The scenery of Institute
The school for male monks of Minnan Buddhist Institute is located in famous Nanputuo Temple, to be the main building of Nanputuo Temple at the right side. The Institute is back to well-know Wulao Peaks and face to widest southeast sea. Furthermore, its preponderant position near to Xiamen University and Xiamen Lujiang University (changed the new name to Xiamen University of Technology) make it become a special culture area in Xiamen. As couplet on the door of Dongshan says "Joyfully looking up Nanputuo Temple is with Xiamen University, and listening to the soft wind and wave sounds".
There are two stone lions standing at the both side of Institute, which looked like welcoming the whole world students to the "Lion Cave". The golden handwritten inscription of Minnan Buddhist Institute by the late president of Chinese Buddhist Association Zhao Puchu, is hung on the door. Its golden light stands for Minnan Buddhist Institute's brilliance.
When walking into the door, the first thing that catches your eyes is a Bodhi tree encircled by three people. Its green shade shows the infinite vitality of Buddhism in the 21st century. Maybe you have heard the subtle chanting sound at that time, because the teaching building is near to the Bodhi tree and the sound is come out from the classroom. The two-floor teaching building is the main learning site for male undergraduate and postgraduate faculties. In addition to the classrooms for each subject, the modern computer classroom as well as the newsroom of Minnan Buddhism is established in the teaching building. The young students explore the true meaning of their own faith here, while promote Buddha¡¯s wisdom, compassion and equality to the world, who help to realize the goal of Pure Land.
The administration building is behind the teaching building, which is a three-floor building that combined of ancient and modern architectures. The first floor is administrative area with Academic Administration and Teaching and Guiding Office, with the responsibility of Institute¡¯s education, management, teaching and research. The second floor is for Tai Xu Library and Academy Office. The library owns a number of abundant collections, except Buddhist Scriptures, it also has old scriptures of literary history and philosophy, such as Chinese and Foreign Masterpieces, Historians, Philosophers, other Religion Collections and so on. The library is an important place for students to acquire knowledge and for masters to further study. The Academy Office is mainly responsible for administrative affairs to guarantee entire Institute¡¯s work to proceed smoothly. The Dean¡¯s Office and Tai Xu¡¯s Memorial Hall are set up in the third floor, to recall the ancestor, and lead the Institute develop forward along withTai Xu Master¡¯s Buddhist steps at the same time.
The right side of the teaching building is the dormitory for students. There is a row of tropical palm plants in front of the dormitory building, which makes the Institute is full of Southern sentiment. If you sit on the dormitory¡¯s balcony, look at full moon under the night sky, enjoy the atmosphere laden with the smell of sea wind and listen to the shaking sound of palm leaves , then all of them would bring a refreshment to you. With lawns and bamboos, flowers and trees, small pond with goldfishes, street with paved stones, stone tables and chairs under the trees and the pigeons, the campus becomes a good place to learn indeed.
Thinking of education while hearing chanting
The young monks that come from all over the country, who further study here with their own lofty ideals and mission of "not seek happiness for themselves, but help all beings to be away from suffering". They will explore in the ocean of truth along with the teachers year after year.
The young students not only learn the old scriptures of various sects of Buddhism, but also accept basic knowledge of literary history and philosophy etc. In the meanwhile, the Institute usually holds a variety of seminars and lectures. Therefore, in addition to teaching building, library and other infrastructure facilities, there is an octagonal cornice Lecture Hall at the top right side of the Institute. The Lecture Hall¡¯s special design brings lecturer' eloquence voice echo all the room, from which makes the listeners enjoy and benefit. This sacred hall is a location to see the mien of masters and appreciate old histories for young students. Here, it has enlightenment from famous Buddhist teachers, intelligent view from academic experts and longing for a great number of disciples.
There is a large of green lawn in front of Lecture Hall. In holidays or spare time, you will see such scenes. Few students are sitting together in a group and happily having a debate with laughter. Two friends are talking while chatting, sometimes they smile to each other when talk about joyful things. He or she is in meditation alone, it seems like he or she understand something. They must share their own insights or think about life for a case, a philosophical quote and so on.
In order to create broader space for learning, nowadays Minnan Buddhist Institute cooperated with Xiamen University to found Buddhist Center. This pathbreaking movement not only further promotes the cooperation between Buddhist realm and Academic realm, but also improves the education level of Minnan Buddhist Institute to cultivate new century¡¯s Buddhist talents.
The Institute is always adhered to the education guidelines of the integration of study and practice, and public monastery life. For that, the students must strictly live religious life apart from study. While every day the human beings are still smiling in their dreams, the monk students have put on cassocks and paraded face to Main Palace under loud morning bell. The will use the clean chanting sutras to welcome new arrival of everyday life. At that time, their childlike faces look calm and peaceful. The young monk students¡¯ inner thanksgiving and blessing would turn into endless prayer, that is the world is peaceful without wars, and human beings are pleasant without disasters.
Reciting in the morning and evening, having meals after knocking the slitdrum, moral restraining on 1st and 16th every Chinese lunar month, and with other Buddhist baptism, all young Buddhist students will get more peace and delight. When the lights are turned on, then the sound of chanting reverberates through Minnan Buddhist Institute. As wooden knocker gives off orderly sound, it will lead your heart return to a serene state and realize the joy from the soul.