Medan trip with Ajahn Keng Khemako and Bhikkhu Lee – a short chronicle

At the invitation of the Buddhist community in Medan to propagate the Dhamma, a group of local devotees extended an invitation to Ajahn Keng Khemako and Bhikkhu Lee to deliver Dhamma talks from October 8th to 12th 2016.

Brother Hing Seng Huat, Sister Suriaty “Sue” Simon, Sister Clara Tan and I accompanied them for the trip.  Brother Om Zacks, Sister Anna Jap and Sister Juliati Lim played hosts to the entourage in Medan.  Brother Om Zacks also chauffeured the entourage to the various venues.

We would like to accord our token of appreciation to Brother Stiven Widjaja who was the translator for the Dhamma talks conducted in Mandarin, English and Hokkien to Bahasa Indonesia.

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Translator Brother Stiven Widjaja in action.

Ananthapindika House

Ajahn Keng Khemako, Bhikkhu Lee, Brother Hing and I lodged at Ananthapindika House, specifically catered for visiting bhikkhus is administered by the Medan Charity Group. It was opened on July 17th 2012 and incidentally, Ajahn Brahm was the first guest of honour to reside here on March 19th 2013. Visakha House adjacent to it is a residence for visiting bhikkhunis.

ajhan-bhram-stay

Ajahn Brahm was the first guest to reside here.

Sister Suriaty “Sue’ Simon and Sister Clara Tan resided at Sue’s residence.

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Adjacent to Anathapindik House is Visakha House.

Pindapata

The monks went on alms round or pindapata at 7:00 am around the vicinity for their meals. Although within a small parameter, more than a dozen householders and devotees offered alms throughout our stay. Living up to tradition since the time of Lord Buddha, the sangha goes on alms round bare footed.

bare-foot-walk

Going on alms round bare footed in keeping with tradition

Upon returning to the monasteries or centres the sangha members would wash their feet before settling down for their meals. Likewise sangha members travelled bare footed and upon acceptance of invitation to visit an abode would also wash their feet before stepping into the house.

And the Exalted One robed himself, took his bowl and other things, went with his brethren to the rest house, washed his feet, entered the hall, and took his seat against the centre pillar, with his face towards the east. And the brethren also after washing their feet, entered the hall and took their seats round the Exalted One, against the western wall, and facing the east.” (DN ii 85).

washing-feet

October 8th 2016

 Metta Padma Orphanage

We arrived at Medan in the evening and visited orphans from Metta Padma at Ananthapindika House and brought joy to them. There are 14 of them with ages ranging three to teen agers.

joy-for-orphans

October 9th 2016

Programme at PUVB

At the invitation of Persamuhan Umat Buddha Viriyadhika Majelis Buhhdayana Indonesia (PUVB), a whole day programme lined up at the auditorium of Microskills Building. The activities conducted in Hokkien were Dhamma talk, meditation, followed by luncheon sanghika dana and rounded up with questions and answers session from the floor.

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group-picture-of-pubv-members-with-ajahn-keng-and-bhikkhu-leeGroup photo of PUBV members with Ajahn Keng and Bhikkhu Lee.

Meditation in progress ... ...

Meditation in progress … …

… … followed by Sanghika dana.

… … followed by Sanghika dana.

After the lunch break a Dhamma talk in Hokkien was delivered by Ajahn Keng with translation to Bahasa Indonesia by Brother Stiven Widjaja.

Ajahn Keng delivering his Dhamma talk … …

Ajahn Keng delivering his Dhamma talk … …

… … injecting humour to the amusement of the congregation.

… … injecting humour to the amusement of the congregation.

The event for the day rounded up with questions and answers session from the floor.

question-fr-the-floor

October 10th 2016

A visit to Taman Jetavana

While in Medan, we kept a lookout for favourable venue for meditation retreat. We visited Taman Jetavana, a meditation centre still under construction. A preliminary evaluation of it shows a positive venue for meditation retreat.

tama-jetavana

Dhamma talk at Tamil Buddhist Temple.

In the evening, the entourage visited a Tamil Buddhist Temple and offered blessing and chanting services. Ajahn Keng delivered a Dhamma talk on happiness to the Tamil Buddhists and also distributed goodie bags to these folks at a lower echelon of the community.

chanting_-blessing_-dhamma_talk

token-of-appreciation

October 11th 2016

Wedding event

The entourage was invited to a wedding where Ajahn Keng provided blessing service to a newlywed   couple as well to the congregation. He also advised the couple as well as the congregation on Buddhist aspect of harmony in family way.

Blessings for the newlywed couple … …

Blessings for the newlywed couple … …

… … followed by blessing for the congregation … …

… … followed by blessing for the congregation … …

… … and dana lunch for the sangha.

… … and dana lunch for the sangha.

A Visit to Pubbarama Centre

pubbarama-buddhist-centre

Evening Dhamma talk at Vihara Maitri (Mahayana Temple)

It was indeed enlightening for a Mahayana establishment to extend an invitation to a monk from the Theravada tradition to deliver Dhamma talk to its devotees. 

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Ajahn Keng sharing his happiness with the congregation.

Ajahn Keng sharing his happiness with the congregation.

questions-from-the-floor

October 12th 2016

Dana lunch at Green Bamboo Restaurant

The devotees and well-wishers offered dana lunch at Green Bamboo Restaurant with a turnout of more than 30 persons. After the dana offering, Ajahn Keng held a Dhamma sharing session with the devotees and well-wishers from the Medan Buddhist community.

Lunch dana.

Lunch dana.

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Epilogue

The Buddhist community that made up of the various denominations or traditions in Medan practise true Buddhism in harmony without any sign of elitism or discernment. Ajahn Keng, a Theravada monk was invited to give Dhamma talk at a Mahayana temple.

True Buddhism needs all three: Buddhas, arahants, and bodhisattvas.  It needs Buddhas to discover and teach the path to liberation; it needs arahants to follow the path and confirm that the Dhamma does indeed lead to liberation, adoring the teaching with examples of those who lead the purest holy life; it needs bodhisattvas to bring forth the resolve to perfect those qualities that will enable them at some point in the future, near or distant, to become Buddhas themselves and once again turn the unsurpassed Wheel of the Dharma.”  (“Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas”, by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi)

 It was indeed a very satisfying and fulfilling trip to Medan to have the opportunity to propagate the Dhamma in the most populated Muslim country in the world.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

NB: Text and photos by contributor who takes responsibility for any inadvertence, factual or otherwise.

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: October 27th 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Chin Kee Thou

Reading Buddhist scriptures and writing articles for the blog and newsletters.
This entry was posted in Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Dhamma Talk, Events, Meditation in Daily Life, Sutta in Daily Life. Bookmark the permalink.

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