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The Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Fo Guan Shan
Over one hundred attendees gathered at New Jersey Buddhist Culture Center on 5/15 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fo Guan Shan. The celebration included the Ode to the Buddha concert and photo exhibits of the past 50 years. Venerable Zhida, South Plainfield Mayor Matthew Anesh, former Council President Derryck White, Councilman Joseph Wolak, and Buddhist Light International Association New Jersey Chapter President Andy Young cut the ribbon for the opening of the photo exhibits.

After Venerable Zhida recited Master Hsing Yun's A Prayer for World Peace, Mayor Anesh expressed he agreed with Three Acts of Goodness and Five Harmonies, and praised BLIA¡¦s contribution to the community. He added that if the Three Acts of Goodness and Five Harmonies could be realized in our lives, world peace would be right around the corner. Council President White thanked NJBCC and BLIA for bringing variety to the community. He brought two of his children to attend this event so they could experience different cultures and religions. 50 year was no small feat to accomplish. Mr. White wished FGS another 50 years of prosperity.

The Ode to the Buddha concert was opened by Venerable Zhida and BLIA Chorus, who sang Song of Fo Guan Shan. All members of BLIA and the youngsters of Prajna Children Space performed with utmost sincerity to honor the Buddha. The performers included husbands and wives, families, and in-laws performing in solos, quartets, and choirs. There was even a rap version of Where There is Dharma, There is a Way.

This is also the 20th year of the New Jersey Chapter of BLIA. A group of seniors over 70 performed Our Buddha is Here. The concert was concluded after the final performance of " My Home is in Fo Guan Shan".


2016 BLIA America East Executive Training Seminar
After 11-year hiatus, the Buddha¡¦s Light International Association¡¦s America East Executive Training Seminar was brought back to IBPS-Deer Park, NY. 20 Venerable and over 200 BLIA members from Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Boston, New York, North Carolina, Florida, and Miami attended this event. 15 members of BLIA¡¦s New Jersey Chapter led by Venerable Zhida and Chapter President Andy Young participated and took care of multiple duties in the seminar.

The schedule of the seminar was hectic, but the content was rich. Venerable Yi Lai from Taiwan talked about how to enhance the value of life by serving others. Venerable Yung Gu talked about Humanistic Buddhism and the expansion of BLIA. Venerable Jue Huang taught a class on writing news articles and taking photos. In the seminar, a Q&A session was held for BLIA members and each Chapter had an opportunity to share their achievements and development.

Andy Young, Yiwen Chiang, Wei CK, and Julie Kong led and guided the discussions. Yiwen Chiang and Joe Hsia also acted as spokespersons. Joe sang Lighting to conclude his speech about the 40th chapter Sincere Confession ¡V My Final Ask. His song touched many and expressed Master Hsing Yun¡¦s vow to be compassionate and bring happiness to all well. Yiwen shared and encouraged all with the phrase of Follow the Solemn of Buddha¡¦s Light and Achieve Buddhahood in the Blissful Mountain.

As Venerable Yi Lai said, volunteers beautify the world with love and kindness. Serving as volunteers to carry out Bodhisattva¡¦s Path is the true meaning of practice. One can also improve the value of life by volunteering. Members of BLIA NJ Chapter have fulfilled these words of Venerable Yi Lai in this Executive Training Seminar by serving others willingly and happily.

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