One-Day Camp on Protecting the Spiritual Environment in DDM Singapore

----Walking with a bowl full of water is my favorite form of Chan practice

“My favorite part of the Chan practice activity is holding the water bowl. It makes me realize how many illusions I have in my mind. The ripples in the bowl are just like mighty currents running in the mind.”

“When I was eating raisins, I suddenly came to realize how sweet they were, prompting me to decide to enjoy the taste of my meals served on the table hereafter.”

“Those well-designed activities for Protecting the Spiritual Environment are interesting and animated, allowing me to further understand self-nature.”

These are the thoughts and feelings expressed by the students of the Buddhist Society of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore during the sharing session.

On 28 April 2007, DDM Singapore invited 12 students and instructors from the Buddhist Society of Nanyang Technological University to join the One Day Camp on Protecting the Spiritual Environment. Eight members from the newly established Dharma Drum Youth Society in Singapore also took part in the event.

In order to help students understand DDM’s value of Protecting the Spiritual Environment, DDM Singapore mapped out a number of activities aimed at helping participants to gradually realize self-nature, attain personal maturity, uplift one’s personal character and let go of self-attachment.

The event began with the screening of Master Sheng Yen’s dharma talk on the meaning of Protecting the Spiritual Environment which is to ensure health, peace and happiness for oneself as well as the people around us.

Part of the program involved playing relaxing music whereby participants would walk around freely to greet each other with a sweet smile, joined palms, and gently pulling each passer-by’s nose and ears. This part of the program was intended to help break the ice between participants, build friendship as well as appreciate the existence of self.

In another part of the program every participant held a bowl full of water and tried to walk around the parking lot without spilling anything. Some people were specifically assigned to distract and challenge the participants to test their concentration and mindfulness and help participants realize the importance of living in the present moment.

Participants also had to slowly chew on raisins for five minutes and afterwards were asked to write down their feelings about it. From the experience, they all agreed that true happiness actually arises from a sense of gratification and desire for less in the mind.

The camp’s purpose was to show the youths how to embrace the Chan spirit into our daily life and experience both physical and mental relaxation. They were taught to settle their minds through a number of animated and inspirational activities.

A greeting of “May blessings be with you” could bring friendship and peace. Giving others a hand is to beam the light of peace and happiness. DDM Singapore hosted the one-day Camp with the aim to strengthen the youths’ faith in Buddhism and to constantly uphold DDM’s ideals.

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

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