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YEAR OF NEWS :
Dharma Drum Mountain declared the Mother’s Day, which is designated as the Bathing-the-Buddha Festival in Taiwan, as the Action Day to encourage the practice of protecting the spiritual environment and showing gratitude. At 8 a.m. on May 14, at the MRT Zhongxiao-Fuxing and Xiangshan stations, people and volunteers joined together and kicked off their “urban walking meditation.” Participants had a fun day experiencing moments of stillness in the “Protecting the Spiritual Environment: Stop, Relax, and Enjoy” event, by fine-tuning their inner spiritual clocks through Chan practice.
To perform the ritual, practitioners first bow to the Buddha and then scoop the scented water and pour it over the statue of infant Prince Siddhartha, and repeat the same process for two more times. Meanwhile, participants chant Shakyamuni Buddha’s name and the Bathing-the-Buddha Gatha, to wish all beings to leave behind afflictive defilements, and soon realize the pure Dharma-body of the Tathagata.
Bathing the Buddha has a profound meaning.

While pouring fragrant water over the statue of Prince Siddhartha, we must sincerely pray: “I now bathe all Tathagatas, pure wisdom as adornment and with the accumulation of merit and virtue. May sentient beings in the world of Five Turbidities leave behind defilements and soon realize the pure Dharma-body of the Tathagata.”

Through the merit of bathing the Buddha, we should aspire to purify our bodily, verbal, and mental actions by eliminating our greed, hatred, and delusion. This is the real meaning of bathing the Buddha.

The birth of Buddha into the world brought spiritual serenity and a path to liberation for confused and lost sentient beings. Therefore we hold the Bathing the Buddha Dharma Assembly to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday, showing our gratitude to his kindness.
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.
First Aid is a strategy applying on people in need of physical health intervention, such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation known as CPR, and basic management of trauma before health care professionals intervene. When people suffer from a sudden illness, first Aid can provide the screening to save lives, prevent conditions from worsening, or to promote recovery. But, what about people who need immediate assistance in their mental health? According to the national survey of America, it is found that 18.5% of adults (18 or older) experiences one kind of mental illness in a year. Is there any way for us to help? On April 21, 2018, at Chan Meditation Center of Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, the Adult Mental Health First Aid Training was offered by New York City Health Department. Many common misconceptions of mental diseases were clarified during the course. We learned how to identify the symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance abuse, and Mental Health Crisis.
Last Friday, I had the wonderful fortune of learning from my mom about a Zentangle drawing session happening at Dharma Drum Vancouver Centre (DDVC) in Richmond. Zentangle is a form of pattern drawing that is both creative and meditative. Although I’d heard of Zentangle before, I’d never tried it because I don’t usually draw much. Since this was an introductory-level workshop, I was curious and decided to attend.
This article is about my life and experience at the University of Sydney (USYD), Australia. I will write about six aspects in particular: S (student life), Y (Yogacarabhumi, my research), D (devotion), N (nature), E (exactitude), Y (yearning for liberation).
It’s been three days since the retreat ended. I’m on a plane to Toronto, soon off to visit relatives and then to DDRC for the Time Keepers class and the Meditation teachers course. My wonderful wife is beside me. She was on the retreat as well. She’s meditating and I’m typing.

I could go on about the retreat itself; the fantastic teacher, the great food, the wonderful volunteers. I could talk about what I learned there about my sitting, about the dharma. In short I could write about all the things others write about, and in a sense I have....just now. All the above is true. But from my perspective, here on this plane 2 days later, something much more important comes to mind.

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