Venerable Guan Cheng’s Dharma Lecture Tour in Lion City


Translated By Tara Lau

More than three years after the epidemic, International Buddhist Temple in Canada received many requests from Buddhists in Singapore that they were hoping to meet and hear Venerable Guan Cheng teach in person. The Venerable was delighted to honour their requests and deliver Dharma lectures in Singapore in a five-day tour.
In 2018, I accompanied the Venerable to Singapore for a series of Dharma talks. It has been five years and I wonder how much Singapore has changed. With much excitement and anticipation, we embarked on a journey to Southeast Asia to propagate Buddhist Dharma.
We held the Dharma lectures at the same venue this time – Shuang Lin Monastery. There are seven sponsors and co-organizers : Shuang Lin Monastery, Leng Foong Prajna Temple, Kwang Hua Buddhist Monastery, Buddha of Medicine Welfare Society, Tse Tho Aum Temple, Fu Shan An and Pu Ti Buddhist Temple.

Shuang Lin Monastery set up a task force specifically for this Dharma lecture tour. We started our liaison work before departure to ensure a smooth execution. Shuang Lin Monastery also upgraded the on-site audio equipment for better sound quality.
We arrived early on December 5th and were picked up by Lay Buddhist Chen Jin Li’s family. They are very enthusiastic and are indeed the initiators of this lecture tour. They came to International Buddhist Temple in Vancouver to meet Venerable Guang Chen a few months ago. Chen and her son, Zhang Zhi Hai put aside their work and volunteered to organise the lectures. They are very committed to pull it off.
As soon as we got off the plane, we had a lunch break then went straight to Shuang Lin Monastery for inspection. This is the Venerable’s usual practice. He pays great attention to details to ensure the audience can hear clearly. Like previously, the lectures are recorded and can be watched online for those who could not make it to the Dharma talk. Both Venerable Hong Ci and lay Buddhist Si Xin accompanied us on this trip. The filming work was particularly smooth thanks to the high-tech equipment and professional skills of our filming crew.
December 7th marked the start of a three-day dharma lectures. The lectures were given in Chinese revolving around the theme of “Cultivate Blessings and Wisdom through Pure Land Buddhism”
The organizer thought that after the pandemic people tend to attend these Dharma talks online rather than in person. Also, the rainy season coupled with various Buddhist activities in town might affect the number of attendance. To our surprise, all the talks were packed with nearly 500 people on average every day.
The Chinese lectures were followed by another two-day English Dharma talks. The theme was “Practicing Mere Consciousness is the start of a Happy Life”. The attendees of the English talks are relatively younger with average age being under forty.
The audience in Singapore shows great dedication to seek the Dharma. They not only seized every opportunity to ask questions, but not even one person left the premise early either. The Venerable is very impressed with their neat handwriting and attentiveness. Unfortunately, time was limited and he could not answer all the questions.
The enthusiasm of the Singapore audience was very heartwarming. After the lectures, they swarmed up to make offerings to the Master and were eager to take photos together. Many people watched Venerable’s teachings online for many years. They felt very fortunate to be able to meet the Master in person and could not help bursting into tears of joy. Among them was lay Buddhist Guo’s family. They came every day and would wait respectfully for the Master to leave before going home.
After five days of dharma talks, we finally had some time to rest and take a look around town. The Lion City, which we have not visited for five years, is now more lively and prosperous than ever. There are more vegetarian restaurants and of good quality. After a short rest, we left for Bangkok to embark on another journey for protection of the aging buffaloes. We were joined by more than 30 lay Buddhists in Thailand. Two lay Buddhists who are retirees from Singapore were also eager to join. Fortunately the Venerable was able to accommodate their requests which was exceptional.

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