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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.


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The DDM Social Welfare & Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) and several Taiwan-based charities went deep into earthquake-stricken Nepalese mountainous areas again from June 11 to 14. In addition to showing care and concern, they also donated clothes and stationery that schoolchildren would need at the beginning of the new semester. On behalf of all students, the abbot of the local Tibetan Buddhist monastery, a Palyul branch monastery in Nubri, presented khatas, a traditional ceremonial scarf in Tibetan Buddhism, to volunteers as a token of their appreciation and blessing in return.
The first Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) Graduation Ceremony was held at the International Conference Hall of DDM World Center for Buddhist Education on July 13 2015. Twenty-three graduates of bachelor, masters and associate degrees took part in this ceremony that was permeated with Buddhist culture.
In the wake of the devastating earthquake and incessant aftershocks that have hit Nepal, an ancient Buddhist land, in April, the country’s remote areas, so far still isolated due to broken roads, are now in urgent need of humanitarian relief aid. While responding to their tragedy by expressing the care and concern from people in Taiwan, as well as providing immediate aid through donations and other resources, DDM is also concerned for the affected people’s needs in remote stricken towns and villages. Meanwhile, in response to a letter from Mahavaipulya Buddhist Association in Taiwan (臺灣大方廣佛學講修學會, MBAT), DDM promised to offer financial support to reconstruct “Ngagyur Memorial School,” located in a suburban area of Kathmandu, for the orphans from Nubri, a mountainous area in Nepal.
DDM in midsummer is immersed in luxuriant greenery and the sweet-sounding drone of cicadas. We invite everyone to sense the delight of Chan or Dharma in this environment. To observe water or wind, listen to a babbling brook, practice walking meditation, participate in a water bowl holding meditation, or simply make a pilgrimage with a relaxed body and mind.
The first “Young Scholars' Chinese Buddhism Forum” will be held on June 26 to 27. This rare and extraordinary Buddhist event, in the sense of playing a pivotal role in passing down Chinese Buddhism, gathers some domestic and international young scholars specializing in this field to team up, invite chairpersons and discussants on their own for creating an academic platform to broaden and exchange Buddhism ideas. Whoever wants to join or audit the forum is welcome to register at http://conferences.ddbc.edu.tw/2015chineseforum/ by June 20. Seats are limited!
Dharma Drum Mountain founder Master Sheng Yen once said, “Chan practice helps one know oneself, affirm oneself, and transcend oneself. By using the methods of Chan practice at any time and place, one becomes more aware of one’s thoughts, as well as one’s own strengths and weaknesses. This is ‘knowing ourselves.’ And through knowing ourselves, we are able to master our own mind, and come to affirm and transcend ourselves.” Meanwhile, stressing focusing our attention on each and every present moment, Chan practice empowers our mind to remain unmovable like a still lake and reflect like a bright mirror, clearly aware of what is happening around us while unaffected by external situations. But, how can busy urban people really stop or slow down for a while to experience the wonderful benefit of Chan practice, living such a fast-paced life?
On May 16 and 17, Dharma Drum Mountain Malaysia Center held a two-day “Spiritual Health” Chan retreat at Chin Swee Caves Temple in Genting Highlands, allowing 89 retreatants to experience calm and relaxation of mind in a serene surrounding far away from bustling and hustling city.
Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Center Malaysia (DDMBCM) organized a Buddha bathing ceremony on 3 May 2015, drawing 300 devotees and more to participate in for cultivating and sharing the merits and virtue.
Usually, the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Center Malaysia organizes One-Day Buddha-mindfulness Retreat activity on every Labor Day (May 1st) in the hopes that more devotees may take part in on the holiday, and this year is no exception.
Dharma Drum Vancouver Center (DDVC) held a refuge taking and Buddha bathing ceremony on the morning of 23 May 2015 (North America time zone). The Abbot President Ven. Guo Dong was present to express concerns and blessings, and to bath the Buddha statue as well as one’s innate Buddha-nature with over 220 followers on the joyful Buddha’s Birthday.
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