FGS News

International Webinar Explores Chinese Perspectives on Human-AI Interaction

Pema Duddul April 24, 2024 On April 10, 2024, Venerable Dr Juewei , the Director of Nan Tien Institute’s Humanistic Buddhism Centre Australia, participated as a panelist in an international online seminar. The seminar, titled "The Interface between Human and Artificial Intelligence: Chinese Approaches in Global Context," was hosted by the China Forum for Civilizational Dialogue, co-organized by Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and La Civiltà Cattolica. The event aimed to foster a comprehensive dialogue on conceptual and practical frameworks for navigating the evolving relationship between humans and AI. At the heart of the discussion were key themes unearthed from a series of closed workshops held throughout the 2022-2023 academic year. These workshops, which attracted scholars, artists, and AI experts from diverse disciplines, underscored the imperative of reimagining accountability amidst the ongoing technological revolution and emphasized the necessity of fostering collaborative and co-creative partnerships between humans and AI. The event's diverse panel of speakers brought a wealth of expertise and perspectives to the table. Among them was Dr. Juewei Shi from Nan Tien Institute, whose unique background blends two decades of experience in Humanistic Buddhism and Buddhist Studies with a deep understanding of artificial intelligence and business process re-engineering. Dr. Shi's presentation shed light on the contemporary applications of Buddhism in navigating the complexities of human-AI interaction, offering valuable insights gleaned from both academia and real-world experience.   Participants of  "The Interface between Human and Artificial Intelligence: Chinese Approaches in Global Context" online seminar. photo/The Life News Agency   Joining Dr. Shi were esteemed figures such as Thomas Banchoff, Director of Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; Qiufan Chen, an award-winning Chinese science-fiction writer renowned for his visionary contributions to the genre; Rev. Nuno Gonçalves, S.J., Director of La Civiltà Cattolica; Fen Jennifer Lin, an associate professor at City University of Hong Kong specializing in media, communication, and technology; and Debora Tonelli, the event coordinator and a prominent researcher in the field of religious studies. Throughout the webinar, participants engaged in lively discussions that traversed the philosophical, cultural, and ethical dimensions of AI-human interaction. From the implications of AI on religious and spiritual practices to the role of storytelling in shaping public perceptions of AI, the conversations were as varied as they were insightful. One of the central themes that emerged from the dialogue was the need for a more inclusive global discourse on AI that incorporates diverse perspectives from across the world. While the conversation around AI has predominantly been led by voices from the United States and Europe, the webinar highlighted the importance of amplifying voices from regions such as China, which bring their own rich philosophical and cultural traditions to the table. As the webinar drew to a close, participants were left with a renewed sense of urgency to continue exploring the complex terrain of AI-human interaction. By fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and embracing diverse perspectives, the webinar laid the groundwork for future endeavors aimed at navigating the evolving interface between humans and AI in an increasingly interconnected world. For those interested in delving deeper into the discussions and learning more about the speakers and their work, recordings of the webinar and additional information can be found on the China Forum for Civilizational Dialogue's website: https://chinaforum.georgetown.edu/events/the-interface-between-human-and-artificial-intelligence-chinese-approaches-in-global-context

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Harmonizing Tradition and Innovation: Workshop on AI Tools for Writing and Translation

