Venerable Master Hua has given many talks about the importance of Shurangama Mantra in the Dharma-ending age. All heavenly demons, externalists and monsters are most fearful of the Shurangama Mantra. The Shurangama Mantra is a sacred mantra which dispels the demons and protects the proper Dharma. The Shurangama Sutra was spoken for the Shurangama Mantra and it is the heart of Buddhism. A person without bone marrow
will die. Similarly, the Dharma will become extinct without the Shurangama Sutra. Therefore, in the Dharma-ending age, the best way to protect proper Dharma is to recite the Shurangama Sutra and to memorize Shurangama Mantra. Not only do we need to recite both fluently, but also we should express the wondrous purpose of the Shurangama Sutra and convey them to all sentient beings.
To carry out the teaching of Venerable Master Hua, Avatamsaka Vihara held a successful 24-hour Shurangama Mantra Recitation Dharma Assembly for world peace. It started at 8:30am on January 1, 2017 and lasted till 8:30am, January 2, 2017. Reciting the Shurangama Mantra 24 hours without interruption presents a physical challenge for anyone, as well as a test of their samadhi.
To ensure everything went smoothly, the Dharma Masters prepared sufficient hot water, soft drinks, fruits and dried fruits for refreshments. In addition, the Dharma Masters and dharma friends prepared in advanced delicious vegetarian buns and Eight-Treasure porridge, to help reduce the meal time, enable quick turnaround, and maintain high concentration for the recitation.
Although most of the Dharma friends who stayed until the end felt a bit tired, they thoroughly enjoyed the recitation and were filled with Dharma joy of this boundless merit. After the assembly, they cheerfully exchanged their thoughts with one another and discussed the experience with the Dharma Masters. They all stayed for the group photo to commemorate the assembly. At the end, each Dharma friend who stayed for the entire time was presented with Shurangama Mantra water and an amulet. The Dharma Masters wished them joy and peace and progress on the path of cultivation.
We hope you will join us next year for this commendable Shurangama Mantra Recitation Dharma Assembly. We will transfer the merits to all sentient beings in the Dharma Realm and pray for world peace. Wish you Dharma peace and joy and may we quickly attain Buddhahood together.
"Concert for Compassion" featuring world-renowed pianist Gwhyneth Chen was held on October 1st, 2016 at Avatamsaka Vihara. The piano concert was a great success! Several Chinese reporters from different newpapers came to report on the event. Below is a translation of the article posted on worldjornal.com. Read the original Chinese article here.
World Journal Network
Avatamsaka Vihara, a Branch of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association in Maryland, hosted a "Concert for Compassion" featuring world renowned pianist, Gwhyneth Chen in October. More than four hundred audience enjoyed this musical feast despite the pouring rain.
Gwhyneth Chen planned to fly from New York to Washington DC for the performance that day. However, she had to take the train due to the stormy weather. She arrived at Vihara about thirty minutes before the concert started.
At the opening of the concert, Dharma Master Heng Je at Vihara gave a speech. She hoped that through this event, we would be able to find the common ground between Buddhism and western music, which in turn would help to provide western youngsters a better understanding about Buddhism. Before the performance, Priest Charles Gibbs recited his own poetry, accompanied by a guitar play of Dharma Master Heng Sure.
Then, Gwhyneth Chen debuted her musical masterpiece. Although the travel ordeals created enormous stress, she decided to challenged herself with twelve Transcendental Etudes of Liszt, a ninety-minute masterpiece which was as difficult as Himalaya peak for all piano soloists. It is understood that Gwhyneth Chen is the one of the two female pianists in the world who can perform twelve Transcendental Etudes of Liszt in one take.
For any virtuoso, performing this Liszt masterpiece presents a serous test of musical skill, physical strength, courage, and equanimity power. At the end of the concert, the audience applauded enthusiastically for a quintessential performance and her courageous act to challenge the limit.
After the concert, Gwhyneth Chen mentioned that this was the most difficult yet successful recital she had ever performed. She felt that the audience were fully engaged with her performance and together, they submerged into the deepest and the most wondrous place of their memory.