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Monday, November 05, 2018
The October seven day retreat, led by Zarko Andricevic, was the fifth he has led at the Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver and the third that I have attended. As always the retreat was exceptional. Zarko is a great teacher. As usual the volunteers and monastics worked together to help all the participants have a rich and rewarding retreat experience. From my perspective there was one difference, one change from the usual. I was a timekeeper.


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Life is such an amazing and colorful game of reflections. Wherever we are, we carry out the experiences from within ourselves, painting everything with various colors. Do you notice that the mind, even in its most beautiful, magical places, can bring an unpleasant sense of complaints, past grievances and sufferings?
I was one of the in-charge for the seven-day retreat arrangements, working with Guo Xing Fashi (果醒法師) from the 30th of April until the 7th of May. It was the first time for me to take care of so many things like location (Chan Hall, participant rooms, toilets, kitchen and so on), special issues of some participants, rearrangements after the arrival of Venerable Guo Xing Fashi and two other monks (Venerable Yan Jian Fashi (演建法師), Venerable Yan Guang Fashi (演廣法師)), who helped him to conduct the retreat.

Hi! I am Maria from Russia. I’m thirty years old and I’d like to share with you how I became a Buddhist and how I was an interpreter during the retreat in Moscow urban this May, led by Venerable Guo-Xing (果醒法師).
We arrived in the 8th of January to Fagushan Monastery (Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education) and stayed in Taiwan until the 23rd of January. Our Russian group consists of 7 people, six from Moscow and one from St. Petersburg. In addition, there was one person from Switzerland and he was already at the lay people’s quarters at the monastery when we had arrived. Therefore, our pilgrimage program can be called International Pilgrimage.
I had no preconceptions entering into this experience. I have attended many retreats at DDRC, but this was the first ritual function I participated in. I had heard that this ceremony was only conducted every few years, so when I saw it listed on the website I had to go for the opportunity.

The first impression that landed had to do with its size. It was easily more than twice the size of any DDRC retreat I had attended in the past. The whole hall was filled with participants and volunteers.

Many things were similar to previous experiences. The food was still some of the best in the whole wide world. The volunteers and monastics brimming with compassion, always on hand to be of assistance whenever it was required.
Hugo is a psychological counselor from Guangdong. He shared something with our friends at IMG (International Meditation Group) of Dharma Drum Mountain.
Among the natural farming approaches that I know of, only Mr. Masanobu Fukuoka's approach is based on the philosophy of Buddhism. He emphasized that the philosophy behind farming is the most important thing.

When Mr. Fukuoka was 25 years old, he had an awakening experience. His thoughts therefore concur with Buddhism's dharma. In his books, "The One-Straw Revolution" and "The Natural Way of Farming", Mr. Fukuoka emphasizes that farming should be guided by Buddhist philosophy. He named his natural farming approach as Farming method of the Dharma or the Buddhist farming method.
First Aid is a strategy applying on people in need of physical health intervention, such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation known as CPR, and basic management of trauma before health care professionals intervene. When people suffer from a sudden illness, first Aid can provide the screening to save lives, prevent conditions from worsening, or to promote recovery. But, what about people who need immediate assistance in their mental health? According to the national survey of America, it is found that 18.5% of adults (18 or older) experiences one kind of mental illness in a year. Is there any way for us to help? On April 21, 2018, at Chan Meditation Center of Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, the Adult Mental Health First Aid Training was offered by New York City Health Department. Many common misconceptions of mental diseases were clarified during the course. We learned how to identify the symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance abuse, and Mental Health Crisis.
Last Friday, I had the wonderful fortune of learning from my mom about a Zentangle drawing session happening at Dharma Drum Vancouver Centre (DDVC) in Richmond. Zentangle is a form of pattern drawing that is both creative and meditative. Although I’d heard of Zentangle before, I’d never tried it because I don’t usually draw much. Since this was an introductory-level workshop, I was curious and decided to attend.
This article is about my life and experience at the University of Sydney (USYD), Australia. I will write about six aspects in particular: S (student life), Y (Yogacarabhumi, my research), D (devotion), N (nature), E (exactitude), Y (yearning for liberation).
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