Gold Coast Dharma Realm Flower Adornment Retreat
To commemorate the 100th birthday of the Venerable Master, the Australian branch Gold Coast Dharma Realm held a special 21-day Chanting the complete 81-roll Flower Adornment Sutra Retreat from April 28th to May 18th. During this Retreat, we chanted Sutra and sang the Flower Adornment alphabets from 8-10 am and 1-3 pm everyday. In the evening, Dharma Master (DM) Sure explained the second and third Grounds of the Ten Mind Ground. The Event successfully completed on Friday morning. In the afternoon, DM Sure explained the essence of this Sutra. And then, we had the Flower Adornment Repentance Ceremony on Saturday, and we had the Bathing Buddha Festival, and the Refuge and Five Precept Ceremony on Sunday.
Some people say that the VM’s life is like a Flower Adornment king in the Dharma Realm. We are very fortunate to commemorate the anniversary of the VM’s 100th birthday by chanting this Sutra, which is rare and special. Like a magnet, the Sutra sucked sentient beings together. Therefore, the congregation sincerely chanted in front of the Buddha Images in the new Buddha hall of the Shurangama Temple. We paid respect to the three jewels, and attained bliss.
In the evening lectures, DM Sure gave a brief introduction of the Sutra in his first class. He pointed out that the Sutra was not a philosophical theory, but a Practice Manual. In the next thirteen lectures, he explained the Spiritual Practice of the Second Ground of the Bodhisattva. The main focus is upholding the Precepts. Through a detailed study of the ten bad deeds, the Bodhisattva recognized the various kinds of retribution brought about by the misbehaviour of all beings and felt the delusions and sufferings of all beings, thus giving rise to the Bodhi Resolve to save sentient beings. Like a superhero, Bodhisattvas strive hard to practice spirituality in order to save sentient beings, to seek the Dao without regard of their physical body, and to increase their wisdom and power. In the last seven classes, DM introduced various magical abilities of the Bodhisattva and pointed out that these were obtained through the practice of Generosity and Upholding Precepts. These are all the powers and tools that the Bodhisattvas needed in order to save sentient beings.
This series of lectures used a simultaneous translation broadcasting system, so that the DM could lecture without pausing for translation. This is the first time that the lecture was broadcasted live on two platforms, one the DM’s lecture in English through Gotomeeting, and the simultaneous Chinese translation via the YY platform. The Buddhist friends who participated in the broadcast through the platforms came from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Poland, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia. The maximum number of online friends reached 110. Many Buddhist friends have listened to the full twenty-one-day course. Hence, this Retreat enabled us to gather live broadcast experience and achieved excellent results.
On the completion day of the Retreat, DM said that if you have regularity in life, then you would have Samadhi and adornment. If you are wise, then you do not need to be monitored by others and you will naturally be honest, not slack, not break any precept, and will follow the rules. During the Refuge Ceremony at the Bathing Buddha Festival, DM said to the new disciples, they should bow to the Buddha in Repentance as an external cultivation practice, and follow the six major principles as the internal cultivation practice. In this Refuge ceremony, ten Australians took Refuge and/or Five Precepts, this is a great sign that the Dharma has gradually taken root in Australia and is full of vitality.