Experience Chan Buddhism: Young Members of Rotary International Visited Zhaiming (齋明) Monastery

Early in the morning of August 18th, thirty-four student members of Rotary International from 19 countries arrived at Zhaiming Monastery, some of whom were from Germany, France, Turkey, Israel, India, and Thailand. Guided by DDM monastic teachers, they learned about temple etiquettes as well as the benefits and methods of Chan practice in this century-old ancient temple.

Their day started with sitting meditation in the Grand Buddha Hall, then Bowl Holding Meditation in the woods, and ended with Chanting Service at sundown. The participants gained a taste of the monastic life and the method of practice in Chinese Buddhism. They were impressed the relaxed and lively atmosphere of the program throughout the day and its design for both intellectual and spiritual experience, expressing that they wanted to learn about Chan practice and the meaning of life further more.

Ven. Chang Xiang, the Director of Meditation Activity Department, was the main instructor teaching Chan to the participants. In his workshop, “Chan and Life”, he not only introduced the basic concepts and methods of Chan practice, but also guided the participants to think about the meaning of life by sharing his own transition to monkhood.

“To meditate is not just to relax, and live a beautiful and comfortable life, but to tame one’s mind and discover the truth of life.” His wise guidance was well received. Participants were fully focused on what they were doing, from Eating Meditation, Sleeping Meditation, Bowl Holding Meditation, to the game “Mirror on the Wall.”

Giliane, a French student, responded that “What we learned today is a perspective different from what we used to have, and it’s quite inspiring. The monastic teachers preach what they practice, which I am willing to learn more about.”

Text: Dharma Drum Monthly (法鼓雜誌)
Translation: Chen an, Hsiao (蕭宸安)
Editor: Christine Huang (Canada), Angela Chang (Canada)

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