A Free English-Chinese Introduction to the Precious Pure Land Teachings
Dates: From this Sunday: 23 Oct, 30 Oct & 6 Nov 2011 (3 Parts)
Time: 9.00am – 11.30am (with 15 min teabreak)
Venue: Pu Ji Si Buddhist Research Society (4th floor)
39, Geylang Lorong 12
Register: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm attendance
Teacher: Shen Shi’an, MA (Buddhist Studies)
About the Pure Land Teachings:
‘If one is only mindful of Amita[bha Buddha; Amituofo], this is named as the unsurpassable, profound and subtle [wonderful] meditation.’
To be mindful only of Amituofo means to practise single-minded mindfulness of him. As the quote shows, mindfulness of Amituofo, be it via verbal or silent chanting, of his name or form, is also a form of meditation, as it trains the mind towards compassion, calmness and clarity.
In fact, it is the supreme form of meditation, because it leads to birth in Pure Land, to be able to meet and learn from a Buddha directly, and to always be with the best of spiritual friends in the best environment for spiritual training. Spiritual progress is thus swift and without backsliding, until supreme enlightenment is attained – for guiding more beings to the same supreme enlightenment.
Mindfulness of Buddha is also repeatedly taught by the Buddha in some 300 assemblies, as recorded in more than 280 sutras, as it is the safest and easiest path of practice, that leads to the most fruitful attainment, especially in our times. As stated in the Amitabha and Infinite Life Sutra, it is also a teaching endorsed by all Buddhas, that all Buddhas will teach.
Biodata: An independent Buddhist teacher and writer, Shen Shi’an was one of the founding members of the Dharma Propagation Division of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (Bright Hill Temple in Singapore) in 1997. Holding an MA in Buddhist Studies, which covered the major Buddhist traditions, he recently served as a Dharma Trainer and Project Coordinator in its Community Development & Training Department till 2011, focusing on Buddhist research, writing, teaching and answering of media queries. He was the founder of the temple’s Youth Mission (now ‘KMS Youth’), a book purchaser for its Awareness Place project, and the Chief Editor of the Web (and Library) Department, which co-supported Buddhanet.net, one of the world’s most popular Buddhist websites.
He is the founder and editor of TheDailyEnlightenment.com since 1997, one of the world’s largest independent Buddhist inspirational e-newsletter with over 28,000 members, the editor of ‘Be a Lamp Upon Yourself’, ‘Awaken: Gateway to Buddhism’ and the writer of ‘The Daily Enlightenment (Book 1,2,3,4)’. He also contributes occasionally to magazines such as ‘Nanyang Buddhist’, ‘Awaken’ (for which he was a Contributing Editor) and ‘For You (Information)’, and writes movie reviews for BuddhistChannel.tv, the world’s leading Buddhist news network. To date, he had reviewed over 300 movies. He popularised Dharma@Cinema, which is an innovative way of sharing the Dharma through detailed review discussions of both popular and offbeat films, and was part of the film selection team of T.H.I.S Buddhist Film Festival 2009.
Specialising in the Pure Land teachings, he has taught the subject at Singapore Buddhist Federation, Pu Ji Si Buddhist Research Centre and Poh Ming Tse, while leading the ongoing weekly Pureland Practice Fellowship at Kong Meng San, where he continues to teach various Dharma courses. He is also frequently invited to conduct Dharma discussions for youths for tertiary institutions’ Buddhist societies (SPBS, NPBS, NYPBS, NUSBS, NTUBS) on various subjects, along with the sharing Buddhist perspectives at Secondary Schools (SPS, Manjusri School), Junior Colleges (CJC) and International Schools (UWCSEA, SJII).
He was also a guest speaker for Dharma activities hosted by Dharma Drum Mountain (Singapore), Fo Guang Shan (Singapore), Singapore Buddhist Mission Youth, Singapore Buddhist Youth Mission, Wat Ananda Youth, Buddha of Medicine Welfare Society and Kampung Senang. He has represented Buddhist views at governmental events conducted by NACLI, NHB, NHG, SAF, SPF, MHA, ACM, STB and OnePeople.sg, and was a committee member of the Inter-Religious Organisation, co-representing the Buddhist faith, through which he served in interfaith harmony projects such as giving of public talks to introduce Buddhism. He also co-runs Moonpointer.com, which is a community blog that promotes sharing of Buddhism via creative writing through thousands of articles.