|The Buddha's Light International Association, New Jersey chapter|
On November 26, 1997, IBPS NJ received certification from Master Hsin Yun and was officially established. Since the first members' meeting on February 1, 1998 we have deeply understood Master Hsin Yun¡¦s ideal of ¡§Humanistic Buddhism¡¨. The members of IBPS have upheld those ideals by contributing energy, time, and wisdom, and actively practicing Buddhism in everyday life, with the goal of purifying the world in mind.
With leadership from the temple and IBPS executives and officers, the NJ Chapter established group understanding and cooperation with Buddhism as its foundation. IBPS NJ had held many activities such as gatherings for members to expand themselves, exercise compassion, and lead society to purity. There are three main types of activities:
IBPS NJ holds lectures on Buddhism at East Brunswick, Piscataway, Highland Park, Holmdel, and Manalapan, and has established the YAD (Young Adult Division) and five study groups. Other classes include: Buddhist lectures, health lectures, vegetarian cooking classes, floral classes, Tai Chi classes, Cantonese classes, and Chinese computer classes. Other educational activities include the annual youth music camp at Deer Park, instrument and choral concerts , all held in the wish to purify the mind through music.
2. Social Gathering:
We hold monthly birthday celebrations, picnics, and special holiday celebrations. Some notable activities include the Chinese New Year Celebration, the Buddha¡¦s birthday celebration, and the Mother¡¦s Day celebration. We also hold special meal events, for example moon cake for Mid-Autumn festival, hot pot for winter solstice, and thanksgiving dinner for students are each held annually. Other events include wedding and funeral services.
3. Information and publicity:
A bi-monthly publication with articles and an informational web site (http://www.ibps.org/newjersey).
Since its founding, IBPS NJ has actively promoted Buddhist education in various forms with the aim of attracting more people into Buddhis practice. These activities have always won the approval of the parent association, and won the "Award for the promotion of education" in 2002. In recent years, IBPS NJ has blended well with the local community and is praised by the many nearby residents. The Youth Orchestra won the Art Award presented by Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission in 2006. This became the first New Jersey Youth Orchestra to win the Arts Award. At the same time, in October of 2006, the NJ Chapter performed in front of hundreds of other chapters across the world and won an ¡§Excellence Award¡¨ from the parent association.
We are not simply content with these achievements, but are filled with a sense of greater responsibility and the desire to achieve higher goals. We will continue to support the service and encourage research into Buddhism, through cultural and educational undertakings, organizing social services, developing of Buddhist education, and working to build a pure land. We wish to deeply root the Master¡¦s ideal, ¡§Make Buddhism life, make life Buddhism,¡¨ in New Jersey.