Category Archives: News

The latest news of Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society.

An Astounding Scene of Contemplation

The scholarly system of the Five Great Treatises was first established by Master Khedrup-Je (1385-1438 A.D.)and has been passed down through the lineage until today

The powerful debates that shook the Three Worlds.

The resonant sound of the Manjusri Bodhisattva mantra seed syllable, together with the sound of handclaps, broke through the tension in the examination hall. In that moment, the breath withholding silence and gaze, translated into intense focus of and attention on listening. The sitting defender, also the one who established the view for debate, four seniors from the topmost class who have completed the Five Great Treatises curriculum, the other remaining candidates, and sangha, all surrounded the hall. This day, was the debate examination for the Sangha at the GEBIS.

Continue reading An Astounding Scene of Contemplation

Celebrating Togetherness

The year end of 2016 was a busy one for Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS), as Venerables from GEBIS visited other Buddhist establishments in Toronto and Halifax, and also received respected guests at GEBIS during November and December.

Toronto, Ontario (November 1st -2nd 2016)

Monks from GEBIS respectfully visited some well-established Buddhist monasteries/Dharma Centres in the area.

  • Nov 1st: Ven. Dayi Shi, Abbot of the Cham Shan Temple Toronto, spent the afternoon giving a tour around the facility and sharing the current & future Dharma projects in the Greater Toronto Area.
GEBIS representatives visit Venerable Dayi Shi, Abbot of Cham Shan Temple Toronto

GEBIS monks – Venerables Alexander and Dan visit Venerable Dr. Bhante Saranapala at the West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre, Toronto

PEI: Sri Lankan Buddhist monks’ GEBIS visit  (November 15th 2016)

It was great honour to have a group of Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and lay practitioners visiting GEBIS and have a dialogue during their short stay in PEI.

The Most Venerable Ahangama Rathanasiri Nayaka Thero. and Venerable Udupihille Wimalabuddhi Thero. from the Toronto Mahavihara, Bhante Jinarama from Sri Lanka, Bhante Sudharma from Halifax, Bhante Saradha from Cambridge, Ontario toured the prayer hall and had viewings on sutra collections and long scrolls of precious scriptures with ancient printing traditions. Some young student monks of GEBIS also demonstrated Buddhist debate on advanced Buddhist philosophy for the guests. Then our honourable guests chanted a prayer to give blessing for world peace.

After the tour at the prayer hall, Venerable Su gave a presentation about GEBIS, the study program and its projects. After which The Most Venerable Ahangama Rathanasiri, Chief Incumbent President of the Toronto Mahavihara shared his 25+ yr experience in promoting Buddhist teaching in Canada, before ending the visit.

The Most Venerable Ahangama Rathanasiri Nayaka Thero. and Venerable Udupihille Wimalabuddhi Thero. from Toronto, along with fellow Sri Lankan monks, toured GEBIS prayer hall

Halifax, Nova Scotia  (December 5th 2016)

Halifax Shambhala Centre welcomed representatives from GEBIS with great hospitality, and gave a guided tour followed by a soulful dialogue. It was a great learning opportunity for GEBIS, as the development and establishment by Shambhala International over the years and offering of diverse programs to enrich the community was truly respectable.

GEBIS representatives visit Halifax Shambhala Centre

PEI: Bhante Jinananda’s GEBIS visit (December 9th 2016)

Bhante Jinananda visited GEBIS to give blessing and exchange experiences with the Venerables.  The dialogues, visits and sharing of experiences, were heartfelt and humbling experiences. It enabled GEBIS to learn, promote exchanges, build new friendship and collaborative opportunities, and together help shape and form peaceful communities.

Bhante Jinananda visits GEBIS

Related Reading:

Spirit of Assisi

Spirit of Assisi II

Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace

On the 27th of October 2016, Buddhist Monks from the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS) joined various faith communities from the Island at the St. Francis of Assisi church in Cornwall to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy.

