Do we even know that we are part of the making of Buddhist history with our lineage masters in this era?
I never thought I have the privilege to be part of such an awesome era in time!
But what is our motivation behind pursuing Buddhism?
It would be to benefit all sentient beings by sharing the magnificent teachings of Buddha so that all would be able to attain ultimate happiness.
The next question is how do we propagate dharma?
As a lay person, many would agree that we would have to learn and practice well. After which it would be to share the life changing ability of the teachings towards positivity and happiness.
The essence of propagation involves the Sangha.
Thus, it is important that the Sangha establish a good relationship with the community that they are in.
拓荒 Breaking Ground
The Venerables who are the Sangha’s Public Relations Department of Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute (GWBI) shared about their journey to start from a totally new place, a new culture and harsh weather.
It took a lot of effort to eliminate of the fear, worry and defence of the local people to such a huge group of Sangha in their community.
The Venerables (起祥法师，法述法师) questioned themselves about their assigned duties. As an ordained nun, they have to still connect with the outside community while their initial hope was to be in a serene environment to learn the Dharma diligently and practice. They had their internal struggle at the beginning.
They needed their hearts to buy-in to their role and be passionate in completing their mission.
In the carrying out of their duties, walking in the hustling and bustling Toronto city, the Venerables thought of how our Master Jih-Chang went around the globe to spread the wisdom of the Dharma.
And he did this alone with a courageous and compassionate heart! A warrior, unafraid of the unknown and the unfamiliar.
The Venerables felt that they were walking the path taken by our lineage master! They were immensely thankful and moved.
Gratitude filled their hearts that our Master led the way and cleared the initial obstacles for them and now they are finally ready and fuelled to continue the legacy of our Master and our Teacher with this learning journey of Public Relations.
Our Teacher Zhenru also shared with the Venerables about the importance of Public Relations.
What do you think is the key performance indicator of the Public Relations of the Sangha?
I would think that the job of the Public Relations would be to create a good image of the organisation through many communication or marketing channels.
However, our Teacher Zhenru told the Venerables that their job is not to make the organisation look good to others but to try to their best ability to touch the hearts of all sentient beings that they come into contact with.
In this way, the sentient beings will have a joyous heart towards Buddhism, thus planting a virtuous seed in all who will be encountered.
Our wise Teacher Zhenru is so compassionate and wise!
REJOICE AND GRATEFUL!
Relying on the wisdom of the Teacher brings Public relations to a whole new level.
The Venerables felt that their assigned role has become their practice of being considerate. (为人着想)
Our Teacher Zhenru further placed the importance of Public Relations in the setting of its motivation behind all the action.
The key motivation would be to make people want to be virtuous and be part of world peace! It must come from within them that they would want to do this. From the bottom of heart!
The Venerables through their outreach aim to comfort their hearts of the people they meet.
However, the journey is not plain sailing. The Venerables did meet with other challenges in their role. Like the shaking hands with those they meet on their outreach.
It can be rather embarrassing if it was not properly handled.
As a bhikkhuni, they hold precepts and they cannot shake hands with the opposite gender. In the beginning, it was hard. But putting themselves in the shoes of others, to respect others, they sound a strategy.
They made sure that when one gentleman wants to shake their hand, they would show them how buddhist nuns and Buddhists greet, by bowing with their hands clasped instead of shaking hands.
In addition, they would quickly shake hands with the ladies in their presence. But they added the sharing that should the gentleman meet monks, they can shake their hands but then the ladies would in turn not be able to shake the hands of the monks. Seeking the understanding of others is the most important.
当地化 To Bond and Immerse into the Community
The Venerables learned from our Teacher and knew that they had to walk into the hearts of each of the people that they meet.
Another way in which they walked into each person’s heart was to support the green movement of their community.
< Clean the Land, Purify the Heart >
It is a community project to care for the environment through cleaning the waterways. Our Teacher reminded the Venerables that they must have pure motivation behind the green movement.
That would be to benefit all the people in the community including the environment.
As they went about the cleaning, they chanted and blessed all that pass them by.
LINK about their ISLAND CLEAN-UP
成长 The Learning Journey
Our lineage masters have braved through much storm and turbulence to reach us, just to pass the teachings to us and allow us to have guidance to find eternal happiness.
This Public Relations role has brought so much learning and growth to the Venerables.
Mega Rejoice to the Venerables for applying their learning of the teachings of Buddha in overcoming the challenge and relying on the teacher in every step of their mission!
More videos about their community outreach: