May East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania Become a More Beautiful Place
—An Introduction of Jinyin Temple
Reporter: What is your story? What is your background? How did you come to follow the religion of Sino-Esoteric Buddhism? Describe the moment that lead you to that path. Describe your journey that led you to become a disciple/leader of the Jinyin Temple.
Yindang: I was extremely curious about nature, mysterious universe and vast stars as a teenager. When I was a child, I believed that gods, angels and aliens exist in this world. They live in heaven. After I went to middle school, however, the textbooks told me that there are no angels or gods in this world. Religions are made up. Under this educational system, I gradually became a determined atheist. Later, I become an instructor at University. Although I was engaged in religious culture research and read many Buddhist scriptures and the Bible, in my opinion, all kinds of miracles of the Buddha and Jesus were either illusory myths or legends.
However, in June of 2007, I met His Holiness the Vajra Master Jinke Xuanlei and witnessed the unbelievable miraculous powers he has. I was completely astounded. The master said, “In this vast universe, everything is possible. There are so many incredible mysteries beyond our imagination. The universe is even more wonderful than what we have discovered, more complex than what we have understood. Human beings cannot see the void pervading the space, nor can we see our own ignorance or the livelihood of light photons. Ordinary phenomena that have been explained by human beings become natural laws. The extraordinary phenomena that are yet to be deciphered by remain mysteries. Mystery gives rise to science, and to mystery science shall return. Science stems from persistent exploration out of human curiosity and imagination. Past and present saints from East and West such as the Buddha and Jesus have demonstrated unbelievable miracles, which are all real. They were meant to guide human beings to goodness, kindness and the belief of interdependent causation. Their teachings instructed us to respect our parents, love our families, treat our friends sincerely, and cultivate tolerance and compassion, which are all for the benefit of living beings…”
Then I came to know about the Master by reading From the Mountain he Comes and Dharma Connection. These two books described how Master Jinke Xuanlei had been benefiting and liberating others. The Master studied and meditated in the remote forest since his childhood. In the depths of the freezing, windswept forests and in remote wildernesses crawling with snakes and populated with wild beasts, he made the sky his tent and the ground his bed. He suffered hardships and endured pain like no-one before him. But even with all his achievements, he did not forget about the common people. In the 1990s, the Master came out from the retreat and traveled to many remote corners of Guangxi severely affected by poverty. Once there, he helped and treated thousands of people who were afflicted with illnesses at no cost, taught classes, propagated the Buddha-Dharma, and provided relief to those who were suffering. The local people loved and respected him in return. It deeply moved and changed many government officials, scholars, scientist, religious leaders, and the common people. Later the Master visited and dozens of countries at their invitation to pray for the people there. Along the way, the Master had build friendly connections and planted the seed of peace, friendship, and kindness of humanity. I was very touched by the Master’s callings and acts of compassion, loving-kindness, equanimity and liberty, which advocates for the union of people from different nations, race, ethnicity and religious beliefs. Under the guidance of the master, I became a pious Buddhist practitioner studying with the Master…
Of course, the Master has thousands of students like me. Each and every one of them has a special and touching story that cannot be explained in only a brief summary. We welcome everybody to come to Jinyin Temple and communicate further. Let us explore the nature of the universe and life together…
Reporter: Why is Sino Esoteric buddhism so important in your personal life?
Yindang: My encounter with the Master is one of the most important things happened in my life because the Master’s accomplishment completely changed my atheist world view. Before I met my master, I never believed in the existence of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, God, angels, or interdependent causality. I didn’t know that there are past and future lives, so our life’s pursuit is to obtain more material gains, trying to fulfill our sensory desires by eating and playing. Therefore, I had a lot of afflictive emotions. After I began to practice Buddhism with my Master, I purified my karmic obstacles. I now have a higher spiritual quest and goal and am committed to dedicating my life to benefit others. I have found my life’s calling…
The Master often says to us, “Being kind to others is the true kindness. When our mind is clear, it is like seeing a reflection in the mirror. We should cultivate merit and virtue all the time and always be skillful in our practice. We should have respect for heaven and earth, respect our parent, take care of our family, and treat our friend with sincerity…”
Reporter: why do you believe that forming this temple is not only important for our community, but for the world?
Yindang: America is a country of cultural and ethnical diversity. We are establishing Jinyin Temple here to push forward mutual understanding between the cultures of the East and the West and learn from each other’s strength for common progress, promoting the mutual respect between different civilizations and co-exist in harmony. May this cultural exchange and mutual learning became a bridge of friendship between different nations. This is not only important to the local community, but also to all of us who have religious beliefs. We look forward to joining the family of the local community. We believe that the local community will bring us warmth and hospitality, and we will bring the wonderful the Eastern mandala culture to the community. We also hope to contribute to the local tourism, economic and cultural development…
Master Jinke Xuanlei spread the idea of kindness, peace and great love to unite different religious traditions and respect different cultures. His calling of “Union of Humanity, Peace on Earth” was widely received and gained approvals and admiration from people across the globe. The Master often says: “Many hands make light work. Safeguarding world peace cannot be borne only by one person or one country. Each one of us, each religious tradition, and each country must work together to develop the work of peace. The Master’s ideas will be disseminated to the world through Jinyin Temple, which I think will make significant contributions in promoting world peace.
Reporter: What does it mean when a Buddhist reaches complete enlightenment?
Yindang: A Buddha is someone who has attained the perfect enlightenment. Such enlightened beings have realized the true nature of the universe. To put it in Buddhist term, it is to attain “Anuttara-Samyak-sambodhi”. How to understand this phrase? Let me briefly elaborate that our cognition of the world depends on the six functions of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. All scientific and technological inventions, various doctrines and philosophical theories of human beings are all the derivation, induction, deduction and summary of the six senses. The spiritual world beyond which the six senses can perceive needs to be cultivated through the practice of Bodhicitta, six perfections of wisdom, extensive accumulation of merit and wisdom, esoteric meditation and persistent practice. When we accomplish the states of deep meditative samadhi, we can then realize the spiritual world that saints mentioned are for real omnipresence and actualize the reality of life and the universe.
Let me give you another example, if we were all born blind and deaf, we won’t be able to know the colors and music of the world. Mountains, rivers, universe, and stars do not exist in our perception. Through treatment, we gradually gained our sight and hearing, then we discover how we perceived the world was very narrow and dark. This “treatment” is the ways and teachings in which saints had instructed us. The process of an ordinary being gradually becoming enlightened is also like the process of transforming from a blind and deaf person to a person with normal sight and hearing. Of course, this is only a metaphor. The state of Buddhahood after enlightenment is so much more incredible than the metaphor we used here.
Master Jinke Xuanlei often tells us that, “ All sentient beings are born with the Buddha nature. We could not see it due to our own delusions and attachment. All these delusions stem from our grasping of the external appearances as real, so we are so ignorant and enthralled in attachment and hatred that we could not free ourselves from our own grasping mind. When there is grasping, there will be afflictions. Afflictions are the stains that obscure our mind. Buddha nature, the mind of the perfect wisdom, complete enlightenment and ultimate reality, is always present in every single one of us”.
Reporter: Describe the contextual background and religious history of Sino-Esoteric Buddhism.
Yindang: Sino Esoteric Buddhism is not only a treasured gem of the Buddhist religion but also a part of the spiritual wealth shared by all mankind. It originated in India when the Dharmakaya Buddha Mahavairocana transmitted the highest yoga Tantra to Vajrasattva. After attaining the perfect wisdom of luminosity, Bodhisattva Nagarjuna demonstrated the miraculous power to open the iron pagoda in the south heaven. The illusory image of Vajrasattva appeared and shone, instructing and bestowing the Vajradhatu and Garbhadhatu tantras on Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna turned the wheel of the Dharma with the great compassion compassion to liberate all sentient beings in the Saha world. This is the dependent origination of Vajrayana esoteric teachings. For hundreds of years, the Dharma realms prospered, Nargajuna passed on the teaching to Nagabodhi through Dharmakaya transmission. Nagabodhi again transmitted the esoteric teachings to Vajrabodhi through the embodiment of Dharmakaya for another hundreds of years.
Indian Buddhist masters Subhakarasimha and Vajrabodhi and his disciple Amoghavajra came to China and introduced esoteric teachings to the Tang imperial court in the Kaiyuan era (A.D. 713-741). Through Dharmakaya transmission, many great buddhist masters carried on the lineage for over a thousand years, including Master Qizhenxinghai, Master Rilunjiemo, Master Bayinduda, Master Jinyin, and Master Jinke Xuanlei.
Every lineage holder of Sino esoteric Buddhism has many stories of how they taught and liberated sentient beings. They are very sacred. These stories are clearly recorded in the historical documents. If you are interested, you can set up a column on the website to introduce these amazing and moving stories in detail. We can provide you with the sources of the story.
Below are the two stories about the miracles of the Sino Esoteric Buddhism lineage founder Vajrabodhi:
One year when there was a great drought, the Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty requested Vajrabodhi to supplicate for rain. Vajrabodhi said to Emperor Xuanzong: “There are strict precepts with regard to the display of supernatural powers. Supernatural powers cannot be easily displayed, nor can the gods be summoned at will, much less to say violating the natural law. Your majesty should lead the people to build water conservancy projects, which not only solves the drought problem but also prevent it." The Emperor supplicated for rain sincerely for the his people, due to the merit of the Emperor, Vajrabodhi began to build an altar of practice, soon the wind and clouds gushing heavy rain, thousands of people have seen the appearance of the dragon, which astounded the entire city of Chang 'an. The emperor and his subjects began to believe in the Buddha-Dharma, and widely accumulated wisdom and merit to benefit the common people. They were all in awe of heaven and earth. Bad people no longer dared to do evil acts.
At that time, one of the princesses had been fatally ill with her eyes and mouth shut for almost a month. It seemed that the princess would soon die. Xuanzong wanted to see his daughter one last time, so he asked Vajrabodhi to bring back the princess's soul. Vajrabodhi enters into Samadhi and employed unbelievable sacred power. After a short period, the princess miraculously got up from her sickbed, opened her eyes and spoke again. The princess said to Xuanzong, “Dad, I will die soon. Just now a bodhisattva has summoned me back to see my father again.” Xuanzong, the emperor was thrilled to see his daughter again and the unimaginable profoundness of Buddha-Dharma.
Reporter: What organization established the Jinyin Temple? Who is in charge of the Jinyin temple?
Yindang: Jinyin Temple was established by the Vajra Master Jinke Xuanlei with his disciples.Before the Foundation the Jinyin temple, they also established the World League of Sino Esoteric Buddhism , and the Lianyin Temple in Guangxi, China, under the guidance of His Holiness the Vajra Master Jinke Xuanlei.
The director of Jinyin Temple is Jack Wang, a Chinese American from New York. He is also a disciple of the Vajra Master.
Reporter: What was their reasoning behind establishing the temple in East Stroudsburg? What events lead up to the foundation of the Jinyin Temple?
Yindang: On February 2017, His Holiness the Vajra Master Jinke Xuanlei was invited to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., which gained approvals and admiration from all walks of life around the world. In order to foster the global understanding of the ancient Eastern civilization, contributing to the diversity in America, and promote the peace and prosperity of the world, the Master decided to establish a Sino Esoteric Buddhist center, Jinyin Temple in America, which was highly expected by people from all walks of life. We have received sincere invitations from multiple city’s in America with favorable conditions. The mayor of Lancaster, California, extended a warm invitation to the Master to spread Sino Esoteric Buddhism there and build the world's tallest Mahāvairocana Buddha Statue in addition to the establishment of a temple. Many people also extended invitations to the Master to build World Peace Prayer Altar, and Mandala Center in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and many other places across the United States.
After a state of deep meditation, the Master chose to establish the World Peace Prayer Mandala here in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. This is the sacred arrangement of the Buddha, bodhisattvas, and God, but also a challenge we need face to hone our will and determination, sharpen our discernment and perfect our merit. The location is next to the National Forest Park, where the ecosystem is well preserved with an exuberant forest. We have heard that this used to be a busy and prosperous place. Master Jinke Xuanlei came here to establish Jinyin Temple to pray for the people here and pray for this place to be prosperous again.
Reporter: What are the goals of the Jin-Yin Temple? How do they plan to accomplish those goals?What are the temple’s plans moving forward?
Yindang: The mission of Jinyin Temple is to promote the union of humanity, world peace, compassion, and loving kindness. Live our life following the Buddha’s teachings on the ten good paths of actions and practicing the six perfection of wisdom including generosity, discipline, patient, joyous effort, meditational concentration, and wisdom. We need to generate bodhicitta, the aspiration to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. This way we will benefit both ourselves and the others, the state and the people. We also need to develop the right belief of the empty nature of dependent arising; combining the four immeasurable of kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity with the wisdom of emptiness to cultivate the Buddhist path; act in accordance with the Buddhist doctrines and rely on our enlightened root guru to accomplish the stages of realization in Vajrayana in order to to save sentient beings, purify the negative deeds of sentient beings, enlighten sentient beings, and liberate sentient beings, finally freeing oneself from the cyclic existence of life and death, reborn in the realm of the Buddha.
Our goals are to resist wars, stand against violence, protect the ecology and end poverty. Our aim is also to promote local economic and cultural prosperity, and build a great home for all human beings! For this purpose, we have made a detailed overall plan for the original building on the basis of renovation. In the future, we will achieve our goals through prayers, meditation, Mandala art exhibitions, cultural exchanges, and charity activities...
Jinyin Temple is a holy place of pure and harmonious religious practice. It is a multi-functional site of Buddhist practice, which is different from traditional churches. Our worship sites include the Main Hall, Jinke Shrine Hall, Sutra Chanting Room, Visualization Yoga Courtyard, Vajra Master Abhisheka Site, Dharma Lecture Hall, Meditation Park, World Peace Prayer Mandala, Vajrayana Yoga Fitness Square, Mandala Art Class. These sites are for different stages of Sino esoteric Buddhist worship practices.
We hope that the future Jinyin Temple will become the center of aspiration of the peoples of the world, the center of peace, the center of pilgrimage, and the center of learning ancient traditional mandala culture. This is our goal. To achieve this goal, we also need the support and understanding of the government and people here. Let us work together to build a home of happiness for all….
Reporter: Describe the history that lead to the foundation of the the Jinyin Temple?
Yindang: When we took over this property a year ago, this place had been abandoned for many years. Many buildings and equipment are damaged and deteriorated and the place is covered with garbage and dead bodies and feces of wild animals. we have spent a significant amount of financial and human resources cleaning, tidying, and repairing a property that has been abandoned for several years, as well as attending to the aging equipment and moldy buildings. Our volunteers spend almost a year of time to clearing out nearly 30 trucks of garbage, with every truck of garbage costing over 700 dollars. With the long, ongoing rainy and snowy season, we need to carry out leak repairs and renovation work on almost all the buildings. At the same time we installed and maintained new equipment. We have worked very hard to build this homeland of peace. Although physically it is a tiring process, we will feel extremely gratified and fulfilled when we receive praises and blessings from the Buddha and God. Our heart is purified and we feel so happy and fulfilled seeing how this smelly abandoned wilderness is becoming ever cleaner and more beautiful day by day.
