Venerable Master Hsing Yun's Blueprint for Humanistic Buddhism
Venerable Miao Tan started her Dharma talk by outlining her talk in three parts: “Basic Development of Buddhism”, “How Venerable Master Hsing Yun connects Humanistic Buddhism to the Buddha's original intents” and “The unique ways Venerable Master integrate traditions and contemporary ideas to be appealing in modern times”. She then led her session, “Venerable Master Hsing Yun's Blueprint for Humanistic Buddhism” to some sixty devotees on the evening of 9 December 2017, at Fo Guang Shan Singapore. The Venerable shared Buddhist and personal stories, and a video to invoke interests among the audience. Venerable Miao Tan went on to define the term “Humanistic” with the original Chinese version “Renjian”,“Ren” meaning “Human” or “Person” and “Jian” meaning “Space” or “Time of period”. When combined as “Renjian”, they mean “human society” or “human world”. Zooming in, she touched on the two major schools “Theravada” and “Mahayana” and another division “Esoteric”. With some basic introductions to these schools, she indicated that they are, in essence, the same, as they are the core teachings of the Buddha.
In the second part of the lecture, she emphasized on Venerable Master Hsing Yun's reiteration that Buddha was born, practised and became enlightened in this world. Thus he is the Buddha and saviour here and embodied the characteristics of Humanistic Buddhism. To illustrate more, Venerable Miao Tan shared some Buddhist's stories of “Compassion”, “Wisdom”, “Vow” and “Practice”. She explained that with these principles, Venerable Master integrated with the “Four Immeasurable Minds” to form the motto of BLIA of “Four Givings: Giving others Confidence, Hope, Joy and Convenience”. She then mentioned about the four objectives of Fo Guang Shan that were developed as a result of Humanistic Buddhism. They are: “To propagate Dharma through culture (approachability)”, “To foster talents through education (Dharma propagation)”, “To benefit Society through philanthropy (monastic and lay harmony)” and “To purify human minds through spiritual cultivation (devotee organization, community, support)”.
Moving on to the last part of the lecture, Venerable Miao Tan shared a sixteen-minutes video on Fo Guang Shan's unique way to integrate both traditions and contemporary ideas and it helped to propagate the Dharma through Humanistic Buddhism. She urged the audience to take these examples as the basis to practise, apply and enrich their current lives.
Venerable Miao Tan ended the talk after a “Question and Answer” session, addressing a number of issues on Humanistic Buddhism and daily concerns. She also encouraged the audience to sign up for the English Dharma classes next year and to practise the “Three Acts of Goodness” to achieve the “Five Harmonies”. She left the audience a reminder that Humanistic Buddhism is in fact, the Bodhisattva' way of cutivation.