Interfaith Prayer
Wonderful evening @ St. Francis of AssisI church

The inter-faith service was first organized by Pope John Paul II on the very same day in 1986, witnessing 160 religious leaders spending the day together with fasting and prayers, representing 32 Christian religious organizations and 11 non-Christian world religions. It was a call for peace, unity and inter-religious understanding, where annually religious leaders come together to discuss critical global issues.

St. Francis of Assisi church in Cornwall
Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace

With this in mind, more than twenty Buddhist monks were honoured to share the prayer chants from their tradition between 7 to 8pm that evening with other island faith communities such as Abegweit First Nations, Islamic, Baha’i, Sikh, Hindu, Jewish, and Charlottetown Area Christian Council.

It was a great way to stay connected with all and share the common aspiration for peace through these wonderful prayers from various faiths.

For more photos of the commemoration:

Spirit of Assisi II Celebration photos from Diocese of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

 

Scrub the Tub – TCAP

On the 6th of Oct a Thursday morning, at 7:30am, a bus arrived at TCAP Family Aquatics and Fitness Centre in the Town of Montague, Prince Edward Island, carrying 20 Buddhist nuns, members of the Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute (GWBI).  A couple of minutes later two busses and a mini van also arrived carrying 70 monks of the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Society (GEBIS). The monks and nuns arrived at TCAP to help revitalize the community recreational centre in Montague, Prince Edward Island.

The recreational facility in TCAP has an important role for our seniors, our parents, our children and more.

The Town and Country Aquatics Plus (TCAP) took over the recreational centre, once proud pool and gymnasium facility that has been allowed to deteriorate in recent years, from a private business.  Within minutes the nuns were busy putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls of the cardio and weight rooms and the yoga studio. Monks divided into three groups charged with removing an unseemly amount of garbage that had collected outside. Others scrubbed pool deck mats, then the pool deck. Others meticulously cleaned the hot tub.

Buddhist monks from GEBIS volunteered their time to help clean the TCAP facility in Montague, PEI
A beautiful morning to come out to Montague, PEI for labour contribution.
Scrubbing the tub at TCAP Family Aquatics and Fitness Centre

GEBIS participants of the TCAP Family Aquatics and Fitness Center “Scrub the Tub” project shared some of their feedback:

  • Just like flowers of various colours, people of different faiths collectively adorn our world.” ~ Ven. Xing-Yang
  • May we collectively get rid of the impurity from within, and hand in hand, we keep our Island a lovely and blissful place.”  ~ Ven. Xing-Pu
  • May the beauty of the Island and its people endure for a long time! Thank you for your support in offering such a wonderful learning opportunity for us!”  ~ Ven. Xing-Ting

On Facebook, TCAP expressed “profound gratitude” to the monks and nuns for their help on Thursday. “The amount accomplished was nothing short of phenomenal,” reads a Facebook post. “The facility was full and there was such a feeling of determination, hard work and peace in the air.”   The work is tedious but necessary. When it reopens TCAP will be clean. It will be safe. And it will be a welcoming community asset.

Related articles:

Monks and nuns’ hands-on help at TCAP betters community (Eastern Graphic, Oct 6, 2016)

Buddhist monks and nuns help ‘scrub the tub’ at Montague fitness facility (CBC, Oct 7, 2017)

Buddhist community adds financial support to elbow grease in support of TCAP (Eastern Graphic, Oct 19, 2016)

For more photos:  (photo credit: HSU, Ming-Chi)

Walk of Faith

Walk of Faith

On September 22, 2016, an annual Walk of Faith by GEBIS Buddhist monks was held. The walk started at around 6:10 am and concluded right after 11 am. More than 200 monks participated in this 19-km walk of 5 hours without rest on the beautiful Confederation Trail, Prince Edward Island‘s portion of the Trans Canada Trail.

