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Retreat - by
Hello I am a Thieu Nam at GDPT Kim Quang Sacramento. My Name is Long Nguyen. I was wondering if You guys would be coming to our retreat Friday thru Sunday. It would be really nice.
YOU WILL TOO - by
September 28, 2007. You too will…
This message is for Myanmar and all governments that have oppressed religion, holiness or monks. Govern your citizens with fairness. Otherwise, the government will be overthrown by revolution, someday. Wherever there has been unfairness, there will be demands for justice. You cannot be strong forever; the law of nature will eventually take away your power. You must stop killing innocent people now or you too, will be doomed in a painful and shameful way. Monks requests for fairness and freedom is reasonable and normal. Governments should not harm monks, because it is dangerous to kill innocent people.
Burmese people have struggled for years to ask for freedom. Why do they have to ask for freedom when it is a fundamental right of all people? Why do you restrict their freedom? They are not criminals. Is it because you are insecure and fear that if you grant them freedom, they will do a better job than you and make you look like a failure? You also understand that people have uncertain living, and limited patience. You don’t prolong until they have to wrestle with you and press you down in order to get back their freedom. Just give to them as a gift, it is not yours anyway. Unfairness is suicidal.
You should realize that the only reason you have your power is because weapons are in your hands. You may not realize that, when there will be no more weapons in your hands, you will be powerless like other innocent people. What will you do at that time? Remember power ultimately is the people.
I recommend you to look at world history just for a moment. The Chinese First Emperor, Ch’in Shih-Huang of China, was a filthy doomed due murdered by buried many Confuciasm’s students alive. The Emperor of Rome--Nero was doomed due to oppression of religious leaders. The King of Russia, Alexander was also doomed due to killing Orthodox monks. The German Nazi regime was also doomed because of religious persecution of Jews. The Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam with his brother were doomed due to oppression of Buddhist religion. Mao Zedong was doomed. He killed great numbers of Tibetan monks and ousted Tibetan Holy men, as well as killed 700,000 of Chinese farmers. Those powerful, who have committed ruthless tyrannical actions, have died, and you too will die, but whether you die in honor or in disgrace is up to you. History will always set straight.
The Burmese monks, who are peaceful and gentle, have deep understanding of causes and effects, and teach on compassion and love. Buddhist monks in general deserve to be respected for their renouncing of the worldly life for living in a non material life. Monks are holy and peaceful and their daily practice is only aimed at being beneficial to others, not for selfishness. If there is freedom and fairness by the government, there will be neither protests nor demands to ask for freedoms and human rights.
For so many years, Burma has been known by other Buddhists as the “center for wisdom in the universe” where monks practice to uproot inner sufferings and teach others as they learn. Monks live in poverty and the Burmese people are not getting better from economic eyes. The neighboring country, Thailand, has all kinds of freedoms and their people live a peaceful life and are moving upward. But Burmese people cannot move upward due to the condition of the military regime. People respect the monks because they are holy and peace-loving people. Naturally, all living beings prefer peace over war, no matter what. The people of Burma deserve to be free from your oppression. Tyranny and evil actions will always invoke a shameful death.
You must stop killing Burmese monks now. Killing Buddhist monks and innocent people won't solve problems and is considered unethical
What will happen if your power is taken away from you? You will die in a shameful way, and you will have no credit for the word except your horrible reputation as evil tyrannical dictator? Who died in disgrace and ignominiously with bodies battered. It doesn’t matter what materials you built for a city or nation. It won’t count, when you don’t treat people with fairness and freedom. When you die, your body will be filthy and dismantled, and your filthy reputations stay forever in history books.
For the soldiers who serve dictators, you should not be slaves for those the dictators, you should lay down your weapons, and come home with your family. Why is a soldier for an unfaithful commander? You are the powerless, pitiful soldiers. Without a uniform and weapon in hand, who are you? And why are you shooting at your own citizens? For being a faithful slave to the unfaithful owner? You can refuse to oppress innocent citizens. Stop all actions against your innocent people.
