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Thứ Sáu, tháng 8 11, 2006

No. 1081 (Upekha dịch)

Buddhists gather for four-day convention

By BRIAN FEAGANS
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 08/08/06

Dharma comes to Duluth today in the form of more than 60 Buddhist leaders from across Asia.

Atlanta - Monks and nuns from China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam will join others invited from metro Atlanta and around the United States who are gathering at the Gwinnett Civic Center to kick off the four-day North American Buddhist Dharma Master Convention.

First up on their agenda: a ceremony to offer prayers and donations in thanks for U.S. humanitarian aid given to East Asian countries following World War II.

"We are trying to repay the goodwill of the United States," said Hugh Hu, an event volunteer who will emcee the private ceremony. Individual $5,000 donations will go to Easter Seals North Georgia, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, Atlanta Union Mission, Atlanta Children's Shelter, Decatur Cooperative Ministry, the Doraville Police Department and the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

The monks will open the two-hour event with the Pledge of Allegiance at 11:30 a.m. They'll offer prayers for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks as well, said Hu, who was born in Burma and raised in Taiwan.

Cheng Tao, dharma master at a Buddhist temple in Doraville, organized the conference as a way to recognize the rice, clothing, flour, powdered milk and canned foods handed out by missionaries and others from the United States during the 1960s, Hu said. Tao, founder of the American Buddhist Ksitigarbha Association, witnessed the generosity while living in Taiwan, he said.

The four-day event also gives monks and nuns from around Asia a chance to better understand each other, Hu said. Rarely has metro Atlanta hosted so many Buddhist leaders from around the world, he said. "This happens in New York and Los Angeles," Hu said, "but not much in Atlanta."

http://www.ajc.com/services/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/0808gwxceremony.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=13