Monastic Education Scriptural Translations Community Education Library
Monastic Education
"All living beings long to have peace and joy in their hearts.
The Buddha has already shown us the way to achieve it,
And that is through ethical discipline."
Master Zhen-Ru
Scriptural Learning
For anyone with a strong interest in Buddhism, it is a great joy to listen to the Buddhist teachings. The wisdom and compassion of the Buddhist masters can guide our lives toward happiness and peace. They help us eliminate our afflictive emotions, making our hearts brighter, gentler, more compassionate, and more hopeful.
GEBIS monastic communities devote a great amount of time and effort in learning and studying scriptural teachings. The core of their studies consists of The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment and the Five Great Commentaries.

The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment was composed by renowned Tibetan Buddhist Master Tsong-Kha-Pa (1357-1419). It presents the core contents of all of the Buddha’s teachings in a stage-wise manner, making them easier for a practitioner learn and apply.

The Five Great Commentaries are prominent Buddhist texts written by great historical Indian Buddhist masters. They include: Commentary on the “Compendium of Valid Cognition”, Ornament of Clear Knowledge, Commentary on the “Middle Way”, Treasury of Knowledge, and Compendium of Discipline.
In addition to these core texts, monastics also study many other texts and commentaries written by esteemed Indian and Tibetan Buddhist scholars.These texts offer clear and detailed explanations which further students’ understandings of the teachings on a progressively deeper level.

The study curriculum for the Five Great Commentaries usually takes 14 years to complete. Alongside conventional classes, this curriculum also places high emphasis on scriptural memorization and dialectics. Successful graduation from this curriculum is the Buddhist equivalent of gaining a Ph.D. degree.
Each year, GEBIS invites renowned Buddhist scholars to give teachings on The Five Great Commentaries. The richness of their wisdom and educational experiences allow them to effectively communicate wisdoms to the young minds of today. In the meantime, these teachers’ life-long spiritual practice have also made them exceptional role models for the young novice monks in their cultivation of altruism and mindfulness. For the student monks, learning from these teachers is always a profoundly enlightening experience.
Within a monastery, one often hears the sound of scriptural recitation. This is a way used by the monastics to commit scriptural texts to memory. Throughout many years of training, hundreds of thousands of scriptural words flow into the practitioners’ minds. Over the course of a lifetime, these words take root and grow , giving rise to wisdom and noble character.

It is not rare for a monk at GEBIS to know more than 300,000 words of scriptural text completely by heart. Wherever they go, the scriptures are always with them.
Scriptural dialectics is a key method for scriptural learning which originated from Nalanda Monastery in ancient India. It involves a rigorous, down-to-earth question-and-answer procedure that uses reasoning to examine one’s views about a given subject. This way, understandings are tested and refined, while doubts and uncertainties are resolved, and the most profound scriptural teachings become tangible. Scriptural dialectics lends great ease and clarity in one’s daily living and practice.
Moonlight International Academy
Within GEBIS, the Moonlight International Academy has been established for the sangha members as a PEI-based educational institute. The education at Moonlight International Academy emphasizes the Buddhist philosophy in selected programs. We also focus on fostering in every student monk such qualities as kindness, tolerance, forgiveness, and positivity, in order to prepare them for active engagement with the community and the world.
Note: Moonlight International Academy is a registered private training school (license number TS0014) under the Private Training School Act of Prince Edward Island, Canada, and a registered private school (license number 950) under the School Act of PEI.
Scriptural Translation

On December 24, 2013, the Moonlight International Scriptural Translation Bureau was founded. Its mission is to preserve and share the Buddha’s teachings by means of scriptural translation so that the scriptures can bring benefit to more and more people.

Today, translation is often an individual endeavor, rarely a joint undertaking. In China’s history, however, scriptural translation was carried out by large groups of scholars collaborating together with very well-defined roles. Such a group of scholars would comprise a "translation workshop". Today, The Moonlight International Scriptural Translation Bureau incorporates the structure of these historical translation workshops, and embodies rigorous procedures to produce the most accurate and highest-quality translations possible.
Translation -- it lends the possibility for intercultural dialogue, and paves an important avenue for the furthering of human wisdom.
To begin the translation process, the main translator first produces a draft from the original text. The text is then examined by the main proofreader, and polished by the chief editor. It is in turn given to the cross-reference reviewer, who is responsible for explaining the difficult points in the text and making any relevant inquiries to qualified lineage teachers.

