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YEAR OF NEWS :
It’s difficult to put into words why exactly I was drawn to meditation. I grew up in a secular household with no particular religious inclination, and didn’t know many people with an interest in meditation, let alone a regular practice. Still, for many years I had an on-again, off-again interest in meditation, and had on more than one occasion given it a try. Without much guidance or structure though, I never developed a regular practice and my understanding of meditation remained quite simple. Fortunately, when I arrived in Taiwan for a six-month stay, I brought with me a newfound interest in meditation. After learning about Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) and their International Meditation Group (IMG), I decided to attend one of their weekly meditation sessions run in English. After nearly six months of regular practice, I’m still trying to figure out what exactly meditation means to me and where it fits in my life. Having said that, developing a regular meditation practice has been an extremely engaging, thought-provoking, and introspective process that has served as a kind of mirror for my life and my place in the world. It is something that can be taught in a half hour but practiced for a lifetime, and is one of the simplest and yet most fascinating things a person can do.
Sometimes I forget, as Buddhist, why I do meditation. Sometimes I just want to shut myself off from the world and to achieve a moment of peace. Sitting meditation is particular good for this and I am grateful for it. But there is more to it than that.
About two months ago I joined the Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) International Meditation Group (IMG) for the very first time. Though I had read some books by Ven. Sheng-Yen before and practiced meditation in my home country, it was a real pleasure to actually sit down here, in Taipei, with all those friendly people of DDM. During these last two months, I have almost every Saturday morning find myself sitting in Degui Academy (德貴學院), meditating and having educative conversations about Buddhism.



It was a beautiful autumn day in Taipei when I attended the one-day retreat at Fagushan (Dharma Drum Mountain).
I started getting into Buddhism at the beginning of this year. I had been reading books, participating in chanting sessions at Chan Meditation Center in Queens.
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 6-13, 2012, Venerable Guo Xing, the Abbot of the Dharma Drum Retreat Center and the Chan Meditation Center in USA, guided a seven-day Huatou Retreat at the Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) Vancouver Center in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.
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.
It is so easy for one to become tense in situations, both mentally and physically, while facing different pressures in life. It’s unavoidable that our efficiency for learning and working falters under these conditions.
In the 7-day Chan retreat, one learns to isolate oneself from the past and future, and becomes focused on the present. One pays no attention to what other people think,say or do and therefore releases oneself from any entanglement with others.


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