On the evening of November 14, Venerable Hui Zhi, Director of the FGS Pure Land Cultural & Educational Foundation, was invited to give a lecture on the “Wisdom of Daily Living from the Vimalakirti-Nirdesa Sutra”. The talk was part of the 2020 Online Dharma Talk Series hosted by Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto and Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) Toronto. Venerable Hui Zhi highlighted the Dharma Gate of Non-Duality from the Vimalakirti-Nirdesa Sutra as it relates to key practices of Humanistic Buddhism as taught by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. The event was attended by 328 BLIA members and Buddhist learners who were captivated by Venerable Hui Zhi’s interesting stories and examples from daily life.
During Venerable Chueh Fan’s introduction, she emphasized Venerable Hui Zhi’s close connection with Toronto, which began in 2016 when he was organizing the “BLIA Cup” University Basketball Tournament. Venerable Hui Zhi then joined the FGS Pure Land Cultural & Educational Foundation, taking the responsibility for construction projects involving Fo Guang Shan temples around the world.
At the beginning of the lecture, Venerable Hui Zhi pointed out that the Dharma Gate of Non-Duality from the Vimalakirti-Nirdesa Sutra shows the perfect harmony of “Events” and “Responses”. “Duality” is the two extreme sides of things defined by people. “Non-Duality” means to transcend that notion of the two sides. Venerable Hui Zhi emphasized that we need to free our mind of discrimination, attachment and emotions when facing difficult circumstances. He used two examples: Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s story concerning the “Non-Duality Gate” in Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Taiwan; and Venerable Hui Zhi’s own experience on the construction of the Sutra Repository. These examples were helpful in enabling us to look at problems clearly and figure out the proper solutions, leading to the true understanding of the “Dharma Gate of Non-Duality” in our daily lives.
“We tend to discriminate against others when things do not turn out to be the way we want, bringing more worries and doubts. Instead we should view them as the way they should be” said Venerable Hui Zhi. Being a Buddhist is not only to recite the Buddhas’ names or to bow to the Buddhas but also to practice “the Buddha’s way” in daily life according to his teachings and to engage in self-reflection concerning one’s conduct at all times. Only by constantly and thoroughly practicing can Buddhists truly achieve “the Buddha’s way”. Humanistic Buddhism as advocated by Venerable Master Hsing Yun demonstrates this practicality of Buddhism.
The audience were delighted by Venerable Hui Zhi’s great sense of humour during the lecture and posted a number of comments and questions via YouTube.
Translated by Irene Chai
Proofread by Gregg Astoorian