The first published work from the Moonlight International Scriptural Translation Bureau is the translation of The Four Interwoven Annotations on the Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, from Tibetan to Chinese. The Translation Bureau continues to translate scriptures from Tibetan to Chinese. In the meantime, it is preparing to produce English scriptural translations as well, ultimately aiming to make Buddha’s teachings accessible in every language.
Preserving the Buddha’s Noble Words: Scriptural Library

GEBIS is committed to finding, collecting, and organizing existent Buddhist scriptures from around the world. This preserves the Buddhist scriptures as a precious human cultural heritage. At the same time, it also enhances the quality of learning for the practicing monastics while building an extensive reference base for scriptural translation.
Physical library
While the physical scriptural library mainly houses scriptural teachings from the various Buddhist sects, it is also designed to have many books that teach and advocate for virtue and good character. Texts come in a variety of languages, such as English, Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese, as well as geographical origins, including the U.S., China, Mongolia, and India.
Digital Library
To make the scriptures more widely accessible for viewing and reference, we have a digital library which contains digitized versions of our scriptural collection.

The physical library now holds more than 60,000 volumes, and the digital library holds more than 80,000. Organizational work is currently underway, and it is our goal to establish a larger-scaled library to provide for the needs of sangha members, scholars, and lay readers around the world.
Special exhibit: The Complete Works of “ba so rje drung ngag dbang chos kyi dbang phyug” (1606-1652)
Community Education

Recognizing the positive impact meditation has on reducing stress, as well as on promoting happiness and peace of mind, GEBIS is offering courses, retreats and outreach programs throughout PEI.

These programs are a great way to explore Buddhism in a safe and compassionate environment. These classes are free of charge, with no expectations except for participants to relax and enjoy the learning experience.
The Happy Course
One such course is called The Happy Course. It’s offered at GEBIS Charlottetown, A Buddhist Centre. The Centre opened in 2016 after several years of searching for a suitable location to offer teachings.

The Happy Course is six weeks long and facilitated by trained instructors. This course explores Buddhist concepts and techniques that can be applied in everyday life. Group discussion and activities are only part of the learning process.

Ultimately, the course enhances happiness, peace and compassion and shows us how to incorporate those teachings in our busy lives. Learning how to have compassion through wisdom in some of our most challenging relationships is one of the many benefits of the course. It’s offered on a rotational basis every six-weeks.
Meditation Workshops
Once a month, at GEBIS Charlottetown, a group meditation is held for anyone interested from the community. Under the guidance of a monk, participants are encouraged to explore basic concepts of meditation.

• What is meditation?
• Why do we do it?
• What are some benefits of meditation?
• What types of meditation are there?

These are only a few of the questions which the participants can investigate while exploring mindfulness and staying in the moment. In a world where we are continuously ‘plugged in’, these meditation classes can help.
Buddhist Philosophy Studies and Discussion
For those who want to explore Buddhism at the next level, there are Buddhist philosophy studies classes held at GEBIS Charlottetown on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Here, a monk leads a group discussion on The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, a 15th century spiritual classic that condenses the enormous breadth of Buddhist teachings into one easy-to-follow meditation manual. Group discussions are engaging and participants discover and explore Buddha’s teachings throughout the sessions.
Off-site Presentations
How our minds work through meditation and OMAK principles were presented to 19 social workers from Community Mental Health and Addiction Services of Health PEI in September 2017.
GEBIS Charlottetown coordinates and offers a variety of retreats and outreach programs throughout PEI.

Most recently, retreats were offered to teachers and social workers in Charlottetown and Summerside.

The Teachers’ Retreat, held in August 2017, was organized by GEBIS with the goal of giving tools to help teachers in the classroom. The 66 participating teachers felt rejuvenated by the end of the full day program, which consisted of a keynote presentation titled, "Teaching Is the Most Beautiful Profession", a meditation session, and learning how to “OMAK”, (Observing Merits, Appreciating Kindness) - a perspective that establishes positive relationships rather than focusing on the negative.

A similar retreat was held for a group of social workers in Summerside, PEI, that introduced meditation and OMAK as a way to manage stress and enhance well-being.

Health PEI invited GEBIS to give a second presentation a group of social workers from the Community Mental Health and Addiction Services in March 2018.

The Atlantic Baptist Nursing Home, Charlottetown, PEI, hosted a Spa Day for the Mind for staff members. GEBIS was invited to co-present with the Buddhist Nuns at the Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute (GWBI). It was a four-hour, mini retreat where practical tools to maintain a positive mindset in everyday life were introduced. The concept of OMAK was discussed with one of the highlights of the retreat being a mindfulness meditation. The 20 staff were open, welcoming, friendly and enthusiastic.

In 2018, GEBIS hopes to increase awareness of mindfulness principles from the ancient wisdom in Buddhist teachings by offering more classes to a broader base of caregivers and other professionals. As the community learns about GEBIS and the monks, increasing numbers of requests for workshops and presentations are being made.

There are plenty of opportunities to participate in the Happy Courses because we are offering them year-round in 2018!

A new Happy Course was launched in Summerside, PEI in February 2018. More than 50 people attended the course and said lots of positive things about the program. The Happy Course in Charlottetown continues to interest people with more people attending every class. Watch for announcements for more classes in Summerside and Charlottetown.

Starting in the fall of 2018, the Happy Course will be offered in Montague, PEI and St John’s, Newfoundland.

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