An Unusual Lesson for 12G017E in August

On 3rd August, other than Vast Offering, we celebrated the birthday of Singapore.  It was also a celebration of the birthdays for four August “Babies”.

On that day, we welcomed some classmates from Class 13G006E to join the Thursday class. The merging of the two classes was made possible with much contemplation and supplication to the Triple Gem. 

Joyous laughter and happy chatter were heard as the classmates prepared the offerings for the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. A sumptuous spread of food, including many main courses, desserts, fruits and a beautiful jelly-cake decorated with the Singapore flag and Merlion were among many offered items, besides the beautiful flowers.  This is the way the students would like to show their gratitude to the Triple Gem, as always.

We had participants comprising of a few months old baby, a primary school student, adults of varying ages and an elderly lady. My thoughts were on the Master and our Teacher. I am grateful that they have given us every possible opportunity to cultivate virtuous deeds, and to observe the seven branches of worship.

Much respect and appreciation were shown to our well-loved grandmother. Her Khek yam “abacus” was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

Before the Vast Offering, a video on Singapore was viewed. We sang the theme song for National Day and a “Happy Birthday” song for our country. Deep down in our hearts, each of us feels proud and thankful to be born in Singapore. After this, we sang a super long birthday song to wish our virtuous friends happy birthdays. The “birthday babies” expressed their heartfelt wishes for themselves and the others for many more blessed years ahead.

Despite his busy schedule, Venerable Ben Si gave a special caring session. He explained to us the lineage of our Lamrim studies and the setup of BW monastery. We felt encouraged to ask questions and doubts were cleared. After the Q & A session, Venerable Ben Si left to receive the Sangha community from Sri Lanka.

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The day ended with the vast offering and a joyful feast for all.

It was indeed a blissful afternoon, full of merit and we felt bound in harmony.

By Shirley Mak

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