Posts Tagged With: wpho

Belgarde Bug Out

Today’s blog entry is for those readers following the plight of the Buddhist World Peace and Health Organization and their ongoing problem with Jesuit George Belgarde, Director of the Shrine of our Lady of Martyrs.

For background information, click on the following links:
April 8, 2013 – Angry Jesuit Blocks entry to Buddhist Temple
June 20, 2013 – Buddhists Move Forward Despite Jesuit Roadblocks

Last evening, June 24, 2013, this writer was informed by WPHO spokesperson Jennie Wong, that a meeting was scheduled to negotiate a settlement concerning the blocking of Shrine Road leading to the Western Supreme Buddha Temple and the residence of the World Peace and Health Organization. As a witness to these incidents and a spokesperson for the WPHO, I too was to take part in the negotiation. This meeting was strongly suggested by Montgomery Supreme Court Judge Felix Catena after preliminary statements were given in a civil lawsuit filed against the Shrine’s Director and maintenance man for blocking Shrine Road.

The agreed on meeting place was the Shrine office, 136 Shrine Road, Fultonville, NY 12072 on June 25, 2013, @ 10:30AM. The six of us approached the building and were met by attorney Carmel Greco and George Belgarde.  “Only one!” shouted Belgarde as he raised his arm in what appeared to be a Nazi salute and yelled “Stop! The rest of you get off MY property!” When Yik Cheng explained to him that these members of our organization will attend the meeting, he stated “Then the meeting is cancelled” and went back in the Shrine office and slammed the door. His attorney and the Buddhists tried to reason with him to no avail.  A July 18, 2013, court date is scheduled in Montgomery County, NY Supreme Court continuing the civil lawsuit.

The Buddhists paid $595,000 to the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs for this property in 2006, helping to keep the financially plagued Shrine afloat. It is despicable that they are being treated so shabbily by the Shrine’s new Director George Belgarde.

Shrine Director George Belgarde

Shrine Director George Belgarde


Peace, Nackie, Jennie, Yik, Shanxing


Yik, Jennie, Nackie, Shanxing


Roadblock placed on Shrine Road cutting off access to Western Supreme Buddha Temple (174 Shrine Road, Fultonville, NY 12072)



Categories: Equality, Human Rights, Law, Politics, WPHO | Tags: , , , ,

Buddha’s Birthday 2013

East Asian cultures celebrate the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, on the 8th day of the 4th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. The birth of the Supreme Buddha is thought to be 563 BCE and marks the beginning of Buddhist tradition.

In Amsterdam, New York, the World Peace and Health Organization celebrated Buddha’s Birthday on May 17, 2013, at the Goddess of Mercy Temple, The Five Buddha Temple and the Supreme Western Shrine Temple. This blogger was graciously given the opportunity to photograph the lavish and detailed ceremony and performances from the vantage point of the balcony at the Goddess of Mercy Temple. The photos, equally lavish and detailed, may take a while to load, though they are well worth the wait. The ceremony began with a procession of Buddhist Monks singing and chanting as they encircled the interior of the temple. This was followed by greetings to and a message of religious harmony and peace given by Holy Buddhist Master Ziguang Shang Shi. There was also song, dance, Tai Chi, opera, Chinese lions, an American Marine/Buddhist monk singing in Chinese and two Mormon missionaries singing Mormon hymns. After the conclusion of the Goddess of Mercy ceremony, the celebrants were invited to the Five Buddha Temple where they participated in the symbolic bathing of the Buddha.

































Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Music, WPHO | Tags: , , , , ,

Angry Jesuit Blocks Entrance to Buddhist Temple


The angry Leprechaun pictured is Fr. George H. Belgarde, S.J. Director of Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville, NY, who recently ordered a barricade built on Shrine Road, blocking access to the Western Supreme Buddha Temple and headquarters of the World Peace and Heath Organization adjacent to the Shrine. The barricade, built with tree trunks and a sawhorse, was adorned with a large black sign with the word CLOSED painted in red.


This blogger received a call today from WPHO spokesperson, fellow Buddhist and friend Jennie Wong who had just returned to this area from another mission in China. She asked if I would meet her at the WPHO headquarters to help figure out why this barricade was blocking access to their property at 174 Shrine Road. This barricade not only blocks Buddhists it also prevents mail from being delivered and emergency vehicles from reaching the Temple.

I arrived before Ms Wong and decided to go to the Shrine Office and ask about the barricade. A pleasant receptionist greeted me and I introduced myself stating my business. She entered the next room informing the occupants and told me I could go right in. I saw a small man dressed in black talking with someone else and heard him state “…and he has a camera”. As I approached the next room he stated, “You can wait” and went on with his conversation for another five minutes. I was met by a visibly angry and generally disagreeable little man who I found out later was Fr.Belgarde, the Shrine’s Director. I introduced myself and asked about the barricade. He declined to answer any of my questions stating he would need to see my identification. I gave him my driver’s license which he stared at for about a minute. He then asked me for documentation stating I was a Buddhist. Apparently my physical appearance differed from what he assumed a Buddhist should look like. Another man wearing a red plaid shirt entered the room and stated, “I think I’m the person you want to talk to, I put up the barricade”. He was then silenced by Belgarde, still clinging on to my license, who told the worker he (Belgarde), was taking care of this. After refusing to answer any of my questions, it appeared that Belgarde was enjoying trying to antagonize me. I then asked for my license back and left the building.

