IBS would like to wish all of our devotees a Happy New Year filled with happiness, prosperity, and achievements.The following is a brief 2018 report of IBS activities in the U.S. that we accomplished together.
First of all, I would like to wish all devotees a Happy New Year. May this year bring new happiness, goals, achievements, and a lot of new inspiration for your life. Wishing you a year fully loaded with happiness. The following is a simple report of the activities of IBS in the USA throughout the year:
A. IBS Prison Program:This project has entered its 23rd year, covering 35 prisons in California, as well as 7 prisons in Washington and 1 prison in Oregon. (I would like to extend my special thanks to the World Guan Yin Foundation for funding our transcontinental flights, rental car and hotel expenditures, that allow us to connect with more people). From Southern California to Northern California, every time when we set off on a new journey, traveled long distances even in the hot summer or the cold winter, we think of the encouragement of the volunteers on the internet all around the world that supports prison preaching with us, it is enough to offset all of the fatigue. With the blessing of Buddha Bodhisattva for all our journeys, we were able to finish our schedule and get back home safely.
(Prison Library Program)In the last 10 years, we started to establish prison libraries, until now there are currently 109 prison libraries and more than 20,000 books. This is to allow the prisoners to have a deeper understanding of the dharma.
(The establishment of the Sangha, Three Refuges Five Precepts)Up to the year 2018, the team has increased to 56 Sanghas, a total of more than 2,400 students have already taken the Three Refuges and Five Precepts. The International Bodhisattva Sangha tries to visit the brothers and sisters as much as possible and encourages them to practice Dharma regularly. And through the Buddhist teachings they understood, they could learn from their peers and when encountering problems that they do not understand, they would record them and ask questions when we visit them.
B. Supporting the Triple Gems：(Meal offerings to Monks and supporting Temples)Supporting The Triple Gems is the obligation of a Buddhist practitioner. Supporting The Triple Gems will help the Buddha Dharma remain in this world for a longer period of time. As a Buddhist, we all should make efforts to support The Triple Gems. The International Bodhisattva Sangha in 2018 sponsored 12 different monasteries with meal offerings and Sangha Dana in Ladakh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. Per the request of devotees, we also arranged chanting service and lighting offering ceremony.We are very grateful to have the support of the devotees from the United States and Canada for the construction of the IBS Sarmenara School in Nepal. In the same year, we also provided support for some rural monasteries to allow young novices to learn Dharma and have better monastic training. In 2018, there were a total of 145 young novices living in Ladakh, India, Nepal, Bhutan and other places who are receiving sponsorship through IBS USA. Hope we have more people interested in supporting monastic training and education. That will allow the Buddha Dharma to remain in the world for a longer time.
(Monastic Long Term Retreat)Offerings to monks in Nepal and Bhutan that are currently retreating by providing some essential supplies, to allow them to retreat without worries. To us as a cultivator it is compulsory to retreat, this is to allow us to have a deeper understanding of the Dharma. In order for Dharma to pass on to many more people, as a discipline, one should offer to practitioners and therefore one day when they finish retreating; those practitioners can pass their dharma knowledge to many more people and help those in need.
(Building Eight Auspicious Stupas )We are currently planning to build the Eight Auspicious Stupas on a mountain in Ladakh region, all arrangements will be finalized in 2019. Wishing for peace and serenity, hoping all sentient beings would lead a good yet humble life. This is also to allow more people to have a chance to get to know and learn Dharma when they see Buddha. Especially before Buddha, they have to worship the pagoda, remembering the mercy of the Buddha with a compassionate heart, remembering the efforts He underwent to refine our heart.
C. Social Welfare Activities:
(Poverty Alleviation)IBS also offers homeless people basic necessities in 8 different cities such as Seattle, Sacramento, Stockton, San Jose, Fresno, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Orange County, and San Diego etc. We also organize birthday meal offerings on behalf of our devotees so that they could do offerings in overseas countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and so on. For the old folks’ homes, orphanages, schools, and the homeless, we would give out food and drinks while for children we would offer basic necessities such as clothes, shoes, stationery, etc.
