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!
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.

Saturday November 4th patrons of Dharma Drum Vancouver Centre were blessed to hear a dharma talk from Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong. The turnout was amazing, with chairs spilling out into the lobby and the dining hall at the back. The subject of the talk was a timely one, something that everyone could relate to, namely, how to communicate and get along across generational and cultural lines.
On this Saturday afternoon (11/4/2017), we were so lucky to join the seminar of “Welcoming Little Bodhisattvas” led by Dr. Ya-Ning Amy Hsu at the Chan Meditation Center. As a modern well-educated scholar, Dr. Hsu has years of work experience and rigorous academic training in language education and child development. Also, she is a successful mother who has three children and has accumulated lots of parenting experiences from her own family. So this time, she gave us the wonderful talk and shared her experiences.
Bhikkhu Bodhi was born in 1944, in New York, and obtained a PhD in philosophy, and received full ordination in Sri Lanka. In 1984, he was appointed as the second president of the Buddhist Publication Society, with a distinguished reputation in writing, translating, and editing.

His Renowned publications included The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha -- A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya 《中部尼柯耶英譯》, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha -- A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya 《相應部尼柯耶英譯》, and Numerical Discourses of the Buddha --A Complete Translation of the Anguttara Nikaya 《增支部尼柯耶英譯》.

Through his commentaries on Pali Sutra and Treatises, he is becoming a key figure, propagating Pali Canon of the Theravada school to the West.

Part One: Memories with Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM)

Hugo is a psycholocial counsellor from Mainland China to study Counselling at NTNU. He was introduced by a western freind to come to International Meditation Group (IMG) to practice Chan Meditation and to get more connections with DDM. He had something to share on his experience during the past few years.
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