Jennie Wong and three other members of the WPHO arrived and we all took another trip down to the Shrine Office only to be met outside by the Jesuit and maintenance worker. Once again they refused to answer any of our questions, referring us to their lawyers. Ms Wong tried reasoning with the Jesuit, asking him to remove the CLOSED sign as it looked as if the WPHO headquarters was closed and not just the road. The antagonistic Jesuit then ordered us to leave HIS property. We then took a trip to the NYS Troopers headquarters in Fonda. Trooper Matt Wheeler, a true professional, listened to the story, made suggestions and agreed to take a look at the barricade and talk to Belgarde. When we returned to Shrine Road we were greeted by a Montgomery County Sheriff who quickly entered his vehicle and moved it to further block the road when he saw us coming. He then exited his vehicle and was in the process of telling us to leave when Trooper Wheeler arrived explaining the other side of the story.






The result of the debate between the law enforcement officers hinged on whether Shrine Road was a County road or a private road. It appears on maps as a County Road, in which case the barricade is illegal. Part of the original deed agreement was that an alternate access road would be built. While this road was built connecting the Temple with Ridley Road, it has not been graded or paved and does not appear on official maps, GPS or EMS response systems. The steep base of the road makes it difficult to travel without sliding.

What was once a harmonious relationship under the Shrine’s former Director Fr. Murray is now antagonistic and non-communicative under the direction of Fr.George H.Belgarde who appears to have an ax to grind.

Can’t we all just get along?


Journalist Ed Munger Jr. wrote a great, objective article about this incident titled “Surprise barricade cuts Buddhist Temple access”. It is published in the April 8, 2013, edition of the Daily Gazette. The article can be found at

Categories: Amsterdam, Human Rights, Law, Politics, WPHO | Tags: , , , ,

Meet Liu Nai Hui – Professional Table Tennis Athlete and Coach

One of the many stars that make up the constellation that we call the World Peace and Health Organization is Liu Nai Hui a World Class table tennis champion. She now holds the title of 2012 US Open Women’s Doubles Champion having won the title in July with Jenny Zhao. In 2011 Liu was the US Open Women’s Single Champion and has won Table Tennis Championships around the World. As a Table Tennis Coach Liu had the pleasure of seeing her student Michele Luo win the 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games.

Today the World Peace and Health Organization celebrates Liu Nai Hui by opening The World Table Tennis Championship Training Center at 10 Main Street in the village of Fultonville, New York. The building a former Masonic Temple, was completely renovated with regulation lighting and tables that occupy two floors of the building. They hope to provide world class table tennis instruction for the public in the near future.

Of course the grand opening included a traditional Chinese Lion accompanied by gongs, drums and cymbals to ward off any residual evil spirits left in the century old building. A formal introduction was given by Buddhist Holy Master Zinguang Shang Shi and the Table Tennis tournament began. The Center also had a visit from Fultonville Mayor Robert Headwell. There was truly a sense of joy and accomplishment that was palpable in the center today. At one point I felt as if I no longer needed the service of my wonderful translator Jennie Wong as the communication was understood on a higher level. This is really the beginning of something greater, a starting point that is fully supported by the local community who appreciate the opportunity presented.


Categories: Celebration, sports, WPHO | Tags: , , , , , ,

A Hike in Fultonville

A two-hour hike in Fultonville, NY along a ridge overlooking the Schoharie Creek, provided a great opportunity to get some exercise and take some photos. Jennie Wong of the World Peace and Health Organization was gracious enough to invite me to join the Buddhist group as they hiked along their property line. We were able to see the damage done by last year’s flood. Large sections of land were wiped out as the creek’s ravaging waters uprooted century old trees.

Categories: Photography, WPHO | Tags: , , , , ,

Duanwu 2012

The Chinese Duanwu Festival was held by the WPHO at 10 Leonard Street in Amsterdam, New York on June 23, 2012. The second floor of the former factory building was transformed into a performance space where Buddhist Master Ziguang Shang Shi gave an invocation welcoming guests and monks to celebrate the life of poet Qu Yuan that was briefly described in yesterday’s blog post. There was song, dance, Tai Chi, an interpretive reenactment and plenty of zongzi for everyone to enjoy.



Categories: Celebration, Entertainment, WPHO | Tags: , , , , , ,

Duanwu Festival and Open House

Duan Wu Jie, which literally means Double Fifth Festival, is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month based on Chinese calendar. Duanwu is celebrated to commemorate the life of poet Qu Yuan, who was both a scholar and a public official born into the royal Chu clan.  Qu Yuan (339BC-278BC) regarded as one of the greatest Chinese cultural icons that ever lived, he was the first author in China to have his name associated with his verse. Qu’s unique style of verse (sao), broke traditional four character verse by adopting verses or varying length. His works are known as the Chu-ci or Songs of the South.

