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.
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.

In 1998 and 2003, Master Sheng Yen visited Saint Petersburg and Moscow respectively to give guidance for local Buddhist practitioners, introducing Chan teachings into Russia. Part IV of this in-depth interview will share the story of how do they continue their Chan practices in the family

Q1:How do you practice Chan, being a couple?

Sasha: The latest period of our joint practice started on October 18, 2016, with the simultaneous addition of two masculine pusas to our family. Our practice became ensuring their life sustenance and our own survival. I had thought that it would be very difficult for me to quit my usual life mode which included Chan practice, my Wushu and calligraphy. All that together with teaching was taking practically all my time. Now my practice is the absence of such articulated practice.
Warmth is needed most when you find yourself in the coldest of winters.

The Winter Aid charity event was initiated in 1956 by Master Dong Chu, the teacher of DDM Founder, the late Master Sheng Yen. The DDM Social Welfare and Charity Fund (DDMSWCF) continues the 50 year tradition by hosting the event on 14 December. Apart from donations and day to day consumables, DDMSWCF also engaged the community on the wisdom and benevolent care of Buddha Dharma. It was also DDMSWCF’s privilege and honor to host numerous dignitaries from DDM and various government officials, who attended and offered their blessings.
From 12 July to 10 August 2013, over 400 students from elementary school through to high school in Sichuan attended the four ‘life education’ camps. DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) and DDM Young People Development Department have been conducting these camps since 2009 to educate on ‘Protecting the Spiritual Environment’.
As part of a four-day trip organized by DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF), on August 14th DDM led fifty-seven (57) children from the Jiaxian District, a mountainous area in Kaohsiung, to visit the old streets and farmhouses in the countryside in Jinshan, New Taipei City to appreciate the scenic landscapes in the vicinity together.
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