YEAR OF NEWS :
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
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.
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.
Every year in May, Buddhists will participate in bathing the Buddha statue to commemorate the Buddha’s Birthday, signifying purifying their mental, verbal and physical actions, an essential endeavor to realize the aspiration to achieve the Buddhahood. On May 16th DDM’s New Jersey Chapter (DDMBANJ) organized a Buddha Bathing Ceremony, in which Ven. Guo Xing, abbot of Chan Meditation Center, was invited to preside over the ritual and give a Dharma talk. Also participating are Ven. Guo Dong, abbot president of DDM, who was currently on a tour in North America rendering care for the devotees, along with 10 other monastics from the DDM sangha. The ceremony this year drew a crowd of participants, with all seats occupied and some having to stand all the way through the ceremony, creating an extraordinarily solemn ambience at the venue.
A Richter scale 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal three weeks ago on 25 April 2015, shortly followed by another 7.3 magnitude devastating tremor on 12 May 2015, wreaking havoc on already destroyed structures and further contributing to the rising death toll and casualty numbers. In addition to commissioning humanitarian relief aid volunteers to assess and outreach to the tragedy with the immediate aid through donations and other resources, the Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) further sets goals to focus efforts on supporting infrastructural and human rebuilding as well as future sustainable development in the region. Moreover, through active engagement and anticipated cooperation with other local Taiwanese organizations, it is hoped that resources and supplies would reach the severely shaken remote villages and mountainous areas, counteracting the imminent South Asian monsoon season.
In China, the Twentieth Century opened with a renewed optimism and vitality that China’s social-ethical problems could be resolved with philosophical and educational reforms. Political leaders felt that education could save the nation.
Mainland China is experiencing a dramatic revival of temple and monastic space. This has been heavily influenced by two factors: the powerful regulation of the state, and a national focus on economic development and the expansion of a market economy. These factors are not always in harmony with the interests of those within the walls of the monastery, who are trying to restore monastic Buddhism.
In May of 2014, Ven. Chang Wu accepted an invitation from the University of British Columbia to attend a workshop on "Buddhist Perspectives on the Work of Care ". This year, on April 7th, she was invited back to give a one hour and 20 minute lecture to 50 students at the Institute of Asian Research. The topic of the lecture was "Introduction of Chan Buddhism and Its Practice Methods.”
Richmond - On Saturday, February 21st, Dharma Drum Vancouver Center (DDVC) hosted the inaugural Chinese New Year Festival – Chan Culture Open House and welcomed everyone to come and celebrate the most important Chinese holiday. The entire event was carried out in English. It was hoped that Canadians from diverse backgrounds would take advantage of this opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and Chan teachings and be able to incorporate the teachings into their everyday life.
Dharma Drum Vancouver Center (DDVC) will be open in this Chinese New Year and invite its neighbors to attend the festivities held by them. It is also the first time for them to hold a Chinese New Year Celebration, which will be on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. To celebrate Year of the Sheep, Dharma Drum Vancouver Center, an Orthodox Chan Buddhism group, will hold an event full of family fun.
Ven. Guo Dong, the Abbot President of DDM, gave a Dharma talk at Dharma Drum Singapore in the evening of November 21, 2014 where Yong Nan Elder Nun, the Abbot of Long Quan Monastery made a special appearance. During the talk, Ven. Guo Dong thanked Yong Nan Elder Nun for her kindness in offering a place for DDM to set up Dharma Drum Singapore. In addition, he also reiterated the aspiration of the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen to “Uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth; dedicate ourselves to the wellbeing of all sentient being”, encouraging devotees to cultivate and extend loving kindness and compassion to all beings, regardless of time and place.