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Friday, August 26, 2016
Buddhist teachings and collective power of group practice bring peace and joy to the world. Nung Chan Monastery held the Liang Emperor’s Repentance Ritual on August 7, marking the 20th anniversary of the service at Dharma Drum Mountain. The first day of the Dharma assembly witnessed a participation of over 6,500 people and volunteers at six different altars for group practice. With one-mindedness, participants performing the ritual in unity filled the venue with a positive power of Dharma joy, aspiring to benefit the world and sentient beings through their sincere repentance and devoted cultivation of the mind.


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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.
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.
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