YEAR OF NEWS :
The founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen had said the speed that the technology and culture of mankind destroys the natural environment is too rapid, which brings the unprecedented threats to the Earth. Therefore, DDM promotes “protecting the spiritual environment” to help us build healthy and correct philosophy of life to offer care to ourselves, others, society, and the natural environment. DDM hopes all the followers attending Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service can apply the altruistic spirit of Buddhism to our daily lives.
The late Venerable Master Sheng Yen had defined that the purpose of Dharma Assemblies of Dharma Drum Mountain is to serve Buddhist education. Therefore, the Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service covers the aspects of tradition, innovation, reformation of environmental protection, care, education, and Chan meditation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Taiwan, hosted the Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan (PILP with Taiwan) for a month of field study from October 12 through November 8, 2014. On October 25, 31 members of PILP with Taiwan, representatives of MOFA as well as 12 Dharma Drum for Young People (DDYP) visited DDM World Center for Buddhist Education (DDMWCBE) in the evening as part of a cultural exchange program, particularly to experience the culture of Chinese Buddhism. They were guided to the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Bodhisattva Hall and given an explanation of the meaning of “Rising Great Compassion” as well as the resolution of the Guanyin Bodhisattva to relieve all sentient beings from suffering; in the Great Buddha Hall, they were shown the technique of bowing to the Buddha; and lastly to the dining hall to experience the dining ambiance of the monastery.
Protection of Spiritual Environment is the core idea of Dharma Drum Mountain which every event of DDM is organized by. In combination of elements of religion, technology, and humanities, 2014 Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service demonstrates how to well maintain the interrelationship among human beings, society, and the nature through a creative and educational way for bringing a peaceful mind and life to everyone from all walks of the society.
The annual Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service has started from December 6, 2014, and it will last until December 13, 2014. Please jointly witness every moment of the most solemn and superior Dharma service.
The International Conference on Buddhist Meditative Traditions: A Comparison & Dialogue was held on Oct. 25 and 26, 2014 to explain different aspects of Buddhist Meditation to the public. This conference was organizes by the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) and scholars from different countries were invited to present their views on this subject. Amongst those present were Bhikkhu Anālayo from the University of Hamburg in Germany, Bart Dessein from Ghent University in Belgium and Sāmaṇerī Dhammadinnā from DILA, just to name a few.
Dharma Voice for Animal (DVA) is an organization in San Diego, U.S., that promotes animal rights based on the teaching of the Buddha. The late Ven. Master Sheng Yen, founder of DDM, on the other hand, advocated the practice of cultivating compassion through vegetarianism; this was also the reason Bob Isaacson, president of DVA, visited DDM World Center for Buddhist Education (DDMWCBE). On the morning of October 21, 2014, President Isaacson, Chang Li Chun, Director of Dharma Drum Humanities and Social Improvement Foundation (DDHSIF) as well as Cheng Mei Ling, a devotee of DDM, had a dialogue to promote vegetarianism and Daily Life Ethics.
DDM will be organizing the 2014 Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service from December 6 through 12. Besides, from October 18 through November 21, a series of special exhibitions warming up the said dharma service. Among them, a special exhibition themed the “Missing Post Office” (a real Japanese post office which specially deals with postcards and mail without addressees) invites the general public to write in a postcard their feeling of unhappiness, regret, yearning, lost love, etc.; these postcards are then displayed in the “Missing Post Office”. The purpose of this process is to enable those who are suffering to face and let go of their unhappiness or sorrow. In addition, devotees could utilize DDM’s Digital Prayer system to pray for the well-being of themselves as well as others. Participation in the form of volunteers during the service is also a good way to gain some merits. Those who wish to support the event by volunteering are invited to sign up at the DDM Volunteers Room.
The Water and Land Dharma Service is the biggest dharma service event in Chinese Buddhism. Dharma Drum Mountain will be organizing The Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service from December 6 through 13, 2014; applications for certain individual altar positions will be open to the public from October 11, 2014. In addition, DDM is utilizing digital memorial tablets as well as cloud computing system for the chanting sessions to reflect on its environmental protection policy; with immediate effect, those interested to serve as volunteers for this event can sign up with the DDM Volunteers Room.
At 2 p.m. on September 27, 2014, about one thousand people took refuge in the Three Jewels at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education. These new Buddhists vowed to learn the Dharma as practicing Buddhists and pledged to observe the Five Precepts. This ceremony was administered by the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong.