Formless Almsgiving: Lingyin Temple donates to underpriviledged families in Tuankou

LY-Temple | 2013-01-24 | View: 1937

Donation Ceremony of Poverty Relief Project by Lingyin Temple

On 23 January, 2013, the donation ceremony of Poverty Relief Project by Lingyin Temple took place in Duankou County, Lin'an City. Abbot Guangquan and Venerable Miaohong, among other representatives of Lingyin Temple, attended the donation ceremony together with authorities from Municipal United Front Department and Municipal Bureau of Religious Affairs.

Abbot Guangquan of Lingyin Temple delivering a speech

The donation ceremony was hosted in the Arts and Sport Centre of Tuankou County, Lin'an. Abbot Guangquan and Venerable Miaohong, representing Lingyin Temple, passed on a total of 250,000 RMB of donated funds to 107 impoverished families in Tuankou County. They also expressed wishes that all can sail through difficult times and have a happy Spring Festival with public help and support and would have good luck and fortune in the new year under the blessing of Buddha.


Venerable Miaohong passed on donated funds to impoverished families in Tuankou County as representative of Lingyin Temple

Abbot Guangquan also gave a speech, emphasizing that it had always been a Buddhist tradition to help those in need. While referred to secularly as "charity", such act is called "giving alms" in Buddhist terms. It is not only financial alms that we are giving, said Abbot Guangyuan, but most importantly, the alm-giving should be “formless”.


 Abbot Guangquan passed on donation to people in need

After the donation ceremoney, Abbot Guangquan also attended the Colloquium on Poverty Relief in Tuankou County, and visited local schools.

Lingyin Temple has hosted formless alm-giving since ten years, and have raised over ten million yuan of funds in total, which benefited schools, local welfare institutions and charity enterprise in impoverished areas. This particular alm-giving project, targeting specifically at Tuankou County, Lin'an, was initiated and coordinated by United Front Department of the Municipal government. Upon hearing about the impoverished families in Tuankou area, Venerable Guangquan immediately decided on donating 250,000 RMB, and made sure to send the funds to the people in need before the Spring Festival, so that they would be able to have a peaceful and festive holiday season.



Presence at the Colloquium on Poverty Relief in Tuankou County


About Formless alms giving,

You can obtain eternal enjoyment of LIFE by giving alms without your mind abiding in false notions. Giving away a thousand strings of coins to someone is not as good as giving him a scripture, and giving him a scripture is not as good as enlightening him on profound truth. The supreme great awakening and great wisdom is formless. The formless alms giving can foster supreme great awakening and great wisdom. Therefore the greatest alms giving is the formless alms giving.

Formless alms giving, or giving alms without your mind abiding in false notions, means that when you are giving alms, you will not have the notion of the self capable of giving alms, the person receiving the alms, and the object being given as alms. And of course you should not harbor the idea that you may be repaid after giving the alms. You do good deeds and yet do not expect your kindness to be repaid, and that is called formless alms giving. Formless alms giving means that you seek no interest but intend to completely meet the needs of other people, alms given without any care for costs or recompense. The virtue and merit of formless alms giving are infinite.

------extractions from "800 Values (Second Edition)--Buddha and the Way of Buddha"

“Moreover, Subhuti, as to dharmas, a Bodhisattva should not dwell anywhere when he gives. He should not dwell in forms when he gives, nor should he dwell in sounds, smells, tastes, tangible objects, or dharmas when he gives. Subhuti, a Bodhisattva should give thus: he should not dwell in marks. And why? If a Bodhisattva does not dwell in marks when he gives, his blessings and virtues are im- measurable. “Subhuti, what do you think, is space in the east measurable? “No, World Honored One. “Subhuti, is space in the south, west, north, or in the intermediate directions, or above, or below, measurable? “No, World Honored One. “Subhuti, the blessings and virtue of a Bodhisattva who does not dwell in marks when he gives are just as immeasurable. Subhti, a Bodhisattva should only dwell in what is taught thus.

-----Chapter four of Diamond Sutra translated by the Buddhist text translation society