YEAR OF NEWS :
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen had said the speed that the technology and culture of mankind destroys the natural environment is too rapid, which brings the unprecedented threats to the Earth. Therefore, DDM promotes “protecting the spiritual environment” to help us build healthy and correct philosophy of life to offer care to ourselves, others, society, and the natural environment. DDM hopes all the followers attending Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service can apply the altruistic spirit of Buddhism to our daily lives.
The first Chan meditation camp for high school students organized by the Dharma Drum Young Buddhist Society (DDYBS) was held at DDM’s Xinxing Monastery in Taitung. About 100 students attended the camp to experience a different summer vacation.
At nine o’clock on the morning of September 3rd, the Abbot President of DDM, Venerable Guo Dong greeted a party of monastics led by Venerable Pu Ren from Jiezhuang Lu Temple at the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall at DDM to deepen the Dharma friendship of the two monasteries. The two Abbot Presidents earnestly talked on the topic of education and they created karmic ties by giving presents of dharma literature with each other. In this atmosphere of sharing, Venerable Guo Dong encouraged the Venerables present, despite the diverse backgrounds they may be from, to play the role of spreading the Dharma and to assist sentient beings in purifying humanity and society.
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.