In the morning of December 9, 2015, a grand Light Opening Ceremony was held to celebrate the inception of Longquan Great Compassion Monastery in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Venerable Master Xuecheng, President of the Buddhist Association of China, J.H.C. Van Zanen, Major of Utrecht Municipality, Mr. Jiang Hua, Director of the Consular Section of the Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr. Pei Biao, Inspector of State Administration for Religious Affairs of P.R. China, Michael Ritman, Chairman of the Buddhist Union of Netherlands, leaders of the Dutch Chinese Society such as Mr. Hu Zhi Guang and Mr. Ji Zengbin, and Venerable Master Xianqi, Abbot of Longquan Great Compassion Monastery, attended the ceremony.
Participants of the ceremony also included K. Van Den Oosten, former Governor of Utrecht Province, Venerable Master Yanjue, Executive Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China, Venerable Master Xueliang, President of the Sangha Mahayana Buddhist International, Venerable Master Xuezhi of the Sangha Mahayana Buddhist International, Venerable Master Kongxing, Abbot of Fujian Putian South Shaolin Monastery, Venerable Miaoxiang, Deputy Head of Fo Guang Shan Europe, over 10 Venerable Masters from Beijing Longquan Monastery and Fujian Jile Monastery, journalists from media such as ifeng.com and People’s Daily. In the audience there were over 1500 Dutch Chinese residents, Buddhist scholars, Chinese students studying in Europe and local residents in Utrecht. To enable all participants to watch the ceremony, the monastery give live broadcasting through a big screen at its gate.
At 10:10a.m., an Inception Ceremony was first conducted, during which Venerable Master Xuecheng, Mr. Zanen, Mr. Jiang Hua, Mr. Ritman and Venerable Master Xianqi cut the ribbon and unveiled the plate. Addressed were delivered by Mr. Hu Zhiguang, Mr. Jiang Hua, and Mr. Zanen, who extended their congratulations and best wishes to the monastery. Venerable Master Xuecheng also give his speech, pointing out that construction of Longquan Great Compassion Monastery is “an initiative that units all compassionate efforts, an respond to the call of the times and the need of the society, and a new starting point of the transmission of Han Chinese Buddhism among both the Chinese community and other residents in Europe”. Mr. Hu Zhiguang introduced the development, the goal and the vision of Longquan Great Compassion Monastery, appealing to the Chinese community to give attention and support to the monastery’s future development. After the addresses, the Buddha statues were unveiled.
The Opening Light Ceremony, starting at 11:30a.m., was presided by Venerable Master Xuecheng, Venerable Master Yanjue, Venerable Master Xueliang, Venerable Master Xuezhi, and Venerable Master Kongxing. At 12:30, Venerable Master Xuecheng announced the successful conclusion of the ceremony and wished everyone the best.
Weather had been wet and chilly in Utrecht many days, before it became very sunny and bright on the day of the ceremony. With Dharma nectar spreading throughout the city, all sentient beings are blessed with joy and happiness.