Living The Dhamma
Editor: The following is the text of the opening speech delivered by Bro. Low Teck Suan, president of the Buddhist Fellowship, at FORUM 2000 held on 4-5 November at the Suntec City Auditorium. The forum attracted around 500 participants.
....This is another living Dharma event presented by the Buddhist Fellowship. Our vision and mission is to be highly effective in Dharma propagation and to bring people who are searching for Love and Happiness to the Dharma. To accomplish this vision and mission, Dharma must be brought to life because the purpose of Dharma is to reconstruct the world. It must be able to promote and emphasize the quality of human and social living more than dogmas, doctrines and metaphysical speculation. It must develop human potential and help you make the right choices in life. The Buddhist Fellowship will continue to bring Dharma to daily life through activities such as forum like this that will discuss living issues of our concern because Buddhism is about you and Dharma is about the truth of life.
In the so-called civilized world it is today, what we see happening is many people speak for their religion, write for their religion, fight for their religion, and even die for their religion, except too few people live their religion. This is the real problem of the world today. To live the religion, or for us Buddhists, to live the Dharma, means once there is seeing there must be acting. We must be aware of the real problems of the world. Then with mindfulness, we will know what to do and what not to do to be of help. Awakening or enlightenment is not about becoming divine or about astral travel, rainbow bodies or clairvoyance. Instead, it is about becoming more fully human and about becoming more aware of our universal responsibility and collective conscience. Our objective of hosting these living Dharma events like the Global Conference five months ago and the Forum 2000 today, is to motivate Buddhists to live the Dharma and to benefit from it through self-discovery and personal transformation. Similarly, The Buddhist Fellowship will be happy to work with people from other religious faiths who believe in living their religions to help build a better world for all.
It must be our collective good karma that bring us the honour and privilege to have with us this morning two very compassionate and distinguished venerables, Ajahn Brahmavamso and Venerable Chodron. Together with several other distinguished speakers, they are here to share with us their wisdom and the art of living without fear or guilt. We are also very touched by the usual strong support from the Buddhist community and several individuals. In particular, the Buddhist Union and Phor Kark See Monastery for their financial sponsorship. On behalf of the Buddhist Fellowship, I want to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to all of them for their compassion and support. To all participants and invited guests, we thank you for your positive response in making this forum a success. Over the next two days, may you all be filled with Dharma joy and may you all attain much progress in your development of wisdom. May you all be well and happy always.