YEAR OF NEWS :
Monday, May 30, 2016
At 10:30 a.m. on May 21, Governor General of the Solomon Islands, H.E. Sir Frank Ofagioro Kabui, together with his wife and other guests, visited Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education, accompanied by Victor Te-Sun Yu, Taiwan’s ambassador to the Solomon Islands, and his wife. Ven. Hui Min, DDM’s chief monk, Ven. Guo Hui, DDM’s vice abbot president, and Ven. Guo Guang, DDM’s director-in-chief, among other DDM Sangha members, jointly welcomed the visiting guests. They paid a visit to the Grand Buddha Hall and the Founding History Memorial Hall, and over tea they talked about the friendship between the people in Taiwan and the Solomon Islands, in an amicable, joyful, and warm atmosphere.
Following the earthquake that hit the Yaan City, Sichuan Province, China, in April of 2013, Dharma Drum Mountain launched a relief project to help rebuild schools in the area. On the morning of January 22, 2016, an opening ceremony was held at the Minxing High School in the Xiushui Township to celebrate the completion of the school’s library and sports field, along with the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of its table-tennis center. The project to rebuild the Duogong Central Elementary School in the Tianquan County, Yaan, was also completed, with an opening ceremony held on the morning of January 21, attended by local residents, as well as teachers and students at the school.
Ven. Panyalinkara, abbot of the Chinese Buddhist Temple in Nalanda, India, visited Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education together with five members of Taiwan’s Dharma Zen Center, at 9:30 a.m. on January 20, 2016. Ven. Changxue (常學) of the Sangha Education Department and Ven. Changji (常寂) of the International Relations Office welcomed the guests on behalf of DDM, who visited the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall, the Founding History Memorial Hall, and the Grand Buddha Hall, with detailed explanation by Venerables Changxue and Changji about the ideals of DDM as a practice center and its calming and peaceful environment featuring the spirit of Chan.
At 10:00 am on January 13, 2016, His Holiness the 37th Drikhung Kagyu Kyabgon Chetsang visited Dharma Drum Mountain’s Nung Chan Monastery, together with Tsai Desheng (蔡得勝), former director-general of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau, and Zhang Pingzhao (張平沼), president of Taiwan General Chamber of Commerce, among other distinguished guests. The group of 10 guests was warmly welcomed by DDM’s abbot president Ven. Gong Dong.
At 11 in the morning of January 14th, Rev. Joshin L. Bachoux, abbot of la Demeure sans Limites, visited Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education together with Sakyadhita Taiwan. Dedicated to sharing Zen teachings as Dharma Drum Mountain is with Chan teachings, the Reverend, who visited Taiwan for the first time, said that Dharma Drum Mountain projects a calming energy that enables people to feel joy, while DDM monastics praised her for being able to engage in the challenging task of propagating the Dharma in Europe with a firm determination.
【 A Tale of Two Futures - Planetary Realism in the Time of Climate Change 】 By Tim Dai
Venerable Chang Ji just delivered an amazing talk at Dharma Drum Vancouver Center, and the talk was closely related to each one of us. It’s on Global Climate Change of our common home - earth. As you may already know, in December 2015 there was an important international conference took place in Pairs regarding Climate Change – COP21. Venerable Chang Ji, representing DDMBA US, attended the full conference which lasted for almost 12 days, and we were very lucky to have her sharing with us what she learned. Unfortunately, some people weren’t able to attend her talk. Therefore, here is my report on her talk and hopefully it can give you a little taste of her talk and this important topic
To further experience Buddhist culture, Republic of Guatemala’s Vice President, Excmo. Sr. Juan Alfonso Fuentes Soria, his wife, daughter, confidential secretary, and Guatemala’s Minister of Labor visited Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education at 10am on December 27, 2015. He was accompanied by Larry R. L. Tseng, Taiwan Director-General of Protocol Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other officials. Ven. Gong Dong （果東法師）, DDM’s abbot president, together with Ven. Chang Yuan (常遠法師), Ven. Guo Gao (果高法師), Ven. Guo Yue (果悅法師), Ven. Guo Shu (果樞法師) cordially welcomed the group of VIPs, and gave them a guided tour of the Buddha Hall to pay respect to the Buddha, the Founding History Memorial Hall, and the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall. Finally, the guests were presented the Great Compassion Water and the spiritual prescription slips as blessings.
Nearly ten thousand devotees attended the ritual of Sending off the Sages toward the end of Dharma Drum Mountain Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service, in the afternoon of December 5, 2015. For the ritual, all the monastics and lay Buddhists sent off the four kinds of sages and six groups of ordinary beings in the ten spiritual realms with utmost gratitude and joyful mind by sincerely chanting the Buddha’s name, marking the completion of the Service.
In the Dharma ceremony, abbot president, Ven. Guo Dong （果東）emphasized that having a thankful heart is in itself Protecting the Spiritual Environment. The participants all vowed to learn the Dharma, support Buddhism, and spread the Buddha’s teaching, making an effort to build a pure land on Earth.
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.
Sharing the same faith to realize the compassionate vow, over 10 thousand Dharma Drum Mountain’s followers from around the world gathered at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education at 10 am on November 1 to pray for blessings for the suffering, in a joint meditation and by performing a Dharma service, in which they recited the name of and prayed to Guanyin Bodhisattva, aspiring to emulate and model the spirit of the Bodhisattva. With all participants rejoicing at the reunion in a heartwarming atmosphere, this is the second global followers assembly since DDM’s Global Members Meeting 16 years ago, which launched the Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance campaign.
Dharma Drum Mountain’s Abbot President Ven. Guo Dong took a trip to Dharma Drum Mountain Hong Kong from October 15 to 19, where he talked on Buddhist compassion and wisdom in a public lecture and a refuge ceremony, bringing joy and serenity of the Dharma to local followers. The venerable also expressed his gratitude and blessing to local supporters for their efforts in receiving devotees and helping with the operations and plans of the practice center.