各位護法、朋友們,大家吉祥!

「人勤一世千川綠,牛奮四蹄萬頃黃。」時序輪轉,歲月更迭,轉眼已是辛丑年,心保與佛光山全體宗委暨全球僧眾祝福大家「花開四季,耕耘心田」:精進勤於耕耘心田,四季常栽智慧之花。

開山之初,創辦人星雲大師啟建「寶橋」跨過深溝水池,是佛光山叢林學院、大悲殿對外的通路。近年來,有感年長的信眾上下階梯不便,大師慈示在大雄寶殿與大悲殿之間建設「新寶橋」,通行之際,大師歡喜的說:「雖然是短短的橋,但,是人生無限的道路。」給,是人間佛教的菩薩行。

去年新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)擴散全球,人類在大自然面前顯得多麼渺小,我們以謙卑之心發起僧信二眾持誦《心經》,祈願超過2千5百萬部的功德回向疫情儘快平息。大師以〈為新型肺炎疫情向觀世音菩薩祈願文〉勉勵大眾:「世界上無論再怎麼困難,只要以慈悲智慧面對,人人行三好:做好事,說好話,存好心,大家重視環保護生,必能轉危為安。」人與自然,共生共榮,我們才能安居樂業。

救苦救難無國界,由國際佛光會世界總會發起,在星雲文化教育公益基金會張靜之祕書長、馬來西亞協會督導林汶階、巴西協會洪慈和督導等人協助下,將全球佛光人愛心集結總數超過430萬片的口罩等防疫物質,分送到大陸及世界各地,如:美國、加拿大、巴西等各醫療照護中心、市政府及警消等單位,以及偏遠地區醫療院所、弱勢機構等。

因應疫情 發展線上弘法

為確保大眾健康及配合政府防疫措施,世界各地陸續封國封城、居家隔離,我們的弘法方式也做些調整,由都監院院長慧傳法師帶領資訊中心慧肇法師團隊,協助全球佛光山道場、佛光會運用網路科技,線上舉辦各種弘法活動。3月,佛光山大雄寶殿成佛大道舉行「2020禪淨共修獻燈祈福法會」,透過人間衛視及網路直播,500位僧眾虔誠祝願「世界和平,人民安樂」,全球超過7萬人同步修持。

4月,慶祝國定佛誕節,海內外信眾同步參加總本山大雄寶殿舉行的浴佛法會,感受佛陀降誕人間的殊勝。推出的雲端浴佛,有152個國家地區、逾470萬人次線上參與。8月,信仰與傳承──2020國際佛光青年線上會議,有來自23個國家地區、800位青年,超越時空隔閡,凝聚「菩薩心,青年力」。10月的國際佛光會2020世界會員代表大會線上會議,大師於開幕典禮上問候大家,感動全球與會大眾。席間,心保主持會議,署理會長慈容法師指導各項提案,當祕書長覺培法師宣布有中、英、德、法、日、粵、葡、西、韓語等九種語系同步翻譯,近50個國家地區、101個協會、1萬1千人參與時,線上響起了熱烈的掌聲。

因為疫情,讓網路弘法無遠弗屆,心保為歐洲地區信眾,20個國家、500餘人線上皈依三寶,同步英、法翻譯。紐約道場永固法師每日一則《早安佛光》線上影片,永富法師率香港佛光道場住眾製作「佛典故事」、「迷悟之間」系列,惠中寺覺居法師推出「未來與希望──雲講堂」,全球各別分院都推動了「雲端講座」,發揮安定人心的作用。佛光山叢林學院妙南法師則邀請青年僧眾,如:慧讓、慧知、慧屏、有賢、有定等法師等製播線上佛學院「叢林有什麼」。而為了讓全球英語系人士透過線上可以聞法,佛光山人間佛教研究院妙光法師也規畫Bodhi Light播客頻道及線上英文共修YouTube平台,每周邀請各洲出家眾導讀《星雲大師全集》英文譯作及開示。

繼往開來 文化永續薪傳

二千多年的佛教文化,隨著時空的變遷,必須與時俱進。大師提出:佛法現代語文化、傳播現代科技化、修行現代生活化、寺院現代學校化,俾使人間佛教更讓人受用。佛光山大藏經編修委員會於8月出版《佛光大藏經.聲聞藏》55冊,長老慈惠法師指導、主編依恆法師等費時12年編輯,收錄《大毗婆沙論》、《俱舍論》等42部歷代重要部派論書及研究著作。佛光山藏經樓收藏五、六十年來,大師陸續收錄漢傳、南傳、藏傳三大語系、13個國家、17種語言、50種版本的大藏經,包含大師早期撰寫《釋迦牟尼佛傳》參閱的《頻伽藏》、來自日本的《鐵眼藏》等;堂主覺元法師表示,佛光山是台灣少數收藏大藏經較齊全的教團,對佛教文化的保存起了重要作用。

