No Watermelon for Ananda

         Ananda and Mahakasyapa were two of the Buddha’s great disciples. One day, they went on a long journey with the Buddha. They walked all morning. By noon, they were tired and thirsty. As they sat under a tree for a rest, the Buddha saw a house nearby with a big garden. There were many watermelons growing in the garden.

         “Ananda, we are all very thirsty. Go to that house and beg the owner for a watermelon to quench our thirst,” said the Buddha to Ananda.

         Ananda followed. When he arrived at the house, he saw a young woman working in the garden. He walked up to her and asked politely, “Good afternoon. My teacher is the Buddha. We have been walking the whole morning and we are very thirsty. Would you give me a watermelon to offer to the Buddha?”

         As soon as Ananda had finished speaking, the young woman shouted angrily, “You leave my garden at once. I have nothing for you.”

         Ananda walked back to the Buddha and told him what happened. The Buddha simply smiled and turned to Mahakasyapa, “Now it is your turn to go and ask for a watermelon.”

      
  Mahakasyapa doubted that the woman would change her mind about giving them a watermelon, but he did not doubt his teacher’s words. There must be a reason behind everything the Buddha said.

         Mahakasyapa walked slowly over to the house. As soon as the young woman saw him coming, her face lit up with a smile. She walked over to him and made three prostrations, and then invited him to come into the garden. She picked the biggest and juiciest watermelon from the vines and offered it to him.

         “Honorable Mo
nk, this is the best watermelon from my garden. Please accept this offering,” said the young woman.

When Mahakasyapa returned with a big watermelon in his arms, Ananda looked surprised. The Buddha turned to both of them and said, “Let me tell you a story:

Many eons ago, there were two monks who were good friends. One day, they went on a trip together. It was a hot and sunny day. They were tired and thirsty from walking the whole morning. Suddenly, they saw a dead cat on the side of the road. Under the hot sun, the dead body gave off a bad smell. When the younger monk saw this, he scrunched up his nose in disgust and quickly ran off. But the older monk walked up to the dead cat and gave it his blessing: ‘May you take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. May you be reborn in a better place. May you attain enlightenment.’ He then found a patch of good soil on the roadside and dug a hole there to bury the dead cat.

That dead cat was eventually reborn as a human. She was the young woman you met in the watermelon garden. The younger monk was one of Ananda’s previous lives and the older monk was one of Mahakasyapa’s previous lives. Because Mahakasyapa showed kindness towards the dead cat and sincerely dedicated good wishes to the cat, the young woman naturally felt joyful when she saw him today, and wanted to offer him the best watermelon without his asking. However, because Ananda showed disgust towards the dead cat, the young woman felt angry as soon as she saw him, and she refused his request for a watermelon.”

After they heard the story, the two disciples learned a great lesson. We should always be kind and respectful to all beings. We should always do things to give happiness and to take away pain and sadness for others. The kindness and blessings we give to others will always return to us.

Reflections: 2016 Lianghuang

傳遠/總監 (English is pending)

這次參加梁皇寶懺時,起了個念頭,懺悔心要誠,消業效果方彰。可是如何忖度自己對懺悔有多真誠呢?自己從這兩點自我要求:

1. 真誠心可以表現在全程參與(拜懺或義工)。這段時間,生活中以參與梁皇為第一優先。非萬不得已,絕不缺席。

2. 拜懺當中,身上總會有痛和酸。把克服酸痛看做是懺悔誠意的具體表現。將酸痛觀想成只是一粒沙,克服它將會滅除恆河沙的諸業障。如此觀想,更令自己安住當下,真誠懺悔。

這次梁皇會上,不禁再度生起深深感恩導師惟覺安公老和尚,設立佛門寺,引導我們入佛門正法。參與佛門寺的各種活動,落實修行,就是報導師的恩。

傳遠合十

Darlene 傳領/研經班/副會長

It was the vision and compassion of Grand Master Wei Chueh, that we have Buddha Gate Monastery, and are able to once again hold this age old repentance ceremony. There was excitement “in the air” and much Chan joy. The assembly wanted to be there and participated sincerely. The monastic and lay disciples, who served to make this event happen, had different areas of expertise yet all elements came together harmoniously. Our practice was deepened as we became aware of and adapted to changing conditions. The thought that went into the preparation of the altar, reflected the beauty and light of my True nature, that realization, being the ultimate repentance. Amituofo, Chuan Ling

Mary 傳皓/研經班/照客組長

The Buddha said, “people have twenty kinds of difficulties:
It is difficult to encounter the Buddhist Sutras and it is difficult to meet the right learned teacher.” With gratitude these are two of the difficulties we do not have. We are here at Buddha Gate Monastery, learning the Buddhist Sutras, learning the Dharma from Grand Master Wei- Chueh’s words of wisdom and teachings, the Abbess and Dharma Masters. We must practice diligently to try and repay the kindness of Grand Master. Grand Master has given us clear instructions on how to practice. Protect and support the monasteries, share the Dharma with others, deepen our cultivation through merits, wisdom and meditation and practice the Bodhisattva Way. To take on infinite suffering and impart great joy to all. Grand Master said with great vows we can overcome all obstacles.

Prior and during the 2016 Liang Huang Repentance Ceremony and 2017 New Year Ceremony I was inspired and moved by the diligent practice of the Abbess, Shifus, volunteers and participants. The ceremonies took place over eight days but preparations started much earlier. Many hours went into the preparation for the ceremonies on many levels with so many details that required attention. We must practice more diligently to show our gratitude, support and protect the monastery and Sangha. The Dharma Masters vows are great and they practice tirelessly to make sure we have a place to learn Buddha’s teachings and practice The Way.

During the ceremonies it was very meaningful to observe everyone practicing together. While practicing with like minded people the assembly comes together in a very special way. As the connection increases to the Buddha Dharma so does the connection between participants. During the Liang Huang Ceremony we make Repentance through chanting the Buddha’s and Bodhisattva’s names, chanting the Repentance Liturgy and making prostrations. We repent for past misdeeds for ourselves, parents, families, ancestors and all sentient beings. We make sincere repentance to eradicate negative karma and obstructions for all. Through making repentance we cultivate compassion. There are so many sentiment beings suffering in all of the realms we must do all we can to help relieve their suffering.

During the 2017 New Year Ceremony we made light and flower offerings to the Buddha on behalf of ourselves and all sentient beings so that the light of wisdom may dispel the darkness of ignorance. We chanted the Diamond of Perfect Wisdom Sutra which Buddha explains and teaches us the Truth and how to practice. The Abbess gave a Dharma talk where she shared Grand Masters instructions how to practice, where our focus should be, to practice diligently and the meaning of striking the New Year Bell. I was very moved when she explained the sound of the striking bell increases the awareness for sentiment beings in all of the realms. It has been deeply moving and inspiring to have been able to participate in such worthy Dharma events. I am truly grateful to be a part of the Chung Tai World and Buddha Gate Monastery.

Amitofo, Chuan Hao

Sue 傳倫/研經班/副會長

For the last 10 years I have been grateful to be able to participate in the Liang Huang Jeweled repentance ceremony. This ceremony from the preparation, to the ceremony of the 10 scrolls, to the New Year celebration lets me see how important it is to come together to create an environment for all to practice and through participation can make positive changes.
Over the years of volunteering, acolyting, and playing drum and bell , I realize how important the details of preparation is to see a harmonious outcome. From paying attention to details of the acolyte schedule to preparing liturgy for drum and bell all make a difference.
Within this ceremony there is opportunity for me to pay homage to the Buddha’s, clarify and cleanse my mind, and deepen my understanding for repentance. To realize what is happening to me good or bad, easy or difficult, I have to embrace it and keep practicing the Bodhisattva path. To cherish this time to review myself from this past year, to recall situations I wish I could have done differently and make amends. To let go of burdens of regret and focus on setting a good cause.
I consider being a part of the acolyte team and drum and bell team a blessing. And this year I was amazed by our new and young members of the acolyte team how they blossomed and worked harmoniously together. They exemplified Grand Masters teaching of Harmony. There was always kind words of support, trust and sincerity and lack of ego throughout the week. These teachings helped build a solid and committed acolyte team.
I am forever grateful to Grand Master for his wisdom and compassion. And for the Abbess and all the Dharma masters for their continued compassionate support and guidance.
Amitofo,
Chuan Lun

Hsin-Yeh 法筵/中級禪修班

Even on top of my senior year workload and college applications, the last thing I needed was more stress. But I still signed up to help out for this ceremony as an acolyte and emcee.

The stress mostly came from being unfamiliar with the procedures. For I have only ever attended one ceremony and been an acolyte for another before. However, I cannot feel more blessed to have the opportunity to work with other acolytes, all of whom were so willing to teach and guide me. I learned the power of dedication; I also learned my capacity–and how far beyond it I can go–to devote myself to something so rare, magnificent, and wholesome.

My time spent learning and working here seems all the more valuable. From this experience, I am inspired by everyone’s effort and will continue to support the monastery in any way I can.

 

Comply with Good

Once the Buddha resided in Niguyu garden located in Kapilavadhu City, Mahanama who was one of the Buddha’s cousins, came to visit the Buddha. He paid homage to the Buddha and sit down.

