YEAR OF NEWS :
Monday, April 25, 2016
The Origin of Bathing the Buddha
Over 2,600 years ago in ancient India, Queen Maya of Kapilavastu gave birth to Prince Siddhartha, who later became Shakyamuni Buddha, under the ashoka tree in Lumbini Garden. The newborn Prince, pointing one hand up at the sky and the other downwards to the earth, said, “In heavens and on the earth, I am the singularly supreme.” This meant that, having gone through three great incalculable eons of practice and about to attain Buddha-hood in the human realm, he was the most superior among all the heavenly and human beings. At that very moment, two streams of pure water came down from heaven to bathe the Prince’s body. Since then, Buddhists have been celebrating the Buddha’s birthday by performing the Buddha Bathing Ritual.
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.
On Sunday, May 24, 2015, Dharma Drum Vancouver Center (DDMVC) Celebrated Buddha’s Birthday. The entire Center was filled with guests, many of whom were visiting for the first time.
The day began with a welcome and blessing from Ven. Chang Wu, the director of the Dharma Drum Vancouver Center. She explained that the goal of the Center is to strengthen our connections with our community and to spread the Buddha’s teachings in simple and joyful ways. She also emphasized the Center’s determination to strengthen its friendly relationships with local Buddhist organizations, including Thrangu Monastery and Ling Yen Mountain Temple, both of which sent representatives to this event.
DDM Melbourne Chapter was truly privileged to have Chan teacher Zarko Andricevic from Croatia to share the joy of Dharma through a series of activities, including a Beginner Chan Meditation workshop, two public Dharma talks and a five-day Chan Meditation retreat. Teacher Zarko is one of the five Western Dharma heirs of the late most Venerable Chan Master Sheng Yen, the founder of Dharma Drum Mountain.