Posts Tagged With: ziguang shang shi

A Very Buddhist Christmas

The World Peace and Health Organization, led by Buddhist Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi and his Monks, put on a very elaborate Holiday celebration this evening at the Goddess of Mercy Temple on Grove Street. Accompanied by the most recent class of Buddhist students, the public received two solid hours of entertainment followed by refreshments. The celebration was a blend of eastern and western cultural traditions. There was a Chinese Dragon, Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer and Santa accompanied by an elf passing out candy. There was caroling and Chinese Opera, dance and Tai Chi. There was even an American Marine singing in Chinese! The event ended with the audience joining in on stage for a last dance Gangnam style. Words just cannot adequately express the cavalcade of entertainment, so here are the pictures.

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

Noah’s Ark

Yesterday I attended a special celebration in Auriesville, NY with my second family, the Buddhists. They were celebrating the completion of a pagoda-like structure on top of their headquarters building, a former Jesuit dormitory. The structure serves as a roof and observation deck covering what was once an open elevator shaft. Buddhist leader, Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi dubbed the roof Noah’s Ark. Like the biblical story, it protects residents from violent storms and flooding. It also symbolically represents the Guang Huan Mi Zong health dharma protecting the world from the flood of suffering and disease. The Buddhists were also celebrating the birthday of one of the Chinese students studying the health dharma.

Going with the Ark theme, I decided to photograph the three kittens that found a home with the Buddhists. A male and two female siblings who seem to be the progeny of a Lilac Point Siamese and a Yellow Tabby. A gorgeous sunset followed as if on cue to start the celebration.

I talked with old friends and met several new Buddhist Monks that recently joined the group. It was a very enjoyable evening with my always hospitable friends.

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

Buddhists Donate Security Cameras to the City of Amsterdam

During a formal presentation ceremony at Amsterdam City Hall this morning, the local Buddhist group known as the World Peace and Health Organization, led by Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi, presented the City of Amsterdam with 20 video surveillance camera systems. The cameras were donated Sky Deng, whose company LYD Technology USA Inc.  produces the systems.

Local Pediatrician Dr. Govind C. Rao who is the groups liason with City officials, gave a short speech followed by the presentation of the cameras. In turn Mayor Ann Thane presented a basket to Sky Deng as well as a bird feeder and potted plant to the Buddhist group. Master Ziguang Shang Shi spoke to the assembly with his words translated by Jennie Wong. The Mayor then expressed her gratitude and hopes of continued cooperation with the group.

Amsterdam Police Chief Gregg Culick and Lieutenant Rob Richardson who had several earlier meetings with the Buddhist group about the installation of the cameras,were also present at the ceremony. Sky Deng previously  provided video surveillance systems for several buildings occupied by Buddhist group members residing in the City of Amsterdam, as well as the author of this blog.

Sky Deng, Chief Culick, Mayor Thane, Lt Richardson

Dr. Rao, Sky Deng, Mayor Thane, Lt. Richardson, Chief Culick

Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi, Mayor Ann Thane

Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi, translates into English as Purple Light Guru.

Jennie Wong

Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi

Sky Deng, Shanxing Tan, Jennie Wong

Categories: Amsterdam, Law, 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: , , , , , ,

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: , , , , ,


I woke today to find this thoughtless act of vandalism perpetrated on the Goddess of Mercy Temple across from my house.

The World Peace and Health Organization made its presence known in Amsterdam, New York in 2010 when the Buddhist Order bought a number of abandoned properties including two former Catholic Churches.

The former St Michael’s Church was painstakingly restored by the order after the Catholic Diocese hired a private firm to strip the church of anything of value including stained glass windows, altars and pews doing much damage to the interior.

Goddess of Mercy Temple

The newly restored building was named The Goddess of Mercy Temple and the WPHO did a wonderful job building new altars and importing valuable statues from China that symbolize their faith.  They celebrated the newly restored temple in June 2010..

Goddess of Mercy Temple Interior

Goddess of Mercy Statuary

There has been much controversy surrounding the “occupation” of Amsterdam by the WPHO, some of it can be attributed to Xenophobia while the rest may be an issue of faith.  Although they live in a restored Jesuit dormitory in Auriesville, they maintain a presence in Amsterdam by holding classes in the former Lithuanian Catholic Church on East Main Street (Five Buddha Temple) and services in The Goddess of Mercy Temple on Grove Street.

WHPHO Headquarters in Auriesville, NY

Five BuddhaTemple

Several documented instances of vandalism to the properties owned by the WPHO over the past year and a half with two break-ins occurring this summer to the rectory building adjacent to the Goddess of Mercy Temple, have strained relations with the City of Amsterdam  The WPHO take these break-in personally, as an affront to their presence in the City which in turn (they claim) caused financial backers to withdraw from their ambitious project to transform Amsterdam into a city of peace and health.  This plan was revealed through several press conferences held in 2010.

WPHO Press Conference

The World Peace and Health Organizations continues its mission of wellness through a health dharma (Guang Huan Mi Zong) taught by their leader Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi

Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi

The WPHO owns 48 City properties and several other properties in surrounding communities. They continue to move forward with their mission, often at the cost of property maintenance and oversight.  This winter the majority of the group will be traveling back to China where they continue their mission of recruitment and finance, leaving only a skeleton crew to maintain the properties.

Categories: Amsterdam, Law, WPHO | Tags: , , , , ,

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