網路科技一日千里,為方便讀者隨時聆聽,如是我聞文化覺念法師規畫推出《星雲大師雲端隨身聽》手機App之後,邀請文化院院長依空法師開講簡介《星雲大師全集》系列節目;而佛光文化滿觀法師也歡喜向大家推薦《星雲大師全集》電子版,人間處處皆可聞法。此外,「人間佛教閱讀研討會」2020年度巡迴全台共舉辦15場,閱讀《星雲大師全集》人數超過7萬人次。其中一場線上研討會,橫跨台灣、新、馬、泰、印等國家地區,網路觀看人數更突破20萬人次。

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8月,覺彥法師捎來好消息:在葡萄牙發行了《獻給旅行者365日──中華文化佛教寶典》葡英文版,本書由大師總監修,如今已譯成12種語言,印行逾175萬本,由古今人文協會推廣至全球學校、圖書館、飯店等。在人生的旅途上,如大師所說,希望這本書能為我們帶來一些鼓勵,願鬥志疲倦的人,看了會振奮精神;有委屈不平的人,看了會心開意解。

上海大覺文化妙普法師也傳來:授權東方出版社出版的簡體版《中國佛學經典寶藏》132冊全部出齊,不僅推進佛經的現代化,更是兩岸佛教文化交流的盛事;大陸「中文在線──書香中國」也製作星雲大師電子書164本,嘉惠了上百萬的閱聽人。

佛光山人間佛教研究院禮聘包括柏克萊大學蘭卡斯特(Lewis R. Lancaster)、東京大學木村清孝、北京大學樓宇烈、中國社會科學院學部委員魏道儒等8個國家地區的40位學者為榮譽教授、研究員,推進人間佛教的理論研究與傳播。而除了出版《人間佛教論文集》系列,國際中心團隊還譯出《人間佛教中英文詞彙選》以及《佛法真義》英譯本第1-3冊;並出版《宗教融和──世界神明聯誼會論文集》,院長妙凡法師說這是研究人間佛教實踐宗教融和的首部作品。

慶祝創報20年,《人間福報》與《泰國世界日報》合作每周發行專版,社長妙熙法師表示,這是《福報》與18家海外道場和海外18家華媒合作後再添的一樁美事,如今《福報》海外報每周已達百萬閱讀人次。

重視教育 培養未來人才

大師在〈佛光山未來展望〉一文指出:教育,是興隆佛教的根本,未來,佛光弟子要全力護持五所大學和其他社會教育系統、文教機構,所謂「十年樹木,百年樹人」,百年大業才剛剛開始發芽,要讓大學的基石更加穩固,讓百萬人興學的發心得以永續。

在楊朝祥、林聰明二位校長努力下,大學指考放榜,佛光與南華大學均獲得滿招;佛大推動藝術與文化扎根,榮獲教育部「藝術教育貢獻獎」;而南華推動節能減碳與環境教育,通過行政院環保署「環境教育機構」及「環境教育設施場所」雙認證,蟬聯「國家企業環保獎──金級獎、綠色行動獎」等,績效卓著。

澳洲滿可法師傳來,南天大學通過教育部評鑑,再次授予最高年限7年之辦學資格,人間佛教研究生專業首屆學生畢業;永光法師代表常住感謝菲律賓光明大學首任校長Dr. HelenCorrea圓滿任務;由於認同大師的理念,國立菲律賓大學前校長陳萬傑博士選擇來到光大擔任校長,繼續推動人間佛教的教育方向。

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109學年度大學繁星推薦招生,普門中學有26人錄取,其中15位上了國立大學;普中棒球隊在108學年度高中棒球硬式聯賽拿下隊史第3座季軍,並榮獲高中組「109年度獎勵學校體育績優團體」。南華足球隊、棒球隊第一屆同學均已畢業,並且在相關職場服務,或職棒或社會球隊延續運動員的夢想。三好體育協會會長劉招明表示,秉持大師「運動即教育」的理念,特別感謝各級球隊教練,如:籃球隊的楊淑淨、廖哲億、戴琬蓉,棒球隊的蔡仲南、洪榮宏,足球隊的杜登盛等,只要球員努力進取,爭取好成績,都會全力支持協助。

馬來西亞佛光山與世界大學排名前60的馬來亞大學合作,於該校設立「人間佛教研究中心」,由佛光山新馬泰印教區總住持覺誠法師、馬大人文暨社會科學院院長拿督黃子堅代表簽訂合作協議書,這是回教國家第一個研究人間佛教的學術機構。

