News from the Dharma Realm
HONORED IN A TWO-WEEK MEMORIAL SERVICE AT THE CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
December 10th marked the opening of an unprecedented two-week Memorial Service at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The Kuan Yin Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas became a meeting ground for people of all religions to gather in memory and support of the late Paul Cardinal Yu Pin, the late Mayor George Moscone, and the late Supervisor Harvey Milk. Merit from the services was also transferred to those deceased from accidents and disasters from time without beginning.
The ceremony proper, held on both the 10th and the 17th, was direct and simple. Participants began by making three bows from the waist out of respect for the late Cardinal, followed by three minutes of silent prayer in memory of all. Everyone was then seated while sangha and laity, officials and populace, eulogized the late Cardinal Yu Pin.
Honored guests from San Francisco included Chinese Consul General Chao Hung Shen, Reverend Li Ch'un Yuen, Mr. Liu Po Ch'i, and Professor Chao Pei Wen who gave a moving summary of the Cardinal's life.
Some spoke of His Eminence's beneficence in helping thousands of young people finance their higher education. Others recalled his diplomacy and broadminded approach to problem solving. Most of all, people remarked about the Cardinal's long-term goal of uniting all religions. Toward this aim, he had taken a strong interest in Dharma Realm Buddhist University and was Director and Head of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas' World Religions Center. The intent of the Center is to serve as a place for investigating the best aspects of each religion and then working to adapt and incorporate this new-found strength into the framework of other religions, so that all grow in scope and are naturally unified. As Master Hua once remarked to Cardinal Yu Pin, "You should become a Buddhist" among the Catholics and I should become a Catholic among the Buddhists." It is that bold and open-minded amalgamation that was also Cardinal Yu Pin's heart's desire. Inherent in everyone's message was the determination to carry on this important work which the Cardinal devoted his life to--to see to active steps to bring religions in harmony so that union of true principles can guide the world to find peaceful means to benefit humankind.
From the 10th to the 24th of December, Buddhist disciples and friends of the Dharma recited the name of Amitabha Buddha every day from services beginning at 4 AM through to the Great Transference of Merit which ended at 10 PM. At the end of this two-week recitation session formal ceremonies were held to dedicate the merit to all those deceased being honored in this historic memorial service.