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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.

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On February 14, 2016, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year and also the Valentine’s Day, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia held a Remembering the Master’s Kindness event in memorial of Master Sheng Yen, founder of DDM, who passed away seven years ago, for his inheriting the Dharma lineage and inspiring many practitioners worldwide.
Dharma Drum Mountain Association of Dharma Supporters Thailand held the Chinese New Year Plenary Dharma Assembly from 10 to 12 a.m. on February 8, the first day of Chinese New Year, to pray for peace and prosperity for the coming year. Senior Venerables Guo Xiang, Guo Jie, Chang Wen, and Chang Jie from Dharma Drum Mountain in Taiwan travelled to Thailand to preside over the Buddhist service, giving Dharma talks to and blessing local devotees and followers.
On February 8, 2016, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia held a plenary Dharma meeting to mark the first day of the Chinese New Year. Over a hundred people participated in the ceremony, in which they prostrated to the Buddha and practiced repentance in sincerity and reverence, to celebrate the start of a new year with gratefulness and joy.
In June 2015, the Hemera Foundation invited DDRC to apply for a fellowship grant that provides funding for educators to attend retreats at DDRC. In August 2015, DDRC received the grant and joined retreat centers such as Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Zen Mountain Monastery, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Blazing Mountain Retreat Center and Garrison Institute, in offering retreat scholarship support to people working full-time in pre-K or K-12 education or enrolled in a Master’s degree program in education. DDRC is pleased to support the vision of expanding the community of educators who use the practice to inform their teaching and lives. In the fall of 2015, DDRC received a second grant from Hemera Foundation to provide retreat scholarship for health care workers. Given the demanding nature of working in the health care fields, the opportunity to deepen their practice in a retreat setting will be invaluable to health care professional. DDRC looks forward to having more health care workers and educators joining its retreats.

Hemera Foundation--link to http://www.hemera.org/for-educators/
Dharma Drum is represented (by Rebecca Li) on the cover of Lion’s Roar, one of the major Buddhist magazines in the English-speaking world (previously known as Shambhala Sun). In this premiere issue of Lion’s Roar, the editor invited Rebecca Li along with thirteen Dharma teachers from various Buddhist traditions (Kate Johnson, Norman Fischer, Sharon Salzberg, Anam Thubten, Reverend angel Kyodo williams, Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Lama Rod Owens, Sylvia Boorstein, Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Gina Sharpe, Ethan Nichtern, Larry Yang and Josh Korda) to be in the tri-fold cover photo. These teachers also contributed to the issue’s feature article “Hear the Lions Roar” by responding to the question: What is the most important truth to proclaim in today’s troubled world? Rebecca Li from Dharma Drum represents the Chan tradition in this piece. Also recently, Dharma Drum appeared in the winter issue of Buddhadharma magazine which featured the Generation X Dharma Teachers Conference hosted by Dharma Drum Retreat Center in June 2015. Dharma Drum was also featured on Tricycle.com through an online retreat led by Rebecca Li over the month of October 2015. The online retreat was titled “Living the Platform Sutra.”

【 A Tale of Two Futures - Planetary Realism in the Time of Climate Change 】 By Tim Dai


Venerable Chang Ji just delivered an amazing talk at Dharma Drum Vancouver Center, and the talk was closely related to each one of us. It’s on Global Climate Change of our common home - earth. As you may already know, in December 2015 there was an important international conference took place in Pairs regarding Climate Change – COP21. Venerable Chang Ji, representing DDMBA US, attended the full conference which lasted for almost 12 days, and we were very lucky to have her sharing with us what she learned. Unfortunately, some people weren’t able to attend her talk. Therefore, here is my report on her talk and hopefully it can give you a little taste of her talk and this important topic.
It was the first beginner’s seven-day retreat held together by Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Center Malaysia and Dharma Drum Mountain Singapore at Puzhao Buddhist Vihara(柔佛州普照寺) in Malaysia from 20-27th September 2015. There were 91 retreatants, including 34 retreatants from Singapore and one from Hong Kong.
Presented by Zarko Andreicevic on Nov. 21, 2015

A summary of the talk

“Chan” and “daily life” are seemingly two different concepts to most people. How do we relate the two? Is it possible to have Chan in our daily life? How can we benefit from having Chan in our daily lives?

Daily life is comprised of difficulties, conflicts and hardships – Suffering. On the other hand, the practice of Chan leads us to freedom from suffering.

There are different classifications of Chan practice:
Formal practice, informal practice, regular daily practice, intensive practice, individual or group practice. From the perspective of Chan, life and practice are one in the same. Chan is applicable to our everyday lives.

An important characteristic of Chan tradition is that everything we do can be turned into the practice of Chan; it can be easily applied to all aspects of daily life.
What a blessing it is when Dharma Drum Mountain can fulfill its mission to uplift the character of humanity and uphold its commitment to furthering Buddhist education all in one day. Sunday, October 18th may have been just another cloudy fall day but DDVC was alight with the curiosity and enthusiasm of 34 Simon Fraser University (SFU) humanities students taking a course in Buddhist studies. Lead by their professor Michael Newton and his wife Kate McCandles, both Soto (Chn. Caodong) priests with Mountain Rain Zen Center in Vancouver, these students got to have a taste of some delicious cheesecake and Dharma Drum's unique flavour of Chan.
A Workshop co-sponsored by DDVC and UBC

A congregation of Buddhist scholars gathered at the Dharma Drum Vancouver Center on Saturday, October 4th, in the late hours of the afternoon. They come from all over the world to attend the conference on Paper, Print and Cyberspace: The Perspective of a Global Network for the Multimedia and Interdisciplinary Studies of Buddhism and East Asian Religions, happening over the course of two days, featuring DDVC as the host location on the first day, and the University of British Columbia on the second.
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