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Monday, December 03, 2018
Last year, the annual 8-day DDM Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service (法鼓山大悲心水陸法會) ended on Dec 2, 2017, which also was my first time to serve at the rite as a student of Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Art, it was a practice that was granted by the institute.


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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).
It’s been three days since the retreat ended. I’m on a plane to Toronto, soon off to visit relatives and then to DDRC for the Time Keepers class and the Meditation teachers course. My wonderful wife is beside me. She was on the retreat as well. She’s meditating and I’m typing.

I could go on about the retreat itself; the fantastic teacher, the great food, the wonderful volunteers. I could talk about what I learned there about my sitting, about the dharma. In short I could write about all the things others write about, and in a sense I have....just now. All the above is true. But from my perspective, here on this plane 2 days later, something much more important comes to mind.

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.
I feel blessed and grateful. And, happy! Because in the hint of Buddha’s smile, deep down in my heart I know, that “something” would walk me through it all till the end of time. With a twinkle in the eye!
If I had a sword that could destroy everything that ever touches its blade, would I ever try to slash all my troubles with it? Definitely not! Simply because it's way too exhausting! And because I know that all the vexations could be resolved right here in the mind, with the sword of the method!
I attended the Dharma Drum Vancouver New Year Young People Event with the hopes of starting 2018 off on a positive start, and get a chance to meet new people who have similar interests in Buddhism, meditation and spreading compassion in the world.
It was my pleasure to join the event held by DDYP (Dharma Drum for Young People) at Chan Meditation Center for the Buddha Nature in Food- Part II. DDYP invited an experienced nutritionist, Iraina, to share her professional knowledge about helping those people with nutrition and health issues.
The summer of 2017 has become the most memorable summer of my life thanks to the one-month visit to the Dharma Drum Vancouver Center (DDVC). I’ve been living on the DILA campus for the past two years and I thought that I really understood what sangha life really is. It had never occurred to me how hard it could be for a foreign religion like Buddhism to survive or struggle to prosper in a foreign context, even though I knew that it was even more difficult in ancient times when most people were conservative or illiterate and resisted things alien to what they already knew.
As part of this year’s high school summer camp (生命美學研習營), I gave a talk entitled “A Westerner’s Perspective on Eastern Religious Traditions and Education” (歐美人士眼中的東方宗教傳統與教育). In order to give the audience some insight into my own personal background, I decided to dedicate the first segment of the talk to introducing the young Taiwanese high school students to some key facts about the religious landscape of modern Western countries.
In May, 2015, I had the chance to attend a nine-day Chan meditation retreat of DDM. I never went to any retreats before and just have a couple of months experience in the Chan practice, so when I first arrived I felt quite nervous and had no idea what was waiting for me.
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