The event is held annually and is a traditional Buddhist' ceremony. The gathering celebrated and promoted inter-religious and cultural collaboration and amity.
Visitors from all walks of life, all age and cultural groups and various religions were welcomed in the main shrine by the Buddhist mantra, 「Om Mani Padme Hum」.
The welcome speech by Nan Hua mentor, Ven Master Yi Chun, was very inspirational and called for the promotion of social collaboration and reduced conflict between nations and races. She added that compassion practiced by individuals could collectively make the difference in less fortunate lives and if we live our lives in a mindful and considerate manner, we could all be instrumental in the spirit of world peace. She furthermore stated that all people are all equal, irrelevant of culture, religion, race, sex, standing or political views.
Very moving and heart-warming music meditation was performed by Ven Master Hui Mu who chanted in his strong, crystal-clear voice, the Stanza: The Sound of Dharma and The Pureland. Ven Master Mu's Buddhist chanting was interspersed by Catholic celebratory hymns sung by Tshegofatso Makhafola. Tshegofatso's melodic voice beautifully performed Amazing Grace and Plea for Africa.
The candle lighting ceremony followed and all attendees received a Yellowwood tree seedling as gift from Nan Hua Temple and BLIA. The Yellowood tree is indigenous to South Africa and is also known as the Buddhist's pine. Venerable Master Hui Fang, Abbot of Nan Hua Temple, lead all into prayer which was followed by a compassionate meditation session.
The Abbot then read a Prayer for World Peace, written by Ven Master Hsing Yun, founder of the Fo Guang Shan order, which was followed by the Merit Sharing Prayer.
The 2011 Nan Hua Ceremony of Light and Peace came to completion with a final compassionate message delivered by the Abbot and the traditional photography of the group of attendees.
Lunch was served at the Nan Hua Guest House where the YAD Talent Show kept visitors entertained. The ceremony was very moving, inspirational and enriching and we hope to see you all next year!