who are adrift in a flood will not be drowned.

Fourth, because I have put an end to deluded acts of mind, and so have no thoughts of harming or killing, I can make sure that any being who enters the realm of ghosts will not be harmed by them.

Fifth, when I had succeeded in merging my faculty of hearing with the enlightened nature of hearing, my six faculties dissolved into each other to become one with my faculty of hearing. Therefore, if beings are about to be attacked, I can cause the attackers’ blades to shatter so that these beings will suffer no hurt, any more than water will be hurt by a knife that is plunged into it, or any more than light will be affected by a puff of wind.

Sixth, my hearing was infused with an essential brilliance that illuminated the entire Dharma-Realm and dispelled the darkness of all hidden places. Therefore, I can ensure that beings will be invisible to any yaksas, raksasas, kumbhandas, pisacas, putanas, or other such ghosts that might approach them.

Seventh, sound itself completely dissolved as I reversed the direction of my hearing and became free of distorted perceptions of sense-objects. Therefore, if a being is confined by a cangue, I can make that disappear.

Eighth, when sound was extinguished once and for all and my hearing was perfected, my kindness gained an all-pervading power. Therefore, should beings be traveling on dangerous roads, I can make sure that they will not be robbed by highwaymen.

Ninth, once my faculty of hearing had become merged with the enlightened nature of hearing and so had gained independence from perceived objects, then no object, no matter how enticing, could affect me. Therefore, I can cause beings who have a great deal of desire to break free of their desire.

Tenth, once sounds were so purified that they ceased being objects of perception, then the ear-faculty and its objects became completely interfused so that there was nothing that perceived and nothing that was perceived. Therefore, I can cause beings burdened by anger and hatred to be free of their enmity.

Eleventh, once perceived objects had disappeared from my mind as I turned the light of my understanding inward, my body and mind and the entire Dharma-Realm were as bright and translucent as crystal. Therefore I can bring freedom from stupidity to beings whose natures have been so darkened by their dullness that they have had no intention of ever becoming enlightened.

Twelfth, once perceived objects became interfused and returned to the enlightened nature of hearing, I could travel to distant lands without leaving the place for awakening, and all at the same time, without any disruption, I could travel among the worlds. There I can make offerings to an infinite number of Buddhas throughout all ten directions and serve each of these Buddhas as a Dharma-Prince. For that reason, should childless beings anywhere in the ten directions wish for sons, I can cause them to have sons who will be virtuous, blessed, and wise.

Thirteenth, once my six faculties perfected an interconnected functioning and became united in their capacity to clearly perceive everything in all the worlds throughout the ten directions, my mind became like a great flawless mirror that reflected the emptiness of the Matrix of the Thus-Come One. I reverently served an infinite number of Thus-Come Ones and thoroughly mastered esoteric aspects of the Dharma. Therefore, should childless beings anywhere in the ten directions wish for daughters, I can cause them to have daughters who are upright, blessed, virtuous, compliant, wholesome in appearance, and liked and respected by all.

Fourteenth, sixty-two times as many Dharma-Princes as there are sand-grains in the River Ganges appear in each of the worlds of this system of a billion worlds, with its hundreds of billions of suns and moons, to practice the Dharma and to act as exemplars in order to teach beings how to transform themselves. With skill and wisdom, these Dharma-Princes respond in various ways to what various beings require. I have broken through to the fundamental source of my ear-faculty, thus revealing the ear as a gateway to the wondrous. My body and mind, in a subtle and wondrous way, have encompassed and pervaded the Dharma-Realm. Therefore, I can cause someone who recites my name to gain as many blessings and as much merit as someone else would gain from reciting the names of all those multitudes of Dharma-Princes – sixty-two times as many of them as there are sand-grains in the River Ganges. The blessings and merit that those two reciters will gain will be the same. World-Honored One, because, by means of my spiritual practice, I have completely broken through to enlightenment, the power of my name alone is equal to the power of all those many other names.
In this way I cause beings to develop such merit that they will have nothing to fear in fourteen kinds of dangerous situations.

