Thank you for all your interest and responses to the 2016 GEBIS Open House. Your encouragement and support has been heartwarming and has motivated us to work harder to pay back to the Island.
Due to limited space at our monastery, GEBIS regrettably would not be able to accommodate and provide quality service to all who are interested in coming. For those who have not registered successfully, GEBIS is currently planning a protocol to accommodate small group private tour request once a month. Details shall be provided soon. We encourage you to check back and schedule with us. We also plan to tour and organize events across the Island to meet with Islanders in different communities.
May 7 & 8 – 9am to 4pm
We cordially invite you to pick a day and come join us for a wonderful experience!
Regrettably all the time slots for either May 7 or May 8 have been booked. Thank you again for all the support and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Young student monks at the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS) recently made 300 rolls by hand, then delivered them to families needing food.
Master Zhen-Ru, spiritual teacher of GEBIS, once told her disciples: “As a ‘come from away‘ group who has been very well received by Islanders, we must sincerely and humbly repay all the kindness Prince Edward Island has offered us.”
A recent article regarding food insecurity caught Master Zhen-Ru’s attention. She is very engrossed with such widespread issues impacting many families, and particularly with school children in those household would go without food for long stretches of time.
Young student monks at GEBIS realized this, and aspired to put their kind heart into action — a great practice to fulfill the teacher’s wishes. In a recent Friday afternoon session, amidst their rigorous study and training program, they have added making 300 dinner rolls as an extra assignment on top of their chores.
Group leaders and moderators started planning and encouraging other members to be involved. The entire class took turns overseeing the baking and there was ample manpower for working the dough. By 9 o’clock in the evening, all 300 rolls full of love are finally ready.
Lay volunteers for the monastery took the next baton by rushing to where these rolls were needed. One family in need had a father stricken by illness and unable to work, and their household was in a precarious position. Having received these dinner rolls, heart-felt feelings may very well be better expressed without words.
Perhaps there exists some language barrier between young monks and our great Islander neighbours. However, in each young heart illuminated with kindness, there seems to be no distance in between. Much warmth is generated and felt through such acts of kindness. A spiritual teacher’s aspiration for her students to live their life devoted to kindness is being fulfilled by these young monks.
More than 50 members from several of our English Buddhist study groups on the Island, along with their friends and family members, have delightedly come to GEBIS on May 31 to participate in our 2015 Vesak Celebration. It is an important day among Buddhists to commemorate the Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing into Nirvana. Contrast to other teaching events and rituals, this Veask Day (sometimes also referred to as “Buddha Bathing Festival”) event also marks the very first of its kind which is solely dedicated to English-speaking participants. Continue reading 2015 Vesak Celebreation @GEBIS→
In MacDougall Hall 243 of the University of Prince Edward Island, April 2, 2015 was a day when the Monks from GEBIS made their encounter with University students for the course Religious Studies 102 — RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD: EASTERN TRADITIONS offered by Professor Philip G. Davis, Ph.D. This is a course, meeting three hours each week for a semester, which intends to provide an introduction to the major living religions of the East: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Continue reading When Monks meet UPEI→
Thank you Islanders for having made 2015 GEBIS Spring Fest such a success! More than 1,100 people showed up on March 28 between 9:30AM and 4PM; and originally planned three sessions (2 hours each) have turned into non-stop celebration in our Little Sands complex. Continue reading Open House Success→
OMAK is an acronym that stands for “Observe Merit and Appreciate Kindness”. Everybody has all sorts of qualities, temperaments, or characteristics. Among those, some are considered as merits (or good qualities) and some are faults (or shortcomings). While interacting with others, our tendency of focusing on one category over the other dominates our pleasant or unpleasant perception, which then defines our relationship with other people.
What we truly are….
Unfortunately, when dealing with other people, most of us tend to focus on others’ faults. This will thus create an unpleasant perception toward others and will gradually ruin our relationship with them.
How OMAK helps us? The practice of OMAK is to change our wrong tendency. Instead of focusing on others’ faults, we try to look for their good qualities and their kindness to us. Once you have become conditioned to this, you may still notice some faults in other people, however, this will not bother you much because you are more focused on their good qualities and kindness.
For instance, even though we may have many faults, however, we do not get much annoyed by ourselves as long as we have at least one good quality that can match up to others’ good qualities. To those who have many good qualities but only one fault, we tend to focus on their one fault, and thus cannot let go of it and cannot forgive them for that. Furthermore, when we interact with them, our minds are dominated by the negative feelings. That is because our mind helps magnify that tiny fault. On the other hand, when we observe ourselves, our minds also magnify our own good quality, however tiny that is. Therefore, we can all see that it is solely due to the powerful effect of familiarization which makes the object (of being observed) project certain characteristics onto our minds. The motive for us to practice OMAK is that when we practice OMAK on others, they may not get the benefits, but we will certainly get the benefits. On the other hand, if we look for faults in others and then complain, they may not suffer, but we will certainly suffer.
Our tendency of observing others’ faults is deeply rooted, sometimes, it will still come back to haunt us from time to time, and we will seemingly feel our OMAK goes in vain. However, if we persevere and continue on practicing on OMAK, our habitual patterns can be gradually changed.That is when we can reap the profits of happiness from the seeds that we have been planting. This is how the practice of OMAK can greatly improve our relationship with friends and families.
Teaching excerpt from Late Master Ven. Jih-Chang (translated from its original in Chinese)
There are deep meanings behind the implementation of Lamrim study groups.
1) Have you ever had the following experience such that when you read the text alone, the contents are indeed very intriguing; however, the imprints on our minds are seemingly blurry, and not deep enough. If we talk it over with friends, and even share our views in a class, the truth can better be seen through the debates. Eventually, the context will be thoroughly understood and memorized steadfastly.
2) Another experience that we may all have experienced – even though we would like to engage in Buddhist practice, we are usually tied up by worldly matters or friends. Our motivation for Buddhist practice will die down eventually, and furthermore, we may never move forward. On the contrary, if we ever join a study group, when seeing others in the circles practicing Buddhism so diligently and having strong aspiration, how could we possibly be slack and undisciplined? This is the protection a group offers us.
3) Finally, if one has faith towards the concept of causality – karma, one should realize that the reason there is an opportunity to practice Buddhism in this lifetime is the fruition of the virtuous deeds that one has committed in the previous lives. On the other hand, when we practice hard, we are committing good causes/karma for having further opportunities of practicing in the future lifetime. Most importantly, as long as we practice hard both qualitatively and quantitatively (according to what Buddha tells us), we will certainly be supported by Lord Buddha and Bodhisattvas so that in our learning path we can accumulate favorable conditions and purify obscurations in this life, and be reborn into a Buddhist society in the next life time.