On November 25, at 3pm, the 12th DDM Water and Land Dharma Service started after the sprinkling ceremony. Thousands of followers and volunteers gathered at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education. Real-time connections were available at DDM’s 34 branch monasteries and practice centers at home and aboard, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. With 11 separate Halls installed at different venues, the eight-day Dharma service saw participants, some from others parts of the world, engaged in sutra recitation, repentance prostration, making pure offerings, and volunteering. It is hoped that the accrued merit and good wishes can benefit themselves and others, and also help resolve enmity and eliminate karmic obstructions throughout the world.
Is special knowledge and advanced learning required to practice Buddhism?

This is an ambiguous question that can easily cause confusion. First of all, we basically agree with Confucius’ saying, “ People can be taught to act, but not necessarily to understand.” This implies that ordinary people, especially those who are not too knowledgeable, are more likely to follow simple instructions on a single subject, practice diligently, and gain great benefit.
The Yoga Flaming Mouth Ceremony (瑜珈焰口法會) is another special Dharma service in the Grand Hall. It is often conducted at night, with its main aim being to deliver hungry ghosts.

The Buddhist service conducted at the Avatamsaka Hall is led by two senior bhikshus. Practitioners reverently and silently read the 80 scrolls of the Avatamsaka Sutra (大方廣佛華嚴經) that was translated by the Tripitaka Master Sramana Siksananda of Khotan in the Tang Dynasty.(唐代實叉難陀)
The Surangama Sutra is recited reverently in the Surangama Hall, followed by The Surangama Mantra (楞嚴咒) and the Heart Sutra (心經) . Every day, there is a session where practitioners practice the meditative contemplation of “entering the flow and extinguishing all objects” (入流亡所), which is the perfect penetration, or method, used to attain liberation. This is the method based on using the organ of the ear that was cultivated by Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
The Buddhist services at the Earth Treasure (Ksitigarbha) Bodhisattva Hall include chanting the Sutra of the Earth Treasure Bodhisattva’s Original Vows (地藏菩薩本願經) , participating in the Earth Treasure Bodhisattva Repentence Ceremony (地藏懺) and attending dharma talks by monastics.
Practice methods conducted in the Chan Hall are based upon the teachings of the Chan School, and primarily take the form of meditation. Meditative contemplation, sitting meditation, walking meditation, standing meditation and moving meditation are practiced in the Chan Hall. In addition, practitioners reverently recite The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (六祖壇經), accompanied by the striking of the wooden fish, which is the sole Dharma instrument used in the ceremony.

The Buddhist service in Lotus Sutra Hall is to chant The Lotus Sutra (法華經).

The Lotus Sutra was one of the highly revered scriptures during the early Mahayana period in India. It then become significantly influential in Mahayana Buddhist regions, particularly in China, Japan, and Korea, and is also one of the most frequently recited and transcribed scriptures.

The Buddhist services at the Pure Land Hall include chanting the Amitabha Buddha Sutra (阿彌陀經), reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name while walking, sitting and during silent meditation, prostrating to the Buddha, repenting, transfer of merits, and listening to dharma talks related to the practice.
The Buddhist services at the Medicine Buddha Hall include chanting the Medicine Buddha Sutra (藥師經), reciting the Medicine Buddha Mantra (藥師咒), and reciting the sacred name of this Buddha.
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