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Monday, March 12, 2018
From Friday January 26 to Sunday January 28, Dharma Drum Mountain in Toronto had the pleasure of hosting a 3 day meditation retreat with Venerable Chang Hu, at Crieff Hills Retreat Center in Pushlinch, Ontario. During this retreat, Venerable Chang Hu provided very in-depth guidance on many aspects of the meditation practice, including posture, methods and setting up a daily life practice and attitude. Perhaps the most important theme that was brought up throughout the retreat was the importance of relaxation: how to relax, why relaxation is so necessary to meditative practice, and the way relaxation embodies the teachings and practice. Venerable Chang Hu guided the group of fifteen participants through gentle moving exercise, massage, standing exercise, and other techniques to deepen one’s awareness of the body prior to using the meditation method. These instructions were supplemented with very detailed understanding of the energy flows throughout the body and how they can become blocked through improper daily posture, excessive computer use, and other issues. I had the pleasure of volunteering as the timekeeper for this special event, and the following is a brief write up of some of my observations.

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“We will be chanting ‘A’ ‘Mi’ ‘To’ ‘Fo’ four syllables throughout the day with our mouth, our feet and our body. As well, every cell in our body will be chanting.”

Venerable Guo Xing’s opening remarks continued…
Sometimes I forget, as Buddhist, why I do meditation. Sometimes I just want to shut myself off from the world and to achieve a moment of peace. Sitting meditation is particular good for this and I am grateful for it. But there is more to it than that.
Abbot Venerable Guo Xing explained that our thoughts, what we hear, see, smell and touch are forms that are continuously arising and perishing. Then, what is that which is non-arising and non-perishing? In other words, what is wu? “Wu” is like a GPS, it allows us to find the non-arising and non-perishing mind.
The mind is itself beyond duality… It is not the phenomena we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think, but it has the functions of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and thinking. The mind exists at all times and at all places.
It was quiet in the Ch’an Hall of the Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver Center in the morning on Labour Day, September 2, 2013. “Relax your…” said Abbot Venerable Guo Xing, guiding 125 people on relaxation.
Theravada Buddhism has been endorsed as the national religion in Burma (officially known as the Union of Myanmar) since 1044. It is therefore natural for the Burmese to have incorporated Buddhist customs into their daily life. No wonder Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi described her people as peaceful and tranquil - two beautiful characteristics which could be ascribed to the Burmese devotion to Buddhism.

Last Sunday (February 28), I attended DDMBA's Living Ch'an Workshop. To learn the Buddha Dharma through a workshop sounds new to me. In fact, I wasn’t sure what to expect since it is neither a dharma talk nor a traditional meditation class.
I have no experience in writing prose. It is challenging to me and I hope it does not bore you. This article is dedicated to all the Bodhisattvas who encouraged me to write and share.
About two months ago I joined the Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) International Meditation Group (IMG) for the very first time. Though I had read some books by Ven. Sheng-Yen before and practiced meditation in my home country, it was a real pleasure to actually sit down here, in Taipei, with all those friendly people of DDM. During these last two months, I have almost every Saturday morning find myself sitting in Degui Academy (德貴學院), meditating and having educative conversations about Buddhism.

From July 19th to 21st, there was a three-day meditation retreat led by Dharma Drum Mountain’s Ven. Guo Chii in DDM Melbourne Chapter.
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