1970年創辦的大慈育幼院,舉辦慶祝成立50周年系列活動,陪伴千餘名幼童平安成長的依來法師、蕭碧涼師姑都表示,看到孩子們在社會上自立自足,以一己專長回饋社會,很是令人歡喜欣慰。

獎項榮譽 見證人間佛教

公益信託星雲大師教育基金主辦的第八屆「星雲教育獎」,楊朝祥校長和多位委員一致肯定台灣大學醫學院陳榮基教授榮獲本屆「終身教育典範獎」,同時頒獎予18位典範教師,並有198所中小學成為「三好校園」實踐學校。在李瑞騰教授的協助下,「全球華文文學星雲獎」邁入第十屆,由國寶級文學大師司馬中原獲得「貢獻獎」,另有25位作者獲獎。

遠見天下文化事業群創辦人高希均教授與發行人王力行策畫的《佛教靠我──人間佛教(The Future of Buddhism is in My Hands)》紀錄片,記錄大師超過半世紀弘法的足跡,榮獲葡萄牙國際非物質文化傳承影展「紀錄長片榮譽獎」,見證了大師對人間佛教光照五大洲的貢獻。

佛光山佛陀紀念館自2014年獲國際博物館協會(ICOM)認證,成為最年輕的正式會員後,去年再度成為國際人權博物館聯盟亞太分會(FIHRM-AP)的一員,三度獲得全球最大旅遊評論網TripAdvisor(貓途鷹)授予最高榮譽「Travelers' Choice」最風雲得主大獎。館長如常法師表示,全球僅有10%的景點能獲此殊榮。2020年再度獲高雄市政府環境保護局「公廁特優場所認證」。高雄市政府觀光局推動無障礙友善城市、友善環境,佛館被選入高雄25個無障礙景點遊程手冊,深受知識分子喜愛的《天下》雜誌譽其為:送給未來,一座人間博物館。

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這一年,文化部文資局與佛館合作「匠心具足──親近臺灣傳統工藝特展」,15位國寶級藝師首度齊聚,展出他們獨具的作品。響應世界地球日50周年,國立科學工藝博物館和佛館舉辦第一屆台灣科學節「我的地球,我來關懷」,策畫了「喚醒防災DNA特展」,促使「2020國際書展暨蔬食博覽會」校外教學熱絡闖關學習。雲林縣政府文化觀光處展出「神工傳藝──北港百年藝鎮巡迴展」,佛館加入google藝術文化平台……在在都廣受大眾歡喜。

國際佛光會中華總會長年推動三好運動、耕耘監獄佈教等,9月榮獲內政部頒發「社會團體公益貢獻金質獎」,為該獎項唯一的宗教團體。佛光山別分院──蘭陽別院、極樂寺、擇善寺、大明寺、法寶寺、宏法社、圓福寺、福國寺、南屏別院、岡山講堂、海天佛剎等連年獲行政院頒發宗教公益獎;以每年臘八慶祝佛陀成道日為例,佛光山海內外各別分院全球結緣250萬碗熱騰騰的臘八粥,溫暖了人間。

國際弘法 展現宗教融和

2月,佛光山泰華寺舉辦大雄寶殿三寶佛聖像開光儀式,住持心定和尚禮請泰國僧王頌德帕摩訶穆尼翁(His Holiness (H. H.) Somdej Phra Ariyawongsakhatayan)共同主持,展現北傳佛教梵唄、南傳佛教比丘誦經以及供僧2千2百位的傳統,是一場別具特色的佛教交流。不到十年的泰華寺與當地超過百年的寺院一起,被評為泰國十大最莊嚴的寺院,是唯一的漢傳佛教寺院。

5月的陽光,催生了來自山東菏澤2千5百株的牡丹在日本法水寺如期盛開,住持滿潤法師表示,感謝大師促成的因緣,這給疫情中的人們帶來吉祥和希望。而渋川市與關越巴士為促進地方觀光,把法水寺列入主要行程中,當地民眾得以親近人間佛教。

被聯合國譽為「多元宗教對話城市」的法國碧西市,假佛光山法華禪寺舉行「多元宗教為世界祈和平獻燈音樂會」。妙多法師說,這已是連續8年的活動,有猶太教、天主教、伊斯蘭教、印度教、東正教、佛教等共同為世界和平祝禱。

