The Buddha’s Light International Association (Chinese: 國際佛光會; pinyin: Guójì fóguāng huì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: kok-chè Hu̍t-kong ē, ) commonly known as BLIA, is a Buddhist monastic and lay organization. BLIA was established by Venerable Master Hsing Yun in 1992. Over the following years, we established chapters throughout the five continents while increasing our membership and serving communities worldwide.
BLIA is an organization of monastic and lay Buddhists in which Humanistic Buddhism is practiced in everyday life. It is essentially an embodiment of cultivation that entails the participation in Dharma services and activities that are beneficial to society at large. In addition, BLIA maintains friendly ties with devotees of other sects and religions. With its religious characteristics and the essence of education and cultural activities, BLIA’s motivation toward strengthening the faith of people can be greatly enhanced.
BLIA’s mission is to apply tenets of Humanistic Buddhism to benefit society through promoting education, raising gender equality, providing medical services and emergency relief, and supporting environmental sustainability.
When people first come in contact with the BLIA, they often ask, “How will I benefit if I join this organization?” It is good for all of us to be able to answer this question.
The Benefits of Joining the BLIA
In the first place, simply joining the BLIA is a benefit because the BLIA is an international organization with projects all over the world. We promote culture, education, and the arts, as well as compassion and humanistic Buddhism. Simply by joining the BLIA, a new member begins to participate in these activities while learning the truths of Buddhism. The followings list the benefits of joining the BLIA in more detail.
Emotion and friendship
There is a saying, “When we are young we depend on our parents. When we grow up, we depend on our friends.” The more good friends we make, the better our lives will be. As Buddhists, it is important that we always seek to making new friends and promote our friendship. The best kinds of friends for us to have are other Buddhists with whom we can work in ways that benefit all sentient beings. BLIA activities offer many ways for us to meet new people. As we work together and get to know one another, our best qualities are brought to the fore, even as our emotional needs for community and companionship are met.
Study and learning
The BLIA offers many chances for all of us to learn. We have classes, study groups, meditation sessions, chanting services, youth groups and many other activities. When we learn together, we learn faster and better. All that is required of us is the simple act of joining.
Professional and personal fulfillment
The BLIA offers many opportunities for personal and professional growth. The more we grow in and through our interests, the more fulfilled our lives become. Throughout most of the Twentieth Century, societies and individuals became atomized, isolated and ineffective in most everything except conflict and self-aggrandizement. Those days are nearly gone. The new world taking shape around us is both smaller and bigger than the old one. There are more opportunities than ever before precisely because our world has “shrunk” due to convenient travel and easy communication. By joining the BLIA, a person increases his opportunities to make contact with others and share in the benefits of large-scale cooperation.
Joy in celebration, community in times of sadness
One of the principal aims of the BLIA is to provide supportive community for the length of people’s lives. We encourage Buddhist marriages, anniversary celebrations, festivals and parties with no special purpose at all. When people are ill and dying, the BLIA also is there to provide comfort, chanting services and other forms of solace. We encourage everyone to give of themselves, but if people have needs, we also encourage them to come forward and ask for help.
“A family with many joys is a family with many blessings.” Becoming a member of the BLIA has a beneficial effect on one’s family. The BLIA does many things to encourage families. When one member of a family joins the BLIA, other members benefit through him/her.
To apply for BLIA membership, please click here for application download.