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Wednesday, April 01, 2015
I was born on a farm in the countryside near Shanghai. At the age of thirteen I left home to become a Buddhist monk. The local monastery I entered, like most others in China, was called a Ch'an temple. But, in fact the theory and practice of Ch'an was almost never discussed there. As young monks, most of us did not have any clear idea of what Ch'an practice really was. Our training simply consisted of the rigorous discipline prescribed for monks ─ everyday activities such as washing clothes, working in the fields, cooking and performing daily services. We also studied major sutras such as the Amitabha, the Lotus, and the Diamond sutras. Daily chores, however were not a problem for me; the worst thing was memorizing sutras. There were so many to master, and I felt very stupid. My master told me, "Your karmic obstructions are very heavy. You should make a strong effort to atone for them. Go prostrate to Kuan Yin Bodhisattva."


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Being curious and fascinated about the Surangama Sutra, there was no hesitation whatsoever to attend the Surangama Dharma Camp, for the second time.
On July 14th, 2012, Venerable Guo Xing, the Abbot of the Dharma Drum Retreat Center and the Chan Meditation Center in USA, guided a Living Ch’an Workshop at the Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver Center in Richmond, B.C. Canada. I was happy to recognize a few familiar faces from the Office and to meet some of my colleagues’ friends.
DDM Sydney organised a 3-Day Retreat from 1 – 3 October, 2011 attended by 15 participants at the Elanora Conference Centre.
I attended the DDM retreat in Sydney from Saturday 1 October to 3 October 2011. This is the first Buddhist retreat I have been on and am very thankful for the good guidance I received from three very kind and insightful Dharma teachers.
Pak agus told me to share my experience on the retreat but I told him that I am too old and nothing has changed much (the same old soul which still has a lot of attachment and selfish).
There are many reasons that make people learn about Chan meditation. In the beginning we don’t really know what Chan meditation is. Then we engage in the practice.
"I" is the shortest word, but the largest object in the world. We usually expand ourselves to wherever we can reach. Everything/Everyone we will like to relate to “I” and make it to “mine”.

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.
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