Stand up against unfairness and injustice, will bring hope and light for many. You sure will have the true power and it makes you capable to eradicate problems and sweep away oppressive dictator’s policies, as well as pains and sufferings of your nation. If you think you are good and powerful, but you do nothing to help others suffer from unfairness and injustice, you are ultimately helping evil.
Dr. Lani Hunter
Đại Hồng Chung đầu tiên - by
ột Tiểu quần thể Ngũ Hành Sơn đă hoàn tất và Chuông Đại Hùng Giác Ngộ Việt Nam treo trong Thánh địa Phật Thành Đạo, Bồ Đề Đạo Tràng, Nơi được Liên Hiệp Quốc công nhận là một Di Sản Văn Hóa của Nhân Loại.
Hiệp hội I’m for World Peace Foundation xin hân hạnh tŕnh lên quí tôn đức và chư vị ân nhân là “Chuông Đại Hùng Giác Ngộ” của người Phật tử Việt Nam quả thực đă xứng đáng với cái nghĩa đại hùng đang đứng trong một lầu chuông mái đúc và nền lát bằng đá mable trắng đă được xây cất lên trong trong Vườn Thiền (Meditation Park) của Thánh Tích Phật Đại Giác, Bồ Đề Đạo Tràng, Ấn Độ. Chuông và lầu chuông đă được khánh thành vào lúc 10:30 sáng ngày 20 February 2004 tức là ngày 1 tháng 2 âm lịch năm giáp thân. Chuông Đại Hùng Giác Ngộ Việt Nam được treo trên một bộ giá bằng gỗ quí nhất của Việt Nam là gỗ lim cao 4m.50 với nét điêu khắc tinh xảo và chạm trổ long, ly, qui, và phượng rất hoa mỹ. Cả hai bảo vật này được tạo ra từ Việt Nam và được chở xuống tầu, vượt sóng Thái B́nh dương và Ấn Độ dương, lên đất Ấn, hải cảng Calcutta và được đưa về Thánh địa Phật Thành Đạo, Bồ Đề Đạo Tràng vào cuối năm 2001. Sau 4 năm kêu gọi quyên góp và lo thủ tục giấy tờ phép tắc hợp lệ, chuông đă an vị tại Thánh tích và những tiếng chuông huyền diệu ngân lên trong không gian để cầu nguyện cho thế giới ḥa b́nh chúng sanh an lạc. Sự thành tựu này có sự gia hộ nhiệm mầu ân đức của chư Tổ và sự linh thiêng do đức tin của người Phật tử Việt Nam mà ngày nay công tŕnh hoàn măn, đây là một tự hào của dân tộc được góp mặt và để giới thiệu nền văn hóa nghệ thuật và truyền thống Phật Giáo Việt Nam với thế giới. Tổng số tiền chi phí cho quả chuông này vừa trọn vẹn là: $­­­­57,539.
TIỂU QUẦN THỂ NON BỘ NGŨ HÀNH SƠN:
Chúng tôi lấy tên của ḥn non bộ này là Ngũ Hành Sơn v́ Việt Nam có dăy Ngũ Hành Sơn, một linh địa của đất nước. Tạo ra một tiểu Ngũ Hành Sơn để cúng dường vào Thánh Tích như là mang một chút ǵ đó thiêng liêng của dân tộc, đất nước vào thánh địa. Đó cũng là tỏ một chút t́nh đền ân đáp nghĩa lên Vị Thầy vô thượng.
Tiểu quần thể Ngũ Hành Sơn diện tích bề sâu 38’.85”, ngang 99’.72” cao 23”. 40”. Có năm ḥn núi chính và thêm những núi phụ xây quanh một đường thiền hành. Ḥn núi chính ở trung ương, tượng h́nh đầu sư tử hướng về Đại Tháp Giác Ngộ, ḥn thứ hai tượng h́nh Phật tọa thiền, và ḥn xuyên thạch động (ghép thêm) tượng h́nh hai bàn tay chắp sen búp, v.v. bên trong có đường thiền hành, có cây lớn tàn che đầu sư tử rất uy nghi, có trồng các cây kiểng bonsai mua từ Thailand cho thêm tươi mát, có thác nứớc chảy từ núi trung ương xuống tạo cảnh sống động và có cầu đá qua hồ rất thiền vị. Do nhân duyên và phước báu trong thời gian xây dựng đă được rất nhiều chư vị Ḥa thượng, và chư tăng ni Việt Nam và ngoại quốc đến thăm và chú nguyện cho công tŕnh cúng dường mau thành tựu. Những khách hành hương khi nh́n thấy non bộ đă tỏ vẻ xúc động chắp tay cảm ơn Phật tử Việt Nam xây dựng núi non làm lễ vật cúng dường. Tổng số tiền chi phí là $­­­­103,430 tiền quyên góp được là: $­­­­80,570. Hiện tại c̣n thiếu $­­­­-22,880. Xin quí vị hoan hỷ góp thêm tịnh tài cho đủ số chi phí.
