YEAR OF NEWS :
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
As the lyrics of the Song Of The Triple Gem goes: “The nights in human and heavenly realms are long, and the universe deluded and dark; so who is going to illuminate it?” The Dharma Drum Sangha University held its 2016 tonsure ceremony on the morning of August 31 at the Grand Buddha Hall of Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education, for seven student monks vowing to devote themselves to Buddhist practices and benefitting the world. More than 400 people attended the ceremony to extend their congratulations. Ven. Yan Xian, one of the newly ordained, was accompanied by her sister, who performed the “offering the robe” ritual for her before she formally put on the monastic robe. This added a special touch for the ceremony, making the atmosphere all the more heartwarming.
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.
Warmth is needed most when you find yourself in the coldest of winters.
The Winter Aid charity event was initiated in 1956 by Master Dong Chu, the teacher of DDM Founder, the late Master Sheng Yen. The DDM Social Welfare and Charity Fund (DDMSWCF) continues the 50 year tradition by hosting the event on 14 December. Apart from donations and day to day consumables, DDMSWCF also engaged the community on the wisdom and benevolent care of Buddha Dharma. It was also DDMSWCF’s privilege and honor to host numerous dignitaries from DDM and various government officials, who attended and offered their blessings.
On 24 December 2013, the Venerables and students of Dharma Drum Sangha University (DDSU) visited patients of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) as part of the Patients Caring Program. The kindness and compassion as well as sincerity of the DDSU group not only gave comfort but also encouraged the patients and their families to persevere and accept their physical and mental suffering well. They were also advised to try and cultivate “peace of the mind” which is crucial to the healing and recovery process. The Venerables, patients and their families spent a peaceful Christmas Eve together, and many were delighted to find out that they would be meeting the Venerables again on New Year’s Eve.