A Special Way to Celebrate Your Birthday

The practice of loving kindness and compassion is very important and not only helps oneself but also benefits many others. IBS encourages people to do good deeds on their birthdays and
to celebrate them in a very special and meaningful way. A few years ago, IBS in the USA started a program called A Special Way to Celebrate Your Birthday. This program offers meals, clothing, and shoes to venerable monks and less fortunate people, such as children in orphanages, homeless people living on the street, and people in old age homes in many countries, including Nepal, Sri Lanka, USA, Canada, India, and Bhutan. I am happy to let everyone know that many Dharma Friends have participated in the program. Of course, offering a meal to the Sangha is the most meritorious deed of all. This kind of generosity will bring joy and happiness to those who are less fortunate.

IBS is honored to help organize meal offerings to monks in Nepal, South India, and Bhutan as well as orphans and less fortunate people in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Canada and USA. Your birthday offering will make many families and kids smile and I am sure it will be a meaningful way to celebrate your birthday.

Today I would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to our Dharma friends Poh Chin, Chong Moi and Kate Yang. They offered a meal to more than 400 venerable monks in the Liker Khamtsen of Depung Monastery and the Jangtse Tsawa Khangtsen of Galdan Monastery in South India. They also offered a special meal for poor children in Darjeeling and poor people on the street in Bodh Gaya, India. I would like to thank Poh Chin and Kate for their generosity. May they always be happy and healthy. May they have a long and prosperous life.

If anyone would like to offer a meal to the monks in the Temple, our homeless brothers and sisters on street, or people living in old age homes, please contact IBS on Facebook and we will be very happy to help organize it. Again, many thanks to Poh Chin, Chong Moi and Kate Yang for their loving kindness and compassion. We wish them a very, very Happy Birthday. Amituofo _()_



   Never in my life would I have imagined that I would be so fortunate to receive the teachings of Venerable Xian Zhong, nor that I would be asked by him to write a book with him.  When I first became a Buddhist, my only focus was on learning the essentials, but that soon grew to a strong desire to receive guidance from a qualified teacher.  For the past two years I have been hoping for a qualified teacher to take me under their wing and guide me on the path and help me to understand the teachings, but for the longest time it seemed as if my desire would remain nothing more than a dream.  Then I met Venerable.

            The date was July 20, 2016; the place, the Chapel on Facility “C”, at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, California.   Up until that fateful day, my only introduction to Buddhist mons was in books, but I was about to meet one face-to-face.  I did not realize at the time that not only would my first meeting be the most memorable, but it would also change my life and open more doors than I could ever have imagined.

            Before I entered the Chapel, many doubts and fears went through my mind.  “Will he shun me for being trans-gender?”; “Will he welcome me with open arms, or refuse to shake my hand?”; “Will he like my writings?”; “Can he answer some of my most pressing questions?” These are only a few of the countless thoughts that assailed me.

            However, the moment I introduced myself, all of my doubts and fears disappeared.  Venerable’s infectious enthusiasm and beaming smile would tame the most ferocious of beasts.  He warmly shook my hand and did not even bat an eye when looking at me.  He saw neither an abomination, nor an inmate, but a fellow sent being in need of life-saving and changing teaching of the Buddha.

            As I sat and listened to him teach, I was in awe.  His teachings were presented in a clear and comprehensible manner, and his knack for employing anecdotes in just the right doses is second to none.  The fact that he is brilliant is evident to all, and his passion for the Dharma is undeniably.  I could feel his sincerity as he pleaded with us to get sincere about our practice so we can help other beings.  This sincerity is something I had not encountered elsewhere, and I was so moved by it that I could hardly wait to get back and practice!

            Near the end of the session, I had voiced to Venerable my desire to enter Sera May Monastic University, in Southern India upon my release from custody, and showed him a packet I had put together containing the curriculum and a lesson I had written for a course I started, and when he saw it and learned I am a writer, he shocked me by asking if I would be willing to write a book with him.  I was stunned speechless.  Did he really ask me that?!  After a moment or so, I stuttered: “Of Course!” And so began our partnership and the beginning of the book you hold in your hands.

            No amount of words can ever fully express how honored and thrilled I am to be so fortunate as I am to be given the privilege of collaborating with Venerable Xian Zhong in a work such as this.  Nor can I ever express how much it means to me to be able to contribute to the wide range of Buddhist literature in order to benefit all sentient beings.  I pray that anyone who reads, hears, speaks, or thinks of this work will attain good fortune and quick enlightenment.  And if there is anyone who desires a teacher such as I have been blessed with, then I encourage you not to give up hope, but to wait for one to come to you.  I hope you will find a teacher such as Venerable.  He is an excellent and brilliant teacher and wonderful friend!



Jose Alfredo
B Yard at Calipatria 監獄










有機會能結緣多好啊,尤其是供养真正需要的窮困人家,功德更是殊勝。为此,我們要非常感恩Rame Chiu,感謝她為孤兒院布施床单与净水器,以及供養僧眾。这个善举不但带給這些不幸者一餐溫飽,也為布施主的生日留下一個永恆愛心的珍貴回憶, 同时也為自己与親友們積聚福德資糧。藉著「慶生福田」这个活动,我們可以在自己居住的地區做供燈、齋僧,为无依无靠的孤儿们布施物资。我們希望有更多的人跟我們一起來做,把這個具有意義的活動大力推廣下去。
為何我們要在這裡說福德和智慧需同時修行?因為一個福德俱足的人,必須是在慈悲心、喜捨心的逐步培養下,日日精進所得。 修行,我們不只是要多看、多聽、多學,還要多做。而這個「做」,說的就是我們不只要修改、修正自己的言行舉止,還有我們的心。培養一顆慈悲喜捨的心,何其重要。我們捨,捨的不只是金錢、食物、財產,還是我們的自私心、傲慢心、貪嗔心。只有將這些阻礙我們修行的負面之心捨去了,智慧便會隨著我們的作為逐漸呈現。當我們智慧與福德俱足的時候,成佛之路,也就不遠了。
我們希望世界上,人人都能本著慈悲喜捨的公德心,為每一位貧困者伸出您友善的手。 這些菩薩功德都是你們自己的,你們也可以通過自己的渠道,隨興辦理,也可以將這個計畫一個接一個推廣下去。愛心就像原野的星星火光,只要我們每個人都本著溫柔心、慈悲心、喜捨心認真去做,這個世界就會變得溫暖。一善以小,然眾善成城。
希望大家都能以最好最適合的生日禮物,送給親友!也希望大家都能在自己生日的那一天,獲得最好的祝福。 再次祝福Rame Chiu生日快樂 ,福慧綿長,修行無礙。


美國菩薩寺監獄佈教義工譚師姐 ShirleyJamyang 由上顯下中法師 帶領今天啓程開展北加州 為三所監獄的受刑法友們傳播佛法。
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請幫助美國菩薩寺 !
菩薩寺地址:9715 Carroll Centre Rd #105 San Diego CA 92126
網上支付善款:支付寶連線PayPal: www.ibstemple.org/donate
電郵: zhongibs@hotmail.com
WeChat ID: Xianzhongshi
Line ID: shixianzhong