Michael April 22, 2024 On April 9, 2024, Nan Tien Institute's Centre for Humanistic Buddhism hosted an online workshop focusing on the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in writing and translation. The workshop featured Venerable Miao Guang, Deputy Chancellor of Fo Guang Shan Institute of Humanistic Buddhism, who provided innovative translation ideas for volunteers engaged in translating articles for the journal "Studies on Humanistic Buddhism" (https://journal.nantien.edu.au). The event attracted volunteers from regions including the United States, Mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and Taiwan. Exploring the AI Landscape The session kicked off with Venerable Miao Guang providing a comprehensive overview of the currently available AI technologies. Through relevant examples, she showcased how these tools not only streamline workflows but also elevate the quality of creative output. The workshopstressed the importance of harnessing AI tools responsibly, with a focus on understanding their limitations. Mastering the Art of AI Interaction A highlight of the workshop was the deep dive into the art of crafting effective AI prompts. Venerable Miao Guang elucidated how well-designed prompts can enhance AI-generated output.Participants were treated to live demonstrations and interactive exercises, experiencing firsthand the impact of strategic prompting on AI's responses. This hands-on approach allowed attendees to grasp the nuanced interplay between AI Capabilities and human creativity. Venerable Miao Guang encouraged reflection on how AI tools can complement the creative process, urging participants to leverage their human insight and creativity to guide AI output. Inspiring Future Integration As the workshop wrapped up, participants emerged with enriched perspectives on the integration of AI in writing and translation. More than just an introduction to AI tools, the  event served as a catalyst, inspiring attendees to explore innovative ways to incorporate technology into their creative workflows. The workshop underscored the potential of AI to serve as a powerful ally in the realm of writing and translation, provided it is guided by mindful and discerning human intervention. Venerable Miao Guang's session marked a significant step towards the harmonious fusion of technology and humanistic pursuits, paving the way for future explorations in the field.

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Learn from his Compassion and Wisdom, the “Community of Practices” 2-month series to commemorate Venerable Master Hsing Yun has concluded

Priscilla Wong April 17, 2024 On 31 March, the Sunday “Community of Practices” Check-In to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s passing with a 2-month series has concluded. Community members shared their personal and inspiring tributes to Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Venerable Juewei commenced the sessions, sharing the Venerable Master’s example of leading with courage to undertake innovative initiatives which were initially met with great resistance.  However, his persistence and fortitude have resulted in the Fo Guang Shan we know today. Venerable reflected on how she draws strength from her teacher’s example - and asked each of us to consider how we too can take courageous action to make a positive impact on the world. Ina Denton (from the USA) and Cecile Manikan (from the Philippines) followed by sharing the joy of their personal interactions with the Venerable Master and also being the recipients of the kindness and generosity from his monastic students throughout the world. Under this genuine care, Ina undertook a personal journey from skeptic to humble student to dharma teacher, while Cecile marvelled at the art of nobility which all of us can be encouraged to practice and perfect. Lipeng Lim and Joey Yeo gave examples of how the Venerable Master’s actions and words guide us in both daily life, and when faced with life’s challenges. Joey was moved by a simple bookmark calling on him to safeguard the mind and encouraged us all to reflect on how we can be mindful of our every thought. Lipeng spoke of her admiration of the Venerable Master’s befriending of illness. Instead of resistance, anger and denial, we can see through his example the possibility to transform our experience to gratitude and acceptance. Stacey Weng gave different experiences of how the Master had touched their lives beyond form. photo/The Life News Agency Finally, our friends Xiaomeng Tian, Liam Carver and Stacey Weng gave different experiences of how the Master had touched their lives beyond form. Xiaomeng, despite never having met the Venerable Master, came to find a spiritual home in the study groups, educational institutes and communities of Fo Guang Shan. Stacey too, was delighted by the wonder and joy created by the artistic ventures nurtured by the Venerable Master - particularly in the Buddha’s Birthday Festivals (BBF) and Buddha’s Birthday Education Project (BBEP) which so many friends from around the world have contributed to. And Liam shared an internal journey of discovery. He confessed his initial disappointment at the dharma name Upholding Affinities given to him by the Venerable Master - a man he had only seen from afar, before gradually coming to appreciate how perfect the name and precious the gift were. Liam offered this final note of tribute to the Venerable Master which the community echoed: “You really were a star among the stars I could only aspire to” The Sunday Check In community now moves to our next series welcoming the authors of the 2023 book Cultivating Compassion who will present their chapters each week over the upcoming months.  The link is as follows: https://www.peterlang.com/document/1340151 To learn more, hear the Venerable Master Hsing Yun Tribute sessions, and to register for the Sunday Check In sessions, see the link: https://community.thebbep.org/2024-sunday-check-in/

