WIFF of a Gem

by Ahimsa CMD, Kota Bharu, Malaysia, The Buddhist Channel, May 23, 2006

This is the first time I am writing to the Buddhist Channel and I would like to offer my deep felt gratitude to all those involved in organising the on-going Wesak International Film Festival (WIFF) here in Kuala Lumpur.

I think I can safely speak on behalf of the many people who have packed the halls at the Malaysia Tourism Centre that the film festival have given invaluable insight into the world of Buddhism which so many of us are unaware of. While many of us are contented to practice within the confine of our homes and occasionally partake in meritorious deeds at the temples, we forget that many Buddhists in other places struggle for peace and enlightenment in harsh environments and with little to get by.

After sitting through "Travellers and Magicians", I realize that in places where material support is basic and emphasises only the bare necessity, people can still take joy in "pointless" activities such as archery. Over here, where we have so much in abundance, we still complain of not having enough. Or the heart wrenching trial and tribulations of Venerable Hong Yi in his quest to seek enlightenment, so well portrayed in the film "Bright Moon". How many of us could even sit still for 5 minutes?

I over heard a conversation that WIFF was organised because some people recognised the power of cinema as a teaching medium. How true. And when at times the Dharma as being taught in temples and centres seem to be getting stale and predictable, along comes this WIFF. Indeed, what a breath of fresh air it has brought to the local Sangha fraternity.

On another note, I would also like to offer a special tribute to the producers and makers of our very own documentary, "Chief: The Life and Work of K Sri Dhammananda". I don't recall at anytime in my life watching a locally made Dharma based production that moved me to tears. As a plain devotee, I do not have the privilege to know Chief Reverend personally, and have always listened to his teachings from a distance. I've always regarded him as a monk, a holy person. In this documentary however, it offers a glimpse of a wise, compassionate human being behind the robe. The producers may not be aware but having access to such heart warming knowledge about Chief Reverend through this film is something that I will always cherish.

The production of "Chief" also demonstrates that with ready opportunities like WIFF, talented local Buddhist film makers have the chance to be unearthed. Based on what ever little knowledge I have about film making, I sense that tremendous effort was put in to produce what is unarguably a first rate production. It is not easy to make an entertaining documentary with what is basically a "talking head" film. So to have entertained the crowd, educated them and then move them to tears (especially the last part before the rolling credits) is no small feat.

I sincerely hope that this little documentary would be the catalyst of greater things to come. In fact, I look forward to a full length Buddhist feature film in the next edition of WIFF. And with this, I would like to say a big Sadhu to everyone involved in making WIFF a success, for the event is truly one of the crowning moments of Buddhist development in this country.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv