Wat Phra Dhammakaya of Thailand Visits DILA

In the afternoon of 15 May 2015, Assistant Abbot Presidents of Wat Phra Dhammakaya (WPD) of Thailand Venerable Maha Weerawat and Venerable Thawee headed a delegation of 40, including followers and abbots from other WPD branch monasteries, in their visit to the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education, Jinshan, New Taipei City. In addition to visiting Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) President Venerable Hui Min and DDM Abbot Vice President Venerable Guo Hui, they also visited various DILA physical structures, the Library and Information Center, the Founding History Memorial Hall, the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall and the Grand Buddha Hall, conducting a cross-sectoral Buddhist educational exchange between Chinese Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism.

DDM and WPD had held monastic exchanges in the early 90s. WPD International Department Head Venerable Bhandit Varapanyo and WPD Singapore Branch Abbot Venerable Somkiat Varavamso both studied at the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies. Similarly, DDM Abbot Vice President Venerable Guo Hui and DDM Chan Hall Instructor Venerable Guo Yuan have spent a year of practice at WPD, where they both shared camaraderie with Venerable Maha Weerawat, who then had not long received full percepts.

Having visited DDM on this fourth occasion, Venerable Maha Weerawat conveyed, “commencing enrolment this year, DILA incorporates elements of environmental protection and Chan into its building materials and design, and with the four additional major study areas of Environment and Development, Social Enterprise and Innovation, Community Empowerment and Life Education, will only bring ever closer together Dharma and social wellbeing, nurturing academic professionals with solid humanistic training, which essentially embody and concur with WPD’s directions towards Dharma propagation education”.

WPD Venerable Sheng De, who is currently pursuing a master degree at the Dharma Drum Buddhist College, has taken the opportunity to interpret for the visiting delegation. For this occasion of inter-sectoral Buddhist exchange he shared, “whilst WPD focuses efforts on the translation of the sutras of Theravada Buddhism, DDM emphasizes on the academic research of Chinese Buddhism. Indeed, it is hopeful that my studies in Taiwan would facilitate a broader as well as deeper appreciation for Buddhism, and I highly anticipate the many opportunities for future cooperation and exchange between the two sects”.

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