YEAR OF NEWS :
Monday, March 27, 2017
As a way to show gratitude and repay kindness, the seven-day Amitabha Recitation Retreat is a popular event for many practitioners during the Tomb-Sweeping Festival. Of various Buddhist methods of practice, reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name is a most straightforward and effective way to help us gather our mind and live in the present. By reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name in one-minded concentration without confusion and distraction, we will be more able to calm and settle our mind.
Inside the Dharma instrument practice room at the Dharma Drum Degui Academy (法鼓德貴學苑), located near Ximending (西門町), Taipei City, the peaceful and pure Buddhist chanting echoed, performed by a group of young people practicing chanting and Dharma instruments in concentration, who are members of DDM’s Mind-Tide Buddhist Music Team (心潮梵音團隊), whose aim is to pray for blessings for suffering people through their transcending Buddhist chanting in praise of the Buddha’s virtues.
DDM Social Welfare & Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) recently assisted the fire brigade of Keelung City and Taitong County by donating fire alarms to those in need in order to restore public’s confidence as well as peace of mind. Fire-alarms were installed to enhance safety measure in the homes of elderly who resides alone, low-income households as well as people with disability.
As a young scholars’ platform for academic exchange to further explore studies and research on Chinese Buddhism, the “Young Scholars Forum on Chinese Buddhism,” co-organized by Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies (CHIBS), Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA), and Sheng Yen Education Foundation, was officially opened in the Education and Administration Building at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education at 9 A.M., on June 26.
We all know that in dreams people confuse dream phenomena with reality by engaging in those scenarios. They don’t realize that it is only a dream until they wake up. What most people don’t know is that our daytime activities are also a dream, in which our minds are constantly engaged in images from our memories and regarding those as real. How can this all be a dream?
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?