The Korean Jogye Order Head Temple Abbots Council Visits Dharma Drum Mountain

At 9:30 am on April 5, DDM’s abbot president Ven. Guo Dong and vice abbot president Ven. Guo Yuan, among other DDM Sangha monastics, together with Korean student monks currently studying at Dharma Drum Mountain, welcomed visitors from the abbots council of head temples of the Korean Jogye Order, including Venerables Zheng Nian and Ding Yu. The visiting guests, chiefs of the Order’s various administrative districts and also responsible for offering spiritual guidance to the military, hoped to learn more about the practice styles and management of Buddhist groups and organizations in Taiwan.

After paying tribute to the Buddha at the Grand Buddha Hall, Ven. Guo Dong first offered greetings to the 13 venerables and the accompanying laity, and then led the group to visit the Founding History Memorial Hall and the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall. Ven. Guo Dong talked about the environment of Dharma Drum Mountain complex, which was designed as an educational tool to inspire people’s experience of Chan at any time and place. The ambience of the complex reflects the manifestation of compassion and wisdom.

The leader of the visiting group, Ven. Zheng Nian, expressed how they greatly admired Master Sheng Yen for establishing the DDM organization and sharing Buddhist teachings through an accessible and accommodating approach. They hoped to borrow the Master’s wisdom to help find solutions to the crisis Buddhism faces today. Meanwhile, he praised DDM for taking part in the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, speaking on behalf of Buddhist communities in an effort to make our planet a better place to live for all beings. He also hoped more Buddhist monks from Korea can come and study at DDM’s institutes, while facilitating mutual exchange and cooperation in Buddhism.

Over tea, the guests said that the DDM complex fits perfectly in its surrounding environment, and, with its building exhibiting a solemn, solid, and serene character, is a practice place conveying calm and peace. When they asked about DDM’s approaches in offering guidance in Chan practice and its management as a modern Buddhist monastery, Venerables Guo Dong and Guo Yuan answered their questions in detail. Abbot president Ven. Guo Dong also shared his expectation that monastic practitioners in both countries can all strive to realize the Three Non-outflow Studies—precepts, concentration, and wisdom—resolve to develop right mindfulness, and constantly be diligent in keeping a pure mind.

Towards the end of the visit, Ven. Guo Dong presented Master Sheng Yen’s books in Korean translation and hanging decorations with calligraphy that says “Great Light,” representing the DDM Sangha’s hospitality. This left a wonderful impression on the visiting group. In return, they cordially invited the abbot president to lead DDM’s monastic members to travel to Korea for a visit of their temples, to enable further interaction between Dharma Drum Mountain and the abbots of the Jogye Order’s head temples.

Translated by Frances Liu (劉珮如) and edited by Chiacheng Chang (張家誠)

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