Since ancient times countless practitioners have hiked through terrains of mountains and rivers in search for true reality, and through the hardships and ordeals accompanying such a journey, such practitioners have nurtured their aspiration for enlightenment. A journey as such is thus a crucial pre-requisite for an eminent monk.  With that in mind, this marks the third year that GEBIS has been hosting this Walk of Faith. 

Some monks shared their experiences:

Venerable Zheng said with a happy note, “It felt like my whole body was well worked and my mind full of energy!”  Venerable Feng who is known to have weak stamina even noted that “it didn’t felt too tiring this time, feels like I can walk a bit more!”

Walk of Faith
Each step was filled with positive thoughts and prayers for world peace, which is much needed during turbulent times.

“I was mindful about every step I took, and was chanting and praying all along”, said Venerable Qun.  Venerable Si said, “It was a magnificent sight to see the procession of monks. It was like a river of ruby. Imagine if there were thousands more!”

Venerable Fang also shared that, “It was joyous. Seeing the forest, fields and small animals along the path makes you wonder what my spiritual teacher would have perceived them. It makes you want to try your best to send prayers to them.“

After the 5-hour walking meditation, all the monks who participated felt re-energized and more motivated to work harder towards peace and harmony.

Walk of Faith
Buddhist monks, who were trying to be mindful about every step taken, chanted and prayed all along.

Related post(s) on GEBIS Facebook:

Ambassadors of Peace and Goodwill

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.

2016 GEBIS Open House

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.

Online Registration – May 7

Online Registration – May 8

Please click the buttons above to sign up for May 7 or May 8

12174 Shore Rd, Little Sands, Prince Edward Island
Promotional images

Visit our Facebook page for more information

Spreading the “Rolls of Love”

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.

Learning to live their life devoted to kindness
Learning to live their life devoted to kindness

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, Our Spiritual Teacher

Pursuit of the Noble Truth

Master Zhen-Ru has been pursuing the truth about life and death since childhood. She was born in the Heilongjiang province of China. At a young age, she encountered her first Buddhist scripture, Surangama Sutra, and realized that the answers she sought could be found in Buddhism. This started her journey of understanding Buddhism more deeply. She studied at Mount Wutai, Mount Putuo, and major monasteries. Her teachers include important Buddhist scholars and Rinpoches. She is well-versed in Entering the Middle WayOrnament of Clear KnowledgeFour Hundred StanzasThe Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim Chenmo)The Medium Treatise on the Stages of the Path to EnlightenmentThe Easy Path –Stages of the Path to EnlightenmentGreat Treatise’ Four Interwoven Annotations, and Presentation of Tenets: A Precious Garland.

Meeting Late Master Jih-Chang

Master Zhen-Ru was introduced to Late Master Jih-Chang’s teachings on The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (“The Great Treatise”), and was inspired by The Great Treatise. Her understanding of the text was unsurpassed and she was able to apply the teachings in every aspect of her life. As such, Late Master Jih-Chang appointed her as his successor.

Master Zhen-Ru

Passing on the Teachings

Since 2004, Master Zhen-Ru has applied Late Master Jih-Chang’s teachings and dedicated herself to developing a comprehensive Buddhist education for monastics and laypeople. Master Zhen-Ru has the unique ability of explaining the 2,000-year-old Buddhist teachings in a way that practitioners can easily relate to, understand and apply to their everyday lives in the 21st century.

Over one thousand monks and nuns, and over 80,000 lay people currently follow her.

 

Master Zhen-Ru

Establishing the Five Great Treatises Curriculum

In 2006, Master Zhen-Ru was the key proponent for the implementation of the Five Great Treatises in our monastic curriculum: Commentary on the “Compendium of Valid Cognition”, Ornament for Clear Knowledge, Commentary on the “Middle Way”, Treasury of Knowledge, and A Compendium of Discipline. Through extensive recitation, reading, contemplation, and dialectics, the Five Great Treatises help monastics deepen their understanding of Buddhism.