Pointer to Learning Buddhist Practice: Enrollment of DDM’s Buddhist Teachings Program starts on June 1

Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, once used the analogy that life is like a stream of dreams in the samsara to urge us to be aware of our habitual tendency to “mistakenly take afflictions in the cyclic existence of birth and death as the goal of our pursuit, and the perpetual transmigration of birth and death as our travel playground.” As he often explained, entering the gate of Buddhist practice marks the initial step to awakening the self and others

Buddhist Teachings Program Is Now Open for Enrollment

The Buddhist Teachings Program, organized by DDM’s Sheng Yen Academy, is now open for enrollment, starting from 10 a.m. on June 1, 2017. There are eleven classes available across the island, including the Beitou, Da-an, Zhongshan, Wenshan, Banqiao districts in the Greater Taipei area, as well as the Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung areas. The program includes introductory lessons on fundamental Buddhist teachings and daily Buddhist practices, to guide members to understand the essence of Buddhism and realize that life can be lived with ease and grace. This year, the “performing meritorious deeds” practice, which requires 32 hours of volunteering during a year, is also added to the program, to enhance members’ cultivation of blessings, apart from the development of wisdom, marking the equal emphasis on study and practice in cultivating the merit-field.

The Best Pointer for Learning Buddhist Practice

Based on the idea of protecting the spiritual environment as its core value and focusing on the three learnings—precepts, concentration and wisdom—the program offers introductory courses on Chan practice, mindfulness of the Buddha (or Buddha-name recitation), the practice of Guanyin Bodhisattva, and the Bodhisattva precepts. Over the past 14 years, more than 10,000 members have benefited from the program since its launch. In addition, over 700 members in the northern area will be graduating in the coming July. Viewed by many beginners as “the best pointer for learning Buddhist practice,” this program consists of 96 lessons in three years, with experienced monastics from the DDM sangha and guest lecturers from different parts of Taiwan as the guiding teachers.

It’s Been Most Worthwhile and Rewarding Trips Indeed

“It’s been most worthwhile and rewarding trips indeed,” said Zeng Fengmei, who has been travelling all the way from Ruisui, Hualian to attend the class for the past three years. Zeng expressed that she could feel the Dharma teachers’ genuine compassion and the lecturers’ devotion in preparing the lessons, particularly their effort to explain difficult Buddhist terms in plain language. She also appreciated the senior members’ cordial advice that helped her experience and apply the Dharma by participating in various practice activities. She said happily that her biggest gain is “learning to apply the Buddha’s teaching in daily life.”

Report: Lin Yaling (林雅櫻)
Translation: Elenda Huang (頤嵐達)
Editor: Chang Chiacheng (張家誠)

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