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.
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.
On 3 August 2013, Venerable Chang-Jian, director of DDM Social Caring Department, conducted a demonstration of Buddhist rituals at DDM Luodong Office, including end-of-life chanting (reciting sutras to rest the deceased) and funeral procedures, an important aspect of protecting the spiritual environment. Those who attended the demonstration gained a better understanding of these rituals and of the correct approach to end-of-life chanting.
The Abbot President, Venerable Guo Dong, visited Malaysia from 11 to 17 July,2013 to offer care and blessings. The purpose of the visit was to advocate protecting the spiritual environment, simplifying funerals and proclaiming the vision of Master Sheng Yen and Dharma Drum Mountain.
Twenty years ago, Cuei-E Li, during an all-time low in her life, took a walk along the alleys. She accidentally stumbled upon the gate of DDM’s Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Culture – as if Guanyin Bodhisattva had led her there. Coincidentally, she arrived on the day the Guanyin Dharma Assembly was being held. She took the opportunity to enter the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Culture and prostrated to the Buddha. She then asked the staff there regarding her aspirations of volunteering at the institute. From there, the world of Buddhism was opened up to her, and subsequently she pulled herself through her adversities and was able to make a difference to the lives of others.
Li, Bi-Zhen has been a volunteer at DDM since 1993 and it has become simply a part of her daily life. She admits that she used to be very egoistic and not very compassionate when dealing with people. However, her human relations skills have improved tremendously and she now knows how to communicate more effectively and choose kinder words which do not harm others. Using compassion and wisdom as her guide, her interpersonal relationship and skills is getting better and better.
On the morning of 18 July, 2013, the Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM), Venerable Guo Dong, represented the Sangha to present a Certificate of Appreciation to the local Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce for their wholehearted devotion in upholding the Dharma work of DDM in Thailand . As this was a rare occasion to have Venerable Guo Dong in Thailand, eleven devotees took the opportunity to take Refuge in the Three Jewels in the Abbot President’s presence. He not only visited DDM Thailand’s premises but also visited the Thorn Buri district of Bangkok to offer his blessings to devotees.
On July 15 and 16, DDM hosted the Rotary International R.Y.E. Religious Camp 2013 in DDM’s World Center for Buddhist Education for thirty-five exchange students from 18 different nations with the aim of introducing the Dharma and Chan meditation into their daily life.