DM Heng Yi – How to Focus One’s Thoughts

DM Heng Yi – How to Focus One’s Thoughts

Talk by Bhishuni Heng Yi at Gold Buddha Monastery, Vancouver on Feb. 11th 2013

First of all, I wish everyone here a Happy New Year. It is customary that people will give some good tidings in celebrating Chinese New Year such as: I wish you good health, lots of good luck and make lots of money.
The reason that people wants those things is because they think those things can bring happiness. Hence, one single phrase of “Happy New Year” covers all auspicious words we say.

What is “happiness”? I remember when we were in old Gold Buddha Monastery, we had a chance to go a women’s correctional facility to talk to inmates there. We sometimes recited Buddha’s name together, and sometimes we just had a chat with them. Usually they would like to know more about our daily life. They were surprised that we got up at 3:30 in the morning and ate only one meal a day. Furthermore, when we mentioned about our living conditions such as not having a large personal space and not watching TV or any entertainment, they immediately thought that we lived a hard life. Then we visited their areas living and recreational activities. The place was just like a five-star hotel compared to our place. Every room was a suite equipped with a bathroom and a TV. When it’s the time for meals, they could just go to canteen and have their meals. Although their living conditions were far better than ours, they were not happy at all. They wanted to leave that place at any given moment.

Thus, we know when we are not happy in a place, that place becomes our prison. Therefore, if one feels unhappy at home or in some place, he or she will want to leave the scene and is under the belief that he or she can be liberated and happy once he or she leaves that place. Consequently, we constantly hear people say: “I want to shake off the yoke of home. My husband, my wife, or my children make me so angry.” Or “I want to leave this company because my boss or colleague treats me like … so, I cannot continue to work in this company.”

Little do people know that happiness does not come from an external environment. I have a friend who knows a loving couple of which the wife always has a big smile whenever people see her. One time, they went to a party, my friend pulled that happy wife aside and asked her:” It seems to me that you are always happy, is it because your husband treats you very well?” She replied:” No! My happiness has nothing to do with my husband.
Why is that people think my happiness has to be given to me by others? I can make myself be happy. But I sometimes try to make him happy when I found him depressed.” So anyone who can stand on his or her own and yet be considerate of others is certainly a happy person.

Last year, the tumor in my right lung got so big that it pressured my heart and caused pulmonary edema. My body was lack in oxygen and the carbon dioxide level was also too high. As a result, I went into a coma and
was rushed to a hospital. In the hospital, I had to put on an oxygen mask at all times except meal times. The mask strongly forced the oxygen into my lungs through my nostrils and it was fitted onto my face really tightly so that the air couldn’t leak. It made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Whenever it’s time for me to put on the oxygen mask, I felt that I was being tortured and was suffering a lot. On top of that, the mask was so uncomfortable that it made it difficult for me to fall asleep. In many occasions as soon as I managed to start falling asleep, I was called to wake up to take medicine, draw blood, take an injection, measure blood glucose and etc. I felt that due to this sickness, I had undergone all the sufferings there was. At that time, I wanted to leave the hospital badly because I felt I could not take the situation any longer.

But it was not up to me when I can be discharged from the hospital. In this extreme situation that I thought I couldn’t bear, I suddenly calmed down. I realized since I could not change the external conditions, I’d better change the state of my mind. Only when I cooperate with the doctors could I get well and be discharged. Therefore, when the medical staff put the oxygen mask on me again, I would think: “This is good for me. I am eradicating my karmic obstacles now. And it is a higher form of eradicating my karma since the medical staff had to serve me.” When I could not sleep at night I would think: “I am very grateful since now I have more time to recite mantras and cultivate.” Everyday I would brain wash myself like this. Gradually I could take the bitter as if it were sweet. When I fell into a coma for the second time and had to go to hospital, I decided to have the operation. Although it was a serious and a major operation, I cooperated fully and was grateful for everything. The doctor was very satisfied with my recovery from the surgery. So, it is exact proof of what the Buddha said, “Everything is made from the mind alone.”

