Volunteers Clean Stones in Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Pool to Experience a Cleansed Mind

The Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education is one of the most popular spots for visitors to take pictures and pray. The pool in front of the hall, which reflects seasonal changes, is an ideal place for meditating on the water and contemplating the rain. The heavy rain could not dampen the enthusiasm of 260 volunteers during a three-day stone cleaning activity. Working around the pool in the rain wearing their rain coats, rain boots, and bamboo leaf hats, they joined hands together to clean the stones, focusing on the work at hand and remaining unaffected by the external condition of continual heavy rain, thereby realizing the meaning of Chan in motion.

Zhang Yupen, who assisted with the on-site coordination, said, “The pool cleaning activity is already in its 10th year. Its main purpose is to invite more people to learn about Dharma Drum Mountain. Designed as a family activity, it allows all family members to experience a cleansed mind by cleaning the stones with a relaxed body-mind in the present moment. Your body may be tired, but when filled with Dharma joy you won’t feel as tired. When the work is completed, the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Pool will have a brand new look, representing the emerging of a pure land before our eyes.”

“Thanks to my aunt who participates in the activity every year, I decided to join her this year. The process of cleaning the stones really helped calm my mind, enabling me to feel so relaxed, as if I was taking a rest,” Lin Shuluan from the Xinzhuang District of New Taipei City said joyfully, while wiping the sweat dripping down her face. Chen YijJing, a young student and a fourth-time participant, also expressed that the labor wasn’t exhausting, but instead enabled her to feel all the more relaxed.

Lee Xingfen, who took part with her children, said, “I found it most meaningful the first time I saw the pool cleaning activity, when my children also expressed their wish to join in. By personally participating in the activity, I realized that, in the process of cleaning and scrubbing the stones I could examine my mind, try to settle down my thoughts, and naturally enjoy peace and ease of mind.”

It might seem a tedious job to repeat the acts of scrubbing, rinsing, brushing, and cleaning the stones by hand, but volunteers all enjoyed the beauty of the here and now, savoring each moment and appreciating the differences in every single movement. Adults and children alike, everyone contributed with a refreshed spirit, experiencing the Buddhist idea of benefiting both the self and others.

Translated by Sherry Lai / edited by Chiacheng Chang.

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