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2015 GEBIS Spring Fest

2015 GEBIS Spring Fest
FUN and EDUCATIONAL for entire family

Open House      

2015 GEBIS Spring Fest

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

9:30 am to 4 pm

For the very first time, Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS) is opening its door of the private retreat centre in Little Sands to you.

~Invitation to All Islanders~

12174 Shore Road, Little Sands, PE C0A 1W0 (4 kilometers away from Wood Islands Information Centre & Ferry Terminal)

  • Buddhist culture and way of life
  • Facility tour
  • A large variety of video presentations
  • Arts and music
  • Exhibits
  • Snacks and refreshments
  • Q&A
  • and more….

FREE

Continue reading 2015 GEBIS Spring Fest

Upcoming Buddhism Book Study Group (March 26)

Free – Upcoming Buddhism Book Study Group – Beginning Thurs, March 26

Lamrim Class Poster
Reading, Discussing and Reflecting various concepts. Come join us!

This Buddhism study group will be using the text, The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment by Tsong-Kha-Pa

The group will be reading, discussing and reflecting various concepts using the text and other sources.

Place: Charlottetown, Splendid Essence Restaurant, upstairs classroom space – This is a restaurant on Prince Street.
Time:  6.00pm – 7.30pm, Thursdays, starting March 26.

If this may be of interest, please let us know by email if you would like to attend at gnr.happycourse@gmail.com

Facilitators: Rosalyn, Geoff, Nicole

For other study group information –  info@gebisociety.org or  +1(902)969-2328

O*M*A*K

What is OMAK and Why OMAK?

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.

Welcome to OMAK
Welcome to OMAK (Photo credit: Mr. J. Stephen Conn’s Flickr)

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.

OMAK!
OMAK brings happiness. We get the benefits! (photo credit: BWYA class)

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.

Conclusion
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.

Why Study Groups?

Why are we having study groups?

Teaching excerpt from Late Master Ven. Jih-Chang (translated from its original in Chinese)

A monk hosting a study group.
A monk hosting a study group.

 
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.

2015 Chinese New Year Celebration

GEBIS_Greeting_Card_YEAR_OF_THE_SHEEP_4GEBIS_春節寺院巡禮

In preparing for the Chinese New Year, houses are thoroughly cleaned.  It is the time when people get together and have a reunion feast. People also go to local monastery to worship to start their first day of the year.

Chinese calligraphy for celebration of Chinese New Year
Chinese calligraphy for celebration of Chinese New Year

Chinese red scrolls are commonly seen as fixture for decorating the houses. Prayers and auspicious words in Chinese calligraphy have been used in the tradition dated back for thousands of years. Continue reading 2015 Chinese New Year Celebration

2015 CNY Celebration in Cornwall (SinoMu)

Since its inception of September 2014, Sino Mutual Society (SinoMu) has endeavored in providing cultural program for new immigrants in a hope to help the Chinese immigrants to settle and adapt well to the different culture and environment.  With the multi-purposed activities GEBIS strives to offer in our community program, SinoMu is well-positioned in offering programs and sharing the experience. Continue reading 2015 CNY Celebration in Cornwall (SinoMu)

Moral education is a mode of delivery

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Moral education is a mode of delivery.

Take love and care for example.  How does that work?

Deliver it!  Delivering the love and care in your heart (mind) is the essence of education on love and care.

If there exists no love and care in mind, and you pretend there is; in my opinion, that still cannot touch one’s heart.

德育是一種傳遞

例如關愛,關愛的教育怎麼做?

傳遞!你心裡有關愛,把它傳遞出去,這就是關愛教育。

如果心裡沒有關愛,偽裝出一個關愛的東西,那我覺得還是不能感化一顆心。

Tributes to our great neighbor Mr. Lorin Panting

Vigorously Fulfilling the Wishes of All Buddhist Monastics on Prince Edward Island

Tributes to our great neighbor Mr. Lorin Panting

GEBIS monks setting up Merit Boards for Mr. Panting
Monks from GEBIS setting up Merit Boards for Mr. Panting

Also see P.E.I. Buddhist community gives tribute to neighbour  — Guardian’s coverage by Mr. Steve Sharratt (Published on December 08, 2014)


 

When our Spiritual Teacher decided to establish a Buddhist center on Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, as the basis of preserving and promoting Buddhist Teachings, we followed along. When we first arrived we knew nothing about this place and did not have friends. We did not even know where to get groceries. Lorin was like the thousand arms and thousand eyes of our Teacher. He seemed to have known that we were coming and thus was ready to help us once we arrived. Lorin was an ethical, warm-hearted man always willing to reach out and help people. Everyone who knows him trusted him. The Panting’s Garage is like a local information harbor. He kindly, vigorously and continuously helped all of us in the Monastery in every aspect of our life on PEI.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to all the inputs from Dharma Masters and supporting staff in the Monastery, including Venerable Yuan-Li, Venerable Xing-Yun, Venerable Xing-Ze (Wen), Dr. Peter Wu, etc., for sharing the memories of Lorin’s merits and kindness so that we were able to complete this tribute. All monastics at GEBIS can thus remember, pay gratitude, pray and dedicate merits to Lorin. Continue reading Tributes to our great neighbor Mr. Lorin Panting

CBC Land and Sea — “Come From Away”

CBC Land and Sea "Come From Away" episode on GEBIS (Courtesy of Tell Tale Productions Inc.)
CBC Land and Sea “Come From Away” episode on GEBIS (Courtesy of Tell Tale Productions Inc.)

Why PEI?

First time the spiritual leader arrived on this Island, and just loved the serenity of this place and the heart-warming atmosphere.  This is the perfect place for the monks to practice.

Challenges

The monks faced numerous challenges – a new language and new culture and the harsh Canadian winter.

“The first winter here, nobody had a clue how to drive on the icy roads, nobody knew how to dress up to keep us warm, and a lot of challenges that we have never seen before.

A lot of times we would just end up in the ditch, and friends and neighbours, they knew – oh, there go some monks again, so they will come and drag us out of the ditch, day or night, day after day, during our first year.  Islanders helped us a lot.

~ Venerable Xing-Chang

Wanna learn more how GEBIS is covered in the 2015/1/4 episode?  Check this out for the entire episode in which GEBIS was featured as one of the three come-from-away groups (the first 9:50 and the last two minutes)

CBCplayer
CBCplayer

For those of you who regrettably  cannot access to CBC player clip due to the regional restrictions, here is the 1-minute sneak preview (Trailer on Youtube).

Coverage of “Come From Away” Episode

INFORMATION MORNING – NS | Jan 2, 2015 | 9:23

The tension between life-long Maritimers and “Come From Aways”

Brian Dubreuil looks at the impact some people are having on the rural economy of the Maritimes in a new documentary called “Come From Away”

Tune in to Nova Scotia’s Information Morning on CBC Radio  2015/01/02

with Don Connolly and Louise Renault

(note:  from 6’45” and on, and to the very end; if you are zooming in the coverage on GEBIS)

CBC_Radio_one

92_TruroDailyheader2015/01/02 Truro Daily’s News Release by Tell Tale Inc. also has good coverage about the episode.