The protests against racial discrimination and violence by the police in North America are still ongoing and panic-stricken. However, BLIA North America YAD members had faith and were fearless. On May 13th, they hosted an online “Ask Me Anything: Venerable” Buddhism Q&A and invited Venerable Miao Guang, the deputy Chancellor of Fo Guang Shan Institute of Humanistic Buddhism, Venerable Miao Zhong, Advising Venerable of SFYAD, and Venerable Zhi Xing, Advising Venerable of LAYAD to encourage and clear the confusions the young adults had. Among the 73 young adults and executive staff were Jenny Chen, Chairperson of the BLIA Youth Development Committee, and Frank Yao, Organizer and Sudhana Lecturer.
First, in response to the recent violence, “How does one face racial discrimination with Buddhism?” was asked. Venerable Miao Guang told the story of King Virudhaka wanting to exterminate the Sakya clan—Sakyamuni Buddha sat quietly in meditation between the two armies three times to dissolve the crisis. Hence, we should observe the causes of the emotions oppressed had with compassion, understand that behind their current anger and behavior is fear, and calmly think about the best method to respond to the situation, just like how the Buddha was compassionate and calm to listen and understand the situation. When one encounters racial discrimination, rather than reacting with anger, we can guide the other party to understand that discrimination is incorrect behavior.
The next question that was asked was, “How to face the uncertain future?” Venerable Zhi Xing encourages young adults to cherish the current opportunity to be our best selves—every moment of hard work will become nourishment for the future.
Another question posed was, “My relatives and friends have emotional troubles, how should I help?” Venerable Miao Zhong guided young adults to utilize the Four Means of Embracing—Giving, Kind Speech, Altruism, and Empathy—and Three Acts of Goodness to show care and concern and benefit them.
The current “Ask Me Anything: Venerable” Buddhism Q&A further deepened young adults’ understanding of Humanistic Buddhism; they raised various life issues, had an enthusiastic dialogue with the Venerables, and wanted the session to carry on.