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2024 FGS NZ Buddha’s Birthday Celebration: Cultivating Social Harmony

Fo Guang Shan New Zealand April 16, 2024 On 13 April 2024, the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple Auckland hosted the annual Buddha’s Birthday Celebration for World Peace. The ceremony was led by Abbess of  FGS NZ Venerable Manshin. Attendees collectively chanted the Heart Sutra and recited the Prayer for World Peace written by the Founder of FGS Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Distinguished guests from various religious backgrounds participated, including Māori elder Kaumatua Tame Hauraki, Dean of Auckland the Very Reverend Anne Mills, and Catholic representative Rev Deacon Chris Sullivan, who each offered prayers for the ceremony. Notable attendees included President Evelyn KU of the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) North Island Chapter, Director General Kendra CHEN of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Auckland, Members of Parliament Nancy LU and Rima Nakhle, Auckland Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson, Councillor Hon Maurice Williamson & Sharon Stewart, Chair of the Howick Local Board Damian Light, Superintendent Shanan Gray and Inspector Rod Honan together with nearly 500 people from diverse sectors, including religious, political, police, arts, media, schools and the community. Participants made generous offerings to the Buddha. The BLIA Young Adult Division performed a lion dance to welcome the statue of Prince Siddhartha. Additionally, students from Papatoetoe Intermediate School sang the New Zealand national anthem and performed a Haka dance. The FGS Auckland Choir performed hymns celebrating the birth of Buddha and expressed gratitude to the Founding Master for bringing the beautiful Temple to New Zealand. Abbess Manshin addressed the Temple’s efforts in sharing the Three Goodness values locally, which is a project of returning to one’s roots and true nature, and thus serving the community. Abbess expressed her wishes for New Zealand to thrive with peace. President Evelyn KU thanked Abbess and the Temple for leading the community in building a Pure Land on Earth through diverse cultural, educational and charitable activities, helping to purify minds and the land. By participating in the Buddha Bathing Ceremony, attendees embodied the principles of Do Good Deeds, Say Good Words & Think Good Thoughts. MP Nancy LU conveyed gratitude from Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, acknowledging the significant contributions of Fo Guang Shan to the community and cooperation with the police. Deputy Mayor Simpson praised the Temple for infusing Auckland, one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, with harmony, peace and joy. Director General CHEN highlighted the need for the wisdom and light of the Dharma in today’s world. Chairman Light and Inspector Honan also praised the Temple’s supportive role in fostering community harmony. Editor Farida Master of Eastlife described the Temple as an oasis of harmony and a cultural sanctuary, appreciating its efforts in building a supportive society. The celebration also featured a Baby & Children Blessing Ceremony, local market stalls, a One Stroke Calligraphy exhibition by the Venerable Master, a Prince Siddhartha Exhibition and tea meditation. The New Zealand Health Department provided free flu vaccinations at the event, recognizing Temple’s support of the Asian community’s VAX Heroes initiative. The day was filled with auspiciousness and joy.

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Mellons Bay School Embraces Mindfulness & Joy at Fo Guang Shan Temple

