Doors Open Event in Toronto, Canada
With the blessing of Grand Master,
Jing Yin Temple’s first ever participation in Doors Open Event was a huge success


 


       The City of Toronto has been hosting the annual Doors Open event since 2000 with many architecturally and historically significant buildings offering free admission to the general public. All participating buildings went through a thorough process of approval in order to participate in the event. Established last October and consecrated by Grand Master Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Jing Yin Temple of the True Buddha School also applied to take part in this year’s Doors Open event for the first time.
      The application process for Doors Open is very detailed and all buildings must be approved by officials of the City. The evaluation panel was intrigued to discover that a majority of the design and construction of the temple was done by volunteers, the temple adopted many green concepts, and the temple manifests Buddhist and Chinese traditions. As a result, the City of Toronto sent two event coordinators to Jing Yin Temple for a site visit in advance. When they arrived, they were both attracted by the temple’s magnificent appearance, the craving of tantric signs on the granite railings surrounding the temple, and the Nine Dragon granite wall. When they walked into the main hall, they couldn’t believe what they saw. They were so overwhelmed by the sight of the main shrine, the shining Buddha statues and the colourful mandala ceiling. Although we had not officially submitted our application, the two event coordinators immediately pre-approved us to participate in the event.

     This year’s Doors Open event was held on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26, 2013. All temple members were excited to be a part of what would be an historic event. They all vowed to help make this a successful event and, in turn, introduce the True Buddha School to the Toronto mainstream community.



     Being the first Chinese Tantric Buddhist temple participating in the Doors Open event in Toronto, we became the focus of the whole city. One of the city’s most read magazines, Toronto Life, voted Jing Yin Temple as the number one place to visit for the 2013 Doors Open event on their top 10 list. The day before the event, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) Metro Morning radio show broadcasted a live interview with a Jing Yin Temple representative. On the first day of the event, Fairchild TV news crew came to the temple to record the event and reported it in its Evening News program. Jing Yin Temple was one of the most visited buildings on the first day; it was a tremendous success, prompting the Doors Open’s event coordinator and CBC’s broadcasting director both came to Jing Yin Temple to see it for themselves. They were both very excited and pleased with the amount of visitors we welcomed on both days.

      Jing Yin Temple became one of the most successful buildings in this year’s event, attracting over 5,000 visitors from all over the City of Toronto. Every visitor who walked into the temple was greeted by the temple’s volunteers. When they arrived in the parking lot, they passed under a golden welcoming balloon arch. Outside the main entrance to the temple, we had 9 bulletin boards with pictures of Grand Master’s consecration on the grand opening day; construction progress; auspicious signs seen in the sky; and many other activities. We also had members dedicated to walk through the pictures for the visitors.



     When the visitors entered the main worship hall, they were welcomed by volunteers who offered them hot tea and grouped them to join a guided tour. The tour guides introduced the True Buddha School and Grand Master, led the group to tour around the temple, and explained the structural design, the mandala shrine and the Buddha statutes. In addition, we organized a total of seven 15-minute chanting sessions to let the visitors have a chance to appreciate True Buddha School’s way of chanting. Every time, the spectators brought the house down. Some even remarked that the chanting session was too short or wanted to have more sessions.
      Our participation in this year’s Doors Open event was a tremendous success. We received very positive feedback and excellent media coverage. We were able to attract a diverse audience from various backgrounds. A lot of visitors posted pictures and videos of their visits online. Many have made very positive comments on Jing Yin Temple as a participating building. This participation is indeed a good platform of promoting True Buddha School.
      We are grateful to Grand Master for his blessing and to all volunteers for their selfless dedication and hard work for months in preparation for this event. The way we helped each other and the spirit that we demonstrated is a true reflection of a family of vajra brothers and sisters. We were also able to avail of this meaningful event to solidify our power of unity and to propagate the True Buddha Tantric Dharma.

 

      As Master Lian-xiong always says to us “Being Grand Master’s students, no matter where we are, and even though we may not be able to serve Grand Master by his side, we must always have the sense of gratitude towards our Grand Master and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. That way, Grand Master and all Buddha and Bodhisattvas will always be with us, and never leave us. As long as we follow Grand Master’s teachings and be selfless, we will receive His blessings. Whatever we plan to do, it will be successful.”