Unforgettable Christmas Celebration – Goddess of Mercy Temple 2013



In honor of Christmas, New Years and the Birthday of Amitabha Buddha Guang Huan Mi Zong and the World Culture and Art Association held a fantastic Christmas celebration in the newly renovated Goddess of Mercy temple located in Amsterdam NY.


For weeks preceding the big day the team at GHMZ worked tirelessly to prepare the venue and performances. The decorations of the temple projected simultaneously spiritual splendor and holiday festivity. Of note were 3 spectacular new chandeliers, suspended gracefully from the tall ceiling by slender chains and shaped like Vajras, their thousands of crystals reflected brilliant light across the grand hall.




Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi opened the ceremony with a short speech welcoming the guests and the performances then began with a traditional Chinese lion dance. Two regal looking lions, animated vividly by the Lion Dance Team, strutted down the center of the temple’s main hall, paying their respects to Guan Yin Bodhisattva and receiving the spiritual blessing and offering of food from the Holy Master.




Welcomed next to the stage was a Mohawk Indian drumming group led by Edward Wren. Gathered together around their drum, the Voice of the Grove, they graced the audience with a beautiful and moving performance of traditional Native American drumming and chanting.




Another Native American musical performance was given by Erick, who dedicated a soulful flute solo as a prayer for the purity of the Earth and its life giving waters.




Chris, a local Muslim youth, gave thanks for the wonderful performances and told how his travel to the Holy Mountain and the spiritual practice he learned from Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi inspired him. Then, he played an original composition on electric guitar along with the drummer Matt. The piece entitled ‘Wave Dharma’ was peaceful and meditative.




Larry quoted Holy Master’s Dharma speech on “True Liberation” and gave a speech comparing the harmony between Buddhist and Native American spiritual philosophy to the resonance between drums. Larry praised Holy Master for the insight and wisdom he had gained after practicing GHMZ Dharma and making pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain. Larry talked about his Native heritage and the striking similarity between Buddhist and Native American prophecy predicting “a man in a red cloak, coming from the East, will restore the law of the Native American”.




The last performance was a colorful dance, featuring many different traditional costumes from the many different ethnic groups of China. The audience was invited to come to the stage for sharing the joyful moment. One by the one everyone came up the stage, clapping and dancing, drumming and singing together in a beautiful moment of holiday celebration and cultural exchange dedicated to world peace, human health and religious harmony.


By C.J.


Arrival of the Five Gods of Wealth Convention



On the sacred day of the arrival of the Five Gods of Wealth, pious sentient beings from around the country came to attend this rare convention. With the blessing of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, miracles appeared in the region where the convention took place, heavy snowing stopped, although the temperature outside was freezing, everyone who attended the convention felt warm after receiving the spiritual blessings.


The magnificent Hall of Five Gods of Wealth nestled in the Goddess of Mercy Temple, was energized by heavenly blessing. Hundreds of priceless Mani Jewels were piled before the sublime altar of the Five Gods of Wealth, and beautiful flowers adorned this great hall.


With the arrival of Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi, the sacred ritual of welcoming the Five Gods of Wealth began. While the Honored One was chanting the secret mudra, the Five Gods of Wealth, in yellow, white, red, black and green respectively, were descending to the divine altar in the Holy Mountain Buddha Land. The Five Gods of Wealth began to radiate golden blessing of wealth and fortune to the attendees. Numerous invaluable treasures were falling from the space realm to this secret grand hall, reflecting splendid colors in gold and silver.


Starting with the explanation of the supreme affinity between the Five Gods of Wealth and Buddhism which was revealed by Shakyamuni Buddha, the exalted Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi began to impart the Dharma of Borrowing Wealth, Attaining Wealth and Using Wealth, as well as the great root capacity and reasons of giving the marvelous mudra of Five Gods of Wealth to the participants. Further, Holy Master illuminated the fundaments of retaining wealth, and the profound philosophy linking merit and wealth. By listening to His Holiness’ teaching, the attendees understood how to attain wealth and use it correctly.


“The mudra of the Five Gods of Wealth is a great remedy for healing poverty and greed. Those who have no fortune and live in poverty do not know how to use the wealth when they get it; and those who obtain some windfall do not know how to keep it. Therefore they usually become bankrupt soon or even die for the money. Such lessons can be seen everywhere. The Mahayana Buddhism of Guang Huan Mi Zong can help many people who have fortune to borrow money from the divine, to obtain wealth, transfer wealth, and more.” Holy Master expounded.


