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The Hands from which Our Monastery Rises

“When I first learned about the project working with the nuns, I felt rather uneasy. However, you have turned out to be the best client anyone can ever ask for!” The construction team that designed and built South Lotus Hall for the Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute remarked. The construction of South Lotus Hall took seventeen months, and one might wonder

Blessings from a Pastor

December is the season to give. Although we don’t celebrate Christmas, there is a local tradition where one brings gifts to celebrate a friend or family’s move to a new home. Commonly known as the housewarming gift, this allows one to express their deepest wishes and joy. On December 7th, GWBI’s first monastery building, the South Lotus Hall, opened its

Blessings from the Heart

As you step into the South Lotus Hall where the East meets the West, do you know the secret by the front entrance? “May the sublime teachings remain, may virtuous beings remain, may the Sangha community remain harmonious, and may all aspirations be accomplished.” The Que Ti above the South Lotus Hall’s front entrance bear the deepest wishes of Ahken

Kindness like No Other

“Come in! Come in! Let’s get you all warmed up!” “Live performances downstairs! Please watch your steps!” It was minus seven degrees outside. The nun at the door could no longer feel her nose. Yet she continued to guide guests into the Hall with the same enthusiasm. Amongst the bustling crowd, an elderly man suddenly stopped in his tracks. “Thank

The Great Gathering at the South Lotus Hall

Have you heard the news? A private tour of the South Lotus Hall, for the monastics? The South Lotus Hall is the very first building to have been completed on GWBI’s future monastery land. Part of a ten-year construction plan, it consists of dormitories, study rooms, classrooms, a dining hall, and a prayer hall. Strictly off-limits even for us prior

South Lotus Hall Open House

August 2018 marked the ground-breaking ceremony for GWBI’s South Lotus Hall. After 17 consecutive months of non-stop construction, our new home and very first monastery building is finally ready. Before the big move-in, we’ve decided to share our joy and excitement with everyone through an Island-wide open house. Had it not been for all of you who’ve supported us these

Mindfulness before a Meal

Half a year ago, I noticed how Venerable Earnest would take extra care in her pre-meal offerings. Normally, offerings would come to an end as everyone call out Amitabha’s name at the sound of the cantor’s hand bell. But Venerable Earnest would have her palms together in devout prayers even after the trolleys roll out with portions of food. Sometimes,

The Blossoms of Miracle

Two years ago in the spring time, an old lady in the neighborhood sent a pot of Amaryllis to GWBI as an offering. Unfortunately, on the way to the monastery, its straight stems were broken and two beautifully flourishing blossoms fell off in an accident. Although it was brought to the monastery urgently and placed earnestly in front of the

Heart of Gold

With less than ten days to the annual recitation exam, you’d find someone with their noses deep in their books every corner you turn. An office during the day, the administrative building is brightly lit even at night. Having busied themselves with the monastery’s matters during the day, our senior nuns grasp onto what little time they have before nightfall

Establishing New Perceptions

The night before the annual debate exam, I was seated at my desk trying to complete some unfinished homework when Venerable Faith walked by to remind me to get to bed. “What do I do?” she muttered to herself. “What’s wrong?” Curious, I wanted to know what was on her mind. “During debate class today, I’d offered my point of

Of Stickers and Odd Items

One day, the nun in charge of the monastery’s daily necessities and stationery went through items that had been collecting dust in the storeroom. She carefully rearranged them in front of the Prayer Hall so those in need could help themselves. A roll of stickers caught my attention as I was making my way out. “Fragile”, some warned the wary

The Resounding Melody of Liberation

On the pure land of Amitabha, birds and trees utter sounds of dharma, the vibrating strings of Sarasvati’s zither deliver beautiful melodies, and the celestial drums of the Heavenly King resound by themselves. The celestial melodies, converging in the divine time and space, are rarely known to the mortals. Despite their cravings for hearing the melodies, their wishes can never