Among the Monks and Nuns
I live, study and practice the Dharma among monks and nuns of the International Buddhist College (IBC) in Songkhla, Southern Thailand. I believe this is a result of my virtuous deeds in my previous lives and now it is within my ability to make the best use of it so that in future I may have far better conditions to follow the right path for the cultivation of merits and wisdom.
Briefly, I.B.C. is a brand new college that is well equipped and has a bright and positive vision for the future to benefit Buddhists and in a larger sense for the peace and harmony of all beings on this globe. It is founded by the most Venerable Wei Wu of Than Hsiang Temple in Penang, Malaysia.
Basically, I.B.C. is a non profitable college but will be a university that does not belong to any single authority in actual sense.
Neither does it belongs to any specific tradition, rather it belongs to all those who valued the truth and wisdom shown by Lord Buddha specially those whose contributions are whispered from the shines of I.B.C.
This new Buddhist College, reflects the historical Buddhist Universities like that of Nalanda University in India and Vikramashila in present Bangladesh, offers full philosophical knowledge and wisdom for members of different Buddhist tradition and nations without discriminations. We have lecturers, monks, nuns and lay students from different tradition and nationalities
Community life in I.B.C. is awesome because of its harmony and openness. Diversity; in philosophical thoughts, cultures, languages, nationalities and others; is the very life and the jewel ornaments of the IBC. This quality makes every day of I.B.C. new, exciting and adventurous. Such an environment itself is of a great advantage especially in enriching one's experience, wits and wisdom. For example: there
is no student from non Chinese speaking countries in I.B.C. who cannot speak at least a few lines in Chinese now. Instead of clinging on to one's own culture, tradition and language; there is that openness for the appreciation for the good side of others, thus, there is a harmonious flow of seeking and sharing of language, culture and wisdom among the community members and to any one who showed even the slightest sign of interest.
As a lay student, I feel I.B.C. an extremely good place for the in depth study and practice of Buddhism and the enrichment of the correct sense of spirituality. It might be difficult for lay people to see the real qualities of these renounced sangha members without spending time with them. Renouncing fully like the sangha members may seem difficult for lay people however we could learn or choose to lead a balanced life, so that we would not create more puzzles and problems for ourselves as well as others. Living with monks and nuns and observing their joyful life of pure simplicity is a good experience and training for the lay people on how to lead a happy and balanced life with the sangha members as good examples.
Religion is just a mere skin of spirituality. People have different religion but the core of the spirituality is basically the same. It is indeed a sad situation when people who cause some of the most serious and heinous troubles in the name of religion so much so that many sincere people lose confidence in religion.
Religion can becomes another serious tool to dominate other people for social, economical and political benefits. Spirituality is the core of religion and should be based on the wisdom of loving kindness and compassion. Some people use their power and strength to force another to change his or her religion while material and money had been used to lure people to change their religion too. Such dramas in the name of religion will not serve the purpose of religion or benefit people. Religions should be more open, patient and tolerant of each other; it should be based on qualitative rather than quantitative. The true teachings should be used to help and allow others to choose their faith or religion rather than force or simply money.
I.B.C. is established so that any interested person could study and practice the teachings of the Lord Buddha, for Buddhism is not just a religion based solely on belief and one should not follow it with blind faith. Buddhism is a way of life and the truth in it. Only the Lord Buddha said, “Do not follow….” Thus, even those who were born as Buddhist and call themselves Buddhists should at least know the fundamental teachings of the Lord Buddha. Mere faith and belief is not enough in Buddhism, in fact Lord Buddha never taught us to just believe anything but he teaches us to see the reality and accept as it is. Force will never overcome one's desire and money will never quench one's thirst. The contribution of I.B.C to mankind is the truthful teachings of the Lord Buddha. Only the Dharma or teachings of Lord Buddha and its
practice can bring peace and happiness. One's desire, anger, hatred and lust can be overcome by the Dharma and its practice. Such is the unsurpassable qualifications of the Lord Buddha's Dharma.
I.B.C. with an unshakable trust in the Triple Gem seeks to teach the precious Dharma to every interested human without any discrimination, so that the Dharma will be understood and put into practice in the correct manner, and, so that the truth will prevail and be of service to all. It is my joy that I.B.C. is now like a healthy grown up horse that is fully prepared for the race. Much of this success is due to the single pointed commitment and tireless efforts made by Ven.Wei Wu and his dharma family members and all the Dharma friends from different parts of the world without their sincere support, I.B.C. would not have been so successful. Much hearty thanks is owed to them.
Yet, to maintain its success and to continue to progress is another task, therefore, your continual support is much needed and appreciated.