The Fo Guang Shan North America Humanistic Buddhism Courses spring semester opening ceremony was held online on March 13. To accommodate students of different languages, the opening ceremony was held in two separate sessions: Chinese and English. More than 500 students and Venerables from various Fo Guang Shan North America branch temples participated in the online opening ceremony.
The ceremony was conducted by Venerable Hui Dong and Venerable Yung Ku, Dean and Deputy Dean of Fo Guang Shan North America Humanistic Buddhism Courses respectively. In his speech, Venerable Hui Dong indicated that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were unable to attend the classes at the Fo Guang Shan North America temples in person. However, this extraordinary condition led to the establishment of the North America Humanistic Buddhism Courses. Venerable Hui Dong thanked all the Venerables, administrators, and volunteers in the United States and Canada for their collective creations. Because of the extraordinary support of all North American Monastics, the milestone of today’s opening ceremony could be accomplished.
In the ceremony, an online solemn presentation was arranged to offer “letter of appointment’ to all teachers. To provide more complete and systematic learning opportunities, the courses in the spring semester provided three languages: Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Fourteen robust and diversified courses cover both "Theories of Buddhism" and "Practice of Buddhist".
Venerable Yung Ku pointed out that the establishment of the Fo Guang Hub and the implementation of online courses are "Opportunities that arise in rare moments in time" because it is not easy to invite so many Venerables throughout Fo Guang Shan temples in North America to teach the courses and they are all excellent and qualified teachers. Venerable encouraged students to cherish the opportunities, study diligently, and treasure the compassion of all teachers.
At the end of the English opening ceremony session, Venerable Miao Guang, Deputy Chancellor of the FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism also welcomed students through video. Venerable Miao Guang wished students could learn and grow in Buddhism. She pointed out that it is a valuable opportunity and wishes everyone seize the opportunity to study hard.