Visitors from Long Island University experience the tranquility of Chan and joy of the Dharma at the DDM World Centre

On the morning of 6 October, 2008, nine visitors, including professors from the Global College of Long Island University in the United States, arrived at Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) World Centre for Buddhist Education for a four-day program of religious and spiritual learning.

The Comparative Religion and Culture Program from the university, in cooperation with the Department of International Relations and Development of DDM scheduled this four-day program.

The Director of the Department of International Relations and Development, Venerable Chang Hwa, warmly welcomed the visitors upon their arrival. The visitors were guided on a tour of the Centre to view the beautiful scenery, as well as the architecture and statues of the Buddha. Throughout the tour, they were able to experience the tranquility of Chan (Zen) which abounds throughout the Centre.

During the afternoon the Director of General Affairs, Venerable Guo Shen, led the participants through the exercises of the Eight Form Moving Meditation, Walking Meditation, mindfulness in holding a bowl full of water and also Eating Meditation. The students came to understand the experience of awareness and mindfulness.

On the second day, the Deputy Director of Chan Promotion Centre, Venerable Guo Yuan, instructed participants to practice Chan Meditation, explained the meaning and essence of the "Three Realms are created by the mind". He also taught them several Chan methods to deal with difficulties in life. During the afternoon, the participants learned about DDM's vision; "Four Kinds of Environmentalism" that is actively promoted in society through a series of workshops.

On the third day, Venerable Guo Shyang briefed the students regarding the history of DDM, the ideas of the Venerable Master Sheng Yen, the history of the Master's Dharma teachings in the West and the fruits of the Master's accomplishment in a world-wide community.

Following Venerable Guo Shyang's inspiring lecture, Dr Zhang Hongji, who is also a gynecologist serving at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, introduced students to the history of Buddhist art and various dharma vessels.

The most enjoyable experience for the students was doing monastic robes and participating in the morning and evening chanting sessions with the DDM Sangha community because it was a unique experience.

On the final day, the visitors expressed their warmest gratitude to DDM for conducting the program. The Chan meditation course was most beneficial to them. They learned to enhance their quality of life, managed vexations in the mind and recognized their self better.

(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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