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Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Editor’s Note:

Ven Guo Xiang grew up on a farm in the company of insects and animals. In recent years, she went into farming and devoted herself to promoting natural farming. During her farming practice, she came to understand the real meaning of the Buddhist saying that “everything is dependent origination, namely, causally interconnected; everything co-exists and prospers in harmony”.

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Traditionally, the custom of Lunar New Year greetings is a way for people to express their wishes and greet each other during the Lunar New Year, conveying the message of leaving the past behind to welcome a better future.
The Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival is one of the three major festivals celebrated by those of Chinese descent. (The other two are the Dragon Boat as well as the Mid-Autumn Festivals.) Celebration begins on the eve of the New Year and ends with the Lantern Festival.
On Dec 22th – 23th, 2017, at GIS NTU Convention Center in Taipei city, Sheng Yen Education Foundation held the “Third Forum of Buddhist Education”, in accordance with the founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, Master Sheng Yen’s aspiration to propagate quality Buddhism learning, offering a chance for collective insights from fourteen representatives of academic and religious fields of Buddhist Education.
During the Chinese Lunar New year holidays, it is a traditional custom that people pay respects to Buddha and attend Buddhist prayer rituals in Buddhist temples with their whole family, praying for the blessing from Buddhas and hoping for peace and success in the coming new year.
To cultivate talent through loving care, and to encourage children at disadvantage who still strive for achievements. DDM held its 31st Reward Ceremony of “Talent Scholarship.”

Chan and Pure Land both are sensible paths of dharma practice. Even during the process of practice, one can readily reap plenty of benefits for the body and mind. In the past, there have been much misconception by many, that since the goal of practicing Chan is enlightenment, without enlightenment all efforts are in vain; and that since the goal of practicing Pure Land is to cut off the cycle of birth and death, before one reaches the pure land of ultimate bliss [sukhavati], who knows what, if any, effect there is.

Actually, whether you practice Chan or Pure Land, you can get benefits everywhere, any time in your daily life. And you can become enlightened as well as reach the Pure Land. Those who are enlightened definitely would be able to be born in the Pure Land. Those who have not yet been enlightened but have vowed to be reborn in the Pure Land would be able to be born in the Pure Land, while those born in the Pure Land definitely would become enlightened.
The Practice Method of Chan

There are two categories of Chan practice methods. The first category is by use of the Five Methods for Stilling the Mind, which is to first stabilize the mind, and then progress toward liberation.

The second category of method is by use of the Huatou method from the Chinese Chan tradition, to totally crash the delusionary mind; in that moment self-attachment disappears, and wisdom manifests; such is enlightenment.

To practice Chan, we must first relax the body, the brain, and the emotion, and then our mind can become still. I often teach people a simple relaxation method, which is to pay attention to one’s own breathing. This can bring relief when one is tense or gripped with troubling thoughts. This method is sufficient for use in normal daily life, but if you want to continue on and go deeper, you need to ask a teacher for guidance.
On Chinese New Year’s Eve, December 31 of the Lunar Calendar, Buddhist temples sound the bell for 108 times to symbolize the shattering of the 108 kinds of afflictions that result from our misconceptions through the six sensory consciousnesses developed in the past, present, and future.
Thousands of practitioners attended Great Compassion Liberation Rite of Water and Land for grand blessing

The Eleventh Great Compassion Liberation Rite of Water and Land, held at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education, was launched from Nov 26, 2017; during the services, all of eleven shrines ran synchronically and was sustained for eight days and seven nights till Dec 2nd.
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