The former Prime Minister of Great Britain – Margaret Thatcher said, “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Hence, people at different times and different places have similar interpretation about how our thinking will result in consequences.

(Published in the March 2013 issue of Vajra Bodhi Sea

Lighting a Lamp on New Year’s Eve

Lighting a Lamp on New Year’s Eve

Lighting a candle on New Year’s eve will enhance the light of our minds
Saturday, February 9 (Lunar New Year’s eve) – 8:00 PM ~

Our minds will be illuminated and
our ignorance
will be destroyed by the Wisdom Light
when we light up lanterns and make offerings to the Buddha,
we gain the highest insights and enable us to attain supreme wisdom.

According to “Sutra of Merit and Virtue of Offering of Lamps”, it has various kinds of statements about the merit and virtue of offering lamps. If one offers lamps in front of a stupa or Buddha Hall, one will attain four kinds of joyous virtue; an adorned appearance, always being filled with wealth and fortune, having great good roots, and having great wisdom. One will also attain four kinds of purity;: purity in Body, purity in Mouth, purity in mind, and purity in decent companion.

One lamp’s brilliant light quells many years’ of darkness to herald peace.
A thousand lotus flowers’ sweet scent pierces the stratosphere to reach Ultimate Bliss.

­Venerable Master Hua said:

When lighting a lamp in front of Buddhas, one will attain bright eyes. With bright eyes, one will be able to observe things that others cannot see; and they will have a better understanding than others, one will then attain the heavenly eye penetration. One will attain the five eyes; the Buddha eye, the dharma eye, the wisdom eye, the flesh eye as well as heavenly eye, the merit and virtue is thus wonderful.

For years GBM organized the Lamp Lighting Ceremony during Chinese New Year’s eve. The ceremony starts at 8pm. We will recite  the Shurangama Mantra, followed by Ten Small Mantras and The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra. The ceremony officially begins when we start chanting “Namo Quelling Disasters, Lengthening Life Medicine Master Buddha”. Lots of participants including non-Buddhists visit Gold Buddha Monastery to wish for good a start in the coming year. This is a meaningful event as non-Buddhists get a chance to know more about Buddhism. Due to an overwhelming crowd, everyone has to line-up and wait for their turn to light a lamp.The ceremony ends about 9pm after transference of merit is done.

From this event, we wish to

Quell calamities and lengthen life,
Have good health and happy spirits.
Increase blessings and  good fortune,
Gentle temperaments and world peace.

May the merit and virtue of lighting lamps,
be universally transferred to all beings
in the Dharma Realm
and may all attain Bodhi fruition.
May all attain bliss and leave suffering,
bring forth Bodhi resolve and attain Bodhi Way.

3000 Buddhas Repentance

3000 Buddhas Repentance

Feb 10-16 (Jan 1st to 7th of the lunar New Year) – 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Bowing the Three Thousand Buddha Repentance

Praying for world peace, favorable weather conditions,
the peace and prosperity of all countries and people,
and the eradication of calamities and increase of blessings.
May those who see and hear about this be joyful.
May all gain benefits of Dharma and together realize Buddhahood.

Sutra Copying for Blessings

Sutra Copying for Blessings

Saturday, February 9 (Lunar New Year’s eve) – 1:00 PM – 3:30PM

In cultivation, there are 84,000 kinds of dharma practices, and hand-copying sutras is one of them. Sutra copying can help us focus our minds, nurture our character, and open our wisdom. The Bodhisattva Asanga once said:

“There are five benefits from handcopying a sutra:
(1) One can draw near to the Tathagata;
(2) One can gather in and gain blessings and virtues;
(3) Praising the Dharma is also cultivating;
(4) One can receive offerings from heavenly beings;
(5) One can eradicate offenses.”

