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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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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.
Current Taiwanese Buddhism

One unique feature of Buddhism in Taiwan is that the nuns are very active. For the recent 2 decades, Master Zeng-yen, a nun disciple of Master Yin-shun, is one of the most (if not the most) well-respected Buddhist master in Taiwan.

Dharma is a Sanskrit word with no direct literal translation into English. Etymologically it means that which sustains, upholds and supports. It could be understood as the most evolutionary impulse in the nature.
I’m a Brazilian living in Taiwan for more than ten years. Most part of time as student and for now teaching Portugue se in Cheng Chi University as well in CYSA. In daily life I use Chinese language to communicate with others and very few or particular times I use English.

I didn’t expect to learn so much from this workshop. At first, I thought it was going to be a meditation workshop. But as soon as I saw the schedule, and how much it emphasizes relaxation, I thought we were just going to learn about how to ‘feel good’.
On August 8th, Typhoon Morakot swept through southern Taiwan, destroyed houses and tore up roads in its path, rendering scores of people homeless and killing hundreds. Relief supplies and humanitarian assistance poured into affected areas in the wake of the killer typhoon.
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