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Thursday, September 14, 2017

September 11th, 2001 is a date that will live in infamy. The attack by Al-Qaeda terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people and injured over 6,000 others, as well as causing property damage. As a result, the United States responded by launching the War on Terror. This hatred has led to racial discrimination and killing in succession. In 2016, Tomorrow Together by 911Day.org initiated ”Meal Pack for NYC” and has been supported by a diverse community of national service, youth, faith, and education organizations to actively promote the ideals of unity, empathy and service among young people throughout the United States. This year, the event took place at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.

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Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia invited Ven. Chang-Yuan, director of Dharma Drum Mountain’s Meditation Activity Department in Taiwan, to lead an intermediate Chan meditation course at the Centre on October 29 and 30, 2016. The venerable used metaphors to show participants how to practice Chan in daily life, helping them gain a deeper understanding and experience of Chan practice.
The 2016 Contemporary Buddhist Forum, organized by the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) and co-sponsored by Xiao En Group, Fo Guang Shan Malaysia, and Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia, was held at the Xiao En Center, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, on November 12 and 13. With “Chan and Modern Life” as the main theme, the biennial forum invited Ven. Hui Min, president of the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA), Wen Zungkun, assistant professor at DILA, and Ven. Chang Zao, director of Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia, to be the keynote speakers respectively for two different topics.
To promote the understanding of dharma and to introduce Buddhist concepts to recruit new members of the Buddha-name Recitation Group, DDM Singapore held its first beginners’ chanting class on August 6th, with ten two-hour sessions held on every following Saturday afternoon.
A beginner’s seven-day Chan retreat was held at the Uttama Bodhi Vihara, Malaysia, from September 9 to 18, with a participation of 59 practitioners. Impressed by the keenness of the retreatants, Ven. Chang Zao, guiding Dharma teacher of the retreat and director of Dharma Drum Buddhist Centre Malaysia, praised them for showing faith in Chan practice. Once again witnessing the incredible effect of the Chan teachings, the venerable observed that participants, by constantly practicing the method, had become more calm and stable, compared to their distractedness and confusion at the beginning of the retreat.
Date: 28th, Aug. 2016
Time: 2:00PM- 5:00 PM
On August 28, the fourth session of life education for children to nurture compassion was held as scheduled. All fifteen children started the day by paying respect to the Buddha; they then chose any one of the three themes designed for this session, namely, “Meditation Circle”, “Picture Storybooks” and “Creative Space”. They were also given the option to provide an update on their “Rainbow Mouse” project from previous session.
It was a fun day with many colourful materials such as paper, bottles filled with colourful powder, toothbrushes and straws.
Guiding Dharma teacher: Ven. Chang Shih
Date: August 7, 2016 (Sunday)
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Meditation Hall, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia
The final one-day Chan meditation retreat in 2016 was wrapped up with a group photo session of 38 participants with splendid smile on their faces, reflecting the joy of Chan.
People met Master Sheng Yen through different causes and conditions. The Master may be long gone, but his teaching by example has kept inspiring many to follow his footprints and continue his vision to “uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth.”
On the night of August 2nd, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia held a special lecture entitled “The Art of Illness and Visiting the Patient.” Although it was a workday, the lecture still drew about one hundred and thirty-five attendees. The crowd packed the meditation hall -- it was clear that this teaching was highly anticipated by the community. The lecturer was Kuo Huihsin, a community college instructor in the study of life and death, a specialist of training volunteers for hospice and palliative care, a counsel of honor in Pingtung Prison, and a columnist for Humanity Magazine.
Having organized a Buddhist wedding ceremony in 2015 for the first time, Dharma Drum Mountain Malaysia Centre held another one on July 10 this year. Zeng Huansheng and Lin Jiahui, a newly-wed couple, were classmates at the Five Lectures for Learning Buddhism back in 2013. Since then they had participated in the Centre’s activities together, and decided to get married with a simple and solemn Buddhist wedding ceremony, to be conducted at the Center.
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.
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