Saturday, November 19, 2011


Elders honored at the City of 10,000 Buddhas (The Ukiah Daily Journal)

Honoring Elders Day photographs (









In 1992, the Venerable Master, using the idea of "Honouring all the elders as we do with our own parents, caring for all children as we do with our own child", instructed the school to hold a "Cherishing Youth Day" event in the spring, and invited the students of neighboring school, 400 of them to participate. And in the fall, the "Respecting of Elders" event was held. The elders in the town were invited to attend this event at the City of Ten Thousand Buddha. The students performed for them and wonderful delicious vegetarian dishes were served to all the guests. These two activities give the students a personal experience of the wonderful virtue of "Respecting Elders and Cherishing the Youths"; and both are received and highly accepted by the town's people in Ukiah.

"May our elders enjoy eternal health like the evergreen pines and cedars."





     Photos :



Elders honored at the City of 10,000 Buddhas

By TIFFANY REVELLE The Daily Journal

Student ushers passed out vegetarian Chinese cuisine while children of all ages in colorful costumes sang, gave orchestral performances, danced and enlivened large lion and dragon puppets, all part of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas' 19th annual Honoring Elders Day, held Saturday in the city's Five Contemplations Dining Hall.

The annual event is as old as the city is, and was started and spread to 27 other branches by the city's founder, Master Hsuan Hua.

"It's important to remember that our elders gave us our roots; they taught and gave us the institutions we have to help us," said Heng Yin, a nun and the principal of the girls' elementary and high schools inside the city. "Everything we have is based on their hard work."

The event is almost entirely put on by students of the city's elementary and high schools, with the idea of reciprocal care and love of community being part of the curriculum. More than 200 students in the separate girls' schools organized, set up and cleaned up after the event, also serving the food to elders, parents and others sitting at long tables flanking the central stage on three sides.

"In an ideal society, we would treat all elders as our own parents, and all children as our own children," Yin said. "That way everyone will be loved and cared for."

Sophomore Crystal So, one of the student ushers walking the aisles making sure everyone got to taste each dish, said she appreciated having the chance to show reverence for her elders, ncluding her grandmother overseas.

"Honoring our elders is something we should do every day," said Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor Carre Brown during a speech she gave that was translated to Mandarin.

She spoke of her efforts to care for her 90-year-old grandmother and other family members.

"I asked my children if they were taking notes on how to care for elders, as their father and I are entering our twilight years, and they said, yes, they are," she said.

Ukiah Mayor Mari Rodin lamented that American culture "doesn't value old age as much as it values youth."

"It's not so much that we don't appreciate our elders ... but we don't set aside time to do this," Rodin said.

The principal of the boys' schools, Mack Bostick, was himself named and honored by Yin, who noted he turned 81 this year, and that he had been busy making cakes for the event. This year was his 12th time experiencing the celebration.

"These are the guys I have every year," Bostick said, indicating a group of performers. "I'm very proud."

Performances included dances and songs by kindergarten through seventh-grade girls, Chinese orchestral performances by the separate boys' and girls' schools, a traditional lion dance where dancers animated a shimmering, life-size golden puppet adorned with fluff and a sonata concertante for violin and guitar that was performed by two boys.

Students from the boys' schools also moved a long, snake-like dragon puppet around the stage on long poles, making the dragon swirl and dance to the beat of symbols and drums. The performance was an audience favorite, followed by another favorite, the high school boys' drumming performance.

The group transitioned from Taiko drumming last year to the Chinese 24 Seasons this year. Both styles filled the room with the thunderous beat of the big, wooden drums, punctuated by the wooden clacking of their drumsticks and dance-like movements.

This year's performers leaped atop the drums in warrior-like poses at times during the performance. At one point, a row of boys held lighted sticks of different colors, changing their positions in a staggered, circular formation to represent the thousand hands of the Guan Yin bodhisattva, known in the West as the goddess of mercy, reaching outward in a perfect circle in compassion for all life.

Tiffany Revelle can be reached at, or at 468-3523.



敬老節和懷少節是宣公上人在1992年創辦的兩大節日,今年已是第二十屆。這兩個節日除了教育聖城中小學的學生和住眾以實際行動來敬老和懷少之外,對於聖城和瑜伽市社區間的互動與瞭解,產生了極大的作用。今年瑜伽市長羅丁(Mari Rodin)和曼都仙諾縣的縣議員布朗(Carre Brown)應邀參加,並在節目進行中致詞,特將其講稿登出,讓讀者能更瞭解敬老節這二十年來在瑜伽市所發揮的影響力。舊金山灣區的世界日報亦報導了敬老節的盛況,一併登出。

瑜伽市長羅丁(Mayor Mari Rodin)




Dear honorable elders, students, and members of the public,

Thank you for inviting me here this morning to speak on Honoring Elders Day.  Why does it take The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas to remind me and other people from outside this community to take time out of our regular routine to acknowledge and appreciate the wisdom, the sacrifices, and the gifts that our elders provide us?  It isnít so much that we donít appreciate our elders in our thoughts as we are reminded of them from time to time. We do. Itís just that we Americans donít SET ASIDE time, deliberately, to do this. I am afraid to admit that I donít believe that our culture actually values old age as much as it values youth.  My mother used to say, before she got Alzheimers disease, that once she reached middle age, she felt invisible. That made me sad because I knew how smart and wise she was, a professor of psychology at a university who always had strong ideas about things.