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疫情期間,北島佛光山滿信法師製作標語3G4G(三好四給),令見者聞者安心,受到紐西蘭奧克蘭博物館重視並予收藏。11月紐西蘭航空《Kia Ora》雜誌,報導道場的美術館、滴水坊、園林的人文美學,讓旅行者在天空與人間佛教相遇。 佛光山南美教區總住持妙遠法師說,國際佛光會巴拉圭華人慈善基金會於中巴佛光康寧醫院,捐贈17台早產兒保溫箱、12台黃疸燈、10台生命體徵監測儀器,分別贈與巴拉圭11所公立醫院,至今已救護逾1萬名新生兒。 巴西妙佑法師傳來:當地有1千萬人持聽力障礙手冊,手語是國家官方第二語言,為讓這些弱勢族群有緣「見」聞佛法,如來寺規畫線上人間佛教手語弘法。其中,代表人間佛教、佛光會的「蓮花指」,被收錄在巴西葡文手語辭彙裡。所謂無聲勝有聲,為南美人間佛教的弘傳寫下新頁。

1978年大師慈示長老慈莊法師前往美國建設西來寺,歷經艱難,終於開啟佛法西來,時光荏苒,慧東法師特製歷史回顧短片,紀念人間佛教走上國際32年。

11月,中華人間佛教聯合總會於金光明寺舉辦「2020年第五屆人間佛教發展研討會暨會員大會」,除了諸多提案討論,並安排「佛教管理面面觀」專題,共有法鼓、慈濟、福智等友寺代表300人參與,會中致贈《佛光大藏經》予附設佛學院的團體會員。

由大師指導,佛光祖庭宜興大覺寺第四期佛光樓即將竣工、南京天隆寺也幾近完成,這是大陸地區都監妙士、南京慧寬、慧浩、慧鳴法師等共同努力完成,乃至今年佛陀紀念館10周年系列活動,都將致力傳播中華文化、建設人間淨土,歡迎全球佛光人共同參與。

海內外住持主管傳回來的這些弘法成果,都要感謝全球護法功德主、信徒、朋友、有緣人的全力護持與奉獻。大師說:「人間佛教是未來人類的一道光明,人間佛教是人類未來希望之所繫。」只要我們繼續秉持「佛教靠我」的信念,人人行佛,時時刻刻不忘初心、以忍為力,世界和平的人間淨土將指日可待。

敬祝大家
福慧具足 六時吉祥

佛光山宗務委員會宗長 心保暨全體一同合十
2021年元旦

Dear Dharma protectors and friends, Auspicious greetings!

“A man’s lifetime diligence brings a lush land of green; an ox’s ever-trodding hooves turn over million acres of gold.” In the Year of Ox, I, Hsin Bau, on behalf of the Fo Guang Shan Board of Directors and worldwide Fo Guang Shan Sangha, wish for everyone to “Cultivate a Heart that Blooms in All Seasons.” May we practice diligently for the blooming of wisdom all year round.

In the early days of Fo Guang Shan, the founder Venerable Master Hsing Yun built a pathway over a valley—the Treasure Bridge—for visitors to reach Tsung-Lin University and the Great Compassion Shrine on the other side. In recent years, however, Venerable Master noticed that the flight of stairs leading to the bridge was not easily accessible by elderly devotees. As such, he instructed for the construction of a “new” Treasure Bridge to connect the Main Shrine directly to the Great Compassion Shrine. Upon its completion, Venerable Master joyfully said, “Though it is a very short bridge, it is a boundless pathway in life.” This exemplifies the bodhisattva spirit of giving as advocated by Humanistic Buddhism.

In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, showing us how insignificant human beings are in the face of nature, we humbly initiated the efforts of monastics and laity worldwide to collectively chant the Heart Sutra as a prayer for a swift end to the pandemic. Accumulating over 25 million recitations, all merits were dedicated to those affected. In Venerable Master’s “A Prayer to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva for Safety from the Coronavirus Outbreak,” he gives the following words of encouragement: “No matter how difficult the situation, as long as there is compassion and wisdom. When we all practice the Three Acts of Goodness—do good deeds, speak good words, and think good thoughts—if we all protect the environment and have respect for all lives, we shall be able to turn peril into safety.” For us to live and work peacefully, it is important to remember that human beings coexist with Mother Nature.

Upholding the spirit of striving to rescue all beings from suffering and adversity, the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) World Headquarters initiated the donation of over 4.3 million masks worldwide, in countries such as Mainland China, the United States, Canada, and Brazil. Together, BLIA members have delivered personal protective equipment to medical care centers, government agencies, and police departments, as well as to rural clinics and vulnerable institutions. This endeavor was only possible through the assistance of many people including Zhang Jingzhi—Secretary-General of the Master Hsing Yun Cultural and Educational Foundation; Lim Bong Khai—Elder Advisor of BLIA Malaysia Chapter; and Hong Tsu Ho—Elder Advisor of BLIA Brazil.