Trong buổi đại lễ khánh thành cùng lúc với chuông Đại Hùng Giác Ngộ, ban tổ chức đă may mắn được phước báu là có 500 vị tăng sĩ cao quí và quí vị quan khách đến chứng minh và dâng lời cầu nguyện cảm tạ cho sự hoàn măn hai công tŕnh cúng dường kể trên. Sự hiện diện của khoảng 30 chùa của các nước Phật Giáo và rất nhiều chùa của người bản xứ và các quan chức đại diện cho các cơ quan chánh quyền địa phương có mặt đă thể hiện sự quan tâm và hoan hỷ của các chùa đại diện cho các quốc gia Phật Giáo đối với hai công tŕnh.
Thượng Tọa Thich Hải Ấn và Thích Giác Quang từ Huế, hai vị chủ lễ và là đại diện Việt Nam, cùng rất nhiều chư tăng ni Việt Nam đến từ Việt Nam và từ các chùa Việt Nam trên đất Ấn cũng như rất nhiều tăng ni tu học tại Ấn Độ đă hiện diện trong buổi lễ. Phía quốc tế có sự hiện diện của Ḥa thượng Aggamaha Pandita, đại diện Myamar, Ḥa Thượng Gyneshwar Bhudhamta, đại diện Srilanha, thiền sư Bodhipala, đại diện India, Tiến sĩ Kalichadran Singh Yadav, tiến sĩ Ramswaroop singh, đại diện Mahabodhi Temple Management Committee, Đại đức Thích Pháp Chơn dại diện USA và cô Diệu Liên Vũ Lan Hương đại diện hiệp hội I’m for World Peace Foundation đă cùng cắt băng khánh thành Chuông Đại Hùng Giác Ngộ Việt Nam và tiểu quần thể Ngũ Hành Sơn.
Phái đoàn khánh thành cũng đă thắp nến trên Tiểu Ngũ Hành Sơn tượng trưng cho ánh sáng trí tuệ cho mọi loài chúng sanh thoát khỏi vô minh. Sau đó là lễ cúng dường trai tăng 500 vị đại diện của các nước Phật Giáo thế giới đă có mặt và tán thán công đức của Đại Đức Thầy Thích Pháp Chơn, người điều khiển xây dựng và chúc mừng hiệp hội I’m for World Peace Foundation đă bỏ công xây dựng hai công tŕnh cúng dường này.
Sự hoàn thành này có được là nhờ sự gia hộ nhiệm mầu của chư Vị Tổ Sư và khí thiêng sông núi của Việt Nam, cũng như do đức tin vững như núi không lay chuyển của người Phật tử Việt Nam. Công tŕnh đă hoàn măn, đây là một tự hào của dân tộc ta đó là được góp mặt và để giới thiệu nền văn hóa nghệ thuật và truyền thống Phật Giáo Việt Nam với thế giới.
Toàn thể hiệp hội I’m For World Peace Foundation xin chân thành tri ân Thượng Tọa Thích Hải Ấn và Đại Đức Thầy Thích Pháp Chơn đă từ bi, quan tâm cầu nguyện và tích cực giúp đỡ trong thời gian hiệp hội xây dựng đă gặp nhiều khó khăn. Đặc biệt Thầy Pháp Chơn đă tổ chức đại lễ khánh thành rất long trọng. Hiệp hội cũng xin hồi hướng công đức khiêm nhường này về tăng đoàn Phật Giáo Việt Nam, cầu mong tăng đoàn mỗi ngày một thêm rạng rỡ. Cầu xin dân tộc Việt Nam được hưng thịnh và ḥa b́nh an lạc. Nguyện cho tất cả chúng sanh đều noi gương sáng của Đức Phật Thích Ca tu đường giới định tuệ và giải thoát.