Fo Guang Shan New Zealand April 15, 2024 On the morning of 26th March 2024, 230 students from Years 1 to 3 at Mellons Bay School, accompanied by 58 teachers and parents, visited the Fo Guang Shan Auckland Temple to learn about the value of Three Acts of Goodness and Four Givings (3G4G). Upon their arrival, they were warmly greeted by the BLIA members. A lively and uplifting song, 3G GO, composed by the President Jenny CHEN of the BLIA New York Chapter, which was greatly enjoyed by both the students and teachers. The BLIA members engaged the students with interactive teaching methods, incorporating various activities to convey the meaning of 3G4G. The students watched a movie Life of Buddha to learn how to apply good deeds in real life, created lotus flowers origami to practise concentration, learned how to ring a wishing bell with joined palms to make personal vows and experienced calmness of body and mind through meditation. Teacher Jane Craig expressed her gratitude for the warm welcoming and the meaningful educational activities arranged by the team. She was delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Mellons Bay School visit, noting the joyful smiles on each student’s face. Kim, a teacher visiting the Temple for the first time, shared that she found the Temple’s grand architecture and peaceful gardens to be very calming and comforting. Her favourite part of the visit was watching the film about Buddha’s life, which she found inspiring and moving. The Temple specially presented Three Goods stickers as a gift to the students, wishing them to implement these values in their lives and spread joy and hope to those around them, contributing to a harmonious community. The teachers also expressed their anticipation of bringing 250 Year 4 to 6 students to the Temple in May to participate in the 10th 3G4G Festival of Cultural Sharing.

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BLIA NZ YAD Consensus Seminar Filling Life with Right Understanding and Views

Fo Guang Shan New Zealand April 11, 2024 On 17 March 2024, BLIA Auckland organised the Consensus Seminar at FGS Auckland. Inviting Venerable Manshin, the Abbess of FGS NZ and Supervisor Meggan LAM of the BLIA NZ North Island Subchapter 1 as instructors, the seminar led over 20 young adults in a series of activities. These activities included Tai Chi meditation and interactive discussions, aiming to address and unravel challenges faced in life, learning and work, thereby establishing right understanding and views. Meggan Lam, a member of the Auckland Health Committee and a clinical psychology consultant, guided participants to reflect on the core reasons and values behind their actions. She provided practical advice for youth in school and the workplace, such as the importance of asking for help, understanding one’s limits, maintaining transparent and timely communication with superiors, and using positive language to resolve difficulties. Abbess answered various questions, highlighting the importance of having an enlightened mind regardless of one’s location. This involves caring about the growth of wisdom, harmonising emotions and learning to endure hardships. The Abbess shared a teaching from Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the Founder of FGS Buddhist Order, Keeping up is important. She emphasised that there’s nothing that can’t be done well or kept up with. It’s crucial to admit and accept one’s imperfections, understanding that everything is subject to change. In the transient nature of life, it’s possible to find the right ways, methods, directions and to vigorously catch up. The Abbess encouraged the youths saying, a single person can move fast, but a group can go far. Together, the youth are stronger in the team.

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2024 Fo Guang Club Welcoming Day Realising Ideals with Aspirational Power

Fo Guang Shan New Zealand April 10, 2024 On 9th March 2024, Fo Guang Club of the University of Auckland held its New Semester Welcoming Day with a total of 22 members gathering at the FGS Auckland to participate in various activities. The YAD committee guided new members through ice-breaking games and Temple tours. They introduced Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the Founder of FGS Buddhist Order and shared the Dharma teaching: With ideals, there is aspirational power; with aspirational power, there is realisation; with realisation, ideals can be achieved, leading to a promising future, encouraging the participants to learn from the Venerable Master’s spirit of staying true to one’s initial vows. FGS NZ Abbess Manshin used a Q&A format to answer the youth’s doubts, how can one cultivate a character of giving? The Abbess clarified, those with a compassionate heart naturally understand giving and repaying kindness. Giving money or material possessions to others is material giving, sharing teachings and principles with others is Dharma giving, one can also provide spiritual support and strength to overcome fear which is fearless giving. How can one manage oneself? The Abbess shared a teaching from the Founding Master saying, I am among the people. Using examples of YAD committees Thomas and Edwin, Abbess explained how from the initial inspiration to the integration into regular practices, they embodied the idea that youth need good role models because being in the right environment and serving in a group enables them to become masters of their own lives, making life filled with positive qualities. The participants expressed their gratitude one after another. Winter, a participant, expressed gratitude, saying Abbess Manshin had helped them unravel many confusions. She felt greatly inspired and was pleased to have made numerous like-minded friends. Adela shared, the event was organised professionally and meticulously. She was grateful to the organisers for their dedication. Through the event, she had deepened her understanding of the Temple and wished to continue learning to gain wisdom.

