Every August, prayers are held in the temples, where Buddhist practitioners come together as ambassadors of peace and goodwill to send out prayers and well-wishes to all around the world: family members, friends, strangers, the impoverished, the sick, the poor, and those who have already passed.
During these ceremonies, the Prajnaparamita Sutra is read aloud in unison. In Buddhism, it is believed that any person who reads the sutras with a pure motivation will reap good fortune and many benefits, which can be passed on to all those who are the subjects of the dedications.
“Prayer lists” are also displayed during the ceremony. On these slips of paper, each participant of the ceremony may write down the names of all the people that they would like to send well-wishes to. Red slips are for those who are still living, while yellow slips are for those who have already passed. A Buddhist practitioner once said, “I look forward to filling out these prayer slips every year. When I write down the name of each person, I like to reflect on all that they have done for me in the past. For the last ten years, I’ve written down the names of all my elementary school teachers. I don’t have the opportunity to thank some of them in person anymore, but my care and gratitude for them continues to grow by the year.”
By sending out kind thoughts and expressing one’s gratitude, we hope that these prayers will bring a wave of peace and harmony throughout the world and sweep away the pain and torment of suffering. May rays of light forever shine upon the darkness and may all who suffer be given comfort. We pray that all that we do will bring about happiness and good fortune to all residing on our island, in this country, and the world.
Date: August 15-17, 2016
If you want to add names to our prayer list, please call Matthew Wu at 902-215-8242.
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.
We cordially invite you to pick a day and come join us for a wonderful experience!
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.
Master Zhen-Ru has been contemplating questions about life and death since childhood. She was born to a scholarly family in the Heilongjiang province of China, and as soon as she was able, she began the long journey of seeking Dharma teachers for the answers to her questions. Her footprints have covered Mount Wutai, Mount Putuo, and every major monastery on the Tibetan Plateau. She closely followed important Buddhist scholars and Rinpoches who transmitted numerous precious teachings to her including Entering the Middle Way, Ornament of Clear Knowledge, Four Hundred Stanzas, The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim Chenmo), The Medium Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, The Easy Path –Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, Great Treatise’ Four Interwoven Annotations, and Presentation of Tenets: A Precious Garland.
Subsequently she encountered Master Jih-Chang’s recorded teachings on Lamrim Chenmo, and immediately found exceptional veneration and unwavering faith in the Master. Despite unfavorable conditions, she travelled to meet Venerable Jih-Chang in-person and received unreserved and profound instructions from the highly respected Buddhist master. Venerable Jih-Chang then began to repeatedly express his wish to hand-over the Bliss and Wisdom organization to her and bestowed her with the Dharma name Zhen-Ru. During his final years, Master Jih-Chang defied the frailties of old age and frequently flew to mainland China to give personal instructions to Master Zhen-Ru. Together they formulated the future development of the various religious, educational and charitable entities.
Despite hardship, Master Zhen-Ru has abided by late Master Jih-Chang’s instruction and has dedicated herself to developing Buddhist education for monastics and laypeople, along with many other virtuous undertakings since 2004. She has devoted all her efforts to virtuous activities following her dear teacher’s footsteps. Her efforts furthering the integration of the Buddhist principles into day-to-day application in the body, mind and spirit have never stopped. Her stay in Canada in recent years has encouraged her to advocate even more for the combination of concepts and daily-life practices, and she has shared this spirit of mindfulness with international communities. She has high hopes that the practical methodology of Buddha’s teachings of compassion and wisdom could be widely adapted to improve the lives of those in any culture. Now, over one thousand Buddhist monks and nuns have enrolled under Bliss and Wisdom monasteries, and there are over seventy thousand lay followers in the Lamrim study groups worldwide. She has endeavoured to abide by Venerable Jih-Chang’s aspiration to promote altruism and ethical human relationship through studying Buddhist classics and commentaries, learning ethical disciplines and actualizing virtuous undertakings.
Chairperson of Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation (TOAF) Mr. Shi-Yuan Lai remarks
“Having inherited her late Master’s spirit, Master Zhen-Ru is endowed with a modest and persistent attitude and has led the entire organization to make an all-out effort.”
TOAF, based on the belief of co-existence of all beings in harmony, has successfully led the campaign of organic conversion throughout Taiwan during the past two decades. The Leezen stores, Taiwan’s leading organic chain, rely on the philosophy of “mutual trust and collaboration” in place of the competition commonly found in ordinary business world. Coupled with the support of volunteers, the TOAF has become established role model for the social enterprise movement.
Abbot of the Fong Shan Monastery (Taiwan) Venerable Ru-Zheng also highly reveres Master Zhen-Ru for establishing a complete monastic study program for the sangha community under extremely difficult conditions. Through extensive recitation, reading, contemplation, and dialectics, the monastics deepen their understanding of a great volume of Buddhist classics, such as: Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, Lotus Sutra, Lamrim Chenmo, Nan-Shan Precepts, Valid Cognition, Ornament for Clear Knowledge, Madhyamika, Treasury of Knowledge, and Monastic Discipline. There are also studies of the precepts for novice monks, monastics, and Bodhisattvas, which allow them to follow strict ethical discipline to foster austere monastic attitudes. Abbot Ru-Zheng remarks
“This is an epoch-marking methodology of Buddhist meditation curriculum and study program by integrating the essence and traditions of both Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism. This is also realization of the compassionate aspiration of late Master Venerable Jih-Chang.”
For the international Buddhist community, Master Zhen-Ru established the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS) in British Columbia, Canada in 2006, and further expanded with the large retreat center in Prince Edward Island in 2009. She has been named the Honorary Chairperson since 2011. Currently, there are approximately 300 monastics at GEBIS and up to 1,000 lay practitioners attend short-term retreats on the premises annually. The group she leads contributes to the local community and has received tremendous support and recognition by the local government and its people. In 2011, she founded the Moonlight International Foundation on Prince Edward Island with the purpose to promote both environmental and health concerns, as well as the well-being and harmony of contemporary lifestyles, regardless of language, culture or belief.
Every year, Master Zhen-Ru gives more than 100 lectures and speeches. Moreover, she has composed over eight hundred Buddhist songs of praise which aim at purifying the audience’s mind in a profound way. Her scores have been orchestrated and performed over 15 cities and in world-class venues such as Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and National Concert Hall in Taipei. The concerts have been well received and highly acclaimed. The “Prajna: the Great Wisdom” album, one of her recent releases, won the Best Religious Music Album in the 26th Golden Melody Awards in 2015.
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
GEBIS is privileged to have 15 guests from UPEI Seniors College on the morning of May 20. For their last session of the “Religious Diversity in Canada” course, the Buddhist monastery became their classroom for a talk on Buddhism and a campus tour.
The great encounter was initiated by the professor and facilitator of this course — Dr. Rev. Andrew Richardson (Trinity United Church in Summerside). Seniors carpooled from Charlottetown for a 45-minute drive and arrived our Little Sands complex in southeastern PEI with visible excitement. Continue reading UPEI Seniors College @ 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
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.
12174 Shore Road, Little Sands, PE C0A 1W0 (4 kilometers away from Wood Islands Information Centre & Ferry Terminal)