On April 20, the Venerable Master Hua was invited to join a meeting at the University of California at Berkeley. Chancellor Tian Changlin warmly received the Master and said, "I and my family are all Buddhists. I'm very pleased and honored to see you."
Dr. Glen Bucher, President of the Graduate Theological Union, who organized the event, also took the chance to ask the Master some questions. The Master told President Bucher that the most important values in this day and age are: filial piety, fraternity, loyalty, trustworthiness, propriety, righteousness, incorruptibility, and a sense of shame. These form the foundation of the family.
Nowadays, young people are learning to engage in crimes such as homicide and arson. The Master hoped everyone would realize their inherent, pure Buddha nature and turn back from evil. He said the aim of Instilling Goodness Elementary School is to teach students to be filial, that of Developing Virtue High School is to teach students to be loyal to the country, and students of Dharma Realm Buddhist University should practice humaneness and righteousness, realize that the society belongs to everyone, and strive to realize a world of great unity.
President Bucher thought that since the schools at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas were religious, they had a different curriculum from other schools. The Master corrected him, saying the schools at the City simply teach students the basic principles of being a person. Although there are monks and nuns at the City, they have their own set of practices to cultivate. However, they should still pay attention to the fundamental virtues of filial piety, fraternity, loyalty, trustworthiness, propriety, righteousness, incorruptibility and a sense of shame. If people didn't understand these basic principles, the world would be in great chaos.
President Bucher asked, "So we should teach them these values when they are young, right?" The Venerable Master replied positively, "Yes, we must start by teaching them to honor their teachers and the principles, and to be filial to their parents. There are some students who used to be very bad to their parents. After they came to our school, they reformed and now they treat their parents especially well. The parents are very happy about this. If we don't teach the basic morality to the next generation, they won't be able to learn anything."