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An exclusive interview: Ven Abbess Manshin

Fo Guang Shan New Zealand April 3, 2024 The Venerable Abbess Manshin doesn’t give interviews. ‘Success isn’t about individual accomplishment but the collective power of the community. I haven’t given one in 20 years,’ the quintessential leitmotif of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple in New Zealand, told FARIDA MASTER. A rare interview with the game-changer who has transformed the cultural landscape of east Auckland. The Abbess embodies an alchemy of fiery dynamism, quiet strength, and an aura of utmost calm as she has worked relentlessly with communities, schools, youth groups, artists, and the police alike, to make the Temple an epicentre of vibrant cultural activity. An influential networker, the Abbess of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temples both in Auckland and Christchurch has taken on some huge challenges in her stride. She clearly defies the stereotypical description of a monastic leading a sterile life. From the outside most people would imagine that the Abbess has an army of volunteers to organise a series of multicultural events, attended by nearly 20,000 people. Yet, when you have a peek behind-the-scenes, there is just a small group of monastic and volunteers, working day and night to make things happen with precision, élan and dignity. Ven Abbess blesses a child at the Buddha’s Birthday Baby Blessing ceremony. Anyone who has attended the Chinese New Year Celebrations or the Buddha’s Birthday Celebration or the annual art exhibition at the Fo Guang Yuan art gallery, will know that everyone from the city’s most influential to the regulars, swarm the portals of the Temple – a study in architecture. “Buddhism is not exclusive,” she explains about her unblinkered pursuit of connecting with communities. “Since Gautama Buddha’s time, Buddha reached out to people as he went out to the community to collect alms. We at Fo Guang Shan hope to bring people together to develop their own potential and generate a positive attitude.” Talking for the first time about her personal tryst with Humanistic Buddhism, she says she felt drawn to it, in her early teens.   “I WASN’T BORN IN A BUDDHIST FAMILY” “At the age of 14, I read about Buddhism being action-oriented. It’s about being a doer. I wanted to know whose teaching it was and started reading up,” she says about her calling to be a monastic. Soon after a three-year degree in the Fo Guang Shan Tsung Lin Buddhist University which involved a lot of study, hard work, and discipline to become a monastic, she was stationed in Queensland to oversee the building of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple. Whilst the young monastic was serving in Australia, she was summoned to Auckland by the Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Founder of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order. He wanted the capable monastic who had shown sparks of dynamism to manage the building of the Fo Guang Shan Temple in Flat Bush that was facing several hurdles. The work had come to a standstill and the Master was deeply concerned about the slow progress coupled with financial barriers that the Temple was confronted with. “Though I had no idea how I could make it happen, I assured the Master that I would accomplish the task if he gave me some time. I requested for permission to return to Australia before I took on the challenge of translating his vision into a reality,” she recalls. While the Abbess pulled out all stops to raise funds for the completion of the Temple, the next challenge was to foster a deep sense of community in the suburb with a multicultural glow. Never losing her sangfroid when the going got tough, the monastic elucidates on the power of resilience. She firmly believes that the world belongs to those who serve communities despite the speed-breakers. “HARDSHIP IS A WONDERFUL TEACHER.” “It’s only when you come across a difficult situation, that you work towards a solution and discover the immense reservoir of strength and determination you have within. There should be no pampering. It makes people weak. Those who can take hardship have a bright future. They can take on a mission and ensure it is completed.” The final completion of the Temple at Stancombe Road was a magnificent mission accomplished…despite the tears and turmoil involved. But she’d rather not discuss it. Instead, we talk about the Buddhist Temple becoming a haven for local schools. Children from around 55 local schools visit the tranquil portals of the beautifully designed Temple in Auckland and Christchurch. It is here they learn about the value of 3G: Do Good Deeds, Say Good Words and Think Good Thoughts; and 4G: Giving Confidence, Joy, Hope and Convenience to others. “SLOGANS WE MOUTH MUST TURN TO ACTION.” “It’s important for humanity to have more strength and energy,” she says about nourishing young minds with a sense of goodness. “A lot of times children teach their parents good values. We enable them to inculcate a positive attitude during times of trouble and help transform themselves. We also make them take a vow about cleaning their room and listening to their parents.” Instilling a sense of goodness in young minds has been a rewarding experience. The Abbess was particularly touched when Principal Heath McNeil of Ormiston Primary School mentioned that he was grateful for the relationship they’d built with the students over the years. McNeil felt reassured that the young students had someone to turn to during difficult times. “Where else can they ask for help? As our children move on to intermediate school or junior college they could face more challenges and we are not always there to protect them. But they can come to the Temple for help.” International students in the area, trying to find their feet in a new country also rely on the Temple for support. They find a sense of belonging and are appreciative of the generous lunch boxes with yummy vegetarian fare, thoughtfully packed for them by the Temple team to take home. There is enough food to share with their flatmates. It was a huge blessing for some during Covid times. “People who walk into the Temple or pray feel a sense of peace and tranquillity. They get charged with energy,” says the Abbess. The Police vouch for it too. Unbeknown to most, the NZ Police have held several conferences in the serene precincts of the landmark Temple. The Temple shares a close working relationship with the law-keepers of the nation. The Abbess was chosen by former police commissioner Howard Broad to be an honorary Patron of Wing 261 to a batch of 38 constables “as she brought a unique dimension to their training,” he said of the dedicated Buddhist monastic who also organised a Crime Prevention Expo in South Auckland, and produced a handbook for new police recruits. “WE MUST NURTURE AND SUPPORT THE GUARDIANS OF LAW WHO LOOK AFTER US.” “They need looking after too,” the Abbess concedes. As if on cue, Sr Sergeant Richard Bracey walks into the Temple with a couple of constables for a quick chat. He shares saying, “After a chaotic and stressful meeting, one feels relieved and at peace just walking through the Temple grounds.” The Temple and police have worked together on several occasions. During Covid when local schools ran short of Rapid Antigen Test, (RAT), the Abbess took it upon herself to help by asking the Temple headquarters in Taiwan for 15,000 free RAT kits to be sent to Auckland. “They were surprised to hear that New Zealand which was said to be the safest country in the world at the time, required them. Within hours, 97 schools registered saying they would require them. “I was sitting at my computer for four days at a stretch answering queries from school principals till late at night. “Under the leadership of Former Counties Manukau East Area Commander Inspector Scott Gemmell, Inspector Colin Higson and Senior Sergeant Anson Lin, the police team provided unstinted support for the distribution of supplies to schools. It was an unprecedented ‘111 delivery’ of these precious RAT kits to schools with the Temple team,” she says. The mutually respectful relationship is a textbook example of working in unison for communities. Another time, Former Area Commander Inspector Gemmell proposed a space of quiet reflection for his colleagues at the Ormiston Police Station. Considering the police officers have enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of the beautiful Temple gardens that allows them to recharge, he asked for assistance in designing a spiritually uplifting space for the front-line police officers. Without much ado, the Abbess, and a team of 10 reached the station. They designed and constructed a five-meter-long wooden bench, plants from the Temple’s garden were replanted, stones were laid out and a stone light— symbolising a different land, but sharing the same skies was delivered to the Police Station. “It was to bless and brighten up everyone’s hearts,” she ends.

