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Writing is also a Chan practice

Venerable Master Sheng Yen once said that Chan is a part of life. Activities in one’s daily life, such as drinking coffee, eating, watching the rain and even enjoying the view, are all Chan practices; Chan is ubiquitous.. Writing therefore is also a course for Chan practice.

In order to cultivate more new talents in writing, Dharma Drum Mountain in Malaysia (DDM Malaysia) specially invited the Director of DDM Cultural Center, Venerable Guo Xian, to conduct an energetic and interesting news writing course at DDM Malaysia, held on the 30th of August 2009.

Twenty-two people registered to attend the course. Amongst them, the oldest pusa was 71 and the youngest 14. Apart from local pusas, pusas from Singapore were also able participate in the course through video conferencing provided by volunteers of DDM Malaysia.

Venerable Guo Xian first introduced the methods of expressing the self through an energetic approach, leading the students to understand the purpose of news writing by question and clarification. The aims of news writing are to provide readers with real and factual data; and to inspire readers.

She stressed that the news content must be concise, rich and attractive. The article should also deliver the most accurate message to readers in as few characters as possible. A writer should unveil his/her characters on sensitivity, observation, judgment and independent thinking.

A writer must also maintain a positive attitude in interpreting the story, as well as have a talent of reverse thinking, to make the news beneficial to others. Venerable Guo Xian thus said that writing is a practice in itself; a good writer must write an article that can alleviate the pain and suffering of others in line with the compassion of a Dharma practitioner.

Lastly, Venerable Guo Xian introduced the method of choosing photographs. According to the Venerable, a good photo can tell a good story, as good news can attract reader participation.

Whether a writer or photographer, the spirit of Chan, peace and stability of the mind, indispensable. With a peaceful mind, one can recognize the essence that others cannot easily recognize and see the truth that others cannot easily see. This allows for articles in line with the interest of sentient beings to be written.

(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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