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YEAR OF NEWS :
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Since 1994, I have attended the 7-day Chan retreats for college students held by Nung Chan Monastery, Dharma Drum Mountain. After 21 years, I have finally had a good mediation at this 3-day Chan retreat.
For a long time, I could not count the number of my breaths and I had a problem with either counting the breath or feeling sleepy while practicing meditation. Fortunately, an interview with the monastic at this retreat helped me realize something about mediation.
In the interview, I asked Monastic Guo-Huei(果暉法師) about these issues he told me that I could employ the method of chanting the Buddha’s name. One idea suddenly came to my mind was that I can use chanting practice all the time while walking and eating, not merely in sitting meditation. I continued using this chanting practice until the next day and after practicing Eight-Form Moving Meditation in the morning session, I could feel relaxed completely so that I felt at peace and ease in sitting mediation. I felt extremely light from my head to toes and even though I still knew my legs existed, there was no pain at all.
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.
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.
One must seek progress in the ordinary and display luster amidst adversity; One must seek advancement in a state of harmony and see hope amid hard work; One must seek abundance in the midst of stability and demonstrate serenity in training; One must seek wisdom amidst silence and show compassion in action.
On Novemeber 22nd, the International Meditation Group took a field trip to Dharma Drum Mountain to see the preparations and decor for the upcoming Great Compassion Liberation Rite of Water and Land. The rite itself took place from November 29th to Decemeber 5th.
On behalf of myself, my wife, Ling, and her mother, I am writing to express our deepest joy, gratitude and honor to Venerable Shifu Sheng Yen, Venerable Guo Dong, the monks and nuns of Dharma Drum Mountain, and all the laity and supporters making possible the Refuge ceremony on November 2, 2008, at the Nung Chan Monastery in Beitou, Taiwan. We are particularly thankful and appreciative for their great compassion in sharing this event with us.
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.