Đại Hồng Chung đầu tiên
Teaching on Love and Compassion Meditation... - by
TEACHING ON LOVE AND COMPASSION MEDITATION TO INMATES.
THEY NEED THE TEACHINGS TO MAKE A CHANGE.
One wrong move led to a lifetime of regret. Undoing must wait until the next lifetime.
Due to fear and anger one may kill. Due to fear and hate one may cause war.
I have been delivering meditation teachings to inmates in a State of California prison and a County jail for more than a year. The State prison is housing inmates who have already been tried and sentenced, aged from 20’s-50’s. The County jail is mostly holding criminal suspects prior to their trials and waiting for their trials. Some have been waiting for two years yet still haven't had trial. Out of the thousands of inmates, there are hundreds who are Vietnamese, aged from late-teens to 30’s. Most of them are young, gang-type, who committed serious crimes, and their spirits are lost in this fast track modern technology and complex society. For example, look at our “three-strikes” legislation, and how people are given sentences completely inconsistent with the crime.
This paper is about State prisoners. The State prisons are housing many different types of inmates who committed various crimes. On Sundays I delivered teachings to only 3 different groups of students in the State prison. Each class was held in a separate building for one group of prisoners. Each building has a Christian chapel for worshipping, but the Buddhists don't have their own chapel due to insignificant number of Buddhists in imprisonment.
Building “1” houses the inmates who had been in prison for a long time, for violent crimes they committed long ago; It seems that the many older-aged prisoners in Building “1” are opinionated and it was difficult for them to learn to meditate and generate boundless compassion. They are frustrated and confused about the future.
Building “2”, houses the unique white collar, middle-class inmates who committed crimes with sophisticated and well-educated minds. For some of those with educated minds wanted to learn about Buddhism and meditation, and expected fast results.
Building "3" houses gang-type killers and robbers, some who felt they had been unfairly convicted. The following is to discuss about those students in building "3".
Due to their poverty and uneducated backgrounds as orphans, homeless, with parents divorced, with experiences of family abuse, and unwelcome in the school or in community etc., they have made their mistakes and were caught. They are poor and don't have money to pay for a good education and cannot hire good defense attorneys. This group seems to have warm hearts and their spirits seem open to changes.
During the summer it was hot in the California Central Valley, usually in the 90’s Fahrenheit, and the vehicle I traveled in was not air conditioned, nor was the prison. The inmates I have been teaching in "building 3", mostly had received serious sentences for 3-years or more, and some had received 15-year to life sentences. (Have we ever wondered how many seconds did a person commit a crime to deserve 25 years, 60, 90 or a life sentence? It is same as a death penalty, but delayed execution.) For this group of inmates ages range from 20 to 37; all were males and all had committed crimes. Some are paranoid and disturbed due to their heavy sentences, and most inmates in this group are unskilled; none graduated from high school; some have very little education. Some are involved in killing crimes and are haunted with their nightmares often in their sleep.
The teachings provided them comfort and energy to live and to learn to love and to tolerate conditions. Tried to be a courageous teacher is difficult when sitting among inmates while leading them, and asked everyone to pray for parents in the Vu Lan (Vulabarna-“A red rose on your shirt if you still have a parent alive”) Day, and everyone must say repeatedly, out loud: "I love you, mother, father, or grandparent..." At the beginning, they were all shy to say “I love you, mother,” but slowly, everyone could say the magic sentence: “Mother, I love you, I am sorry, I have caused myself to be in this prison, and I have caused you pain.” They learned to chant love and compassion sutras, to sit still for 45 minutes, and I encouraged them to sit still every morning and evening, before bedtime to cure nightmares. And this was a big help to inmates who committed fewer or lesser crimes. These inmates who have been coming to the class really want to make a change in their lives and also want true compassion from family and society.
