萬佛聖城中、小學生的演出包括合唱、國樂演奏，女校的山地舞、宮廷舞，與男校的舞獅等。女校學生並在優美的合唱聲中，致贈每位老人紀念品，帶給老人們一份驚喜。美籍老人鮑伯•斯隆和汪達•斯隆（Bob & Wanda Sloan在敬老節後，特地寫信到萬佛聖城，表達對敬老活動的由衷感謝。另一位來賓東尼•杜安（Toni Duan）更盛讚同學們的演出令他十分開懷。
The Eighth Annual Honoring Elders Day was celebrated in October at the various branches of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, warming the hearts of all the elders in attendance during the chilly autumn, reminding everyone of the profound meaning behind the Venerable Master Hua's strong advocacy of Honoring Elders Day.
On October 3, at the completion of a weeklong Repentance of Emperor of Liang, Avatamsaka Monastery in Calgary was the first to celebrate Honoring Elders Day. Over three hundred people participated. The students of the Chines school at Avatamsaka Monastery performed a skit with a cautionary message:
However we treat our elders now, we will be treated the same way by the next generation. The skit was based on a true story of a couple in Hong Kong who had abandoned their parents, but who repented when they discovered that their own children were planning to abandon them as well. The lay Dharma protectors prepared special gifts and raffle prizes for the elders, making it an enjoyable occasion for them.
City of the Dharma Realm
The City of the Dharma Realm in Sacramento, capital of California, also swung its gates wide open on October 3rd to welcome two hundred some guests. Under banners proclaiming, "The evening of life is the finest time; the most beautiful scenes are at twilight," everyone gathered together to enjoy the wisdom of the elders. Each senior was invited to speak, and many exclaimed, "This is such a happy day for me!" One woman of eighty-nine even shed tears of joy.
Professor Wen, currently doing research at University of California in Davis, is in his seventies and is a retired professor from Nanjing University in China.
Professor Wen quoted a line by humorist Yu-tang Lin: "People honor elders not for their erudition or their experiencein life, but for having courageously survived the torture of life's difficulties—wars, natural disasters, and man-made calamities. The simple fact of being `old' is enough for people to respect elders."
The elder Mr. Lu, 100 years old, represented all the elders in cutting a huge cake written with the words, "Evergreen like the pine and cedar." While praising these elders and wishing them well, everyone also prayed that all elders in the world could enjoy such moments of happiness.
Avatamsaka Hermitage in Maryland invited about fifty seniors to celebrate Honoring Elders Day, half of which were not Buddhists. With corsages pinned on their lapels by volunteers, each elder beamed with joy. The celebration began at 8:30 in the morning with
the recitation of the Sutra of the Difficulty of Repaying Our Parents' Kindness, followed by performances. The students of Avatamsaka Hermitage's Chinese school gave several fine performances. Mr. Huang, renowned for Chinese opera, gave exciting performances of "The Celestial Official Increases Life Span" and "A Monkey Named Sun Offers a Peach to Honor Elders."
At lunchtime, the younger laity led the students in serving the seniors, also presenting elders with home-made desserts, causing the seniors to smile continuously and feel warm at heart.
The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, in Talmage, northern California, chose to celebrate Honoring Elders Day on October 17 (the 9th of the ninth lunar month). About two hundred guests came, and students of Instilling Goodness Elementary School and Developing Virtue Secondary School escorted the seniors from their cars into the performance hall.
The elementary and high school students sang songs. The Chinese orchestra gave a concert. The girls performed a Chinese folk dance and a court dance, and the boys performed the lion dance. As they sang, members of the girls' choir presented each senior with a gift. One American couple, Bob and Wanda Sloan, wrote a card expressing their heartfelt appreciation to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas for organizing the event. Another guest, Toni Duan, praised the students for their delightful performances.
Gold Buddha Monastery
On the same day, October 17, Gold Buddha Monastery in Vancouver, Canada held their Honoring Elders Day celebration. The seniors in Vancouver love this celebration, and each year attendance grows. This year an unprecedented 530 guests came.
