English One-day Retreat at DDM International Meditation Group

English One-day Retreat at DDM International Meditation Group

On August 31st, DDM International Meditation Group held an one-day retreat in English at AiQun Building (愛群大廈) in downtown Taipei.

Led by Venerable Chang Xiang (常襄法師), Director of DDM Meditation Activity Department, and accompanied by four other DDM monastics, all participants immersed themselves in a whole day of Chan practice.

The one-day retreat started with the Eight-Form Moving Meditation. Guided by the principle of "Wherever your movement goes, your mind follows," participants gradually recollected their busy mind through the stretching of their body, preparing themselves for the meditation sessions to come. Through the practice of sitting meditation, walking meditation, sitting yoga exercise and standing yoga exercise, they were offered a chance to gradually settle their mind and face themselves.

During the retreat, Venerable Chang Xiang mentioned in his Dharma Talk, one temporarily leaves behind all electronic devices, cutting off all contact with and disturbance from the external environment. One is then left all alone to face himself. It is actually not so easy as it might seem. To some, being isolated to face themselves is something unbearable, even something that would drive them away. Venerable Chang Xiang went on to encourage participants to cherish the rare opportunity to attend a retreat, which would be impossible without the support from many people. If one could be grateful and constantly give rise to a sense of shame, the complicated relationship between one and his surrounding environment would be further revealed. Forming a habit of sitting daily would also help to maintain the clarity and stillness of the mind.

Seeing that retreatants were still keen to practice, Venerable Chang Xiang added one more sitting when it came to the time scheduled for group sharing and discussion. Thereafter, participants sincerely made three prostrations in composure to the Buddha. Venerable Chang Xiang then gave participants some simple words of blessing, bringing the one-day retreat to a fulfilled end.

Texts / Translation: Elenda Huang
Photos: John Wu (吳俊宏)
Editing: DDM Editorial Team; John Wu (吳俊宏)

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