All the attendees were so grateful for gaining luck in this invaluable event, and having the chance to know the Dharma of Praying for Wealth, which was revealed to the public for the first time. Therefore they prostrated and paid homage to the Buddha wholeheartedly. Wishing for dharma and praying for wealth, they made vows before Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, so that they could use the wealth they obtain to eradicate the obstacles, to benefit the beings, to fulfill their vows and to make contributions to the development and prosperity of the Holy Mountain Buddha Land.


Eye Opening Dharma Class and Cultural Exchange

wm-131105 IMG_9168- (2)


In order to thank the support and help of people from all walks of life, as well as facilitate the cultural exchange of the east and the west, Guang Huan Mi Zong launched various programs for people heading towards a healthy and happy life after the advent of Holy Mountain Buddha Land. Free Health and Longevity Class, Chinese Language Studies and Holistic Weight Loss Class were offered for different needs of people.


The second day of the class was Eastern Medicine Buddha’s birthday, and a grand ceremony was held in the Five World Buddhas Temple. The monks and laymen performed wonderful cultural and artistic performances.


Many local people with good affinity came to the class and listened to the honorable Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi’s Dharma speech, which was humorous, direct and illuminating. Many students were grateful for the compassionate almsgiving of Dharma instruction. Their faces were glowing with rosy color and brightened by joyful smiles.


Ashlynn, 11 years old, came with her mother. Although she had asthma, after practicing the health dharma for 2 days she could double the number of laps she could run during gym class.


Beth’s artwork reflected her mood, always using dark and dreary colors. After practicing for 2 days she felt a lot of trash in her body was washed away and she was inspired to start using bright and cheerful colors in her artwork.


Lorrain had heard of Guang Huan Mi Zong before, and finally she got the chance to learn the Dharma. Holy Master’s teachings impressed her deeply and helped her contemplate the direction of her life. She found the energy she gained had a positive influence on the people around her.


These cultural exchange programs have increased the understanding of Chinese cultures for the participants and deepened the connection and friendship between the east and the west. The Guang Huan Mi Zong Health Dharma, as well as the Seven-Word Mantra, taught by Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi provides an entirely new theory and experience for the students. They were grateful for what they learned and received.


Health Dharma class


The Buddhist culture, Chinese culture and health culture promoted by Guang Huan Mi Zong have caused a ripple effect which can stabilize the society and purify the world. We wish the era when the halo shines upon the world can come soon.



The Advent of Holy Mountain Buddha Land




[break] In the vastness of the universe, the earth is like a drop of water in the sea. In the course of history and evolution, this beautiful blue planet has welcomed an unprecedented age of prosperity. In the Dharma Vanishing Era, globalization is engulfing the world. The earth is experiencing an unprecedented transformation at multiple levels in the transition between old and new ideological trends.

[break] When prosperity and disintegration, war and peace, development and poverty are co-existing, a glorious milestone – “Holy Mountain Buddha Land” is erected on the road towards world peace and religious harmony. In order to realize the philosophy of human health, world peace and religious harmony, and guide the people with affinity towards light and liberation, in the magnificent Hall of Amitabha Buddha, Honorable Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi announced with his clear and pure Buddha sound: “Holy Mountain Buddha Land is born in the Saha world!”

[break] In a blink of an eye, this great news was spreading all over the space realm in the universe; all Buddha lands were shaken by the blissful power! Thousands of beautiful Sanskrit sounds and songs were resonating; splendid rainbow lights weaving through the air shone upon the Hall. The Cosmic Halo was covering the whole pure Land of Bliss. A bridge towards the Buddha Land in the space realm was formed in a second, transcending time and space in the attunement of emptiness and form. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the three thousand galaxies bestowed their blessings with jubilation for this new legendary page in the history of the world.

[break] The flag of the Holy Mountain Buddha Land has arisen, waving in sky above the Western Shrine. Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi made an illuminating speech: “Holy Mountain Buddha Land is a symbol of religious harmony, serving as a cornerstone of world peace and foundation of disseminating Guang Huan Mi Zong’s Mahayana Buddhism. It has proven Shakyamuni Buddha’s prophecy 2,500 years ago – Buddhist Dharma will be widespread all over the world from a virtuous and gracious place. Guang Huan Mi Zong Dharma is like the Ocean which embraces thousands of rivers, and eventually all dharmas will return to their origin.”