We had planned to build a prayer hall, opening to the general public and pilgrims from all over the world after the completion of the reconstruction, on the foundations of the original event center. This prayer hall could accommodate up to 3,000 visitors praying at the same time, and both the planning and design had been completed. Just as we had made significant progress, the unexpected fire destroyed everything. The fire not only affected all our original plans but also resulted in severe and painful loss for us. In addition to the original building being completely burned down, the fire spread to other buildings nearby and affected invaluable
Buddhist art, paintings, and calligraphy, over a hundred pieces of mahogany furniture, construction materials, many books and papers, Painting and calligraphy mounting machine,Mandala vajra statues unique to Sino Esoteric Buddhism, Buddhist musical instruments,more than 500 chairs, air conditioners, audio equipment and many other things that we kept in the buildings were burned down. The worst thing was that a set of jade carvings engraved screen walls made of thirteen boxes of carvings inlaid with precious stones was destroyed in the fire. This priceless exquisite Buddhist art was the one and the only in the world. As these precious materials had all been donated by devout believers from all over the world, this loss was extremely painful for us.
As a result of the accidental fire, we can no longer follow the original design plan to execute this project. We now must find some experts to redesign and build a new prayer hall first. There will be a lot of things to do. Secondly, the ruin removal process of the fire was a huge challenge for us. It took us a lot of energy and time. Third, the materials that were originally donated by the believers around the world were burnt down, which directly affected the construction process. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and have been confessing wholeheartedly. Finally, and most importantly, after the fire, we have done our best to communicate and negotiate with the insurance company about the claim settlement as soon as possible.we still did not receive the reimbursement from our insurance claim. This directly affected the redesign and construction process of the praying hall and had a negatively impact on the opening and overall development of Jinyin Temple.
Reporter: How can the community support the Jinyin temple?
Yindang: We are religious groups with spiritual faith. We follow the laws and regulations of local government everywhere we go, and we have always been welcomed by the local people. We also feel the hospitality of the people here, especially when we encountered fire while building Jinyin Temple on the ruins. We hope to get the concern and support of the local government and people, help us out of the predicament, and jointly promote the development of East Straussburg, Pennsylvania.
When we held the Chinese culture open day, the neighbors and merchants were very enthusiastic in participating. We were very happy to make dumplings together. On 16 February we held the spring world peace prayer ceremony, many local friends made special trips to join us for this special event. They witnessed the establishment and consecration of the Mahavairocana Buddha Statue in Pennsylvania. There are also many local residents to offer help, looking forward to finish our construction here early, so that they have a good practice, exercise, fitness and health environment, which deeply moved us.
We have just taken over this place, and there are many tasks. Because of the lack of communication, some people don’t know us very well. In the future, we will communicate with the local community better. Hopefully, it will increase our mutual understanding and respect. We welcome everyone to come to Jinyin Temple more often and together build a harmoniously community.
Reporter: How does the temple aim to spread world peace and Sino Esoteric Buddhism?
Yindang: Sino Esoteric Buddhism is renowned internationally with students and followers of the Master scattered all over the world.
Jinyin Temple will host prayer ceremonies, scripture recitation and meditation activities in large scales. At the same time allowing the local community to enjoy martial arts, yoga, painting, calligraphy, ceramics, sculpture, traditional chanting, music, dance, and stunning Jinke Mandala art. Moreover, we will organize members of your temple to travel around the world to host different activities. We believe that tourists, believers, eminent persons, and peace supporters from all over the world will be traveling here to pray, meditate, visit, and study. It will help with the development of local tourism, economy, and culture. We also plan to organize various educational activities or the general public. This would allow visitors to experience the culture of Vajrayana Buddhism by the lakeside among the ancient trees of the forest, to enjoy beautiful mandala artworks in the exhibition hall, and to pray for peace and the happiness of humankind within the temple’s solemn and sacred hall… We welcome people of different race, ethnicities, languages and religious beliefs to experience the rich, vibrant culture here. Our activities are free and open to all, which is also our way of expressing our sincerity.
On February 16th, the 2019 Spring World Peace Prayer Ceremony was held in the East Stroudsburg of Pennsylvania of United State. Locals as well as people from United Nations,Indian, Italy, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Canada, Iceland, and others participated in the prayer ceremony. The ceremony was very successful, which gave us confidence. The Representative of Pennsylvania Senator, Congressman, and the operation director Annette Atkinson of the Middle Smithfield town participated the world peace ceremony and highly praised the temple. The prayer ceremony was jointly organized by 9 organizations including Monroe County United, Harvard Buddhist Community, The Buddhist Association of the University of Chicago, and the Union of the Overseas Chinese Association in New York USA.