Since I have come to know The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, in the small way that I have in the 20 years that Iíve lived in Ukiah, I have come to see that this bias toward youth is culturalóthat it isnít natural that Americans see right past senior citizens, as if they donít have anything to offer, as if they are transparent, like my mother observed. Other cultures, such as the Chinese culture, are different that way. In Chinese culture, people are deferential to their elders! And, moreover, here we have a special day set aside to remind us of the beauty and the gift that our elders offer us, if we just stop to look.

Although I am disappointed that our American culture tends to devalue old age, I am happy about one facet ofAmerica. And that is thatAmericais a "melting pot". This country has always welcomed people from many different cultures. As a result, I am able to learn and benefit from the wisdom offered by their customs and observances, in this case to be present with you here today to take time to honor our elders.

*                        *                       *

曼都仙諾縣縣議員布朗(Supervisor Carre Brown)

每次來到萬佛聖城,我都感到備受歡迎。今天我們在這裡慶祝Ē敬老節Ē. 當我得知每一位住在這裡的長者都應邀來參加這從1992年開始慶祝的敬老節,我心裡覺得很溫馨。我們很高興看到,育良小學和培德中學的學生,為所有來賓表演音樂舞蹈等節目,還贈送老人家手工製作的可愛禮物。我也要特別感謝學校老師的辛勞,成就這個特殊的節日,也成為大家學習的經驗。還要感謝廚房的工作人員,準備了這麼健康又美味的素菜。謝謝您們!



I feel so very welcomed whenever I come to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Today we all join together to celebrate Honoring Elders Day. It is heartwarming to me to know that all elders within the community are invited to this holiday first established in 1992. We all take delight in the presentations by students from the Instilling Goodness Elementary andDevelopingVirtueSecondary Schoolsas they perform dances and music for their guests along with lovely handmade gifts to the elders. I extend a special thank you to their teachers who work hard to make this occasion very special and a learning experience for all.  To the Dining Hall kitchen staff who prepare all the healthy and tasty vegetarian dishes, thank you.

Honoring our Elders is something we should do every day. This yearly celebration gives us the opportunity to faithfully pledge this commitment year-round, not only honoring but also caring of our elderly population.  My family was enriched by the experience of caring for my father-in-law as he became very frail and until he passed at 100 years old last January. We continue to provide care for my 90 year old mother who has been slowly declining with age. Neither one wanted to be placed outside their home, if at all possible. We were able to grant this to my father-in-law and it is our desire to do so for my mother.

I asked my children if they were taking notes on how to care for elders since their father and I are entering our twilight years. They have responded yes and agreed they have learned much from this special experience of providing care for their grandparents. My grandchildren have too.

Our elders raise us, educate us, and share their wisdom with us. Today is their special day. Thank you.

*                        *                       *


育良、培德敬老節 學生為老人添飯



由於瑜伽市與達摩鎮的居民大都為西方人,因此應邀前來的老人家也以西方人為主,今年參加這項敬老節最年長的是102歲的伏格爾(Lilian Vogel)。瑜伽市長羅丁(Mari Rodin)致詞指出,她自己的母親原來是大學心理學教授,很感嘆到了中年以後,人家看她就像看空氣一樣,視而不見。羅丁認為美國文化太重視青少年,卻忽略老年人。不過,美國文化又是大熔爐,因此可以學習吸收其他文化的優點,例如中華文化敬老的美德。

曼都仙諾縣的縣議員布朗(Carre Brown)則說,她自己的公公是在與他們同住多年後,活到100歲壽終正寢。現在她90歲的老母親也跟他們同住,他們全家一起照顧這位老母親,因此布朗的兒女與孫子都學會如何照顧老人。布朗認為,對待老人不僅要敬老,還要悉心照顧。



呂明賜  培德中學男校九年級


十一月十九日(星期六)一大早,烏雲密布,下著細雨,氣候寒冷,但是四百多位老人都風雨無阻地來到萬佛聖城。 活動地點是在大齋堂,大家聚在那裡,有說有笑,其樂融融。節目是從九點半開始,第一個就是舞獅;這次的舞獅好像在演戲,小丑戲耍著兩頭獅子,逗得大家很開心。之後的節目更是一個比一個精彩,如低年級學生唱歌跳舞、小提琴演奏和國樂等。小孩子既可愛又好笑,而國樂團所演奏的曲子十分優美,動人心弦。



*                         *                         *

元元(Alejandro Gracia) 育良小學男校八年級 


這次的敬老節我要跟一個會彈吉他,也會踢足球的人叫 Thomas一起演奏帕格尼尼的一首曲子。前一兩個星期,Thomas去南美洲探望他的父母,因此我們倆就沒有時間一起練習。我們只好自己練,直到昨天我們才一起練了一次,所以今天早上我有點緊張。





【編按:Alejandro在2004年10月住進聖城,當時他五歲半,就在當年的敬老節表演小提琴。下圖為 2004年之敬老節。】

*                         *                         *


劉承澔  培德中學男校九年級




















敬老節圖片及影片: 萬佛城英文網站     越南文網站