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Wednesday, May 10, 2017
As of last year, average temperatures on Earth rose to 1.3˚C warmer than pre-industrial levels, just 0.7˚C away from the United Nations' target maximum of no more than 2˚C change, a limit intended to prevent crossing thresholds beyond which scientists say it may be impossible to reverse the severe consequences of global warming. This was one of the main themes of Venerable Chang Ji's talk, titled "Is Civilization Dying or Being Born?" at Dharma Drum Vancouver Center on April 30, 2017. She spoke about the issues of climate change and the urgent need to fix it while we still have the chance to do so.


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In July, at the peak of this hot summer, Ven. Chang Chuo paid a special visit to the Dharma Drum Singapore campus. The director of Dharma Drum’s Social Care Department, Ven. Chang Chuo was invited to teach as part of an end-of-life care program based around dharma and Buddhist concepts. The majority of the participants were already practicing Buddhists who reported that they pay a great deal of attention to this issue. The hope in offering this course was that the participants could develop concepts related to end-of-life care from the viewpoint of dharma. And, putting these concepts and strategies into practice, they could not only learn how to better care for others, but also help themselves in the process.
Most people can relate to the joy of birth, but know little about death. Where do people go after death? How does their soul consciousness leave their physical bodies behind and find their next life? Are we able to embrace death as much as we welcome birth?
A program encompassing an end-of-life care and a Buddhist ritual instruments practice was arranged by DDM Thailand from July, 2 - 3. Ven. Chang Chuo, director of Social Care Department, was invited to conduct this program. The three major topics covered were: 1. the principle of life and death as well as end-of-life care; 2. methods and practices of end-of-life care; and 3. end-of-life care and meditation – the Buddhist way – compassion and wisdom.
On May 28, 2016, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre in Malaysia organized a volunteer teacher training session on life education for children through picture books. Thirteen volunteers and two senior teachers of picture book, teacher Sun and teacher Li, explored the appeal and influence of picture books.
On May 29, 2016, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia held an outdoor meditation event in Bandaraya Ipoh. It was later changed into an indoor meditation practice due to a sudden rain. By embracing the mindset that all arrangements are the best arrangements, volunteers accepted the situation happily, reflecting the Buddhist idea of adapting to the causes and conditions at any present moment.
To recreate the joy of last year’s gathering, Ven. Chang Zao (常藻) was once again invited to lead this year’s eighteenth National Dharma Teacher’s workshop. The topic of this year’s workshop was, “the more you teach, the more you feel at peace.” It was held in chief by the Taiping Buddhist Center, in cooperation with Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia. More than fifty dharma teachers along with a number of college students participated in this activity, which lasted from May 30th to June 3rd and was held in the Taiping Buddhist Center.
(May the merit, virtue and wisdom gained from bathing the Tathagata release all sentient beings in the Five Turbidities from defilements and aspire the pure Dharma-body of the Tathagata)
On April 24, 2016 Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia organized a “Stressed but not Depressed” workshop. Over 80 participants joined the workshop led by Ven. Chang Zao (常藻), the Centre’s director.
On May 1, the first One Day Amitabha Buddha’s Recitation Retreat was held at a Dharma Drum Mountain branch in Malaysia in conjunction with observing Eightfold Precepts. This retreat was attended by seventy devotees who cleared their busy schedules in order to train their mind and body.
Guanyin (Avalokitesvara) Bodhisattva universally saves and delivers all sentient beings. Commonly known for his compassion in hearing the calls for help and releasing people’s suffering by coming to their rescue in various manifestations, the Bodhisattva has been revered and worshiped since ancient times, especially by Chinese people, as the Goddess of Mercy, whom they can rely on and seek comfort from.
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