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YEAR OF NEWS :
Based on the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, the assembly reflects the Buddhist spirit of great filial piety.

As a way to show gratitude and repay kindness, the seven-day Amitabha Recitation Retreat is a popular event for many practitioners during the Tomb-Sweeping Festival. Of various Buddhist methods of practice, reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name is a most straightforward and effective way to help us gather our mind and live in the present. By reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name in one-minded concentration without confusion and distraction, we will be more able to calm and settle our mind.
The Concept of Repaying Kindness: To Benefit All Sentient Beings through Actual Practice

Purifying our minds and society through diligent practice of the Dharma at the Dharma assembly:
In Chinese culture, the Tomb-Sweeping Festival is a time to pay respects to one’s ancestors, by remembering their kindness and the value of filial piety.
In the beginning of 2017, I visited Taiwan, and I spent over three weeks at the Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) Jinshan headquarters at which I participated in the eleven-day Awakening Camp (the Camp), volunteered at the DDM Sangha University, and received the Lay Bodhisattva Precepts. During the past several months, I have been reflecting on my experience in Taiwan and applying many life-changing teachings to my daily life. The Camp and the Bodhisattva Precepts Ceremony at the DDM offered me experience and knowledge that helped me to become a more mindful and kind person.
Amituofo! I was kindly invited to write a short article for DILA Newsletter, so I would like to use this opportunity to introduce myself a little bit to the readers. My name is Grzegorz Polak and I am staying at DILA as a visiting scholar. First of all, I want to say that I am very grateful for the opportunity to be at DILA: it is a great honor and a privilege for me! Here I would like to thank those who have made my coming here possible – particularly Bhikkhunī Dhammadinnā and Prof. Weijen Teng for their help and their patience with me. Even before coming here, I had heard many good things about the hospitality of Taiwanese people, but it has even surpassed my expectations! I am very impressed by the spirit of friendliness of the people living here. I would therefore like to express my gratitude and thank the students and staff at DILA (as well as several other Taiwanese people) who have been helping me, an unexperienced foreigner, in various ways: introducing me to various aspects of life in Taiwan (including eating with chopsticks 😉), helping me with learning
Chinese language, and deal with everyday practical issues. The warmth emanating from the people at DILA more than makes up for the almost constantly rainy and overcast weather!
Once I had graduated from my Chan class at DDM, I went through some fundamental changes.

I once thought it was an impressive feat to handle any situation productively and efficiently. However, after learning the Chan practices, I realized that even though certain methods have proven to be efficient they may cause people to become agitated and irritable. For example, I used to ask taxi drivers to immediately stop and get off the car because I was irritated by the unpleasant smell in the car or was dissatisfied with the driving skills.
My name is Sebastian Nehrdich and I am a student of Buddhist Studies at the University of Hamburg. I joined the bachelor program of the University of Hamburg in autumn 2012 and plan to finish my bachelor degree this summer. My future plans are to continue my studies by joining the master program of the University of Hamburg in autumn 2017. The focus of my work lies on reading buddhist primary sources, e.g. sources in Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan and Pāli. My main area of interest in this field is Buddhist philosophy, especially Indian Yogācāra/Vijñānavāda and the Chinese Weishi (唯識) school.
We all know that in dreams people confuse dream phenomena with reality by engaging in those scenarios. They don’t realize that it is only a dream until they wake up. What most people don’t know is that our daytime activities are also a dream, in which our minds are constantly engaged in images from our memories and regarding those as real. How can this all be a dream?
6 p.m., April 19, 2017, Ven. Chang Zao (Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia) gave a spiritual lecture on “Listen to Your Inner Voice and the World Will Hear You” at Taylor’s University. She explained in details the causes of vexation as well as methods to overcome them.
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