MV Dhamma Fellowship’s Vesak Day 2013 Celebration, a New Milestone

MV Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF) celebrated Vesak Day 2013 with a new milestone-an expanded recruitment exercise. In addition to recruitment for Sunday Dhamma Classes (for both adults and children) and the Youth Group as was done  in previous years (refer to link http://edhamma.net/?p=1541,  we launched the “MV Dhamma Fellowship Recruitment ” exercise targeted at devotees who are interested in our newly initiated courses/programmes that are conducted in  English by MVDF or in Mandarin under the Mandarin Buddhist Studies Fellowship (MBSF).

Setting up registration booth for enrolment of classes
or courses or programmes conducted by MVBT, MVDF and MBSF

 

New Programmes and Events

MVDF kick started the year 2013 with  a session on chanting of the ‘Maha Satipatthana Sutta’ led By Bhante Raja on January 20th and subsequently to be held  on the 3rd Sunday of each month.

Bhante Raja leading the inaugural chanting session of
Maha Satipatthana Sutta on January 20th 2013, with the book compiled
by him, printed by the Fellowships

This Sutta, compiled by Bhante Raja together with dedicated student members from the Mandarin and English classes, was printed in three languages – in Pali and  with English and Chinese translations.  Believed to be the first of its kind, it was launched concurrently.

Maha Satipatthana Sutta in tri-languages,
believed to be first of its kind printed by the
Fellowships, was also concurrently launched

 

The book which  is used for the chanting sessions  was given out free to interested devotees  at the booth set up for the free distribution of Dhamma books.

Dhamma books for free distribution at the booth include titles like
Comprehensive Instructions on Mindfulness Meditation, An Outline of Four Foundations of Mindfulness, Vipassana Meditation Instruction, Maha Satipatthana Sutta, and The Benefit of Walking Meditation printed by the Fellowships

 

From March 3rd, Brother Lim Lee Hock from  the Spiritual Support Group conducted practise sessions on ‘Chanting & Blessing for the Sick’. This session is held  on Wednesday evenings (7.45-9.00pm)  and on the 1st Sunday of the month (3.00-4.30pm) till end on June 2013.

Another new course, “Buddhism in Daily Life” (http://edhamma.net/?p=2089) made its debut on the March 18th with an enrolment of more than 50 attendees. This course, facilitated by Bhante Raja, Bhante Cakkapala and Brother Raymond Yow runs on Mondays evenings from 7.30-9.30pm.

Chatta Vimana Gatha chanting during “Buddhism in Daily Life” English Dhamma Class, a course on theory and practice in the Teachings of the Buddha

 

Two more events in the pipeline and scheduled to launched in July are the ‘Sutta Reading Club’ on Saturdays with Bhante Raja as the facilitator and ‘Sutta Study Class’ on Wednesday  facilitated by Bhante Cakkapala.

For publicity, two new bi-lingual banners announcing the “Buddhism in Daily Life” course and the Mandarin Buddhist Studies course were printed and strung on the perimeter fence  of the temple fronting the main road.

One of the two banners “Buddhism in Daily Life” in English and
“Mandarin Buddhist Studies” in Chinese strung across perimeter
fence wall of MVBT

 

Growth of MVDF

A significant event in the development in MVDF is the formalisation of an Associate Membership in the meeting held on May 12th to admit students and attendees of other courses or programmes and who are not students of MV Sunday Dhamma Classes. The status quo of an Ordinary Member, restricted to graduate students and current students of the YMBA class became anachronistic with the addition of new courses or programmes to the curricula.

Another chapter added to the milestone was the inaugural joint meeting of MVDF with the Mandarin Buddhist Study Fellowship (MBSF) held on April 14th to share a common platform to  foster common interests and share  activities.  (Refer to link: http://edhamma.net/?p=2167  “Flash News! An Alliance of Two Dhamma Fellowships”).

Inaugural joint meeting of MVDF with MBSF on April 12th attended by
Chairman of MVBT (second from the left), added new chapter to the milestone
in the progress of the two Dhamma Fellowships, to share a common platform
and fostered identical interests and activities

 

A fruitful result of the corroboration is the printing of a bi-lingual brochure in English and Chinese, entitled “Dhamma Fellowship Activities”. This flyer which lists  the classes, courses, activities and programmes conducted in English and Chinese under the auspices of the respective Dhamma Fellowship,  was  distributed to devotees and visitors who thronged the temple ground on Vesak Day.

Corroboration between MVDF and MBSF resulted in the printing of bi-lingua
brochure jointly in Chinese…..

…… and English to showcase the classes, courses and programmes
conducted by the two Fellowships

 

Fertile Ground for Recruitment

As with any other Buddhist monasteries, temples or centres, Vesak Day celebration is the most significant event in the Buddhist calendar as it marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha. This celebration  which attracted large numbers of devotes and visitors who came to Mangala Vihara Buddhist Temple for puja, blessing and Dana lunch,  is also  a fertile ground and golden  opportunity for us to recruit people for our Sunday Dhamma classes, Youth Circle, Buddhist courses and other programmes.

The crowd that thronged the temple ground offered fertile ground
and opportune time for recruitment

 

Registration stations were  jointly set up for enrolment of English and Chinese courses / programmes offered by the respective Fellowship.

No hard selling tactic or coercion but enthusiasm in recruitment by MBSF volunteer

Enrolment by candidates eager for Buddhist knowledge and practice in progress

 

Lord Buddha after attainment of Enlightenment and having observed the first vassa-residence at Isipatana, Migadăya sent his sixty disciples to preach the Dhamma, “Bhikkhus, there are many beings, such as devas, humans and Brahmas, who have little dust of impurity in their eyes of wisdom. Through not hearing the Dhamma, they will suffer a great loss of the extraordinary Dhamma which is the Path and the Fruition” (Maha Vegga, 19 – 20).

The Dhamma Fellowships will relentlessly help to propagate the Dhamma jointly in every possible way as “the gift of the Dhamma excels all other gifts” (Dhamapada Verse 354).

However, with better support from student members, teachers, devotees and MVBT management committee we can expect the Fellowships to soar to greater height in their endeavours.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

English Dhamma Class &

Associate Member, MVDF

May 24th 2013

 

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