Development of Online Dharma Propagation due to COVID-19

As countries and cities across the globe announce lock-downs and stay-at-home orders to ensure public health and safety, we too have made adjustments to our methods of Dharma propagation. Under the guidance of Ven. Hui Chuan—President of the Fo Guang Shan Executive Council, Ven. Hui Zhao’s team at the Information Technology department has assisted Fo Guang Shan branch temples worldwide and the BLIA in using technology to hold various activities online.

In March, for example, the 2020 Chan and Pure Land Prayer Service held in front of the Main Shrine at Fo Guang Shan was broadcasted live through Beautiful Live Television (BLTV) and the internet. Over 70,000 people worldwide joined the 500 monastics on-site in a collective prayer for world peace and prosperity. In April, there was a live broadcast of the Bathing the Buddha Ceremony held at the FGS Main Shrine in celebration of the Buddha’s Birthday. To commemorate the significance of the Buddha’s birth in the human world, over 4.7 million people from 152 countries participated in the virtual bathing of the Buddha.

In August, the 2020 International Buddha’s Light Young Adult Conference was held online with “Faith and Legacy” as its theme, bringing together 800 youths from 23 countries. Transcending the differences in time and space, it united everyone in the spirit of “Bodhisattva Heart and Youthful Strength.” Similarly, in October, the BLIA hosted its 2020 World Conference online. Venerable Master Hsing Yun offered his best wishes during the opening ceremony, touching the hearts of participants around the world. Throughout the conference, which I had the honor of chairing, Venerable Tzu Jung—Acting President of BLIA World Headquarters—offered her guidance for each motion on the agenda. The conference was held in nine languages with simultaneous oral interpretation in Chinese, English, German, French, Japanese, Cantonese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Korean. 11,000 members from over 50 countries and 101 BLIA Chapters took part. When Venerable Chueh Pei—Secretary-General of BLIA World Headquarters—made this fact known at the conference, it was met with enthusiastic applause.

Catalyzed by the global pandemic, online Dharma propagation has reached far and wide. For example, I had the opportunity to preside over a “Taking Refuge in the Triple Gem Ceremony” online for 500 devotees from 20 European countries, where simultaneous oral interpretation in English and French was provided. Moreover, Venerable Yung Ku of FGS New York has hosted daily episodes of “Good Morning Dharma” on YouTube. Venerable Yung Fu has led her team of monastics at FGS Hong Kong in the making of videos on Buddhist stories and on Between Ignorance and Enlightenment. Venerable Chueh Ju of FGS Hui Chung Temple has released a series of online talks by various speakers in “Future and Hope: Cloud Lecture Hall.” Our branch temples worldwide also offer online Dharma talks, aiming to bring people peace of mind. Likewise, Venerable Miao Nan of FGS Tsung-Lin University has invited a panel of youthful monastics—including Venerables Hui Rang, Hui Zhi, Hui Ping, You Xian, and You Ding—to produce the online Buddhist college program, “What’s in Tsung-Lin?” Venerable Miao Guang and the FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism Team have released “Bodhi Light Tales” Podcast to bring the Dharma to English speakers worldwide. Moreover, as part of a series of online English Dharma Services broadcasted through YouTube, they have invited monastics across the world to give weekly Dharma talks and guided readings in English on the Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun.

The Continuation of Culture by Bridging Past and Present

It is necessary for Buddhist culture, dating back over two thousand years, to adapt to the needs of various locales and time periods. As such, it must keep up with modern developments. To allow Humanistic Buddhism to stay relevant, Venerable Master has proposed the following: the modernization of Buddhist language by using vernacular language, the modernization of Dharma propagation by utilizing current technology, the modernization of cultivation by focusing on daily living, and the modernization of temples by functioning as schools.

The FGS Buddhist Canon Committee published the 55-volume Sravaka Canon of the Fo Guang Buddhist Canon in August. Under the guidance of Elder Venerable Tzu Hui and editor-in-chief Venerable Yi Heng, the editorial team spent 12 years compiling the canon, which includes 42 historical and influential sectarian commentaries—such as the Mahāvibhāṣā Śāstra and Abhidharmakosa Sāstra—alongside its respective research. On a similar note, as reported by Venerable Jue Yuan, Director of the FGS Sutra Repository, Fo Guang Shan is one of the few Buddhist orders in Taiwan with a comprehensive collection of Buddhist canons, which has an important effect on the preservation of Buddhist culture. The repository houses 50 editions of the Chinese, Theravada, and Tibetan Buddhist canons, published in 17 languages and from 13 different countries. Most of the canons were collected by Venerable Master over the last 50 to 60 years, including the Pinjia Canon and the Japanese Tetsugen Canon, serving as Venerable Master’s references in his youth when he wrote the Biography of Sakyamuni Buddha.

