Good News of Relocation for
The Avatamsaka Translation Group

July 9, 2011

The Avatamsaka English translation group was set up on March 7, 2011. It was led by Dharma Master Sure. Under normal circumstances, we meet each Monday morning to work on the translation. The translation project has attracted many dedicated people to come to participate. Besides the participants from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, there are other people from various places, such as the Bay Area of Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, as well as from L.A., Canada, up to and including Britain, the Netherlands, and Taiwan, who take part by calling in via Skype. Every time the translation meeting was on, the participation via Skype was as enthusiastic as the discussion in the translation hall.

Last May, out of consideration for people’s cultivation during the 23 days of the Ten Thousand Buddhas Repentance held at CTTB, the translation meeting time was changed to 5:00 AM, early in the morning, immediately after the Morning Ceremony. By doing that, we gave people the opportunity to attend the Morning Recitation and also allowed the translation efforts to continue.

At the end of May, DM Sure led the DRBU delegation to Taiwan for a three-week visitation. Since we were still in the beginning stages of doing the translation when people’s morale is the highest, its postponement would have affected their enthusiasm and concentration. Therefore despite the toil, fatigue, and hardship, Dharma Master Sure continued to host the translation through Skype when he was in Taiwan. Thanks to the modern technology, we were able to see DM Sure appearing on the screen. At the translation site, we also had a camcorder to record the translation activities and DM Sure could also see our translation site. Meanwhile, the translation site had another host, Mr. David Rounds, who is a seasoned hand in translation. Two years ago, his group finished re-translating the Shurangama Sutra.

Due to the time zone differences, we adjusted our translation time to 6:00 AM, early in the morning, which was 9:00 PM in Taiwan. The translation was originally carried out in the Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) Conference Room. Because of the frequent use, the translation personnel had to set up the room every time, preparing the books and audio system. Thereafter, they needed to put things back in order again. It was very inconvenient and tedious. After some discussion, we decided to use the 2 nd floor Media Center of DBRU as our new translation site and started to work on it, remodeling, re-equipping it with projectors, screens, sound system, video recording system, and books—all the basic necessary tools were made ready and available. On June 27, people tried it out at the Media Center hall and were satisfied.

At the same time, DM Sure was leading the delegation on the European tour. The first stop was in England, then onto the Netherlands, and the last two translation meetings were done through video conferencing from France. The next stop would be Poland. Despite the busy schedule, DM Sure worked closely with Mr. Rounds and other team members who operated from the CTTB translation site, in order to ensure that the translation project could be carried out smoothly. When the meeting time came, DM Sure’s image would always appear on the screen warmly greeting each and every one walking into the room. Sometimes he even made playful gestures to amuse all attendees.

Although during the summer vacation many needed to be away from CTTB, the translation project carried on with people participating via Skype. While the Avatamsaka translation site is only a few hundred square feet in size, but within the small manifests the vast—it allows people from faraway to be involved as if they never left. Isn’t this a perfect manifestation of the Avatamsaka state?

The Avatamsaka Sutra Translation at CTTB

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