Venerable Jan Hai, President of Texas Buddhist Association, then gave a brief introduction to the Noble Eightfold Path – the eight ways to end suffering as taught by Buddha:
Afterwards, the Bodhi Choir, led by its new conductor, Ms. Jan, also performed two melodious songs for the attendees.
Next, Mr. Rawls, who had volunteered to stir-fry the day’s meals that morning, shared his experiences in studying Buddhism. He feels that he had found his “Pureland” in Jade Buddha Temple. He briefly talked about his journey from a youthful gospel preacher to a Buddhist disciple. Many years ago his friend had introduced him to Jade Buddha Temple, which eventually led him to take the Three Refuges there as well. He is thankful to have guidance for meditation, the opportunity to volunteer, and the opportunity for him and his family to have peaceful retreats. He is also very grateful to have such a warm community of members and venerables at the temple.
Venerable Hung I, Vice President of Texas Buddhist Association also had a few words for the members on this special occasion. He spoke of the need to “quantify” our compassion and loving-kindness as much as possible. This can be done through both words and action. For example, through words, one can always praise children when they have done well, or through action, one can always spend time interacting with them.
The Assembly concluded at noon. The venerable led everyone in dedication merits, sent everyone off with their well wishes, and invited the attendees to enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal in the courtyard afterwards.