Joyfully Immersed in the Dharma: DDM New Jersey Chapter’s New Center Inaugurated

Dharma Drum Mountain New Jersey Chapter’s new center in Edison, New Jersey, was inaugurated with a consecration ceremony on May 14, 2016. The brand new center was packed with some 400 participants, including monastics, devotees, and volunteers, who watched a short film, titled “Starting from Zero,” in memory of Master Sheng Yen, as a token of gratitude to the Master for his great vow in founding Dharma Drum Mountain and fostering the establishment of the Chapter’s new center.

Ven. Guo Dong, abbot president of DDM, Ven. Guo Xing, abbot of DDM’s practice centers in North America, Huang Chuqi, vice president of DDM Fellowship, Wang Jiuling, president of DDM Association of Dharma Supporters in North America, and Guo Jiashu, convener of DDM New Jersey Chapter, jointly unveiled the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, drawing a big round of applause from participants and bringing many of the volunteers and devotees to tears. The center will serve as another base for introducing the Chan tradition of Chinese Buddhism to Western societies, enabling people to benefit from the Dharma.

Ven. Guo Xing gave a Dharma talk by starting off with a poem he wrote: “Shakyamuni held a flower, transmitting the true eye of the Dharma; Bodhidharma carried the Buddha’s teachings to China, becoming its first Patriarch; Sheng Yen introduced the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism to Western societies, opening up the minds of people in the state of New Jersey.” Ven. Guo Dong, on the other hand, explained the meaning of consecration, and shared his ideas on how to explore our inner light of wisdom.

After lunch, Ven. Guo Xing hosted a refuge ceremony for 26 devotees, 12 of whom decided to take refuge in the Three Jewels because they had been so moved by the inauguration in the very morning. Afterwards, the Buddha-Bathing Ceremony and a fun fair took place at the center’s parking lot. Participants had a great time enjoying the activities, feeling inspired and motivated, and the event wrapped up at 3 pm.

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

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