We should give this a thought. Most will get out of prison some day. When they are released, we will have to face the reality of living with them as neighbors, as friends, or as relatives. We cannot turn them away, because they are human beings. And we cannot incarcerate people in prison forever. We should accept them, and everything, just like the earth accepts impurity. It was, for me, a very sad experience, but I was there to let them know that while most people enjoy family and friendly gatherings, shopping, going to churches, and other such things, we, I' m for World Peace Foundation, won't forget about them. They will be in our prayers and thoughts.
Whether we directly or indirectly created the prisons as well as the impurity, we must accept the resulting consequences as reality. We created a society of superior and inferior. We built up power for someone and we also destroyed peoples’ creditability to make them powerless. In this modern society we created sophisticated laws with the intention to help prevent crimes and to educate people to understand the seriousness of penalty that will apply if they violate the laws. We made laws with the hope that the laws will protect us. But we realize now that the laws cannot always protect all of us. Due to fear we created prisons, but we still live in fear of everything every day, anyway. We need to educate ourselves better about our laws. We should be teaching our children at the earliest possible time, that we are not totally free as individuals, to do as we wish, but must conform to support our society.
Out of fear, we decided to lock all troublemakers in prison forever so we invented indefensible laws. And when we built more prisons, we wasted much energy and resources, ultimately making our lives even more miserable. After all, we have never been totally happy nor have we enjoyed complete peace of mind. The truth is, we should not build prisons but rather, we should build temples for prayers, for healing all souls.
In our modern civilization we become more fearful, yet, we are the ones who created the most fearful things and conditions to haunt ourselves. The person who invented the atomic bomb with intention to make the world be still and peaceful, the father of this deadly created weapon, who we called ingenious, miscalculated the risk that some crazy person will use it. In less than a century, the threat of atomic weapons pervades this tiny Earth. Science and technology have changed our lives like tornados. They lead us from subsonic into supersonic and have swept the reality from our domestic simple lives and dropped us to an unknown world. They have separated us from our touch with reality. We don’t know about the person next door, and we distance ourselves from our relatives. To express love now we send hugs and kisses through the Internet and don’t experience real warm touch or physical hugs. We spend much time on the Internet, but whatever we read or see is temporary, exaggerated or inflated, and could disappear totally, never to be seen again. Nevertheless, we believe in it and
live with it. We are creating alien beings amongst ourselves. Today’s children may not know their parents well during their lifetimes, when they are influenced by the superhighway or fast pace of the Internet. However, we are also very fearful of computer virus attacks and crazy salesmen who may send us horrible messages against our morals. We are not safe as long as we carry fragile and destructible human bodies while our minds possess ignorance due to distractions and limited learning.
Recounting from ancient times, have we ever been not fearful? We must live with what makes up a society, including thieves, homeless, terrorists, and corrupt people. Corruption is far worse than terrorism. They both can slowly destroy the morality of a healthy society. We can die from earthquakes, tornados, floods, and diseases anytime. Terrorism can make us fearful of violence but how many of us ever actually face the terrorist? Corruption we face in our daily life. Why are we fearful and resentful when the person has already paid his dues? Could we love them like our own children? What if one of our children committed a crime? We don’t turn him away. We surely welcome him and try to comfort and heal his soul.
For how long will this modern technology last? How long will the resources on this earth last for us to enjoy electricity and gas? The more prisons we build, the more crimes will happen. We need to fill up what we built. When the resources of this earth have run out, do we still have prisons? Will we still be able to feed all prisoners or what will happen to them? Over-expansion of prisons is not a solution. Having a curriculum education to teach laws and meditation on a compassion program to all youngsters brings hope for solution and a healthy future.
Teaching compassion meditation is very effective to this group category. They are young people with histories of hate and vengeance, and through meditation we can help them to let go of their anger, learn to forgive, to heal their souls, and to prepare to change their lives. One whom I first met was paranoid; he came to the teaching because his friends told him about meeting with a Buddhist Chaplain. He didn't look at me, did not smile, had difficulty communicating, and didn't want to cooperate. But after meeting and meditating on compassion and forgiveness a few times, he began to smile and has opened up. He started to say to his friends a very understanding and responsible phrase: "Everyone is responsible for his karma and his own actions, and we should not blame anyone but ourselves for our imprisonments. We did something stupid, so we face the consequences." Hearing what he said, I knew the teaching was making progress. Two inmates told me that they were not guilty. To me, I can only try my best to teach them to learn how to pray, how to meditate, and how to contemplate on compassion, letting go of anger and hatred with hope that they will feel compassionate for others in their hearts.