[break] Throughout history and across the world, founding a “utopia” is the dream of those who have ambitious hearts. That is a Buddha’s nation. The descendant of Holy Mountain Buddha Land will continue the legacy of Shakyamuni Buddha’s Right Dharma and thus signifies a turning point in history. It embodies profound meaning for the promotion of Guang Huan Mi Zong culture.

[break] To realize a Buddha Land on this planet is the dream of all Buddha’s children. Holy Mountain Buddha Land carries a noble mission which requires the endeavors of all Buddha’s children. It will be an unprecedented time for the Saha world under Mahavairocana Buddha’s light and honorable Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi’s leadership and guidance. Founding Holy Mountain Buddha Land will offer the opportunities that everyone with the affinity in the world has been longing for – opportunity with vitality, opportunity towards achievement, and provide a stage for them to utilize their talents and make their dreams. When the Buddha Land of the space realm manifests in the world, whoever participates in and donates for the founding of Holy Mountain Buddha Land will receive immeasurable merit and incredible benefits.

[break] The birth of Holy Mountain Buddha Land will bring luck to all those with good affinity who were born in this complicated era and glory to all the Buddha’s children who are in this cause. Guided by Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi’s philosophy – World Peace, Human Health and Religious Harmony, Holy Mountain Buddha Land designates Guang Huan Mi Zong Mahayana teachings as its religion; it will unite all virtuous religions, facilitate diplomacy and promote Nine Vehicle Great Perfection Esoteric Dharma, for purifying the world. [break]

By Ru Yin (Translated by Elise)

Amsterdam Buddhist festival celebrates a legend

Colorful production an autumn tradition

By Edward Munger Jr.
Gazette Reporter


AMSTERDAM — People from as far away as Los Angeles and China gathered Thursday at the Goddess of Mercy Temple to begin a traditional celebration that would lead to gazing at the moon.


The temple, the former church of St. Michael the Archangel, was bathed in color both from decorations and from costumes worn by members of the Buddhist World Peace and Health Organization who, like millions of others around the world, consider the Mid Autumn Festival a celebration of great importance.


A table was filled with moon cakes, apples, bananas, candy and chips for the celebration that would follow a two-hour production that included a re-enactment, singing, dancing and kung fu demonstrations.


The festival, which dates back centuries, is rooted in the tragic legend of Houyi the Archer, said Jennie Wong, the organization’s spokeswoman, who recounted the tale in English and then in Chinese.


Houyi noticed the rivers were running dry and the land suffered from drought — likely the consequence of having 10 suns in the sky.


He shot down nine of them with his bow and arrow, the legend says, and became admired as a hero for relieving people’s suffering.


Later, Houyi married Chang’e, a woman considered “beautiful and virtuous” whose company he wouldn’t enjoy for much longer. The legend says Houyi went to visit a holy mountain where he met with a goddess. He asked her for a sample of the “elixir of life” and she gave it to him.


But the goddess told Houyi if he took it, he’d immediately become immortal and ascend into the heavens.


Unwilling to leave his wife Chang’e, Houyi instead gave the elixir to her to hide, but an evil apprentice saw it. That evil apprentice, Feng Meng, found an opportunity to get Chang’e alone and demanded the elixir at knifepoint.


With few options, Chang’e took the elixir herself and began floating toward heaven, choosing to land on the moon so she could stay as close to earth as possible.


Unable to seek retribution since Feng Meng ran away, Houyi instead set up an altar and put all his wife’s favorite pastries and fruits on it, starting a tradition that spread.


After recounting the legend, dozens at the temple Thursday did their part; some sang, others danced.


Lucas Wang, known by his Buddhist followers as Ziguang Shang Shi, offered a blessing at the end of the ceremony and wished all in attendance happiness and joy.


The group shared moon cakes and prepared for a celebration that would include basking under the light of the moon Thursday night.


Photo Gallery



Photos by Ed Munger

130929 buddha_2_tx728_fsharpen


130919 IMG_3446_tx728_fsharpen

Buddhists sing and dance to honor the Mid-Autumn Festival in Amsterdam on Thursday. Sept. 19, 2013.


Buddhists re-enact the legend of 10 suns during a Mid-Autumn Festival celebration at the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Amsterdam on Thursday.