Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia Visits DDM for Educational Ideas
Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) led a group of thirty Buddhist youths and monastics to visit DDM World Center for Buddhist Education (DDMWCBE) on December 12, 2013. The purpose of the visit was to learn about the center’s teaching environment and admire the grand architecture of DDM. Their curiosity about DDM’s education institutions, Dharma Drum Sangha University and Dharma Buddhist College, was satisfied and they came to understand DDM’s perseverance and efforts to train a religious teacher.
Abbot President of DDM, Venerable Guo Dong specially welcomed the Buddhist youths from Malaysia who visited DDM for the first time, also mentioning that many outstanding young monastics studying and practicing in DDM are from Malaysia. Young people who learn Buddha Dharma learn how to care for others with compassion, handle situations with wisdom, and find the Buddha nature with ‘genuine compassion and clear-minded wisdom.’ DDM’s concept ‘Protecting the Spiritual Environment’ teaches that happiness is achieved, not by relying on other others but rather through your own active contributions to benefit others.
With deep concentration the youths noted down the Abbot President’s explanation of ‘compassion, wisdom, harmony, and respect’ and ‘ten kinds of power’ including the phrases ‘the power to try your utmost’, and ‘the power to be diligent following causes and conditions’. He also said that if we have an ice-cold relationship with another, we should learn to melt like ice and “dissolve the self”. Playing on punctuation he used the Chinese phrase, “difficult to pass” which means when encountering difficulty we should use pure thoughts and right thoughts to relieve the situation and then, it will become “difficulty passed.” Thinking positively is always the antidote for adversity. His witty and humorous teachings helped the Buddhist youths to better understand the wisdom of Buddhism which brings “freedom and ease of body and mind”.
Vice President of YMBA Venerable Ru Jie said that given the vigorous development of Mahayana Buddhism in Taiwan, the main purpose of the nine-day trip in Taiwan to visit monasteries and pay their respects to senior monastics. The last stop was the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education, a serene and peaceful environment and also Venerable Ru Jie’s ideal monastery. He said that only when your mind is calm and tranquil will you feel the Buddha Dharma’s compassion and wisdom. He was very impressed by the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen who founded DDM—a pure land on earth created by the strength of Master Sheng Yen’s individual vow and the vows and practice of all the sentient beings—and the refined and tranquil demeanors of the monastics.
Wan Si-Wei, a delegate, expressed his happiness and was moved by DDMWCBE’s environment, a suitable place for young people to practice the Buddha’s teachings. He added that it is not easy to learn about the Buddha Dharma in Malaysia, but this in itself is an opportunity for young people to understand the concept of ‘causes and conditions’. Cheng Liang-Hai, who also visited DDMWCBE for the first time, said the Center embodies the essence of ‘Chan’, a reminder to him and his family of the peaceful Dharma joy brought by the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen when spreading Dharma in Malaysia a long time ago. Reluctant to leave, he stayed in the Founding History Memorial Hall for a long time.
The last part of the delegates’ program was to understand and learn about DDM’s education system. Engaged in discussion with Vice Abbot, Venerable Guo Hui, Director of Sangha Education Department, Guo Kai, and Dr. Teng Wei-Jen, they spoke about exam regulations for Sangha University’s prospective students and how lectures were conducted at the Buddhist College. Ven. Guo Kai introduced the ‘Awakening Camp’ an event which allows the public to experience monastic life and Dharma Drum Buddhist College’s first-class facilities. When introducing the Dharma Drum University, which is still under construction, Ven. Guo Kai gave particular emphasis to the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen’s words, that the best land should be used to educate and cultivate exceptional talents.
Ven. Chuan Wen, a religious advisor from YBAM, expressed that Venerable Guo Dong’s witty sharing brought up memories of his participation in a 49-day retreat led by the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen. It gave him warm feelings—as if he were returning home. He was also amazed by the preparation DDM had taken to ensure followers understood the proceedings before the Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service started; and how DDM made use of technology, allowing followers to participate in the service through the internet, and practice at every altar anytime and anywhere.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)