"Buddhism needs youth, and youth need Buddhism."
On October 15th, BLIA Toronto Young Adult Division (YAD) held a gathering to welcome new members. New members had the opportunity to get to know each other through ice-breaking games, temple tours, pumpkin painting, and paying respects to the Buddha. They also had the opportunity to interact with the monastics.
The meticulously planned games to help break the ice allowed the youth to get to know each other. Question and answer sessions during the activities allowed new members to learn about Fo Guang Shan and understand Venerable Master Hsing Yun's philosophies of The Three Acts of Goodness and The Four Givings, sparking their interest in learning about "Humanistic Buddhism."
During the "Paying Respects to the Buddha" segment, Venerable Zhi Guan, the Advising Venerable of The BLIA Toronto YAD, explained the history of the temple's establishment and the grand aspirations of the master. She also demonstrated how Buddhists pay respect to the Buddha, such as how to put the palms together, and how to bow, among other rituals. This demonstration attracted many visiting guests to join in on the learning.
Later, Venerable Zhi Guan and the youth shared the humanistic and socially caring aspects of Master Hsing Yun's "The True Meaning of Buddhism" through the story of the "Big Ghost and Little Ghost." They delved into the concept of "no-self," enlightening the youth about the meaning of life. The new YAD members also had to explore and discuss the solutions to some of their daily struggles, such as "how to overcome jealousy" and "how to deal with the challenges of working and studying in a conflicted society."