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Keeping up with the rapid development of internet technology, Venerable Jue Nian from the Voice of Ganges Co. Ltd. released an app for Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s audiobooks that allows people to listen at their convenience. Furthermore, she invited Venerable Yi Kung—Chancellor of FGS Culture Council—to give a series of talks introducing the Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Also, Venerable Man Guan from Fo Guang Cultural Enterprises was pleased to unveil the electronic version of the Complete Works, facilitating the learning of the Dharma.

Moreover, 15 public talks were organized around Taiwan as part of the 2020 annual tour of the Humanistic Buddhist Reading Conferences on Sutras, with over 70,000 people reading the Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun. In particular, one of the talks broadcasted online had over 200,000 viewers across Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and India.

Further good news came in August from Venerable Chueh Yann in Portugal: 365 Days for Travelers: Wisdom from Chinese Literary and Buddhist Classics has been published in Portuguese. The book, with Venerable Master as editor-in-chief, has now been translated into 12 languages. Over 1.75 million copies have been distributed by the Association of Ancient and Modern Humanities to schools, libraries, and hotels. As we travel on this journey of life, Venerable Master hopes to bring inspiration to the readers of this book so that those who are weary can find encouragement, and those who are dejected can gain new clarity of mind.

Venerable Miao Pu from Shanghai Dajue Culture also reported that all 132 volumes of Selected Chinese Buddhist Texts in Modern Language have been published in Simplified Chinese. This is not only a step forward in the modernization of Buddhist sutras, but also a great occasion in terms of CrossStrait Buddhist cultural exchanges. Furthermore, Chineseall.cn has produced 164 ebook editions of Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s works, benefiting millions of readers and listeners.

The Fo Guang Shan Institute of Humanistic Buddhism (FGSIHB) has nominated 40 scholars as honorary professors and researchers for the advancement of research on Humanistic Buddhism and its propagation. Hailing from eight countries, amongst them are Lewis R. Lancaster (University of California, Berkeley), Kiyotaka Kimura (University of Tokyo), Lou Yulie (Beijing University), and Wei Daoru (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences). The FGSIHB’s Center of International Affairs has not only published the Studies on Humanistic Buddhism series, but also the Glossary of Humanistic Buddhism and the first three volumes of Buddha-Dharma: Pure and Simple in English. Other FGSIHB publications include Religious Syncretism: Collection of Papers on When Buddha Meets the Gods Event. As reported by Venerable Miao Fan, Chancellor of the FGSIHB, this is the first study on the practice of religious syncretism in Humanistic Buddhism.

Also, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Merit Times has collaborated with Thailand’s Universal Daily News to issue special weekly editions. According to Venerable Miao Xi, President of the Merit Times, this is another laudable event resulting from the newspaper’s collaboration with 18 overseas temples and their local Chinese media. Readership of the weekly overseas edition of the Merit Times has now reached over a million.

Fostering Future Talents with a Focus on Education

In his article “The Future Prospects of Fo Guang Shan,” Venerable Master Hsing Yun highlights that education is the foundation for the prosperity of Buddhism. For the future, Fo Guang Shan disciples should strive to support its five universities as well as other social education and cultural endeavors. There is a saying, “Ten years are needed to plant a tree, while a hundred years are needed to nurture a man.” As our hundred years of work has just begun, we must solidify the foundation of our universities and ensure the continuation of the Million-Member Fundraising Campaign to support education.

With the efforts of Presidents Yung Chaur-shin and Lin Tsung-ming, both Fo Guang University and Nanhua University had full enrollment as Advanced Subjects Test (AST) results were announced. Moreover, Fo Guang University received the Ministry of Education’s Arts Education Contribution Award for its emphasis on establishing foundations in Art and Culture. Nanhua University also achieved excellence in being certified as a National Environmental Education Institute and Environment Education Facility by the Environmental Protection Administration. The university also received other awards such as the National Enterprise Environmental Protection Gold Award and Green Action Award.

We were informed by Venerable Man Ko from Australia that Nan Tien Institute’s accreditation by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has been renewed for another seven years and that the first class of students specializing in Humanistic Buddhism graduated. On behalf of the monastery, Venerable Yung Guang in the Philippines expressed our gratitude to Dr. Helen Correa for fulfilling her term as the first President of Guang Ming College. Acknowledging Venerable Master’s ideals, Dr. Michael Tan, former President of the University of the Philippines, will continue to advance education in Humanistic Buddhism as the next President of Guang Ming College.

