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.
Dharma Drum Mountain held the Transmitting the Light of Dharma ritual at Nung Chan Monastery and several other branch monasteries in Taiwan, at 7 p.m. on February 20, to commemorate DDM founder Master Sheng Yen’s lifelong practice, as well as his compassionate wisdom in inspiring people to enter the gate of the Dharma.
A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck southern Taiwan at 3:57 a.m. on February 6, causing many buildings to collapse. Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Foundation, together with DDM’s monastics and volunteers in the Tainan area, immediately set up disaster service centers in Yongda Road and at the Kunshan Village Activity Center, near the collapsed buildings, to assist with rescue operations by the military, police, and firefighters and provide tents, flashlights, hot meals, blankets, body warmer packs, and drinking water to the rescue workers and victims. Starting from one day before the Chinese New Year’s Eve, volunteers worked around the clock to provide necessary materials to the disaster areas. At the National Cheng Kung University Hospital, the Chi Mei Medical Center, and in the disaster areas, DDM’s monastics gave out free prayer beads and Great Compassion Mantra Water. They also chanted the Buddha’s name and provided blessings, to console the anxious and grieving families, helping them restore peace in the face of life’s impermanence.
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.