Undeterred by Storm 500 DDM Members Embark on Pilgrimage

On the morning of October 6 despite the invading typhoon 500 members of DDM Tainan Branch still courageously embarked on a pilgrimage in DDM World Center for Buddhist Education (DDMWCBE). They prostrated on every third step in order to show their gratitude to the benevolence of earth, Buddha Bodhisattva, and their parents. The rain landing onto the pilgrims cleansed their body and mind.

On the day before their arrival at DDMWCBE, Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong gave them his blessings, saying, “Have anticipation, reduce desires, don’t embrace unrealistic expectations, have faith in future prospects, never feel disappointed, never feel despair, embrace compassionate wishes, and be always full of hope.” He encouraged the participants to interpret everything positively and to consider everything from different angles. Only by embracing compassionate vows rather than complaints, being mindful of right views and right thoughts, then hope will be infinite.

Shih Jian-Chang, President of Sheng Yen Education Foundation, who accompanied the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen on numerous visits to the ancestral temples of Chan Buddhism in India and China, shared his experience of pilgrimage and accompany the 500 members on their pilgrimage in DDMWCBE by walking mindfully, allowing them to experience moving meditation.

The unstable weather condition in Northern Taiwan caused by the typhoon did not deter the pilgrims from starting the pilgrimage before 5:00 am. They made one prostration on every third step, felt the moist of the rain and the earth, and became extremely grateful to mother nature. When the pilgrimage finished, the pilgrims were full of Dharma joy, and Venerable Guo Chiann, the director of DDM Tainan Branch Monastery led them in transferring merits to all sentient beings.

One of the participants, Su Li-Wen, said that such weather conditions cause them to have more confidence in the Buddha Dharma as they can experience its benefit for themselves. The pilgrims mindfully perform their prostrations on rough and level surfaces, on wet and dry ground, regardless of heavy or light rain. She appreciated the volunteers’ devotion and effort and the causes and conditions that made this possible. Despite feeling exhausted, she felt very joyful and looks forward to another pilgrimage next year.

(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia editing team)

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