Legend has it that Qu Yuan suffered with depression after being slandered by corrupt public officials and went into exile. Anxiety and depression coupled with the military capture of his country’s capital, caused Qu Yuan, to commit ritual suicide by holding a large rock and wading into the Miluo River in protest. According to folklore, people threw rice into the river to keep the fish and evil spirits away from Qu Yuan’s body. Qu Yuan’s spirit appeared to his friends and asked them to wrap the rice in silk packages to ward off the dragon.

These rice packages became the traditional food known as zongzi. During Duanwu, people will prepare and eat rice dumpling (zongzi) made of sticky rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. It is often stuffed with meat and vegetable fillings.

Duanwu is also often called Dragon Boat Festival since Chinese communities in many countries hold Dragon Boat races in spirit of Duanwu celebration.

The World Peace and Health Organization would like to invite the public to a Duanwu Festival on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at 10:00am. The free Festival and Open House is being held at 10 Leonard Street in Amsterdam, New York. The WPHO celebration of Duanwu will include a Chinese cultural exchange of song and dance as well as the traditional zongzi.

The building at 10 Leonard Street is a 44, 527 square foot, former home of Breton Industries. The WPHO envision it as a place for cultural exchange and worship. This building along with every other property purchased by the WPHO in the City of Amsterdam had all the copper stripped from it.  That did not alter the mission of the WPHO to continue moving forward with their goal of making Amsterdam a city of peace and health. They have been dutifully working on this property along with others to realize their mission.

This week the WPHO has concentrated their efforts on 10 Leonard Street to hold their first public festival there.  Like a well oiled machine they work together cutting  about an acre of weeds from the yard and building performance platforms on the second floor. They tell me I won’t recognize the place when finished and decorated for the festival.

Please join the members of the WPHO for this Chinese cultural event! It is free of charge and a great opportunity to meet the members of the WPHO, learn about Chinese culture or just see the factory building and discuss plans for its future use.

Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, History, WPHO | Tags: , , , , ,

Guang Huan Mi Zong Health Enhancement Dharma Class

The Western Supreme Buddha Association and the World Peace and Health Organization will jointly hold a free “Guang Huan Mi Zong Health Enhancement Dharma Class” from June 28th to 30th for improving people’s health. Attendees will experience an incredible health enhancement during the short three-day dharma practice.

Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi wishes to teach people the Guang Huan Mi Zong Health Esoteric Dharma, which has been kept secret for thousands of years, to better everyone’s health; enhancing their adaptability to this rapid-changing world and their chance of survival. This Esoteric Dharma is the highest form of supreme esoteric yoga which channels the Buddha Light throughout human body. It can quickly improve human genes, and help to prevent or even eliminate most diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, etc. It is unique and practical. Devoted practitioners can experience spiritual advancement, change their karma, develop their virtues, and eventually enter the blissful Heaven on Earth. This Esoteric Dharma is the hope of all human beings and nations for overcoming disasters and achieving peace and health.

Many people came to the Five World Buddhas Temple from different places around the world to celebrate the Buddha’s Birthday; making their pilgrimage, or attending the Health Dharma Class. They all highly praised the wonderful effects obtained from practicing the Guang Huan Mi Zong Esoteric Health Dharma.

“I read about Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi in the

newspaper last year, and this year I finally met him. I have tried many different types of meditation before, but they never had any effect. The Holy Master taught me something that really worked. I saw a bright light in my mind, and my whole body felt energized, I could feel my consciousness reaching out into the universe, it was wonderful!” Shared James who attended a Guang Huan Mi Zong Dharma class on June 8th, he added that he was interested in signing up for the advanced class.

His classmate Sandra told her story, “I have been suffering from back pain for years. Different doctors I have seen could never help me, I was afraid I would never get better. A friend told me that they attended this class and that Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi could help me. I wasn’t too sure, but with nothing else to do, I gave it a try. The effect was immediate, after the third day the pain was almost totally gone, it is a miracle, I can’t believe it, I am so grateful!”

Tuition of this 3-day Health Dharma class: Free!

Date: June 28 to June 30, 2012 (Thursday to Saturday)

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Venue: Five World Buddhas Temple, 262 East Main Street, Amsterdam, NY 12010

Contact number: (518) 853-1873, (518) 577-7387, (518) 312-9871


Categories: Amsterdam, WPHO | Tags: , , ,

Celebrating Buddha’s Birthday

The public was invited to celebrate the Buddha’s Birthday today at the Five Buddha Temple in Amsterdam, New York. The World Peace and Health Organization sponsored a celebration that included an introductory discussion about Memorial Day and Buddha, followed by costumed dance, ballet, Chinese Opera and a demonstration of Tai Chi. Refreshments were served after the performances. It was a great way to start the day.


Thanks to everyone who read this blog entry today, it has the highest one day viewing of any of my other posts with 1,480 total views!

Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Media, WPHO | Tags: , , ,

Guang Huan Mi Zong

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.

Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, WPHO | Tags: , , , , ,

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