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NSW Premier Visits Nan Tien Buddhist Temple Kogarah recognising the contributions to the community by Fo Guang Shan

Francis Wong April 2, 2024 On 22 March, The Hon. Chris Minns MP, Premier of NSW, visited the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple Kogarah. The Premier was greeted by Ven. Miao You, Director of Nan Tien Institute, Ven. You Fa, Superintendent of Nan Tien Buddhist Temple Kogarah, Daniel Wu, President of the BLIA Sydney, Francis Wong, Elder Advisor of BLIA Sydney, along with about 20 BLIA members to warmly welcome the visiting of the premier. "Welcome Home!" The Premier expressed that he is a resident near the temple and also the MP for Kogarah. Before being elected as Premier, he actively participated in temple and BLIA’s activities, including the BLIA Sport Day, Laba Porridge Charity Event, and the ANZAC Day. After being elected as premier of New South Wales in 2023, his first visit to Nan Tien Buddhist Temple Kogarah felt like "coming home," making him feel especially close and warm. Ven. Miao You introduced the courses offered by Nan Tien Institute and presented the book "366 days with Wisdom" by the founder of Fo Guang Shan, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, on behalf of Nan Tien Temple. The Premier greatly appreciated the book, eagerly flipping through the wisdom teachings of March 22nd and personally reciting, "Great people fulfil themselves by helping others to accomplish. Mean people fulfil themselves by holding others back." The Premier said that after reading the articles, he deeply resonated with them. He hoped that in future speeches, he could refer to and quote Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s wisdom to enrich the content and purify society and people's hearts. He believed that the Buddhist concept of "mindfulness" is of great help in dealing with busy workloads and hoped to introduce mindfulness thinking and meditation to provide references and applications for parliamentarians to enhance everyone's work efficiency and maintain the power of focus. The Premier was also briefed on the community's achievements in propagating Buddhism over the past year, including multicultural community connections, congregational education, creative culture, and volunteer services. In particular, the premier was being thanked for remembering Venerable Master Hsing Yun's passing and personally sending condolences and flowers at the first opportunity. Jing, the leader of the southern Buddha Light Scouts, said that the number of Buddha Light Scouts has continued to increase by more than 80 people, advancing to 5th place on the New South Wales Scout rankings. Ven. Miao You invited the Premier to attend this year's Nan Tien Temple 30th anniversary celebration and the Buddha's Birthday Multicultural Festival held in Darling Harbour Sydney, to experience this year's theme of "Coexistence & Coprosperity."

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Live Demonstration of Ceramic Tile Painting in FGY Art Gallery Christchurch

Fo Guang Shan New Zealand April 2, 2024 The Resurgence Exhibition currently showcased at the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery Christchurch, has received high acclaim since its opening on 27th January, 2024. The main curator of the exhibition, ceramic artist Hugh Richard, conducted a live demonstration on 16th March, offering art enthusiasts a unique chance to observe his creative process up close. Hugh’s ceramic paintings are exquisite and lifelike. In the demonstration, he shared his painting technique, using a photograph of a seaside sunset as a reference. He cut a corner from a clay slab to use as a brush, skilfully sketching and outlining the landscape on the slab. He also invited attendees to participate in the creation process, fostering a delightful and interactive atmosphere. Throughout the demonstration, the audience was captivated by Hugh’s dedication and attention to detail. Hugh explained that after painting, the artworks are placed in a kiln for firing, a process that permanently fuses the pigments with the ceramic. The finished pieces are not only ideal for home decoration but also serve as unique gifts. Artist Tricia Morant was also present to show her support. The event offered art lovers a valuable and precious opportunity to engage directly with the artists and experience the joy of creation. Hugh shared that the quality behind each piece is the result of continuous hard work and dedication, and that focusing on painting is an enjoyable process. He expressed his gratitude to FGY Art Gallery Christchurch for providing the necessary resources and a beautiful venue to share the beauty of creation with the public.

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