On December 15, 2016, 34 new police cadets who will be joining the police force of Peel Region in Ontario, Canada in January of 2017 were led by three Peel Regional police officers Tony Tai, Wade Moore and Victor of Peel and visited Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto. Abbess Venerable Yung Ku instructed the reception and public relations unit to give the guests a warm welcome.
Abbess Venerable Yung Ku gave the guests a welcoming speech. Firstly, she congratulated them for obtaining a meaningful job. Police’s work resembles the “Guardian Angels” called bodhisattvas in Buddhism; they bring stability and happiness to the society and residents. The Abbess also gifted Chinese New Year couplets titled, “Rising Dawn with Success”, English books written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun like“366 days with Wisdom”, “The Awakening Life”, “For All Living Being”, and “Meditation and Healing”
According to Officer Tony, This batch of police officers is the most diverse compared to the past. In January 2017, they will be assigned to serve in all units. Thus, we especially arranged for them to understand the Peel region local residents’ religions, culture, and family background. We hope this visit to the Buddhist temple will help them when they are about to face different condition and pressure.
Thirty four police officers were divided into two groups. The guided tour was guided separately by Venerable Miao Qi and public relations group leader Mable Ho. They explained that Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto is a temple of both traditional and modern propagation of Humanistic Buddhism, emphasizing on individual cultivation and social services. The police officers learned more about the interaction between Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto and the community after watching a short film of the temple’s annual work report.
During Q and A, Venerable Miao Qi explained how a day is spent in the temple, how Buddhist Sangha disciples progress from “daily five homework”, which include 1. morning chanting, 2. meditative breakfast, 3. noon offering, 4. meditative lunch 5. Evening chanting to self-cultivation and servicing others. Then, she answered questions brought up by the police officers about the taboo in Buddhism around handling death and remains, how to achieve mindfulness and contemplation according to Buddhism, and the Buddha’s life and his journey of attainment. Realizing the police officers were interested in meditation; Venerable Miao Qi led them to have a 10 minute meditation practice. Focusing on how to relax their posture and breaths with an emphasis on being mindful between movements, and maintaining the balance of the body and mind.
That day, the temperature was 18 degrees below zero. Thus, the temple prepared a special afternoon tea at the Lotus Tea House, providing special fruit tea, Taiwan Oolong Tea, coffee and handmade snacks. During tea time, the police officers also learned about the special fruit tea from venerable. It is said to be tea nor tea; actually it is a delicious drink that all the ingredients harmoniously blend together, and wholeheartedly distributed.