The program opened with the Praise to Guanyin and recitation of Guanyin Bodhisattva's name, for the sake of blessing the elders and praying to avert disasters around the world. In addition to various performances by the students of Instilling Goodness Chinese School at Gold Buddha Monastery, the Vancouver branch of Tzu-Chi Charity Foundation, the Gaoguilin Lakeside Tai-chi Association, and the Gaoguilin Lakeside Youth Group of also performed. The seniors' reflection was: Buddhists sing beautifully! The numerous performances and the raffle lasted two and a half hours. The guests departed at one o'clock after a sumptuous lunch, with the sounds of Guanyin Bodhisattva's holy name still reverberating in their ears.
Gold Sage Monastery
Nearly two hundred guests responded to the invitation to the Honoring Elders Day celebration on October 31 at Gold Sage Monastery, situated on a hill in Silicon Valley, San Jose. Silicon Valley is known for the numerous talents of its residents, and these talents were exhibited in the celebration.The seniors enjoyed performances by the South Bay Chinese Orchestra and the Boy Scouts, and participated in a sing-along. These activities brought smiles to the faces of all those present.
One-hundred-and-one-year-old Ms. Wu shared her secret to longevity: every day for several decades she has risen early, recited the Buddha’s name, chanted Sutras, meditated, taken a walk, and maintained a cheerful spirit. Dr. Wu, a practicing physician in Silicon Valley, showed the elders some exercises for their neck and shoulders. Another Chinese doctor explained the essentials of good blood and energy circulation. The elders felt the care and concern extended toward them and departed in a happy mood, promising to return the following year.
Gold Summit Monastery
Gold Summit Monastery is Seattle celebrated Honoring Elders Day on October 31. The morning program consisted of recitation of the
Sutra of the Difficulty of Repaying Parents' Kindness. After lunch, there were healthy and entertaining activities. The elders performed everything themselves, acting and singing for their own enjoyment. They performed the
hu qin (Chinese violin), the lotus flower dance, gymnastics, and choral singing of the Amitabha Praise, the Verse of Auspiciousness, and so on.. There was also a raffle. Over two hundred elders gathered at Gold Summit Monastery this colorful autumn is Seattle to celebrate this happy occasion belonging just to them.
Gold Wheel Monastery
Over two hundred seniors celebrated Honoring Elders Day on November 7 at Gold Wheel Monastery in Los Angeles. Excellent performances by Gold Wheel Monastery’s Choir and Long Beach Boy Scouts were followed by a cute musical skit by Gold Wheel Monastery’s Instilling Goodness Chinese School students. A pipa concert given by the laity won enthusiastic applause from the seniors. During a one and a half hour forum entitled “Reflections on Years Past,” the elders took turns relating their personal experiences in learning Buddhism. Then everyone partook of a vegetarian luncheon, and “longevity peaches” and nutria-meal packets were distributed to the seniors as gifts.
Gold Mountain Monastery
Gold Mountain Monastery, situated in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown, celebrated Honoring Elders Day on November 13. This year the program included a special performance: the elders recited various Sutras by heart, including
Amitabha Sutra, the Universal Door Chapter, and the
Heart Sutra. They recited in Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cantonese. Upasika Bai Xiu-yun, who is in her sixties, even recited the
Earth Store Sutra by heart.
Renowned Chinese doctor Mr. Liang Ching-hu was invited to speak on fitness for seniors. Then the elders received souvenirs from Gold Mountain Monastery, including Shurangama Mantra necklaces and walnuts from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distribution Association Taipei, Taiwan
Ever since the huge earthquake on September 21, DRBBDA in Taipei has held daily Dharma assemblies, transferring merit to earthquake victims. The original date set for Honoring Elders Day, November 7, coincided with the Anniversary of Medicine Master Buddha. Consequently, a Medicine Master Repentance Dharma Assembly was held at DRBBDA, with its merit dedicated to all the elders in the world, wishing them long life and perfect blessings and wisdom. The seniors who participated in that Dharma assembly received tape-machines playing the Buddha's name and rosaries as part of the celebration of Honoring Elders Day.
The various branch temples of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA) have all finished celebrating Honoring Elders Day, yet there are still many, many elders in the world who are miserable. Venerable Master Hua, founder of DRBA, taught elderly people the importance of not getting angry.
The Master told them the key to longevity: "If you want to live long, it's not hard. You must always remember two words. 'Patience' is a priceless treasure. People who are patient are naturally at ease. 'Temper' is more difficult. Not losing one's temper is no easy task, but it can be done by keeping a broad outlook and avoiding self-pity. By always remembering these two words, you are guaranteed health, longevity, and blessings equal to the immortals."