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.
I have a habit of reflecting on my behaviour and speech, especially when I feel what I did and said may have hurt others. Most of the times, I could find out my mistakes and I would not feel good, because my heart was full of regret and self criticism.
By Chang-Chan 19/08/2015
At the invitation of DDMBA London and the Cambridge Oriental Culture Association (COCA), Ven. Chang Zhan and Ven. Chang Chan from Dharma Drum Mountain Sangha travelled to the UK to conduct a five-day Chan meditation retreat and give a lecture on Chan practice, from August 5 to 13.
This summer camp at Dharma Drum Vancouver Center was certainly an unforgettable experience. Even though the title of it seemed religious and somewhat dull, it actually helps me both physically and mentally. Through participating various thoughtful activities, I had a deeper understanding of myself and also practiced the art of concentrating. In a same manner, meditating and the lectures that were given by masters made me rethought the way I used to view the world. In addition, the vegetarian meals are particularly tasty and fresh. By the way, the All you can eat buffet really made my day.
(By Alan Wu, grade 10)
In this lecture, Dr. Jessica Main addressed the state of contemporary Buddhism in Japan and compared her views with other scholars who have written books on this subject.
Presently, three sects of Buddhism exist in Japan – Zen, Pureland and Lotus School of Buddhism.
These sects are structured with a few head temples, each having a network branching in smaller temples. The temples in the lower hierarchy pay up to the head temples which in turn, organize resources for their temples downstream. In recent years, this network has atrophied and Buddhism is currently in a state of crisis in Japan.
We all know that in dreams people confuse dream phenomena with reality by engaging in those scenarios. They don’t realize that it is only a dream until they wake up. What most people don’t know is that our daytime activities are also a dream, in which our minds are constantly engaged in images from our memories and regarding those as real. How can this all be a dream?
The DDM Social Welfare & Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) and several Taiwan-based charities went deep into earthquake-stricken Nepalese mountainous areas again from June 11 to 14. In addition to showing care and concern, they also donated clothes and stationery that schoolchildren would need at the beginning of the new semester. On behalf of all students, the abbot of the local Tibetan Buddhist monastery, a Palyul branch monastery in Nubri, presented khatas, a traditional ceremonial scarf in Tibetan Buddhism, to volunteers as a token of their appreciation and blessing in return.
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.