SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – At a meeting May 1, Mayor Matt Anesh and the South Plainfield Borough Council proclaimed May 2017 as Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) Month in the municipality. The honor, said Anesh, is bestowed upon the organization’s New Jersey Chapter and its members for their dedication and contributions to South Plainfield.

“[We] hereby proclaim May 2017 as Buddha’s Light International Association Month and extend our highest commendation to the Buddha’s Light International Association for its dedication to the well-being of our people; and further deem it an honor and a privilege to extend since congratulations and best wishes upon this occasion,” reads the mayor’s proclamation.

Over just the past year, members of the New Brunswick Avenue-based Buddhist temple have given of their time to help their neighbors. In February, BLIA, working with the borough and the library, sponsored a town-wide Chinese New Year Celebration and also coordinated Chinese paper cutting and brush painting exhibits at the South Plainfield Library.

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Last month, members purchased and donated some 200 much-needed items to South Plainfield Food Pantry as well as took part in the municipality’s annual litter clean up effort. Additionally, in late 2015, BLIA donated hundreds of copies of the book 365 Days for Travelers – Wisdom from Chinese Literary and Buddhist Classics, an anthology of works by 400 authors that centers on Buddhist classics and the values of Chinese culture.

“Congratulations,” said Anesh. “You have really been excellent partners and neighbors for the entire community. Thank you for everything.”

Several members of BLIA-NJ were present for the May 1 council meeting and proclamation presentation, including Abbot Ru Yang, Venerable Chueh Chan, Vice President Yiwen Chiang, Advisor Hsing Ling Li Kong, and BLIA-NJ board members Karen Sun, Paul Tong, and Francine Lam along with President Andy Young.

“I would like to say thank you…this is an honor to be part of this community as well as to have a chance to take part in community service. Going forward, we will do more and we will do better,” said Young. “Thank you very much.”

Chiang told TAPinto South Plainfield, “As a proud member of the South Plainfield community, BLIA-NJ always applies tenets of Humanistic Buddhism to benefit society through promoting educational and cultural enrichment activities, donating to food pantry, joining the Borough's effort in the neighborhood litter pick-up event. We want to reach out and help our friends at South Plainfield …”

She continued, “It is indeed our great honor that BLIA-NJ be recognized by Mayor Anesh and May 2017 be proclaimed as BLIA month. We will definitely keep the good work and dedicate ourselves to the well-being of people.”

The New Jersey Buddhist Culture Center, located at 1007 New Brunswick Avenue in South Plainfield, is a Buddhist temple founded in October 1995 through the delegation of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the 48th patriarch of the Linchi (Rinzai) Ch'an School. The objective of the center is to provide a source for people in the community to get to know Buddha's teachings as well as to practice Buddhism in daily life. Regular programs include group practice, Dharma talk, sutra/book study, meditation and vegetarian cooking classes as well as occasional educational and spiritual activities.

“We truly believe that by practicing the Three Acts of Goodness –  Do Good Deeds, Speak Good Words, and Think Good Thoughts – and Four Givings – Give Faith, Happiness, Hope, and Convenience to others – tranquility within society and world peace will be reached,” said Chiang.

For additional information on BLIA-NJ, call (908) 822-8620; visit; or email

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