YEAR OF NEWS :
Tuesday, September 06, 2016
The 20th Liang Emperor’s Repentance Dharma assembly organized by Dharma Drum Mountain, held at Nung Chan Monastery, came to an end on August 12 amid chanting of sutras, followed by the Offerings to Heaven and Yoga Flaming Mouth ritual on August 13. The seven-day service drew a participation of over 40,000 practitioners. On the afternoon of August 13, Ven. Guo Dong, abbot president of DDM, gave a Dharma talk, followed by a Yoga Flaming Mouth food-offering ritual presided over by three Vajra masters, to help deliver beings in the ghost realm. Towards the end, the merit of chanting Amitabha Buddha’s name was dedicated to all the suffering sentient beings in the world, wrapping up the service.
The Water and Land Dharma Service is the biggest dharma service event in Chinese Buddhism. Dharma Drum Mountain will be organizing The Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service from December 6 through 13, 2014; applications for certain individual altar positions will be open to the public from October 11, 2014. In addition, DDM is utilizing digital memorial tablets as well as cloud computing system for the chanting sessions to reflect on its environmental protection policy; with immediate effect, those interested to serve as volunteers for this event can sign up with the DDM Volunteers Room.
The late Venerable Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, once said: “Death is neither a happy occasion nor a cause for mourning; it is but a solemn Buddhist event”. In an effort to establish the right view on life and death, DDM Zhaiming Branch Monastery invited Ven. Guo Kae from DDM to deliver a lecture titled “Appreciating Life and Death” at 9 a.m. on September 27, 2014; this lecture attracted an audience of about 400.
At 2 p.m. on September 27, 2014, about one thousand people took refuge in the Three Jewels at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education. These new Buddhists vowed to learn the Dharma as practicing Buddhists and pledged to observe the Five Precepts. This ceremony was administered by the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong.
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.