He raised a question to the Buddha, “The World Honored One, the City of Kapilavadhu is prosperous. There are many people living here. The streets are always crowded. Though I was protected by many guards and attendants from the unbridled animals, unruly people and all different kinds of vehicles, I am still frightened by this chaos. I fear that I will lose my focus on being mindful of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.  A question occurs to me; Where will I be reborn when I die if I lose my focus on being mindful of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha?”

The Buddha told Mahanama, “Don’t be afraid. You won’t be reborn in the lower realms after you die.  For example, when a big tree falls, what direction will it lean toward?”

Mahanama answered, “This big tree will lean to the side where many branches grow.”

The Buddha said, “So do you. After you die you won’t plunge to wretched realms if you have no sins because you abide in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. You are mindful of the Three Jewels day and night. Even when your physical body dies, it’s cremated into ash, or thrown into a graveyard and beaten by the weather; finally it turns to dust and is blown away by the wind.  Never the less, your mind dwells in the right faith constantly and consistently. When you are still alive, you uphold the pure precepts, practice giving, listen to the Dharma at the monastery, and carry out appropriate practices in your daily life. Gradually you meditate and contemplate the profound meanings of the Dharma. You obtain the virtues of faith, precepts, giving, listening and wisdom.  With these virtues and your good deeds, when you body is passing away, your consciousness will head for the realm of peace and joy, and be reborn in the heavens.”

After Mahanama listened to the Buddha’s Dharma talk, he was filled with brightness and hope for his future lifetimes. He paid homage to the Buddha with great joy and left.

Winter Melon Soup

Ingredients:

Winter melon
Brown beech mushrooms
Vegetarian shrimp chunks
Tofu

Direction:
Cut winter melon into even strips. Cut tofu into small cubes.

Bring water to boil. Add sliced ginger, winter melon and mushroom. Season with salt, pepper, mushroom seasoning and brown sugar. Simmer until melon is tinder.

Add vegetarian shrimp chunks, sesame oil and black vinegar. Stir in potato starch (or corn starch) pre-mixed in water to thicken the soup. Add tofu. Bring the water to boil and serve.

材料:

冬瓜
鴻喜菇
素蝦粒
豆腐

作法:
將冬瓜切成大小相同之長條塊狀,豆腐切成大丁。鍋熱將水煮滾,加薑片、冬瓜、鴻喜菇。放入調味料鹽、胡椒、磨菇精。轉小火將冬瓜煮軟。放蝦粒、麻油、黑醋,再放太白粉芶芡,最後放豆腐煮滾即可。

Arhats Gathering

Ingredients:

Broccoli
Water chestnut
Baby corn
Baby carrots
Zucchini
Canned button mushroom
Canned straw mushroom
Ginkgo nuts
Hair vegetable
Vegetarian meat ball
Vegetable blossom

Direction:
Blanch each separately: zucchini, water chestnut, baby carrots, vegetable blossom, straw mushroom, and broccoli.

In heated wok, add oil and ginger. Stir in and all ingredients except broccoli. Stir fry and season with black vinegar, soy sauce, vegetarian fish sauce, and brown sugar. Add corn starch mixed in water to thicken.

Serve on plate. Use blanched broccoli flowers to decorate.

材料:

花椰菜
荸薺
小玉米
小紅蘿蔔
小黃瓜
草菇
鮮香菇
銀杏
髮菜
素貢丸
素腰花

作法:
食材切小塊後,將小黃瓜、荸薺、紅蘿蔔、素腰花、香菇、花椰菜一一用熱水燙過。鍋熱後,加油、薑,除花椰菜外,所有食材通通放入鍋內炒,加調味料黑醋、醬油、素魚潞及紅糖。最後放太白粉芶芡,倒入盤內後以香花菜裝飾圍邊。

Stir Fry Chayote Squash

Ingredients:

Chayote squash
Wood ears
Bamboo fungus
Carrot

Direction:
Remove ends, trim and peel squash, cut into chunks. Slice carrots, bamboo fungus and wood ears.

Heat wok, add oil and ginger; stir in chayote squash. Add enough water to cover the chayote squash then simmer until the water evaporates and the squash is tender. Add wood ears, bamboo fungus, and carrots. Stir fry, season with salt, brown sugar, and mushroom seasoning.


材料:

佛手瓜
黑木耳
竹笙
紅蘿蔔

作法:
佛手瓜去尾部削皮切成塊狀,紅蘿蔔切片,木耳、竹笙切段。鍋熱後加油和薑,先炒佛手瓜,加水煮開後,轉小火慢煮至軟,再加黑木耳、竹笙、紅蘿蔔,放調味料鹽、紅糖、香菇精即可。

Bean Curd Wrap

Ingredients:

Shitake mushrooms
Golden needle mushrooms
Bamboo shoots
Sesame seeds
Bean curd sheet wraps

Direction:
Stir fry shitake mushrooms (shredded), golden needle mushrooms, bamboo shoots (shredded), and sesame seeds together. Season with white pepper, hot oil and vegetarian oyster sauce.