We encourage the legislature to make a law to require children to learn about the law and penalties against violations of the law. It would help the third group, which is the majority group in State prisons. We should put this law in a curriculum beginning 4th or 5th up to 10th grades. Those are the kids who dropped out the most, and the most likely to commit crimes.
We also encourage citizens to try open, to forgive and to practice boundless compassion and to have amnesty for those convicted criminals who can prove that they have changed and become good and normal people. Is there an amnesty that should include the reduction of sentences? For example, an amnesty that reduces sentences from life to a number of years, and from a high number of years to be reduced to a lesser number of years, and so on? It is wasteful for a young man to spend the rest of his life due to a momentary mistake without thought, during his youth. The person has already died in a sense, so we must forgive and let go of things for which we no longer feel a need for vengeance forever. Why waste so much money to build prisons and have to hire people and to train them to be cruel and harsh in order to control the inmates? By doing so, we train people to become more rough than the inmates in order to control the inmates? What will happen to these guards and their family, and their children after they work in such ways; will they still be normal and nice?
May we all be safe, content and peaceful
Dieu Lien-Vu Lan Huong
I Light for World Peace
Saving Lives - by
WTC September 11, 2001, Saving Lives
I am sad because of the destruction of human efforts and of many innocent lives.
Things took years and immeasurable effort of many architects and engineers and so much hard labor and sweat of construction workers to build, and the terrorist destroyed two landmark buildings into dust and killed many innocent lives in just minutes. The world is covered with shadow about this war. I wonder if all can learn to forgive and forget? When can the hurt countries have peace? And how can each individual have peace within?
Those who bear destructive thoughts, those immersed in dead thoughts, are already dead. Even though their bodies are not dead, they are dead. In their sleep they sleep with dead thoughts, in their food they consume with dead. Whatever they do they do in the dead, because dead thoughts occupy their heart.
We don't want to bear in our minds the idea to eliminate anyone, because that thought is negative and it will backfire. Also we should not bear hate in our hearts, Hate energy is dangerous and it will at first hand hurt its creator. When we hate, certainly our hearts store weapons and those invisible weapons will destroy us. (Cause & effect)
To kill a human being is against the basic principals of our ancestors and all people. Hurting someone is the easiest thing that one can do. Saving lives is not easy and not everyone can do it. We must remember it is very difficult to have a human life.
For uncountable years our ancestors had realized that life is precious and they have always been looking for medicines and ways to save human lives. We repeatedly strive to study for improving longer life or finding ways to achieve immortality, and many were born to be doctors, nurses, and heroes... to save lives in this world. They saved not only the perfect person but they also diligently saved the imperfect, the defective human beings. Because they have hope for that imperfect human being to be perfect in someway or someday...
Just think about it for a minute.
War is deadly cost for human being. It will take lives and will take away arms, legs of many people. The cost that we normally can estimate is the materials, the unfeeling things are those we can assign monetary value or translate as money. We sure can print and reprint money as much as we want. However, the value of a human life is impossible to estimate and, furthermore, we cannot refabricate a human life.
If someone loses a hand or a leg etc. they will never be the same as they were before losing it. Nothing in this world can replace a real and complete life and no one can refabricate people. Even though, we can fabricate artificial arms, legs etc. But that is not the same nor is it the same person.
We must try every possible way to protect and save human being lives and yet, if possible try to protect all beings from destruction.
When you bear peace thoughts, you will eat and sleep with peace thoughts. I wish you and everyone will generate love for peace for self, parents, brothers, sisters, teachers, friends, and everyone in the world.
Founder and Chief Executive Operations Officer
I'm For World Peace Foundation
Focus on development and training inner peace toward humanitarian works.
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