Chinese New Year Eve Luncheon at IBC

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Around 10.00am (Thai time) on Sunday, 22 January 2006, Venerable Wei Wu arrived at the International Buddhist College (IBC) with Venerable Zhen Xin and a number of Than Hsiang Temple's stalwarts. Among them were Sis Koh Bee Ling in her usual effervescent self, Sis. Heng Boi Sim , another volunteer of cheery disposition, Bro. Goh Ah Bah, who spent every Sunday at IBC caring to the sick, Bro. Chan Peng Kan, Honorary Secretary of Wan Ching Yuen Centre, and Sis. Kang Sok Meng, manager of Wan Ching Yuen Centre.

They brought boxes of mandarin oranges, peanut cookies, chips and other snacks with them for the luncheon and as dana (practice of cultivating generosity) to the Sangha at IBC. They were soon catching up with those they knew at IBC, while Bro. Goh had opened his clinic and were seeing patients, who had gathered as soon as they knew of his arrival.

Shortly after 11.00am, the noon-meal bell was rung and everyone gathered at IBC's Auditorium, where the Chinese New Year Eve Luncheon was to be held. Bro. Leong Kok Hing, the Assistant Rector, invited everyone into the auditorium and partake of the food placed on two long tables at both sides of the auditorium. The sumptuous spread of food included apple and mixed vegetable salad, vegetarian fish, sweet potato puffs, noodle served with thick mushroom gravy, a variety of fruits and sweets.

When everyone was seated at the round tables, Venerable Seewali led the Sangha in Pali chanting to bless everyone for the dana to the Sangha. Towards the end of the meal, Venerable Wei Wu gave those present a message. He asked everyone to remember two key words for the Chinese New Year, namely ‘Commitment' and ‘Harmony'. He told every one of us to be committed firstly to ourselves. He said we should be committed to our work by doing our best at work. We should be committed and be good in our roles as a mother, father, daughter, etc. Most of all, we should be committed to our spiritual cultivation, our practice of keeping the Five Precepts and the Ten Wholesome Deeds. Then, we should be committed to the organization that we belong to or serve in.

Venerable Wei Wu said that in any organization, we should live together in harmony. He spoke of a Chinese saying, ‘A family that lives harmoniously will prosper.' He advised us to practice the six types of harmonious living with a give-and-take attitude when staying together with others by not quarrelling, accepting the thoughts of others, practicing the precepts together, accepting the views and opinions of others, and sharing whatever that is gained with others.

At the end of the meal, the Sangha members chanted the transference of merits in Pali and slowly filed out of the auditorium. Venerable Wei Wu then went to a small reception room for everyone to wish him an early Happy Chinese New Year and also to pay their respects to him.