Youths of Rotary International Experience Buddhist Culture at DDM
On July 15 and 16, DDM hosted the Rotary International R.Y.E. Religious Camp 2013 in DDM’s World Center for Buddhist Education for thirty-five exchange students from 18 different nations with the aim of introducing the Dharma and Chan meditation into their daily life.
The energetic students paid full attention as they participated in activities such as learning basic Buddhist etiquette of “joining palms,” “bowing,” “prostrating to the Buddha,” and “dinning” as well as playing Buddhist instruments, chanting and meditating. Through these activities, they gradually understood that a stable mind is the key to developing a body and mind that is free and at ease. Even though most of them were of other faiths, they were open-minded and demonstrated interest in the long-standing religious culture and teachings of Buddhism.
The Chairman of the Student Exchange Committee, P.P. Lee, felt touched that thoughtful questions were raised, such as “Are the Buddha and the God the same?”, “What decides evilness and goodness?” DDM’s architecture and self-cultivation of its teachers are quite unique, so Rotary International unanimously agreed to take the exchange students to DDM and hoped that such activities can inspire the young generation of Western cultures to understand our religion.
According to 16-year-old Ming Ming from France, life in the temple of getting up at 4:00 in the morning, prostrating to the Buddha in the evening, and Water Bowl Holding Meditation were new and exciting. In addition, the environment of DDM’s World Center for Buddhist Education helped Ming Ming to feel very calm, so she plans to invite her relatives and friends to DDM after going back to France. Chang Ji Fashi who coordinated the activities pointed out that the Water Bowl Holding Meditation was popular among the students, who realized that a balance of concentration and relaxation was crucial for them to do it well.
Prior to their departure, the international youths happened to meet drum performers from Dharma Drum Young Buddhist Society who performed a set of simple martial art to bid them farewell and wish them peace and happiness as they begin their tour around Taiwan.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)