Cultivating Sincere Solicitude for the World: DDM Sangha University holds a Workshop entitled “Being a Global Citizen”

On March 25 at 9 am at the Buddha Hall, with Ven. Guo Chan and Ven. Chang Ji as the host speakers, near 40 faculty members and students participated in the workshop entitled "Being a Global Citizen".

Taking this opportunity, both the Venerables shared the acquisitions from their experiences of long-termed global interactions with young leaders around the world; the University further wished to benefit the monastic students through better understandings of the progression DDM has made to spread Buddhism worldwide.

Taking the adage "to build a pure land on earth" as the essential spirits, the workshop aimed to cultivate deep solicitude given from Buddhist Monastery, for the future of the contemporary world.

From the themes of this workshop "working towards magnanimous harmony in turmoil; re-starting the culture of connectivity", the issues of environmental protection and its connection to Buddhadharma were brought up. Both the newly emerging terms such as "anthropocene" and the global impact made from the modern life-styles in terms of the weather and eco-system stirred up heated discussions amongst the students.

During the sharing sessions, students commented that although "formation", "abiding", "destruction" and "nothingness" are materialistic phenomena of the world, the hope remains that everyone may learn to change their destructive behaviors that may bring devastation, so as to prolong the earth's sustainment for all living beings.

Technological advancement have reduced the distances between countries and their peoples, but at the same time the causes and effects on each other were increased, as every human being may seem individually independent, but are actually closely inter-twined with one another.

So one should learn to shift the reactively habitual thoughts inclining to individual or national interests yet restraining from the losses, but should all move towards advocating mutual wellbeing and win-win values for the global eco-system and the benefit of all mankind. Such values are truly beneficial for human global development, and then correspond to ideologies of Buddhism, namely equality, compassion and wisdom.

On the issue of environmental protection, the students listed various examples of challenges confronting our everyday life, which may be caused by global warming. Furthermore, they agreed that through the encouragement of one’s proactive action, one may progressively influence others, such as cutting down on the use of individually wrapped merchandise items and plastic bags etc. The workshop also lead the students to alternative forms of thinking, through pin-pointing the psychological reasons of atychiphobia, ways to overcome this fear, and how to tolerate the failure of others.

Before wrapping up, Ven. Guo Chan and Ven. Chang Ji facilitated the students to summarize the thoughts and suggestions of the day, together with DDM's consensus of "dedicating oneself for the benefit of all", "to return to the original intention of the Buddha and work for the purification of the world " etc., also corresponding to their goals of learning.

Through the collectively heartfelt intellectual efforts of the group discussions, the resulting contents are not only abundant, but also a precious experience for inward richness, and to cultivate the solicitude from monastics for our own world.

Texts: Dharma Drum Sangha University
Translation: Chang, Cheng-Yu (張振郁)
Editors: DDM Australian Editing Team

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