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November 2, 2019, True Buddha Communication and Sharing Seminar (2)
On the 2nd of November 2019, the international True Buddha Federation conducted True Buddha School’s 【Training and Religious Affairs Forum for all levels of Dharma Propagators and Dharma Unit Principals 】at Malaysia’s “Ben Ran” Education Building. The Forum opened with Master Lianhua Cheng-zu’s welcoming speech at 10 a.m. and at the same time, he promoted the 《True Buddha Federation Booklet 》that detailed the fruits of True Buddha Federation’s planning and execution for the past two years.
#Report by Master Lian-tai, Head of Public Relations Department
The Public Relations department is entrusted with seven primary responsibilities covering the welfare of and funding for the Sangha. These include daily needs of the Sangha, medicinal and medical subsidy, hospice care, columbarium, posting at dharma units, Buddhism training and development, psychological counselling, management of reception etc. According to the latest figures, there are a total of 64 True Buddha monks in U.S.A., 183 in Taiwan, 86 in Malaysia and 33 in Indonesia. The True Buddha Foundation is promoting a monk adoption programme at a sponsorship of USD10 per month. It is the master’s wish that all feedback and opinion be forwarded to the True Buddha Foundation. The Sangha Welfare Fund is also used for education and training, apart from medical subsidy.
#Report by Master Lian-yue, Head of Communications Department
The master introduced the central communication channels for the True Buddha School, which comprise True Buddha News Weekly, the Enlightenment Magazine and the TBSN True Buddha School Net. She regarded everyone as a member of the Communications department, as everyone should play an active role in propagating True Buddha School. She hoped that all can play a part in creating a fresh new future for True Buddha communications, not only externally, but internally as well. The TBSN True Buddha School Net’s revamp has utilised a lot of resources, and the Communications department is continuously looking at ways to improve the website, in the hope that more would actively visit it. Any feedback and suggestions to further improve the website is welcomed through email. The Communications department will be holding a Communications Fellowship gathering in Taiwan on 14 December 2019. Communications are mainly focused on communications via the internet and internet based audio-visual channels.
Assistant Preacher Shi-yi further reported on behalf of the Internet group on the new Chinese website at ch.tbsn.org and its content. The mobile accessible site contains a host of rich and relevant content such as Living Buddha Lian-sheng’s books, sermons, dharma propagation videos, True Buddha short films, the latest news, Dharma propagation itinerary that is linked to live feed, news reports, True Buddha Golden Excerpts, Dharma ceremony preview including the relevant liturgy and mantra, QQ pictorials and short films. He hoped that everyone can actively subscribe to the Youtube channel, as well as the other official channels which include the Facebook pages.
True Buddha School Net on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/syltbsn/
True Buddha School station on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/groups/tbsstation/
Master Lian-yue then continued with her report on the internet communications strategy, which addresses the questions on how to improve the visibility of our internet content, to create a massive information portal that disseminates relevant information to every internet intermediary, and allows viewers of intermediaries to reconnect back to the main information portal. With the global diverse populace accessing different channels to fulfil different needs, it is important to provide the right content to the right target audience. Despite the technological advances, a live event is still the best way to promote religious faith, and the success of a live event cannot be solely dependent on Grand Master alone, as this would be far too taxing on Him.
The True Buddha Foundation is invited by the “Borobudur Creator and Cultural Expo” to participate in a religious and cultural exchange forum in Indonesia from 21 to 23 November. The Kalacakra will form the forum’s central theme, highlighting the richness of Grand Master’s Kalacakra transmission, together with the unveiling of an original thesis on Kalacakra Tantra and its application, by Master Lian-he. The forum intends to introduce Grand Master as the Dharma King author. The Forum will be supervised by Master Lian-zu of Indonesia’s One Lamp Foundation. A Hevajra Homa fire puja ceremony will also be organised. By donating USD70, one becomes the Kalacakra Mandala merit contributor, who will be given the precious homa ashes collected from Grandmaster’s 180 Homa ceremonies, and will also be given special empowerment and merit transfer by Grandmaster while presiding the Mahottara Heruka Homa ceremony to be held at the Rainbow Temple on 17 November. The True Buddha Foundation is preparing for this forum with the highest standards, as it allows for more people to be acquainted with the teachings of Grandmaster. The master also extends a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to attend the 2019 True Buddha School Reception training course. The course is divided into two components: the first is on the mentality of the reception and the communication techniques, and the second, on heartfelt services and reception protocol.
#Report by Master Lian-he, Head of Education Department
The master gave a report on the holistic development plan laid out for promoting True Buddha education. He began by explaining on the educational objectives embraced by the dharma propagators, the True Buddha School purpose, and the progress to-date. The dharma propagators are the key to True Buddha School education, focusing on facilitating the practical classes. For the masses there is the True Buddha online courses.
The master specially spent time on explain the True Buddha online courses, including the agreed syllabus to be delivered by the online courses. The course materials are based on True Buddha School’s unique content, aimed at cultivating an elite team of dharma propagators. He also proposed a framework to train professional seed teachers. The global online cultivation plan is already being carried out by the True Buddha Foundation. As the next step, the commissioning of a True Buddha Building would represent the move from virtual to real. The building would be called “the True Buddha School administrative and education tower”. The highest academic institution representing True Buddha education would be the True Buddha School Enlightenment College for the study of Taoism, Esoteric and Vajrayana. Apart from the Enlightenment College, the other colleges in True Buddha School are Wei-de, Da-de, Jing-de and Jing-en colleges. The areas that require assistance are the practical classes, the True Buddha websites, the True Buddha education materials and the management structure.
