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Wednesday, January 02, 2019

What does Dharma Assembly mean? To my understanding, Dharma Assembly means a group of people coming together to learn and practice the Dharma. It should embrace much more than just chanting for good health, wealth and blessings. Why do we need to follow so many rituals at a Dharma Assembly? What the true meanings of these rituals and why they are necessary? I wanted to find out.


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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.
In the spirit of helping those who could not attend this 3 Day Retreat, I would like to share some of my experiences of this retreat itself. Also, I would like to comment on and relate what I learned through Guo Xing Fashi's thorough and insightful teachings and Chang Wen Fashi's guidance.


I came across Master Sheng Yen’s book “Chinese Orthodox Buddhism” quite by chance. I picked it up from a monastery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As is common in many Asian countries, books on Buddhism can be found free of charge, donated for distribution by kind hearted individuals who wish to share the joys of the Buddha’s teachings with others. I was 7 years old.
The annual Hong Kong Book Fair was held on July 23 to 29, 2008 at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai. DDM Hong Kong Branch set up an exhibition booth in that period.
13 May (Tue)

※ DDM quickly assembled a relief team following the earthquake.
In the afternoon of 12 May 2008 a devastating earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck Sichuan Province in China, leaving tens of thousands dead. It is estimated that the death toll will keep escalating.
3 May (Sat)
* Burma ravaged by cyclone
On 3 May (Sat), Burma was hit by the tropical cyclone Nargis, with the Irrawaddy Delta being the most hard-hit area.
Time: April 2008

I'm writing this report as I wait on my 9pm flight which was switched to 7:15pm, only to be delayed indefinitely. The seven day Ch'an retreat at Dharma Drum SanYi DIY Centre has been a very fruitful experience. Due to the variety of experiences I will categorize them for easier reading.
Sydney DDM held a 4 and 7 day retreat at Karuna Sanctuary, 3 kilometres west of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains area, approximately two hours drive west of Sydney in the state of New South Wales, Australia.
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