(Helping Poor Children to go to School)Children are the pillars of society and every parent wants their children to go to school, but not every family can afford the cost. So we lend a helping hand to poor families so their children can go to school and support themselves and their families in the future after they have access to education and training. In 2018 we have already sponsored 8 children for their education cost. We hope that in the future we can help more poor children by giving them education and thus helping them become a useful citizen to their society.
(Reconstructing Homes for unfortunate families)Life is impermanent and due to the fragility of the Earth, the unpredictable climate change, and the increase in natural disasters, it makes the poor families difficult to cope with the destruction of their homes caused by natural disasters. We rebuilt 5 houses in 2018 for families whose houses were flooded and unable to rebuild due to the high cost. Especially thanks to the support of Miao Shan Ling Foundation for working hand-in-hand with us to change the life of a few families to regain back their home. Especially during this winter, as they live in the mountain and now they are warm, safe, and they deeply feel your compassion and love.
(Hospice and Funeral Services)In San Diego, we help the deceased to recite their last prayer in hope that they would reincarnate and be reborn for a better next life. We pray that the deceased will not reincarnate to the three evil realms and will be reborn in the three upper realms to continue their practice.
(I Love You Mom)This project is created to help those misfortunate teenage mothers and their newborn infants for baby products and milk powder. Their unfortunate encounter has passed, let bygones be bygones we hope for the best for them. Hopefully they can regain back their faith in life. As a result of our love for young mothers and their newborn babies, this will certainly enable them to regain back their confidence in no time. Our help and support will influence to grow positive things in their life. We believe that their future can be changed.
There are more and more people who are in contact with me hoping that I can lend a helping hand, however, my personal time and ability are limited. I would like to thank all the devotees from all over the world. Without you spreading love, I would not have finished all these projects by myself. Thank you for the selfless love and care to society, and tirelessly sowing the seeds of benevolence in the communities. Your participation and offerings made all the achievements in 2018 successful. I pray to the Buddha Bodhisattva to wish all devotees a success for the coming year of 2019! Elevate their career to a new milestone! Good health! May all of you enjoy peace and auspiciousness every day. May enlightenment, wisdom, and good fortune be with you.
Lastly, thanks to the amazing online volunteers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Canada, and the United States for allowing the IBS to have the opportunity to help more sentient beings and be able to bond more widely in more places because of your loving kindness and compassion. International Bodhisattva Sangha is willing to work with you all and bring more happiness to the needy people in their life. Everybody is welcome to share it among your circle of friends, let’s work together, hand-in-hand to participate in the IBS upcoming 2019’s wholesome projects! Buddha Bless All! Amitoufo
A. 監獄弘法：已經踏入第23 年，覆蓋了35所的加州監獄，還有華盛頓州的 7 所監獄和 俄勒岡州的 1 所 監獄。（在這裡再次感謝 妙善林基金會資助我們跨洲的機票，租車和酒店等行程費用，成就推動美國菩薩寺越州給予受刑人結法緣）。從南加州驅車至北加州，每次我們攀山越嶺，長途跋涉，抵受着炎夏寒冬，想到世界各地網絡上的義工們鼓勵和護持，得到他們的應同我們所做的監獄弘法，所有的疲勞便足夠可以抵銷了。更感謝諸佛菩薩保佑圓滿我們的所有行程，平安回家。
（建立僧伽、三皈五戒）到今年僧團增至56 個，已經受了三皈五戒的超過2400 人。美國菩薩寺盡可能地去看望受刑人，也鼓勵他們在每個星期或許每個月定期共修，大家通過自己所看的佛學法本，互相學習，增長智慧，遇到有不明白的，記錄下來，待我們去的時候提出問題，我們的到訪便給他們答案。
C. 社會公益：（扶貧濟困）菩薩寺布施美國無家可歸者散佈8個城市 Seattle, Sacramento, Stockton, San Jose, Fresno, Los Angels, Santa Ana, Orange County and San Diego等. 為信徒們籌辦在海外的「慶生福田」活動，跨越國界在印度，尼泊爾，斯里蘭卡，不丹等等，為老人院，孤兒院，學校，街上窮人，布施飯盒，飲品，為小孩子布施衣服、鞋子和文具用品。