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.
From 12 July to 10 August 2013, over 400 students from elementary school through to high school in Sichuan attended the four ‘life education’ camps. DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) and DDM Young People Development Department have been conducting these camps since 2009 to educate on ‘Protecting the Spiritual Environment’.
The turnaround in parents’ attitude towards their children’s decision on ordination may be the result of community recognition of the long-standing contributions made by DDM towards society stabilization and community benefits. DDM hosted a pre-ordination event on 18th August at the DDM’s International Banquet Hall, Jinshan, New Taipei City where DDM’s Abbot President, Venerable Guo Dong, met the parents and family members of postulants who will soon be monastics. The event created an environment of warmth and cohesiveness among parents in relation to their children’s decision to be monastic. It was also an opportunity for older monastics to witness a social change where the decision of the younger generation to renounce was recognized and accepted by parents.
The Abbot President of DDM, Venerable Guo Dong, was invited to attend the Interfaith Dialogue for religious leaders on September 7, 2013. The dialogue, which was hosted by the Manningham City Library in Melbourne coincided well with his recent visit to Australia. The conferees included H. E. Zimwock Rinpoche (Buddhist, Tibetan), Rev. Helen Summers (Interfaith Council), Ven. Phuoc Tan (Buddhist, Vietnamese), Ven. Chi Kwang (Buddhist, Korean), Fr. John Dupuche (Catholic), Murray Davies (Bahai), Fr. Peter Martin (Anglican), Jasbir Singh Suropada (Sikh), and Dhakta Dasm (Hindu). In addition, Ms Jennifer Yang, Mayor of Manningham City and Dr. Chin Tan, Chairman of the Victorian Multicultural Commission also attended the Interfaith Dialogue.
Dharma Drum Mountain’s 2013 DDM Youth Camp for Cultivating Excellence concluded on 19 July. Although the camp was postponed for one day due to Typhoon Soulik, over 100 students attended to reap the benefits of Chan meditation under the guidance of the Venerables. They were deeply moved by the Dharma teachings and found happiness from within.
The first Chan meditation camp for high school students organized by the Dharma Drum Young Buddhist Society (DDYBS) was held at DDM’s Xinxing Monastery in Taitung. About 100 students attended the camp to experience a different summer vacation.
At nine o’clock on the morning of September 3rd, the Abbot President of DDM, Venerable Guo Dong greeted a party of monastics led by Venerable Pu Ren from Jiezhuang Lu Temple at the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall at DDM to deepen the Dharma friendship of the two monasteries. The two Abbot Presidents earnestly talked on the topic of education and they created karmic ties by giving presents of dharma literature with each other. In this atmosphere of sharing, Venerable Guo Dong encouraged the Venerables present, despite the diverse backgrounds they may be from, to play the role of spreading the Dharma and to assist sentient beings in purifying humanity and society.
As part of a four-day trip organized by DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF), on August 14th DDM led fifty-seven (57) children from the Jiaxian District, a mountainous area in Kaohsiung, to visit the old streets and farmhouses in the countryside in Jinshan, New Taipei City to appreciate the scenic landscapes in the vicinity together.
It was a beautiful autumn day in Taipei when I attended the one-day retreat at Fagushan (Dharma Drum Mountain).
From July 22 to 25, Dharma Drum Mountain’s Baoyun Branch Monastery of Taichung City held a children’s summer camp. The theme of the camp was “Protecting the Spiritual Environment.” Summer camps held by DDM are highly recommended by parents. The response was so overwhelming this year that the registration for the camp became full once it was open to the public of central Taiwan and attracted more than 140 children.
On the afternoon of 7th of July 2013, in New Taipei City, Xin-Chuang, the Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) hosted an event where the students financially assisted by DDM showed their appreciation through an activity called “sharing cards.” By means of the sharing cards, the students who received assistance shared what they had experienced in their daily and school lives to acknowledge the support received from the public.