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Fo Guang Shan Malaysia has collaborated with the University of Malaya, one of the top 60 universities in the QS Global World Ranking, in establishing the UM Humanistic Buddhism Research Centre at its campus. Representatives Venerable Jue Cheng—Abbess of Fo Guang Shan Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia—and Datuk Danny Wong Tze Ken—Dean of the UM Department of Anthropology and Sociology—signed the collaboration agreement, marking the establishment of the first academic institute dedicated to the study of Humanistic Buddhism in an Islamic country.

Da Ci Children’s Home, founded in 1970, also celebrated its 50th anniversary. Venerable Yi Lai and Hsiao Pi-liang Shigu, who have accompanied and cared for over 1,000 children, both expressed their joy in seeing the children raised at the home grow to establish themselves and contribute their talents to society.

Promoting Humanistic Buddhism Through Awards and Honors

The 8th Hsing Yun Education Awards was held by the Venerable Master Hsing Yun Public Education Trust Fund. Dr. Chen Rong-chi of National Taiwan University’s College of Medicine was the honored recipient of the 2020 Lifelong Role Model for Education Award, after unanimous agreement from President Yung Chaur-shin and fellow committee members. In addition, the Award for Exemplary Teacher was presented to 18 individuals.

Furthermore, 198 elementary and high schools became Three Acts of Goodness Schools. With the assistance of Professor Lee Jui-teng, the Hsing Yun Award for Global Chinese Literature is now in its 10th year, with Sima Zhongyuan, a renowned author, receiving the Award of Contribution. Other awards were also presented to 25 authors.

The Future of Buddhism is in My Hands is a documentary conceived by Dr. Charles H.C. Kao and Cora Wang, respectively the founder and CEO of Global Views-Commonwealth Publishing Group. Chronicling Venerable Master’s Dharma propagation for over half a century, the documentary won an honorable mention in the 2020 Heritales: International Heritage Film Festival’s category for long documentaries—a testimony to Venerable Master’s contributions in spreading Humanistic Buddhism across the five continents

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The FGS Buddha Museum, certified as the youngest member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in 2014, also joined the Federation of International Human Rights Museum Asia-Pacific (FIHRM-AP) last year. Additionally, it has received the Traveler’s Choice Award from TripAdvisor for its third consecutive year—an honor received by only 10% of travel destinations worldwide, according to Venerable Ru Chang, Director of the Buddha Museum. Moreover, the Museum once again received the Best Public Restroom Certification by the Kaohsiung City Government Environmental Protection Bureau. It has also been included as one of the top 25 disabled-friendly attractions in a guidebook compiled by the Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau to promote a more accessible city for all. Similarly, CommonWealth Magazine has praised the Buddha Museum as being a “humanistic museum for the future.”

In the past year, the Buddha Museum has brought joy to many through several events. For example, it has collaborated with the Ministry of Culture’s Bureau of Cultural Heritage to jointly organize the “National Treasures Exhibition: A Close Look at Taiwan’s Traditional Crafts.” 15 national-level artisans congregated for the first time to exhibit their unique crafts. Additionally, in response to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Buddha Museum collaborated with the National Science and Technology Museum to organize the first Taiwan Science Festival, with the theme of “The Earth, Ours to Care,” and an exhibition on “Technology and Readiness for Disaster Reduction.” The exhibition was an immersive and interactive learning experience for the many students who visited during the International Book Fair and Vegetarian Expo. Furthermore, the Yunlin County Bureau of Tourism held the “Craftsmanship of Yunlin: Beigang Centennial Religious Arts and Crafts Exhibition” at the Buddha Museum. Last but not least, the Buddha Museum has joined the Google Arts and Culture platform.

Having promoted the Three Acts of Goodness and taught in correctional facilities for years, the BLIA was awarded the Public Welfare Contribution Award by the Ministry of the Interior, the only religious organization to receive such an honor. The following FGS branch temples also received the Religious Group Commendation Award from the Executive Yuan for the past consecutive years: Lanyang Temple, Chi Le Temple, Che San Temple, Da Ming Temple, Fa Bao Temple, Hong Fa Association, Yuan Fu Temple, Fu Guo Temple, Nan Ping Temple, Gangshan Lecture Hall, and Hai Tian Monastery. Fo Guang Shan branch temples play a key role in bringing kindness to society. For example, 2.5 million bowls of Laba congee are distributed annually by branch temples on the Buddha’s Enlightenment Day.

