A Heartwarming 35th Anniversary Celebration - Hsi Lai Temple

Inspiration and motivation filled hearts and minds during Hsi Lai Temple’s 35th Anniversary Celebration, as Ven. Jue Ju, superintendent of Fo Guang Shan Founder’s Hall, lectured on the “Humanistic Buddhism of Venerable Master Hsing Yun.” She shared touching photos, texts, and anecdotes to illustrate how Venerable Master devoted his whole life to promoting Humanistic Buddhism, and how he embodied the teachings of the Buddha—constantly addressing the needs of people, imparting pure and virtuous teachings, and integrating them into everyday life through both his actions and words. The room was filled to the brim with over 300 attendees, who visited, revisited and reminisced about Venerable Master Hsing Yun's selfless compassion and teachings—creating a deeply moving experience, on Nov. 26th.

Venerable Master had no sense of self; his thoughts were always directed toward others, prioritizing their needs. Whatever he deemed best and virtuous, he wished to share with others. His act of giving went far beyond material possessions aiming to bring joy to all sentient beings, providing skillful means, and presenting profound Buddhist teachings in easily understandable ways, offering hope, confidence, and strength.

His habit of having a meal in just five minutes—whether a bowl of porridge with a piece of tofu, a bowl of rice with pickled vegetables, tea-soaked rice or a bowl of noodles, sufficed as a complete meal. He led a simple life; yet, he demanded excellence when serving guests, emphasizing the importance of cooking with care and treating others with utmost respect. Even when spreading Buddhism, he would consume food that he himself couldn't eat, solely to inspire confidence and joy in others.

Only one long, green table was inside Venerable Master’s lecture hall. It served numerous purposes—from hosting guests, writing calligraphy, to dining. Everything was conducted on the same table. He never had his own drawer or desk. Once he mentioned that his life was a race against time. Aiming to make the most of his limited life, hoping to leave contributions for humanity and society, he tried to never waste a minute, diligently writing 300 pieces of calligraphy daily to raise funds for the “Good Seed Project” to nurture future generations for a hundred years. Venerable Master utilized every spare moment during travels, when inspecting projects, when meeting people, conducting lectures, attending meetings, signing books, and dictating articles. He adhered consistently to the principle of “living 300 years” in one lifetime.

Despite being greatly misunderstood and criticized, Venerable Master's courage exemplified the highest form of selflessness, disregarding personal honor or disgrace—selflessly sacrificing for others’ happiness and well-being.

After surgery in 2016, Venerable Master continued writing “post-illness calligraphy” for the “Good Seed Project.” In a video taken during his recovery phase despite trembling hands, he persistently practiced calligraphy standing up on his legs, demonstrating unwavering dedication and greatness. As attendees watched, tears could be seen trickling down cheeks.

Venerable Master's teachings and actions continue to convey his compassionate spirit and propel us forward in sharing Buddhism with all sentient beings. His teachings permeate everything, akin to the 395 volumes of “The Complete Works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun.” Within each follower of Fo Guang Shan exists a shining “star” urging them to bravely embrace “I am Buddha,” and to become countless small stars in the world, radiating and carrying forward Venerable Master Hsing Yun's aspiration to propagate Humanistic Buddhism globally.

Lilian Huang, president of BLIA Los Angeles Elder Advisor Committee, remarked that Venerable Master's compassionate and wise deeds were vividly evident. His relentless dedication in every second serves as a benchmark for everyone to emulate, aspiring us to serve like Venerable Master until the very last moment.

Lynette King, vice president of BLIA Hsi Lai Subchapter, expressed gratitude for encountering Humanistic Buddhism in California, thanks to the efforts of Venerable Master and many others. She deeply admired, and was inspired by Venerable Master's lifelong dedication, insightfulness, and persistence in sharing Buddhism, leaving an indelible impression on her.

Photo Credits (Photos by Chih-Cheng Chang)