Due to the Ontario provincial Stay-At-Home Order in place to combat the worsening pandemic, Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto’s 15th Annual Buddha’s Light Young Adult Scholarship Award Ceremony has been held online to recognize youths who excelled academically and volunteered actively at the temple in the past year. With everyone’s well wishes, the scholarship receivers accepted the honor and shared their experience after the online Dharma Day Service held on January 17, 2021. The scholarship receivers this year are Ms. Iris Chai – a Masters student from the University of Toronto, Mr. Vernon Wang – a Masters student from the University of Waterloo, and Ms. Sophie Gu – an Undergraduate student from the University of Waterloo.
The Abbess of Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto, Venerable Chueh Fan, stated that a series of activities were held for the Dharma Day Celebration this year, including the “Dharma Day Celebration Service”, the “Good Affinity Little Novice Returning Home” and the “Buddha’s Light Young Adult Scholarship Award.” Venerable Chueh Fan thanked all BLIA members and devotees who supported the cultural education pursuits of Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto. Ever since the “Good Affinity Little Novice” activity started in 2003, donations to the Culture and Education Fund have not only helped sponsor Beautiful Life Television, the Merit Times, sponsor Buddhism books for free distribution and the collection of books in the library, but the fund has also awarded scholarships to 3–5 youths annually since 2005. These outstanding youths have then entered different industries and have become elites in the society, who not only make contributions in their respective professions, but also have become members of BLIA-YAD or volunteers in various BLIA committees, enhancing an inheritance of faith.
Venerable Chueh Fan hopes that on the Buddha’s Enlightenment Day Anniversary, everyone can learn how the Buddha observed the law of dependent origination, maintained the right understanding and right views, and understood that our lives can only become different when we change our causes and conditions leading to different effects in life.
Finally, the Abbess share the video that Venerable Yung Kang from Guang Ming Temple of Florida, showing everyone how to cook Laba Congee using a quick pot. Venerable Chueh Fan encouraged everyone to learn how to cook Laba Congee to share with the family as well as the story of the Buddha’s enlightenment.