Sharing Gratitude at Smiling Chan Life Hall: Prayers of Bodhi

Smiling Chan Life Hall, which promotes the art of smiling along with Chan teachings based on what the Buddha taught about the mind, held a gratitude sharing meeting at 2 pm on July 29, to show appreciation to volunteers for the time and effort they have contributed. To mark the occasion, the grass and flower seeds contained in the prayer cards people had wrote at the Hall were planted and spread along with Rudrashka seedlings as offerings to Mother Earth, signifying “planting prayers to bring about Bodhi.” The Hall expects itself to inspire more smiles and enable people to enjoy more calm and stability.

Ven. Guo Yueh, director of Dharma Drum Mountain Department of Dharma Service, said that the Hall, though without any religious references, actually reflects the essence of the Dharma. Smiling may be an easy thing to do, but it can nevertheless help awaken people to the meaning of Chan if experienced wholeheartedly. The venerable also expressed thankfulness to the volunteers for their enthusiastic assistance and devotion, while urging everyone to keep on their good work by inviting more people to truly smile, make smiling part of their everyday life, and savor the joy of Chan through smiling.

After the sharing time, volunteers returned to the Life Hall and took a group photo at the Gift-of-Smiling photo sticker machine, trying to set a record number of people to be included. Meanwhile, the Hall encouraged people to invite their friends and relatives to create more smiles as a practice of giving joy. The venerable then led the volunteers to the field to spread the prayer cards and plant the Rudrashka seedlings, while chanting the Heart Sutra, signifying sharing people’s good wishes and sowing the seeds for Bodhi. Finally Ven. Chang Guan led everyone to dedicate the merit, wrapping up this activity of making offerings to the Earth.

Adjacent to the Wish-fulfilling Guanyin Hall, Smiling Chan Life Hall has become one of the most popular visitor attractions at the Dharma Drum Mountain complex since its establishment on November 1, 2014. DDM aspires to help change the world for the better from within through advocating the art of smiling and promoting Chan teachings. It also encourages people to face the environment with a grateful mind and embrace every single day with smiles. By starting with protecting our spiritual environment, we can turn small good deeds into a greater good; with the power of smile, we can help influence and transform society.

Translator: Frances Liu (劉珮如)
Editor: Chiacheng Chang (張家誠)

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