Grand Free Vegetarian Tasting Event , Johor Bahru, Malaysia
As the state capital of Johor, Johor Bahru is located in southern Peninsular Malaysia, adjacent to the neighboring Singapore. It is one of the largest cities in Malaysia and the nation’s significant regional transport and manufacturing hub. On July 7th, 2018, a grand free vegetarian tasting event was held in the suburb of the city and brought inspiration and joy to the local people.
As the organizer of this grand event, the Guan Yin Citta Buddhist Association of Malaysian has been dedicating to the Buddhism propagation and promoting Vegetarianism throughout the country. Nearly 20 large scale free vegetarian tasting events have been held in different places of Malaysia. The Johor Bahru Vegetarian Tasting Event is just one of the series of events to increase people’s understanding about Buddhism and the teachings from Master Jun Hong Lu. It’s also a great give back to the local communities for their consistent support to Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door and the Guan Yin Citta Chapter in Johor Bahru.
It’s estimated that over 1,200 families, friends, and neighbors attended the event. Since this is the second time the free tasting event was held in Johor Bahru, most people had held higher expectations before it started. The cheerful result is that most people found they spent a wonderful day with the meaningful learning of Dharma and gorgeous food, which exceeded their anticipation. The organizer, Guan Yin Citta Malaysia, offered 40 kinds of diversified cuisines to satisfy guests’ needs. All the food was carefully prepared and meticulously presented, including Malay satay, mushrooms in three cups, Thai style vegetarian fish, Hakka stuffed tofu, Burmese salad, Malacca G rice ball, Chinese style vegetarian wings, sesame oyster mushroom and French bread, etc.
Notably, the hard work of the 300 volunteers was admirable and praiseworthy. The event would not be accomplished without these self-devoted volunteers, who poured their hearts and souls into the work of preparing for the food, showing the guests the way to entrance, cleaning the bathrooms, distributing books, answering questions, etc. Most of the volunteers were from different places far from Johor Bahru, including East Malaysia, Sarawak, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Singapore and Indonesia. Their actions and behaviors in the event best demonstrated the spirit and upward outlook of a Buddhist practitioner, which impressed the guests and guarded the Buddhism teaching.
In addition, the collections of Master Jun Hong Lu’s Dharma Talks and Totem Inquiry videos clips were played, which inspired many attendees. During the video watching, many of them cannot help feeling about the sufferings in the chilling stories. So many men, women and children are on the verge of crisis, ranging from health issues, mental problems, marriage struggling, and family fights, etc. Master Jun Hong Lu said, “The suffering is a central concept in the Buddha’s teachings. 2,500 years ago, the Buddha has told us that there are four kinds of universal sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death. No one could be able to escape from any of them. Additionally, there is the suffering of having to meet or contact with those whom one hates or which one dislikes. Another mental suffering is the feeling you have to deal with when someone you love has to part from you, such as when your dear mother or father is dying in the hospital, when your kids grow up and leave home, etc. Life would be thriving if it could go through the suffering. Another suffering is being unable to obtain what one desires. Because of our desire and craving, we have to bear the suffering subsequently followed by the desire. It can also be stopped without the trigger of desire. The last one is the suffering arising from the five aggregates that constitute one’s body and mind. ”
At the end, the lucky drawing session led the event to the climax. Every attendee received a free delicate picture book which introduces vegetarian cooking with tons of practical recipes. The joy of Dharma permeated everywhere and everyone was happy. They were looking forward to the next free vegetarian tasting event in the near future.