On May 22nd, SFYAD held a forum on expressing gratitude to our parents to celebrate Mother's and Father's Day where 35 people attended. SFYAD invited three pairs of parent-child dyad:
Selene Chew, president of SFYAD, and her mother, Love and Care Group Leader of BLIA Western Australia Chapter, Anne Phoon
Carl Ho, SFYAD Committee member, and his mother, member of Daily City Subchapter, Ann Tam
Vicky Hibbert, and her mother, Yazheng Song.
Our panelists were diverse in their upbringing and exposure to Buddhism at different ages, making the forum very unique!
At the beginning of the event, Abbess Venerable Ru Yang, Abbess of Fo Guang Shan Northern California, gave an opening speech. She mentioned that faith and legacy are important in a family. Without faith, we may not find happiness, and may not pass down our faith to the next generation. She also stressed the importance of Venerable Master Hsing Yun's positive forecasts for life:
you are right, and I am wrong
you are important and I am not
you can have while I keep nothing
you enjoy happiness while I take on suffering
She also mentioned Venerable Master's quote, "Love is cherishing; it is compassion, service, encompassing, and wisdom." We should cherish the causes and conditions around us, help others become successful using wisdom and compassion. At the same time, we should pass down faith and legacy to the next generation.
Therefore the promotion of Humanistic Buddhism in the family is important. Our three pairs of panelists shared their experiences during the forum. They shared that they are grateful towards their parents for providing unconditional love and support for their growth, allow them to learn Buddhism, and have confidence in their lives. Selene and her mother shared that they see each other as sisters; their topics of conversation have changed to discussing how they could serve others after learning Buddhism. Carl and his mother shared how they helped each other grow and become successful in their lives. Vicky and her mother expressed the importance of positive relationships in the family and we should cherish the time and causes and conditions we have with them.
In our "Post-it! Express gratitude to parents or children" section, all attendees have the opportunity to express their gratitude to their children or parents through writing post-it notes. Some also have the opportunity to share their post-it content with the audience. Many expressed not only deep-felt appreciation to their parents and children, but also to all parents and children in the world.
Venerable Chueh Shang, advising Venerable of SFYAD then led the audience in reciting Venerable Master Hsing Yun's "A prayer to our parents, family, and friends", and gave a closing speech after. She mentioned how her mother practiced Buddhism diligently and set an example for her as she first encountered Buddhism. Due to her mother's influence, Venerable Chueh Shang also practiced Buddhism diligently.
This event was heartwarming for everyone as they understood and shared similar experiences that our panelists shared.
You can catch the entire forum here!