YEAR OF NEWS :
Monday, October 24, 2016
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.
Three very simple instructions given to us by Venerable Guo Jun became the focus of the forthcoming retreat days. But what do they mean, and how do we apply this? Do we just flop onto the sitting cushion and grin for seven days?
Venerable Guo Xing, Abbot of Dharma Drum Retreat Center and Chan Meditation Center, gave a talk entitled "To Perceive That All Five Skandhas Are Empty", the first of the dharma lecture series on Chan at CMC on Sunday, December 21, 2008.
In 2006, Dharma Drum Mountain in Vancouver (DDM Vancouver) held a fundraising event for the seriously ill children of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and made a promise to the children that DDM Vancouver would return in the future. Before the Christmas holiday of 2008, DDM Vancouver fulfilled its promise of bringing the children peace and happiness.
For the final talk on the Lotus Sutra, Venerable Guo Chuan gave summaries and explanations of the seven parables in the Sutra. The seven parables are contained in Chapter 3, "Simile and Parable", Chapter 4, "Belief and Understanding", Chapter 5, "The Parable of the Medicinal Herbs", Chapter 7, "The Parable of the Phantom City", Chapter 8, "Prophecy of Enlightenment for Five Hundred Disciples", Chapter 14, "Peaceful Practices" and Chapter 16, "The Life Span of the Thus Come One".
On November 16, 2008, Venerable Guo Chuan gave a talk on Chapter 20 of the Lotus Sutra, "The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging".
Venerable Guo Chuan continued her dharma series on the Lotus Sutra with a talk on the importance of Bodhisattva Guan Yin (Avalokitesvara) and the place of the Lotus Sutra within the context of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni's teachings.
Despite the fact that it was freezing outside and the road was covered with snow, members of Dharma Drum Mountain in Vancouver (DDM Vancouver) still attended the 2008 Year-End Party held on the afternoon of 14 December with the greatest enthusiasm.
"Meditation is experiential", so said Giora Carmi during his lecture on Sunday, December 18th, 2008.
The sixth part of Venerable Guo Chuan's eight-part dharma talk series on November 9, 2008 was focused on providing background on Chapter 20 of the Lotus Sutra, "The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging". Venerable considers this chapter the most important to her practice of the Lotus Sutra. The term "never" can mean a very long period of time and "disparaging" refers to respect and care for all sentient beings. In a previous life, Sakyamuni Buddha was the Bodhisattva Never Disparaging who applied the practice of the Lotus Sutra to help sentient beings.
On Sunday, November 2, 2008, the Chan Meditation Center held the 5th session of the 8-week lecture series on the Lotus Sutra presented by Venerable Guo Chuan. During this talk, Venerable summarized the Sutra chapter by chapter. The following is a selection of summaries of key chapters.