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Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Major international conferences and summits in 2015 – on financing for development, sustainable development, and climate change – have defined a new sustainable development agenda for the next 15 years. At all levels, from global to local, eyes will now be turned on implementing this ambitious agenda. A change in understanding is needed, a deeper recognition of the interconnection between all. Stakeholders began to utilize approaches that examines sets of issues as a whole and focus on the connections between them. The concepts of interconnection and interdependence have entered the mainstream and are words commonly used today. How will this understanding help us address the climate and ecological crisis, which is also connected to the crisis of poverty, disease, and injustice? What is the deeper link that binds these problems together?

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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.
Date: 28th, Aug. 2016
Time: 2:00PM- 5:00 PM
On August 28, the fourth session of life education for children to nurture compassion was held as scheduled. All fifteen children started the day by paying respect to the Buddha; they then chose any one of the three themes designed for this session, namely, “Meditation Circle”, “Picture Storybooks” and “Creative Space”. They were also given the option to provide an update on their “Rainbow Mouse” project from previous session.
It was a fun day with many colourful materials such as paper, bottles filled with colourful powder, toothbrushes and straws.
Guiding Dharma teacher: Ven. Chang Shih
Date: August 7, 2016 (Sunday)
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Meditation Hall, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia
The final one-day Chan meditation retreat in 2016 was wrapped up with a group photo session of 38 participants with splendid smile on their faces, reflecting the joy of Chan.
People met Master Sheng Yen through different causes and conditions. The Master may be long gone, but his teaching by example has kept inspiring many to follow his footprints and continue his vision to “uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth.”
On the night of August 2nd, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia held a special lecture entitled “The Art of Illness and Visiting the Patient.” Although it was a workday, the lecture still drew about one hundred and thirty-five attendees. The crowd packed the meditation hall -- it was clear that this teaching was highly anticipated by the community. The lecturer was Kuo Huihsin, a community college instructor in the study of life and death, a specialist of training volunteers for hospice and palliative care, a counsel of honor in Pingtung Prison, and a columnist for Humanity Magazine.
Having organized a Buddhist wedding ceremony in 2015 for the first time, Dharma Drum Mountain Malaysia Centre held another one on July 10 this year. Zeng Huansheng and Lin Jiahui, a newly-wed couple, were classmates at the Five Lectures for Learning Buddhism back in 2013. Since then they had participated in the Centre’s activities together, and decided to get married with a simple and solemn Buddhist wedding ceremony, to be conducted at the Center.
In July, at the peak of this hot summer, Ven. Chang Chuo paid a special visit to the Dharma Drum Singapore campus. The director of Dharma Drum’s Social Care Department, Ven. Chang Chuo was invited to teach as part of an end-of-life care program based around dharma and Buddhist concepts. The majority of the participants were already practicing Buddhists who reported that they pay a great deal of attention to this issue. The hope in offering this course was that the participants could develop concepts related to end-of-life care from the viewpoint of dharma. And, putting these concepts and strategies into practice, they could not only learn how to better care for others, but also help themselves in the process.
Most people can relate to the joy of birth, but know little about death. Where do people go after death? How does their soul consciousness leave their physical bodies behind and find their next life? Are we able to embrace death as much as we welcome birth?
A program encompassing an end-of-life care and a Buddhist ritual instruments practice was arranged by DDM Thailand from July, 2 - 3. Ven. Chang Chuo, director of Social Care Department, was invited to conduct this program. The three major topics covered were: 1. the principle of life and death as well as end-of-life care; 2. methods and practices of end-of-life care; and 3. end-of-life care and meditation – the Buddhist way – compassion and wisdom.
On May 28, 2016, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre in Malaysia organized a volunteer teacher training session on life education for children through picture books. Thirteen volunteers and two senior teachers of picture book, teacher Sun and teacher Li, explored the appeal and influence of picture books.
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