Exchange Visit From The International Network for Engaged Buddhists (INEB)

Dr. Yo Hsiangchou, chief coordinator of INEB in Taiwan, led the 53-member delegation for a visit to Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education in Jinshan Township, Taipei County, on 3 September, 2007. The INEB delegation paid the first-and-warmest tribute to Venerable Master Sheng Yen and shared experiences of promoting Buddhist education with DDM's Sangha community.

Honorable members of the delegation consisted of lay practitioners, Bhikshus (monks) as well as Bhikshunis (nuns) from Japan, Korea, Australia, Great Britain, India, United States, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

The International Network for Engaged Buddhists (INEB) was founded in Thailand in 1989, and has expanded over the years with members from more than 20 countries. It has firm belief in compassion, non-violence and co-existence as expounded by The Buddha.

Shortly after arriving at DDM's bus terminal, the Abbot of Dharma Drum Mountain, Venerable Guo Dong, on behalf of Venerable Master Sheng Yen, expressed his welcome to the founder of INEB, Mr. Sulak Sivaraksa, Dr. Yo Hsiangchou and the rest of the delegation.

The Abbot delivered an welcoming speech at the Brief Room where he stated that DDM has been actively promoting Venerable Master Sheng Yen's compassionate ideas of 'uplifting the character of humanity and building a pure land on earth'. This special occasion has provided an excellent opportunity for exchange of information and ideas, as well as sharing our experiences with every member of INEB. The group then viewed a video titled "How Great is the Dharma Drum Mountain".

INEB's founder, Mr. Sulak Sivaraksa, thanked DDM for the hospitality. "This is the second time I visited DDM personally, after attending the Founding Ceremony of DDM World Center for Buddhist Education in October 2005. I sincerely bless Venerable Master Sheng Yen for peace and good health, and wish DDM every success in further promoting humanistic Buddhism ideas and Buddhist compassion."

After watching the film, the INEB delegates visited the Founding History Memorial Hall, the Grand Buddha Hall, and the Wish Fulfilling Guanyin Hall. With the assistance of well trained tour guides, they were not only impressed with the Center's tranquility and inspirational surroundings, they also gained better understanding of the implicit meanings that DDM wants to convey to its visitors.

A special presentation was also scheduled at the Brief Room by the Faculty of Education. This presentation has provided the INEB delegates with a better understand of the development of Buddhist education at DDM.

In the introduction of the presentation, Venerable Hui Min, President of Dharma Drum Buddhist College, said that the goal of Dharma Drum Buddhist College and Dharma Drum Sangha University is to continually cultivate talent to efficiently promote Buddhist education and Dharma Drum University which is currently under construction.

Venerable Hui Min also added that the key objective of DDM's Buddhist education is to promote "Three Types of Education"─that is, Education through Public Outreach, Caring Service and Academics─in society for the purpose of fulfilling the goal of "building a pure land on earth".

In response to a member's inquiry about the high level of dedication and devotion from DDM's volunteers, Venerable Guo Jing, the Vice President of DDM Sangha University, noted that the Center could not function efficiently without contribution made by volunteers from the Volunteer Group, and they are truly exercising the spirit of Bodhisattva with an altruistic mind.

After lunch at the International Banquet Hall, the INEB delegates gratefully left the Center.

(reported & photos taken by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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