Updated: Jun 5, 2020
Original author: Pingyu Chen
Translated by: Winson Yang, Yen Ting Low
Due to the continual impact of COVID-19 in North America, the North American YADs transcended physical space and strengthened their faith by inviting BLIA World Headquarters American West’s Vice-Secretary General and Abbot of Hsi Lai Temple, Venerable Hui Dong to give a virtual Buddhism class on 9th May. Nearly 40 YAD members, including members from Paris (France), participated in the class.
Venerable Hui Dong first showed concern about the epidemic that has affected many places and asked everyone to show how they could utilize the power of faith to help with the current situation. Kimfay, President of Montreal (Canada) YAD expressed that in order to foster cohesion between members, Montreal YAD organized virtual Kung Fu, cooking, and Buddhism classes, as well as movie appreciation sessions.
Katrina Chak, a YAD member from San Francisco shared that in the face of the epidemic,
many people have fear and distress, and many in the supermarket she worked at took leave or even resigned. To uphold the spirit of Buddhist compassion, she strived hard to help everyone maintain their regular life routines.
“Because of the power of the Dharma, I could maintain mindfulness without fear even in a risky working environment, and think positively when encountering all matters,” said Vincent Liu, a Los Angeles YAD member who is working at a hospital. Once while working at another hospital, Vincent found out that the masks used by the medical staff were donated by Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple. He was happy and moved, and felt that he was blessed to be able to learn and grow in an organization with Right Faith.
Venerable Hui Dong expressed that Fo Guang Shan branch temples in North America have so far donated over 3.5 million masks, as well as gloves and personal protective equipment to North American hospitals and police units. When the pandemic was most serious in China, many from all over the world donated masks; now that other countries are facing this pandemic, China is donating masks to them as well.. This reflected the cause and effect spoken about in Buddhism.
Venerable Hui Dong also encouraged young adults by explaining that Humanistic Buddhism advocates everyone to maintain the right mindfulness and look after themselves, so that they can bravely face all difficulties in life without fear. This situation is an opportunity to calm our minds, deepen our understanding of the Dharma, and practice the Three Acts of Goodness in our lives to cultivate our compassion and wisdom.