Interfaith Harmony in International Dharma Propagation

In February, Fo Guang Shan Thaihua Temple held a consecration ceremony for the Triple Gem Buddha Statues in its Main Shrine. Upon Most Venerable Abbot Hsin Ting’s invitation, the ceremony was presided by His Holiness Somdej Phra Ariyawongsakhatayan, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand. The ceremony included chanting from both Northern and Southern traditions, as well as a Sangha offering to 2200 monastics. Although Thaihua Temple is less than a decade old, it is the only Chinese Buddhist temple listed amongst the ten most magnificent temples in Thailand.

The sunshine of May brought 2,500 peonies from Heze, Shandong into blossom at Hosuiji Temple, Japan. Abbess Venerable Man Run dedicated the occasion to Venerable Master, for enabling the conditions that brought about this symbol of auspiciousness and hope for all in this pandemic. In addition, Shibukawa City and the Kan-etsu bus system has included Hosuiji Temple as a key destination to promote local tourism—an opportunity for locals to learn about Humanistic Buddhism.

Across the globe in Bussy Saint-George, France, hailed by the United Nations as the city for interfaith dialogue, Fo Guang Shan France hosted the “8th Interfaith Prayer and Light Offering for World Peace Concert.” As reported by Venerable Miao Duo, representatives from Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Buddhism congregated to pray for world peace.

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In response to the global pandemic, Venerable Man Shin of Fo Guang Shan North Island New Zealand created a 3G4G (Three Acts of Goodness and Four Givings) banner hung outside the temple to bring comfort to all who see it. This banner drew the attention of the Auckland Museum and is now part of their collection. In November, Kia Ora, the inflight magazine of Air New Zealand, published an article on the temple’s Water Drop Tea House, art gallery, and garden aesthetics, giving passengers a chance to sample Humanistic Buddhism.

According to Venerable Miao You from Brazil, close to 10 million people have registered as “hard of hearing” and sign language is now the country’s second official language. To meet the needs of those with disabilities, and allow them the opportunity to learn about Buddhism, Zu Lai Temple has planned a series of Dharma classes given in sign language. Furthermore, the Lotus Gesture that represents Humanistic Buddhism and BLIA has been included in the vocabulary of the Brazilian Sign Language. This is indeed a new beginning of Dharma propagation in South America.

Venerable Miao Yuan—Head Abbess of FGS South America—has reported that Hospital Los Angeles Paraguay-China and BLIA Chinese Charity Foundation of Paraguay have donated 17 incubators, 12 bili lights, and 10 vital signs monitoring devices to 11 public hospitals in Paraguay, saving more than 10,000 infants to date.

To commemorate the 32nd year of Hsi Lai Temple, Venerable Hui Dong especially created a short film about its history, beginning in 1978 when Venerable Master first instructed Venerable Tzu Chuang to build a temple in the United States. Despite many challenges along the way, Humanistic Buddhism had finally been brought to the West.

In November, the United Association of Humanistic Buddhism, Chunghua held the “5th Humanistic Buddhism Development Seminar and Members Conference” at Jin Guang Ming Temple. The conference consisted not only of several proposals and discussions, but also included a panel discussion on the Buddhist perspective regarding management. There were 300 participants, including representatives from Dharma Drum Mountain, Tzu Chi Foundation, Bliss and Wisdom Sangha, and other temples. During the conference, member organizations that established Buddhist colleges were presented with a set of the Fo Guang Buddhist Canon.

Under the leadership of Venerable Master, Fo Guang Shan Ancestral Temple Dajue Temple is nearing the completion of its fourth phase of construction. Similarly, the construction of Tianlong Temple in Nanjing is also coming to an end. These are the results of the collaborative efforts by Venerable Miao Shi—Superintendent of FGS Mainland China—and Venerables Hui Kuan, Hui Hao, and Hui Ming in Nanjing.

Lastly, I would like to use this opportunity to invite everyone to participate in the Buddha Museum’s 10th Anniversary Celebration this upcoming year, and be part of the united effort in promoting culture and establishing a Pure Land on Earth.

The fruits of Dharma propagation, as reported by abbots and abbesses worldwide, are possible only by the whole-hearted support and contributions of our benefactors, devotees, and friends. In the words of Venerable Master, “Humanistic Buddhism is the light of hope for the future of humanity.” As long as we continue to uphold the spirit expressed by the saying “Buddhism depends on me,” and practice the Buddha’s way—as long as we remember our initial aspirations and find strength in forbearance—world peace and a Pure Land on Earth are not far in the future.

My best wishes to you in perfecting merit and wisdom, and may all be auspicious!

Hsin Bau
Head Abbot Chairperson, Fo Guang Board of Directors New Year’s Day, 2021
(Translated by the FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism, Center of International Affairs)

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