YEAR OF NEWS :
Abiding by his last wish, the ash burial ceremony of the late Eighth Vice President of Republic of China, Mr. Lee, Yuan-Tsu, was held at 2.00 p.m. on March 31, 2017 at the Eco-Friendly Memorial Garden of Dharma Drum Mountain World Center of Buddhist Education. Led by honor guards, representatives of the family held his ash box and slowly filed along the winding trail lined with cherry blossoms and banana magnolia trees. Late Mr. Lee’s wish for a natural burial was fulfilled after the hundred participants made their silent prayer and shared their recollections.
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.
The DDM Social Welfare & Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) and several Taiwan-based charities went deep into earthquake-stricken Nepalese mountainous areas again from June 11 to 14. In addition to showing care and concern, they also donated clothes and stationery that schoolchildren would need at the beginning of the new semester. On behalf of all students, the abbot of the local Tibetan Buddhist monastery, a Palyul branch monastery in Nubri, presented khatas, a traditional ceremonial scarf in Tibetan Buddhism, to volunteers as a token of their appreciation and blessing in return.
In the wake of the devastating earthquake and incessant aftershocks that have hit Nepal, an ancient Buddhist land, in April, the country’s remote areas, so far still isolated due to broken roads, are now in urgent need of humanitarian relief aid. While responding to their tragedy by expressing the care and concern from people in Taiwan, as well as providing immediate aid through donations and other resources, DDM is also concerned for the affected people’s needs in remote stricken towns and villages. Meanwhile, in response to a letter from Mahavaipulya Buddhist Association in Taiwan (臺灣大方廣佛學講修學會, MBAT), DDM promised to offer financial support to reconstruct “Ngagyur Memorial School,” located in a suburban area of Kathmandu, for the orphans from Nubri, a mountainous area in Nepal.
A Richter scale 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal three weeks ago on 25 April 2015, shortly followed by another 7.3 magnitude devastating tremor on 12 May 2015, wreaking havoc on already destroyed structures and further contributing to the rising death toll and casualty numbers. In addition to commissioning humanitarian relief aid volunteers to assess and outreach to the tragedy with the immediate aid through donations and other resources, the Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) further sets goals to focus efforts on supporting infrastructural and human rebuilding as well as future sustainable development in the region. Moreover, through active engagement and anticipated cooperation with other local Taiwanese organizations, it is hoped that resources and supplies would reach the severely shaken remote villages and mountainous areas, counteracting the imminent South Asian monsoon season.
On April 25th, 2015, Saturday, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal and caused heavy casualties. As soon as the calamity had happened, Dharma Drum Mountain, together with all its overseas affiliates, immediately set calamity-quelled tablets to pray for blessings for those in need and the deceased. On top of that, DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation will soon dispatch a delegation to Nepal offering care and assistance in cooperation with related local Buddhist organizations.
On November 8th, the central area of the Philippines was hit by a super strong typhoon, Haiyan, which caused heavy damage and left tens of thousands of people dead and injured. The Philippines authorities have called for international assistance, stating that approximately 630,000 people are displaced and that the disaster area is seriously short of supplies. In order to urgently help DDM, under the direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, immediately collected supplies and necessities and sent them to the disaster areas of the Philippines in the afternoon of November 11th, 2013.
Before ending their reconstruction assistance after the Haiti earthquake, from October 16th to 19th, DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) visited numerous principal rescue units such as local juvenile vocational schools, street schools and children hospitals. Forthright and sincere youth and children showed their passion with tooth exposed smiles to joyfully greet the volunteers from Taiwan who have been precious friends for them in this period.