In 2006, Gold Buddha Monastery started this tradition called the “First Stroke of Auspiciousness, Sutra Copying for Blessings”. This event was conducted on Chinese New Year’s Eve at 1:30 in the afternoon. All those who participated brought forth their earnest sincerity to hand-copy sutras. This year 2013, we continue to hand copy several sutras; namely, “The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra”, “Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra”, “Great Strength Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration Chapter”, “The Avatamsaka Sutra Preface”, “The Sutra of the Eight Awakenings of Great Sages”, “Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra”, “Medicine Master Sutra”, and “Shurangama Mantra Verses by Venerable Master Hua”.

May the merit and virtue of handcopying sutras,
be universally transferred to all beings in the Dharma Realm
and may all attain Bodhi fruition.
May all attain bliss and leave suffering,
bring forth Bodhi resolve and attain Bodhi Way.

*** [ PDF document share ]   2013 GBM Sutra Copying

2013 Lunar New Year Events

2013 Lunar New Year Events

With joy, we welcome the auspiciousness of spring
Gold Buddha Monastery Celebrates the 2013 Lunar New Year

Saturday, February 9 – Lunar New Year’s Eve

  • Efficacious syllables will shake the Heaven and Earth – recite the Great Compassion Mantra – 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Carefully copying sutra texts helps us enter samadhi – 1:00 PM – 3:30PM
  • Lighting a candle on new year’s eve will enhance the light of our minds – 8:00 PM ~
  • Compose and sign wishes for the new year – February 9-16

Sunday, February 10 to Saturday, February 16 – 1st to 7th Days of the Lunar New Year

  • Bowing the Three Thousand Buddhas Repentance – 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Bowing the Three Thousand Buddhas Repentance

To pray for world peace, favorable weather conditions, the peace and prosperity of all countries and people, and the eradication of calamities and increase of blessings.

May those who see and hear about this be joyful. May all gain benefits of the Dharma and together realize Buddhahood.

Avatamsaka Sutra: Ten Unending Treasury of Precepts Chapter

Avatamsaka Sutra: Ten Unending Treasury of Precepts Chapter

Before the end of 2012, Gold Buddha Monastery wishes to invite you to a Dharma talk on the Avatamsaka Sutra, Ten Unending Treasury of Precepts Chapter by Dharma Master Heng Chih. All talks are in English with Mandarin Chinese translation.

Sutra text:

Bodhisattva Mahasattvas have ten kinds of treasuries which all the Buddhas of the past have spoken about, all the Buddhas of the future will speak about, and all the Buddhas of the present are speaking about. What are the ten?  They are the Treasury of Trust, the Treasury of Precepts, the Treasury of Shame, the Treasury of Remorse, the Treasury of Learning, the Treasury of Giving, the Treasury of Wisdom, the Treasury of Mindfulness, the Treasury of Upholding, and the Treasury of Eloquence.  Those are the ten.

Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua:

What are the ten Dharma Treasuries? They are as follows: the Treasury of Belief, the Treasury of Precepts, the Treasury of Shame, the Treasury of Remorse, the Treasury of Learning, the Treasury of Giving, the Treasury of Wisdom, the Treasury of Mindfulness, the Treasury of Upholding, and the Treasury of Eloquence. At present, I’ll just name the ten Dharma Treasuries and then afterwards I’ll speak about them in detail. Those are the ten Dharma Treasury Dharma doors. From out of these ten Dharma Treasuries come all the Buddhas of the past, future, and present. These Ten Dharma Treasuries are their mother.

Gold Buddha Monastery
Date:Dec. 29, 2012 to Jan. 10, 2013
Time:Every Tuesday,Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Address:248 East 11th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V5T 2C3 Canada
Tel:(604) 709-0248