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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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Wrap yourself in awareness; continuously and perseveringly ask, “What is wu?” Venerable Guo Xing Fashi’s opening remarks go on….
My brother suffered from depression. His concern was centred on himself, and his mind was filled with cynicism, anxiety, and despair.
─The universe may one day perish, yet my vows are eternal

Chan Master Sheng Yen, born in China's Jiangsu Province in 1930, of the Dharma Drum Mountain in Taiwan and the Chan Meditation Center of New York passed into Nirvanic bliss in Taipei on February 3, 2009.
It is said: The Master can lead you to the door, but you cultivate on your own. The Venerable Master Sheng Yen had brought forth the Bodhi-mind to cultivate the Bodhisattva Way and had wasted no time to benefit all living beings in his lifetime.
One must seek progress in the ordinary and display luster amidst adversity; One must seek advancement in a state of harmony and see hope amid hard work; One must seek abundance in the midst of stability and demonstrate serenity in training; One must seek wisdom amidst silence and show compassion in action.
On Novemeber 22nd, the International Meditation Group took a field trip to Dharma Drum Mountain to see the preparations and decor for the upcoming Great Compassion Liberation Rite of Water and Land. The rite itself took place from November 29th to Decemeber 5th.
On behalf of myself, my wife, Ling, and her mother, I am writing to express our deepest joy, gratitude and honor to Venerable Shifu Sheng Yen, Venerable Guo Dong, the monks and nuns of Dharma Drum Mountain, and all the laity and supporters making possible the Refuge ceremony on November 2, 2008, at the Nung Chan Monastery in Beitou, Taiwan. We are particularly thankful and appreciative for their great compassion in sharing this event with us.

Don’t ask me why I came to this Awakening Camp, and don’t ask me if I will become a monastic in the future. There are just too many answers, and also because there’s really no answer, and especially because even if there were an answer, it would not matter.
Where did I come from? Where do I go thereon? When there are conflicts between the inner self and the external environment, how do I resolve them? Between expectation and reality, success and failure, good and bad, wholesome and evil, life and death, is there a general guideline, which applies to all circumstances, that we can follow when we are confused and lost? As a beginner practicing the Buddha Dharma for less than two years, I came to Dharma Drum Mountain with many questions in mind.

On Saturday 25 October 2008, the International Meditation Group (IMG) held a one-day Field Retreat at Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education (DDM). A total of nineteen participants including four international visitors took part in this special event.
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