YEAR OF NEWS :
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Dharma Drum Mountain New Jersey Chapter’s new center in Edison, New Jersey, was inaugurated with a consecration ceremony on May 14, 2016. The brand new center was packed with some 400 participants, including monastics, devotees, and volunteers, who watched a short film, titled “Starting from Zero,” in memory of Master Sheng Yen, as a token of gratitude to the Master for his great vow in founding Dharma Drum Mountain and fostering the establishment of the Chapter’s new center.
September 21, 2014 marked the 15th anniversary of the 921 earthquake that devastated Taiwan. On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan affiliated to National Museum of Natural Science, the Director General of the museum, Sun Wei-Xin, invited the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong to deliver a keynote speech, “Wisdom in coping with disasters.” This speech was delivered to an audience of 120, addressing the impermanence of life from a Buddhist perspective as well as the wisdom of leading an altruistic life.
Anglican describes the people, institutions and churches as well as the liturgical traditions and theological concepts developed by the Church of England. A part of the Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Diocese of Taiwan that was founded in 1954, is affiliated to the Eight Province of the Episcopal Church (USA) in an administrative sense. It is however, an independent diocese as it subscribes to “Autonomy in Communion”.
The second lecture of the lecture series on the Wisdom of Fa Hua (Lotus Sutra in Chinese) was convened by DDM of Baoyun Monastery following resounding success of the first lecture. This lecture, titled “Strength of Compassion”, kicked off at 2 p.m. on September 14, 2014 at the Taichung City Hall. The wife of Taichung City Mayor, Shao Xiao-Ling, famous singer, Chyi Yu, CEO of Sheng Yen Education Foundation, Associate Professor Yang Pei as well as representative of DDM Sangha, Ven. Guo Shyang were invited to share their inspiring life experiences; these experiences were drawn out through witty questions and comments by the host.
A day before the 5th International Caring for Life Awards was hosted by DDM , the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong attended an event in memory of His Eminence Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-Shi, who had also once won the Special Contribution Award of the International Caring for Life Awards. In the event, the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong, indicated that he has strong regards for both the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen and His Eminence Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-Shi as they were great inspiring religious masters and educationists who were also dearly loved and cherished by the masses.
Tens of thousands of believers from various religions in Taiwan gather together in the “National Prayer Assembly” in the K-Arena, Kaohsiung where all religions across the country collect. At 10 o’clock on the morning of August 12th, the President of R.O.C., Ma Ying-Jeou, the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong and the representatives of Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, Christianity, and Yiguandao jointly pray for and present flowers to the deceased and injured of the recent Penghu air crash and the dire gas (propylene) explosion in Kaohsiung. The atmosphere there is very warm.
The original name of “Liang Emperor’s Repentance Ritual” is “Compassionate Monastery Repentance Ritual.” To do repentance prostrations is method to practice compassion. What we do repentance prostrations is to pray that all the sentient beings can stay away from the sufferings, which brings unlimited merits. To cultivate Bodhisattva practices is also to cultivate compassionate practices for benefitting others and ourselves. Of Chinese Buddhist sutras, this one is the hugest and there have been a lot of stories of spiritual response related to it. Repentance contains that someone repents for himself, repents of offending people, or repents of making mistakes for groups. However, we need to repent in front of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, only by whom, our repentance can be witnessed.
On August 4th, the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong, headed to the disastrous area of deadly gas (propylene) explosion in Kaohsiung and offered care to the family members of the victims killed in the tragedy. There, the Abbot President encouraged everyone to chant the sacred name of the Buddha “Amithaba,” which will settle ourselves down and transfer the merits of chanting Buddha’s name to the deceased family members.
On the very early morning of August 1st, 2014, a deadly gas explosion almost destroyed a downtown district of Kaohsiung situated in the southern Taiwan. The explosion shortly caused a series of explosions that killed at least 24 people and injured 271 people.
The 6th International Conference on Contemporary Buddhism and the Thought of Master Sheng Yen will be held at the GIS National Taiwan University Convention Center from Friday to Sunday, July 1 to 3, 2016. The title of the conference is "Chinese Buddhism and Master Sheng Yen in the Contexts of Modernity and the Buddhist Historical Imagination". Sheng Yen Education Foundation, sponsor of the event, indicates that the biannual international conference aims to stimulate religious dialogues in the effort to build a pure land on earth, and the number of papers presented as well as the amount of audience for each conference have gradually increased since its inception in 2006.
A press conference was held on 30 December 2013 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the TV Program, LIGHT UP. LIGHT UP is an educational talk and interview show that focuses on the positive aspects of humanity and emphasis the preciousness of life. The karmic ties between DDM and LIGHT UP began twenty years ago when Chang Guang-Dou, the producer, invited the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen as a guest of the program. The present Abbot President of DDM, venerable Guo Dong, who then served as an entourage secretary of the late venerable Master Sheng Yen, had accompanied the Master to the studio for the interview recording. Thus, he was specifically invited to attend the press conference and provided blessings of virtue and gratitude to people from all walks of life.