YEAR OF NEWS :
Monday, April 18, 2016
“Chan” has become a fashionable word these days, as can be seen in expressions such as the “Chan of tea”, the “Chan of painting”, and the “Chan of reading”. To many people, “Chan” seems to signify freedom and spontaneity. However, are these activities really relevant to the essentials of Chan practice?
In the wake of the devastating earthquake and incessant aftershocks that have hit Nepal, an ancient Buddhist land, in April, the country’s remote areas, so far still isolated due to broken roads, are now in urgent need of humanitarian relief aid. While responding to their tragedy by expressing the care and concern from people in Taiwan, as well as providing immediate aid through donations and other resources, DDM is also concerned for the affected people’s needs in remote stricken towns and villages. Meanwhile, in response to a letter from Mahavaipulya Buddhist Association in Taiwan (臺灣大方廣佛學講修學會, MBAT), DDM promised to offer financial support to reconstruct “Ngagyur Memorial School,” located in a suburban area of Kathmandu, for the orphans from Nubri, a mountainous area in Nepal.
On April 19 2015, Dharma Drum for Young People in Malaysia (DDYP) held an advanced outdoor Chan meditation in Bukit Jalil Park, attracting 21 participants to go on the journey of the formula-of-mind.
The study of formula has always been the core of mathematics. Would the formula of mind be the ultimate core of humanity? The formula of mind is in fact the practice to remain at ease at any time and place, and to be able to find innate happiness. What then is innate happiness? Most people define happiness as a stage whereby everything works out well and smooth or that they have their wishes granted. But with ever-changing karmic causality, such happiness that we refer to is subject to change at any moment- it is a temporary and impermanent experience.
Dharma Drum Mountain founder Master Sheng Yen once said, “Chan practice helps one know oneself, affirm oneself, and transcend oneself. By using the methods of Chan practice at any time and place, one becomes more aware of one’s thoughts, as well as one’s own strengths and weaknesses. This is ‘knowing ourselves.’ Through knowing ourselves, we are able to master our own mind, and come to affirm and transcend ourselves.”
On May 16 and 17, Dharma Drum Mountain Malaysia Center held a two-day “Spiritual Health” Chan retreat at Chin Swee Caves Temple in Genting Highlands, allowing 89 retreatants to experience calm and relaxation of mind in a serene surrounding far away from bustling and hustling city.
Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Center Malaysia (DDMBCM) organized a Buddha bathing ceremony on 3 May 2015, drawing 300 devotees and more to participate in for cultivating and sharing the merits and virtue.
Usually, the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Center Malaysia organizes One-Day Buddha-mindfulness Retreat activity on every Labor Day (May 1st) in the hopes that more devotees may take part in on the holiday, and this year is no exception.
Dharma Drum Vancouver Center (DDVC) held a refuge taking and Buddha bathing ceremony on the morning of 23 May 2015 (North America time zone). The Abbot President Ven. Guo Dong was present to express concerns and blessings, and to bath the Buddha statue as well as one’s innate Buddha-nature with over 220 followers on the joyful Buddha’s Birthday.
DDM Melbourne Chapter was truly privileged to have Chan teacher Zarko Andricevic from Croatia to share the joy of Dharma through a series of activities, including a Beginner Chan Meditation workshop, two public Dharma talks and a five-day Chan Meditation retreat. Teacher Zarko is one of the five Western Dharma heirs of the late most Venerable Chan Master Sheng Yen, the founder of Dharma Drum Mountain.
On Sunday, May 24, 2015, Dharma Drum Vancouver Center (DDMVC) Celebrated Buddha’s Birthday. The entire Center was filled with guests, many of whom were visiting for the first time.
The day began with a welcome and blessing from Ven. Chang Wu, the director of the Dharma Drum Vancouver Center. She explained that the goal of the Center is to strengthen our connections with our community and to spread the Buddha’s teachings in simple and joyful ways. She also emphasized the Center’s determination to strengthen its friendly relationships with local Buddhist organizations, including Thrangu Monastery and Ling Yen Mountain Temple, both of which sent representatives to this event.
At 10 a.m. on May 17th (North America time zone), the DDM Chan Meditation Center (CMC) in New York held a Buddha Bathing Ceremony, in which DDM abbot president Ven. Guo Dong was invited to give a Dharma talk on “cherishing the conditions, creating positive connection.” Afterwards, he gave a much-expected book signing of his recently-launched book, Forgive and Let Go, to Form and Live in Favorable Conditions, creating a sense of festival filled with joy in the Dharma.