Cut bean curd sheets into triangles. Place ingredients in bean curd sheet and wrap tightly. Minimize air pockets, which could expand and open the wrap during cooking. Seal with flour paste (flour mixed with water).

Dip wrap in batter (2/3 flour, 1/3 potato starch, little canola oil and water mixed well)

Fry until golden brown and arrange on serving plate.

Sauce: Stir fry oil, soy sauce, water, vinegar, sugar, black pepper, hot oil, and PonZu Citrus Seasoned Soy Sauce until fragrant. Pour sauce over the finished wraps and serve.

材料:

香菇
金針菇

芝麻
齋鮮腐皮片

作法:
香菇泡軟切絲,和金針菇、筍絲一起先炒過,加調味料白胡椒粉、油、素蠔油。將鮮腐皮片切成三角形狀,包入上項炒過的食材,並將多餘空氣擠出,用麵糊固定(麵粉加水),以免炸時腐皮包會破裂。用2/3杯麵粉,1/3杯蕃薯粉、葵花油、水混合成麵糊。將每個腐皮包均勻沾上麵糊後放入熱油內炸至金黃。取出後將油瀝乾放入盤內。鍋熱加油,放入醬油、水、醋、糖、黑胡椒粉、辣油及PonZu Citrus Seasoned soy Sauce,小炒至所有香氣散出,即成腐皮包醬汁,倒入盤內即可。

Spicy Vegetarian Chicken with Mushroom

Ingredients:

Vegetarian chicken nuggets
Monkeyhead mushrooms
Zucchini
Red chili pepper
Hot bean paste

Direction:
Deep fry chicken nuggets and set aside. Coat monkeyhead mushroom with tapioca powder, deep fry and set aside. Cut the zucchini into chunks. Blanch.

In a heated wok coated with oil add ginger, hot bean paste, and chili pepper. Stir. Add water, black vinegar, and sugar. Stir fry until fragrant.

Add zucchini, stir fry, then add vegetarian chicken nuggets and monkeyhead mushroom. Season with sesame oil and serve.

材料:

素雞塊
猴頭菇
小瓜
紅辣椒
辣豆瓣醬

作法:
先將素雞塊、猴頭菇沾上蕃薯粉後過油,小黃瓜切塊後用熱水燙過。鍋熱後,加油和薑,豆瓣醬、紅辣椒先炒過,再加水、黑醋、糖,炒至香氣散出。放入小黃瓜、素雞塊、猴頭菇一起炒過,加香油即可。

Woodear (black fungus) with Gluten

Ingredients:

Woodear
Gluten
Sugar snap peas
Carrots
Hot pepper

Direction:
In a heated wok with oil, add dried star anise and pepper. Add water, gluten, hot pepper, sugar snap peas, carrots and woodear; season with soy sauce, sugar and oyster sauce. Stir fry until cooked. Add cornstarch mixed in water and sesame oil. Serve.

**when cooking a large quantity, blanch the carrots and sugar snap peas first.


材料:

黑木耳
烤麩
碗豆
紅蘿蔔
辣椒

作法:
鍋熱後放入油、八角、胡椒粉,再加水、烤麩、辣椒、甜豆、紅蘿蔔、黑木耳, 放入調味料醬油、糖、素蠔油炒過。最後太白粉勾芡,麻油即可。

備註:若煮量大食材時,紅蘿蔔及碗豆先用熱水燙過。

Taro and Three Mushrooms

Ingredients:

Ginger
Taro
Red bell pepper
3 different mushrooms (button, straw and beech)
Small cucumber
Gingbo nuts

Direction:
Cut taro into cubes. Slice red bell pepper, cucumber and button mushrooms.

Blanch red peppers, cucumbers, gingbo nut, straw mushrooms and beech mushroom. Blanch button mushroom separately. Drain and stir fry everything in canola oil and sliced ginger. Season with salt, sugar, pepper, mushroom seasoning, and sesame oil. Add cornstarch mixed with water to create the sauce. Serve on plate.

Sautee taro with water until cooked; season with salt. Serve on top of the vegetables.

材料:


芋頭
紅椒
三種菇類(香菇,草菇,長蒂菇beech mushroom)
小黃瓜
銀杏

作法:
芋頭切塊,紅椒、小黃瓜、草菇切片。將紅椒、小黃瓜、銀杏、草菇及長蒂菇先燙過。香菇另外分

開燙過。鍋熱後用油及薑炒過所有食材,入調味料鹽、糖、胡椒、香菇精,芶芡後滴上香油即可。

芋頭分開用熱水煮熟後用鹽調味,在倒入上項食材上。