This prayer ceremony was reported and widely praised by the World Daily, Sing Tao Daily, Joe, Washington News, New World Times, as well as NBC and ABC's local television channels in Pennsylvania, and the Pocono regional media. Everyone knows that there is a Buddhist spiritual center in the Pocono area, the Jinyin Temple of Sino esoteric Buddhism.
Reporter: What is your role in the Jinyin temple?
Yindang: My position is a member of the Jinyin Temple Council. I am an artist of Mandala culture and is primarily responsible for Mandala's artistic meditation creation. I am also a disciple of the Master and a Buddhist Dharma teacher.
Reporter: What is the significance of the famous painting by the Master?
Yindang: Today, the world is becoming ever small due to the rapid development of technology. Methods to achieve close interactions and communications are becoming easier. Nevertheless, differences in cultures, ideologies, and religions, as well as religious extremists, terrorists, political struggles and wars continue to cause conflicts and hidden threads in our world. In an age and time when the development of science and economy is advancing by leaps and bounds, why is the danger of self-destruction ever more imminent for the human race? What can we do to build a truly harmonious home for all sentient beings? Where is the human civilization headed in the twenty-first century?
During his deep meditation at the ten thousand mountains of Guangxi on September 15th, 2016, the Vajra Master Jinke Xuanlei's Dharmakaya was connected to the divine realm and transformed into Yong Ni Sa Da (esoteric seed of wisdom) where it had manifested into trillions of photons. The light emerged with wondrous golden rays that shines on the entire cosmos of the ten directions, where the Master had seen all the founders and protectors of different religions. They transformed themselves into their purest form that is filled with magnificence and grace to form a diamond blue lotus Mandala where they gravitate towards the Master until their Dharmakaya is one with his. Instantaneously, all their thoughts and emotions were integrated into the Master's mind. An immense silent voice from every corner of the vast universe is calling upon the Vajra Master Jinke Xuanlei. They are asking the Master to use his vows of compassion, wisdom, and love as vehicles to awaken mankind who had lost their way in greed and desire.
They want the Master to help mankind by reminding us to look back into history at the teachings of different religious founders and sages as the guidance for the future of human beings. They also want the Master to urge all human beings to take a kind, understanding, trustworthy, tolerant and honest intentions towards each other. There is only one home for all of us, earth, every nation and every race are all brothers and sister of the same family. Therefore, we need to love and cherish each other, live in harmony with each other and form a community of common destiny for each other. When that community is formed, our world will have peace forever!
After the Master came out from meditation, he led us and created a colossal mandala painting with the theme of “united as one for world peace”. We traveled to different places around the world to exhibit this painting and spread the voice of the union of humanity and peace on earth. We hope that the great love of Sino Esoteric mandala will edify the development of human civilization. It is also the embodiment of Master Jinke Xuanlei’s aspiration and action of compassion and world peace.
Reporter: Do you have any additional literature or information about Sino-Esoteric Buddhism or the Jin-Yin Temple?
Yindang: Not only do I have related information about Sino Esoteric Buddhism and Jinyin Temple, but every member also has them. We have our daily practice booklet, and our Buddhist scriptures passed down by our lineage founders including The Mahavairocana Sutra, The Vajrasekhara Sutra, The Sussiddhikara Sutra, The Yogayogi Sutra, The Humane King Sutra, and the Grate Dharani Sutra. we also have other video recordings, articles, and reports of the Master leading us to promote world peace around the world. Some of those we can share with you and the public. Some of these are our own Vajrayana esoteric practices that we cannot share openly.
Let the boundless love of our heart spread to every corner of the world. May there be no more hatred nor hostility. May all sentient beings feel the boundless love that has been brought forth by this auspicious connection we share.
May world peace prevail on earth forever!
Jinyin Temple welcomes everyone here!
Namo Amitabha! Ankele! Yekesuo!