#Report by Master Lian-dong, Head of Dharma Activities Department
The mission and purpose of the dharma activities department is to compile and promote the liturgies and dharma activities of True Buddha School, in accordance with the teachings of the Root Guru Dharma King Lian-sheng. This will help in developing the dharma activities at the various dharma units globally, to ensure the sustenance of the lineage of the True Buddha Tantric Dharma, to coordinate the True Buddha School’s selection of its dharma propagators, and to protect the image of the True Buddha School and the spirit of the dharma lineage (respect the Guru, honour the dharma, honest cultivation).
The master then shared the draft plan of the Dharma Activities department for the fifth cycle of the True Buddha Foundation with everyone present. The plan is divided into 3 components – people, activities and infrastructure. The preachers and assistant preachers of True Buddha School are practitioners whom should hold the Bodhicitta vow as a personal mission. They are expected to promote the Bodhi career of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas at the respective Dharma Units of which they are resident. Apart from self-cultivation, they must also encourage the public to cultivate, using dharma as the vessel to sail towards the pure light of the holy grounds. The master reminded the preachers and assistant preachers to strictly follow the Code of the True Buddha Dharma Propagators, not to forsake the Dharma Unit that made the original recommendation, to serve the Dharma Unit and not leave the Dharma Unit once the qualification is obtained. In cases of serious violations, the True Buddha Foundation will not hesitate to disqualify the preacher or assistant preacher.
#Report by Master Lian-yin, Head of Dharma Activities Department
The master indicated that Grandmaster is the first master to teach Vajrayana in Chinese. He also stressed that the money collected from the True Buddha disciples around the world are to be used to help sentient beings and liberate sentient beings.
Report by Master Lian-seng, Head of Supervisory Department
The master reported on the progress of supervision, reward and management systems within the True Buddha School. The three pre-requisite conditions for the sustenance of True Buddha School:
1. A culture of purity and continuous improvement.
2. High-quality sangha and dharma propagators across all levels.
3. Effective administrative body.
4. Proactive management framework.
To effectively track each master’s whereabouts, the True Buddha School masters must each have their own dharma propagation records at hand. The three keys of True Buddha School are: analyse, manage (a management framework in place can prevent unethical behaviours by the dharma propagators), and execute. The three primary tasks of the True Buddha Foundation are:
1. Supervisory and reward systems.
2. Dharma propagators and dharma units’ Online system.
3. Administrative and management systems.
The True Buddha Foundation’s Supervisory department currently uses love and inclusiveness as the guiding principles in managing dharma propagators who have committed wrongdoings. The supervisory department’s policy is to mete out the lightest punishment in cases where the dharma propagator is willing to own up to the wrongful behaviour or mistake. Where there is personal legal liability, the dharma propagator will have to be answerable, not the True Buddha School, unless he or she proves to be a victim of malicious intent.
Supervisory and reward systems
The reward system is currently in progress. Any nomination of commendable behaviours such as acts of protecting the image of Grandmaster and the True Buddha School will be adjudged by the senior masters, and promoted through the central communication channels. This is to praise and promote positive energy.
1. The reward system must focus on exemplifying capable talents and disciplining disobedience. The success or failure of True Buddha School rests on the shoulders of dharma propagators. Dharma propagators are the role models. As such, they have a responsibility to elevate and improve their qualities.
2. To deliver a cultivation paradise that is pure and with the right mindfulness.
3. To elevate the respectability and status of the sangha.
4. To promote positive energy among all dharma units.
Dharma propagators and dharma units’ online system
1. Management is the primary function; communication can only arise with management. The supervisory department has created an interactive platform for the purposes of management and communication.
2. The purpose of collecting data is for analysis and better execution. The True Buddha Federation does not just collect user data. These data will be compiled into useful charts and tables for future planning purposes.
3. The True Buddha Federation intends to improve its interaction with everyone using modern technology.
4. Current data collection and analysis.
Creating the administrative and management systems
1. The administrative framework for each department in the True Buddha Federation. Focused training: such as training executive secretaries and administrative assistants etc. Better execution of tasks necessitates better understanding of each other’s working methods.
2. The long-term retention of True Buddha Federation’s manpower.
3. The effective execution of the various departments relies very much in the feedback, supervision, criticisms and encouragements from all stakeholders, as these would provide us with the impetus to further improve ourselves.
4. The development of administrative talents within the True Buddha School. The power of effective administration is of utmost importance. Leaders come and go, but administration must be sustained. The long-term retention of administrative talents is key to effective execution. A lot of the executive secretaries have all come from Malaysia.
The master revealed that currently, there are vacancies for an executive secretary at both master Lian-yue and master Lian-dong’s respective departments. Anyone having the capability and interest to serve the True Buddha Federation are welcomed to apply. The reforms introduced during the past two years are now clearly visible, and it is hoped that with the continuous cooperation and encouragement from all quarters, such closer interaction will bring forth even better improvements.