Members of Palliative Medicine Visit the Eco-Friendly Life Memorial Garden
On the morning of 2 October 2012, a total of 40 people from the Hospice Foundation of Taiwan, Hong Kong Society of Palliative Medicine and Hong Kong Palliative Nursing Association visited the Eco-Friendly Life Memorial Garden at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education.
Both Venerable Chang Chie and Venerable Guo Xuan of the DDM Social Care Center warmly received the honorable guests and introduced the history and the meaning of the Memorial Garden. It is a unique and peaceful resting place because it embodies DDM ideals for the spiritual environment.
The design of the Life Memorial Garden is bright and minimalist. There are no tomb stones or worshiping rites and despite being a burial site, the Gardens do not elicit the conventional feelings of gloom associated with traditional cemeteries.
Venerable Chang Chie expounded that from a Buddhist perspective, death is a natural phenomenon and truth that has to be accepted. Its acceptance allows the deceased to begin his/her road towards enlightenment and also gives the deceased’s families a chance to truly understand and get closer to the Dharma. The Garden reminds all to actively make the most of every moment of his life; to care about his family and rather than dwelling on his grief, he should work towards the Buddhist goal of developing a pure mind.
Venerable Guo Xuan said that the Eco-Friendly Memorial Garden is not limited to any specific religion or religious ritual. She stressed that the DDM only wants to promote the idea of ‘Protecting the Spiritual Environmentalism’, helping one have a right attitude towards death and not to fear death. "The idea behind the Garden is to let the living live to the fullest and to let the dead return to the nature.
The guests all agreed that life is impermanent for which one’s learning and acceptance of this truth is far from complete. They not only gave the thumbs up but were also amazed by the Garden that has integrated the spirits of environmentalism, art and the Dharma. They were also grateful to DDM for providing this wonderful and meaningful garden as an alternative final resting place.
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)