YEAR OF NEWS :
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Dharma Drum Mountain Sangha held its fourth Followers’ Forum, a two-day event, at the NTU GIS Convention Center on June 29th, also marking the completion of DDM’s founder Master Sheng Yen’s chronicles, which includes some changes and updates up until his death. The Forum’s first session, entitled “Who, Will Continue the Legacy of Dharma Drum Mountain? An Outlook Inspired by the Master Sheng Yen’s Chronicles,” evoked over 600 participants’ memories of Master Sheng Yen about his actions and aspirations to benefit sentient beings. They expressed gratitude for being able to meet this good teacher and Dharma friend who inspired their Buddhist practice, which has greatly enriched their lives.
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.
Having accumulated Buddhist talent for tens of years, the wish of people studying Buddhism to jointly translate the Tibetan Buddhist sutras has finally came true! At two o’clock on the afternoon of 6 March 2014, Dharma Drum Buddhist College (DDBC) and the Khyentse Foundation signed a memorandum of agreement for translating Tibetan Buddhist Sutras into Chinese and cultivating the talent of Tibetan-Chinese translation. The translation of Tibetan Sutras that required great effort to achieve is ready to commence. As the representatives Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Venerable Hui Min, signed the agreement, Kris Yao, Tsai Po-Lang and approximately 300 honored guests from education and Buddhist organizations joyfully witnessed this important moment in the start of this big project.
On 8 February 2014, about 6000 followers who have taken refuge in the Three Jewels, attended the Grand Hall and the Multipurpose Stadium of the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education in Jinshan District of New Taipei City for the ceremony of the ‘Day of Transmitting the Light’ for 2014.
Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) led a group of thirty Buddhist youths and monastics to visit DDM World Center for Buddhist Education (DDMWCBE) on December 12, 2013. The purpose of the visit was to learn about the center’s teaching environment and admire the grand architecture of DDM. Their curiosity about DDM’s education institutions, Dharma Drum Sangha University and Dharma Buddhist College, was satisfied and they came to understand DDM’s perseverance and efforts to train a religious teacher.
Life TV, a Dharma-themed television station, has propagated DDM’s TV programs for a long time. In order to express gratitude for this on behalf of DDM, Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong participated in an interview for Life TV’s Chinese New Year program in Degui Academy on 13 December 2013 and offered blessings for its 10th anniversary.