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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?
On August 19, 2017, the Chinese American Academic & Professional Society (CAAPS) held its 42nd Annual Convention in Flushing, New York. The theme for this convention was “New Thinking and New Technology in the Changing Era.”

CAAPS invited three keynote speakers for this convention: Dr. Henry Lee, Venerable Chang-Hwa, and Secretary Elaine L. Chao. Dr. Henry Lee, a famous forensic scientist, spoke during the opening ceremony on “Sharing My Life Experiences - New Concept in Homicide Investigation”.
Every year, Chan Meditation Center holds a family camp for children aged from seven to sixteen at Dharma Drum Retreat Center located in Pine Bush, NY. This year, 47 children, 14 counselors, and 24 adults attended the camp.



Andrew Shen, a new counselor, said, “It was good that they taught us some important life lessons in the training session, and it helped me better deal with the kids at times.

Some activities for the kids group included creating kites, making lanterns, and learning about basic buddhist etiquette. Meanwhile, the teens attended conversations regarding compassion, buddhist philosophy, and learned about the art of tea. Guo Kai Fashi flew to the United States from Taiwan and taught classes for the adults, which consisted of discussions around topics such as life and death.
Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia launched the Compassionate Mind Class, a children’s life education course, in 2017, with an aim to continually nurture the seeds of Bodhi already planted over the past few years. The first term of the course wrapped up on May 7.
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.
On January 21, 2017, at the invitation of Venerable Chang Xing, director of the San Francisco Bay Area Center, Venerable Yen-Ben (演本) delivered a lecture on “Approaches to Dharma Practice in the Daily Life of DDM Volunteers”.
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.
DDM Melbourne Chapter was truly privileged to have Chan teacher Zarko Andricevic from Croatia to share the joy of Dharma through a series of activities, including a Beginner Chan Meditation workshop, two public Dharma talks and a five-day Chan Meditation retreat. Teacher Zarko is one of the five Western Dharma heirs of the late most Venerable Chan Master Sheng Yen, the founder of Dharma Drum Mountain.
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