THE GILDING OF KUAN YIN
How did this happen? What wonderful response was this to the sincere recitation of the Bodhisattva's name? It was, of course, the "Taking apart and moving to the workshop in preparation for gilding" response, for Wong Tai Sang and his family had come from Hong Kong to gild the sixteen-foot high Kuan Yin image that adorned the hall where the recitation session was taking place. They arrived in the middle of the session and with great vigor immediately set to work. In one morning, with the entire family working on various levels and heights of ladders, the statue swiftly disappeared. It was truly an amazing experience for the meditators to open their eyes and discover that Kuan Yin had only sixteen arms, then to return to the hall after walking, circumambulating buildings and reciting Kuan Yin's name, to find that instead of ten heads, she was reduced to one. And then the circle was completed and the one returned to zero as a crew of the residents hauled the massive statue to its new home, the Ten Thousand Buddha Hall.
There, Wong Tai Sang and his family began the long process of sanding and preparing for the gilding of the image. In this age of far-flung families with spider-thin connections, children who don't
Master craftsman Wong Tai Sang at work
their parents and old people dying lonely in a nursing home, the Wong family
is a marvel to behold—three generations work happily,
side-by-side, grandparents directing, son and daughter-in-law
and grandchildren assisting.
In the meantime, a new home is being prepared for the Kuan Yin image, the 10,000 Buddhas Hall. The walls will be lined with 10,000 Buddha images, donated by benefactors.
Wong Tai Sang is a unique master of Buddha image carving. His is the only shop in the world producing the traditionally glided, carved wooden Buddha images. A native of Ningpo, on the eastern edge of Chekiang, the town which traditionally produced the finest carvers of Buddha images in China, he watched the carvers come and go as a youth. Fired, by his admiration of their carving and his desire to travel as they did, moving from temple to temple to work on the images, he was determined to become a carver himself, and at age fifteen became an apprentice in a shop. In his many decades of practice, he has become a master in the true, ancient sense of the word, producing awesome images that grace temples around the world.
After the Second World War as times became more turbulent in China, he moved his family and shop to Hong Kong where they have continued to carve images. Since then, some of his family has come to the United States and Wong Tai Sang has, this year, become a member of the Dharma Realm Buddhist University faculty. There he will instruct students in the ancient art of Buddha-image carving, in the most traditional manner, so that this ancient practice is continued in this most modern of countries.
Director of Publications: The
Venerable Master Hua
SUMMER RETREATS 1977
The Sino-American Buddhist Association has sponsored summer sessions for many years. Each year a different Sutra or set of Sutras is explained, each year participants learn the fundamentals of orthodox Buddhist study and practice. Meditation in combination with lectures, classes; repentances, and work enables participants to sustain a high-level of intensity and delve deeply into their minds and the nature of the world around them. Room, board and the necessities of life are provided, leaving participants free to explore the wonder of the Dharma in the pure and peaceful atmosphere of a Bodhimanda, a place of cultivation.
This year, the summer sessions will be retreats at the spacious City of Ten Thousand Buddhas located in Mendocino County, California. The first retreat will run from June 26th through July 17th and be followed by a week of intensive Ch'an meditation, open to beginners and advanced cultivators. The second retreat will commence on July 24th and end on August 21st. Another week of intensive Ch'an will be held from August 21st-to August 28th...
In conjunction with the adult, summer retreats, a summer school for children beginning age 8 will be held at the City. Families are encouraged to come and spend the summer together in an atmosphere conducive to harmonious interaction and independent study.
Of special interest to college students will be unit credits offered through Dharma Realm Buddhist University for courses given during the summer retreats. Languages and English as a Second Language-will be taught: as well as creative and practical arts.
Special projects concerning Buddhism in American Society will provide a meeting ground for ideas and plans to bring Buddhism to-the Western world.
The Great Compassion Dharmas of the Secret School will be taught and the powerful Surangama Mantra will be recited daily to insure the establishment and growth of orthodox Dharma.RETREAT I RETREAT II
June 26 Check in & orient. July 24 Check in & Or.
June 27 First day of retreat July 25 First day
July 15 Last day of retreat Aug. 19 Last day
July 16,17 Seminar Aug. 20,21 Seminar
July 17-24 Ch'an session Aug. 21-28 Ch'an session
SINO-AMERICAN BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION
GOLD MOUNTAIN MONASTERY
1731 FIFTEENTH STREET
SAN FRANCISCO, CA. 94103
RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED