Zinguang Shang Shi is back in Amsterdam, New York after a seasonal pilgrimage to California and Hong Kong to spread the word about his teaching or Dharma that has the power to heal. Accompanying him are his monks forming the World Peace and Health Organization and a new group of students from China and the US. On Sunday, May 6, 2012, the new students started the basic course of the Guang Huan Mi Zong Health Dharma.
Having already taken the basic course, I was allowed to take part and photograph the class for this blog. The classes are held at the Five Buddha Temple (formerly St Casmirs Lithuanian Catholic Church) on 260 East Main Street in Amsterdam, New York. The World Peace and Health Organization preserved the architecture and styling of the church while adding their own altars and statuary. The interior of the former church is one of the most beautiful I have seen with frescos painted on the curved ceilings and the original stained glass windows depicting the life of Jesus Christ. Buddhism predates Catholicism by about 500 years.
The practice of Buddhism is based on attaining nine levels of achievement to become a Buddha. Although few reach that level, it is often a lifelong process. The principal is based on the theory that there is an ultimate and never-ending supply of energy or light in the universe that is the basis for all things and that flows through all things. By practicing meticulous meditation one is able to focus solely on the energy within each one of us and harness its power to heal. Advanced levels of achievement allow you harness the energy from the universe and use its power. When one has achieved all nine levels he or she is said to be Buddha or one with the universe.
While the main group are practicing Buddhists, one does not need to change their religion or become Buddhist to learn the meditation techniques taught in this class. The basic class gives a brief history of Buddhism and then progresses to meditation, teaching positioning, hand gestures, and concentration. There are rules for the proper times during the day, frequency and duration of the meditation sessions. There are alternative positions for people who cannot at first achieve the cross-legged lotus position.
Zinguang Shang Shi speaks in Mandarin Chinese, but he has learned a few words in English since I first met him two years ago. Interpreters are provided and translate on the fly as he teaches. It is a little disorienting at first but after a few minutes you understand. This is an experience that is well worth the effort. If you have any doubts, ask your doctor about the benefits of meditation.
The World Peace and Health Organization would like to invite the public to a celebration of the Sakyamuni Buddha’s birthday on Monday, May 28, 2012, 9am at the Five Buddha Temple, 260 East Main Street, Amsterdam, NY.
For more information about the World Peace and Health Organization or the Guang Huan Mi Zong Health Dharma, click here.