Buddhist nun’s NY vending case set to be tossed // Update

Associated Press

NEW YORK — An Atlanta-area Buddhist nun who said police mistook handing out prayer beads for selling jewelry will get her unlicensed-vending case dismissed if she stays out of trouble for six months, a Manhattan judge said Monday.

photo credit belongs to Yahoo News , I believe , can't find the original

“It’s a very good outcome” for Li Baojing, said her lawyer, Robert E. Brown.

The Chinese-born Li was arrested June 2 in New York’s Chinatown, where police found her sitting at a bustling corner with a bag full of beaded necklaces and a tin for collecting money. The area is rife with street vendors hawking various wares.

She says she had a sign in Mandarin saying she was collecting contributions for rebuilding her fire-damaged temple and home in Chamblee, Ga., and that she gave the roughly 50-cent necklaces to donors and non-donors alike. She’d come to New York because she thought her fundraising would fare better in its large Chinese community, Brown said.

Police, however, concluded Li was selling costume jewelry without a vendor’s license, and she was arrested on a misdemeanor charge.

Li turned down a plea offer earlier this month; it would have entailed admitting to disorderly conduct, a violation, and doing a day of community service. Prosecutors ultimately agreed with Monday’s arrangement to put the case on track for dismissal.

Li, dressed in a saffron-colored robe, said through an interpreter that she was relieved the legal process is ending but still had the temple to worry about.

She needed to raise donations because of problems with the building’s insurance after the March 26 fire, said Brown, who represented her for free. She has raised about $20,000 of the $30,000 she’s seeking, collecting about $10,000 of those donations since her arrest, he said.

Originally from the Hubei province in central China, Li came to the United States to do missionary work in 1996.


Jennifer Peltz can be reached at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz

—Copyright 2011 Associated Press

Link to original article which appeared in  Tricycle http://amitabhabuddha.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/buddhist-nun-arrested-after-handing-out-prayer-beads-on-canal-street-tricycle/

Update:[update from Tricycle from original first article, I tried to call today to verify this information was still correct, however the woman who answered the phone speaks Chinese, and I don’t..maybe you can call and verify 🙂 ]

“I am told that the temple Baojing Li is raising money for is the Pu Xian Temple. If you would like to support Baojing Li’s work and make a donation, checks payable to the Atlanta Pu Xian Buddhist Association, Inc, can be sent to 3140 Shallowford Pl, Atlanta, GA 30341. Their phone number is 678-436-3607.”-Tricycle


Buddhist statues in Kempsville patiently await a new location // Dong Hung Buddhist Education Center Virgina Beach USA

By Irene Bowers
Virginian-Pilot correspondent

Oblivious to Kempsville Road construction behind them, three deities grace the Kempsville residence of a Buddhist monk, awaiting transfer to a new temple location. (Irene Bowers for The Virginian-Pilot)

© March 10, 2011

The picture of patience, these statues keep their backs to bustling construction at the former Pony League baseball fields on Kempsville Road.

Cheers of the crowd and errant baseballs once rained upon them in this Buddhist meditative garden, but city improvements put change in the air. The ball fields have been razed to make way for a park and storm water pond; the statues will wait by the water.

Following the contentious loss of a Pungo residence, used as a place of worship, Buddhist monk T. Chuc Thanh and the Dong Hung Temple statues returned to Kempsville to await a new location.

Amitabha Buddha is one of a trio of figures, peering peacefully beyond the excavator’s reach.

“Amitabha is the bodhisattva associated with the pure land, with awakening,” Thanh explained. “People ask us where our temple is. I tell them, ‘It is in the sky! We are waiting for it to land.’ ”


UPDATE ON DONG HUNG TEMPLE IN VIRGINA BEACH USA//Va. Beach monks get permanent place to worship


Va. Beach monks get permanent place to worship | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com.

By Deirdre Fernandes
The Virginian-Pilot
© April 13, 2011


A small community of Buddhist monks has been looking for serenity and permanency in Virginia Beach for almost four years.

The monks think they’ve found it in Kempsville.

Unlike the group’s previous home in rural Pungo, this site is surrounded by businesses and apartments, buffered by trees, and should not cause any conflicts with neighbors, said Jack Whitney, the city’s planning director.

On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved a permit to allow the monks to use the land off Davis Street as a religious facility. The vote was in stark contrast to the more contentious discussions that the council has had about the monks in the past.

Chuc Thanh said he felt “relief.” Dressed in a brown robe, he posed for photos outside the City Council chambers with elated congregation members and some of the city’s planning staff.

The monks with the Buddhist Education Center of America had to move out of their home in Pungo in 2009 after a bank foreclosed on their property. But their Pungo home had been at the center of controversy prior to the move.

The monks held festivals and prayer services at the house, causing neighbors to complain about traffic. City Council members denied the monks a permit to hold religious services in that home, and the monks contested the decision in a federal lawsuit claiming that Virginia Beach had violated their religious freedoms.

The council and the monks eventually settled the suit, but financial problems led to foreclosure. Since then, the monks have used a temporary location near Town Center.

The monks haven’t finalized the purchase of the Kempsville property and wanted to make sure that the council approved their permit first, said Nancy Miller, their real estate agent.

The congregation can now focus on fundraising and make plans for its new home, she said.

“We were gypsies,” Miller said. “We will have a home.”

Dong Hung Buddhist Education Center

Dong Hung Buddhist Education Center

Help build a new temple!

History of Dong Hung Temple

by Phap Trung

The  Dong Hung Temple is a religious institution dedicated to serving followers of the Mahayana tradition of Zen Buddhist practiced in Vietnam.

This Zen sect is based mostly on meditation, applying the strict rules and discipline(Sila and vinaya) as principles, and using the Pure Land tradition (Sukha’ vati), together with meditation practice, as the foundation for cultivating one’s virtue and wisdom.

Prologue – A Brief History about Dong Hung

Dong Hung temple in Virginia Beach, VA is officially known as the Buddhist Education Center of America, Inc. It is named after another Pagoda in the district 2 of Sai Gon City, in South Vietnam – namely To Dinh Dong Hung, which literally translated to the Ancestral Temple Dong Hung.  The temple’s name was chosen to commemorate the Founding Fathers – the Venerable Bhikkhu Thich Buu Chi who built, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Thich Hanh Tru who succeeded his Master in the maintaining and renovating processes throughout its history.


The Sanghapala Foundation


“The mission of the Sanghapala Foundation is to foster the teachings of the Buddha by supporting Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery and, in accordance with the precepts of theVinaya, to act as financial stewards for the resident Sangha.”

The Sanghapala Foundation is a nonprofit organization and all donations are tax-deductable as allowed by law. The Sanghapala Foundation is the steward organization for Abhayagiri; all donations go exclusively towards the building, maintenance, programs, publications and support of Abhayagiri monastery.