In this Dharma Assembly at the Beginning of Spring, the Teacher, Susan Duan, specially guided us to take a look at the Mandala before leading us to chant the Sutra; due to the epidemic of 2019-nCov, the Association temporarily closed the setting up of food offering by the audience. Before this, we should never have expected that one day there would be no chance for making offerings, by this chance, we should reflect on the impermanence of things in the world originated from the karma and then initiate the mentality of treasuring to attend this Dharma Assembly.
When chanting “ The Heart Sutra”, “The Great Compassion Mantra” and the holy name of the Guanyin Bodhisattva, everyone deeply felt the wonderful blessings of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
After the chanting of Sutra, the Teacher gave us instruction at our request. The Teacher taught us that all learnings begin with "belief (faith)," "Belief (faith) is the source of the Dharma practice and the mother of merits. It nurtures the roots of goodness." In the Assembly, some students asked the Teacher how to cultivate "belief (faith)". The Teacher explained from the order of the Belief, Understanding, Practice and Attainment (Realization). Only when one applies the Dharma he/she learned to solve his/her problems in daily life and gains the attainment (realization) from the Dharma practice could one accumulate the power of “belief (faith)” in a positive and cyclical manner, and then the “belief (faith)” would gradually take root in his/her mind. Since the students were all eager to learn the Dharma, the Teacher was also willing to teach us by explaining the profound dharma with simple language. During the process, everyone gained abundant Dharma benefits.
In response to the question from the students--- "As a son of the Buddhas, what kind of mentality should we have to face the severe epidemic situation in the external environment?" The Teacher guided us to take a positive attitude to reflect about what the surroundings force us to learn, if we can reflect or learn something, e.g. respect for life, reduce greed and be content, then such adversity itself becomes a place which wisdom arise from. Suddenly, with transforming the mindset, everyone felt the positive power from the sorrow of the epidemic. Finally, after conducting the ritual of praying for the blessings of Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, the Teacher, on behalf of the Association, formed good affinities with the public with the Rice of Merit and Wisdom, praying and dedicating that the epidemic in the world can be stopped soon, and all sentient beings can gain the peace and joy of the inner and external world.
Reflection of the Attendants:
*Thank the Teacher, the Budda, Dharma and Sangha very much for giving us the power of stability in the time of turbulence and intranquility and making us examine the motivation of our "belief" which helps ourselves benefit more from the Dharma and more at ease, then the power of "belief" grows in it.
*I hope I can strengthen my belief and have no doubts, practice exactly what I learned in order to move toward and target the way of liberation.
(more photos of the Dharma Assembly are at http://pureclassroom.pixnet.net/album/set/16612270 )