YEAR OF NEWS :
As a young scholars’ platform for academic exchange to further explore studies and research on Chinese Buddhism, the “Young Scholars Forum on Chinese Buddhism,” co-organized by Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies (CHIBS), Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA), and Sheng Yen Education Foundation, was officially opened in the Education and Administration Building at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education at 9 A.M., on June 26.
The first Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) Graduation Ceremony was held at the International Conference Hall of DDM World Center for Buddhist Education on July 13 2015. Twenty-three graduates of bachelor, masters and associate degrees took part in this ceremony that was permeated with Buddhist culture.
DDM in midsummer is immersed in luxuriant greenery and the sweet-sounding drone of cicadas. We invite everyone to sense the delight of Chan or Dharma in this environment. To observe water or wind, listen to a babbling brook, practice walking meditation, participate in a water bowl holding meditation, or simply make a pilgrimage with a relaxed body and mind.
The first “Young Scholars' Chinese Buddhism Forum” will be held on June 26 to 27. This rare and extraordinary Buddhist event, in the sense of playing a pivotal role in passing down Chinese Buddhism, gathers some domestic and international young scholars specializing in this field to team up, invite chairpersons and discussants on their own for creating an academic platform to broaden and exchange Buddhism ideas. Whoever wants to join or audit the forum is welcome to register at http://conferences.ddbc.edu.tw/2015chineseforum/
by June 20. Seats are limited!
In the afternoon of 15 May 2015, Assistant Abbot Presidents of Wat Phra Dhammakaya (WPD) of Thailand Venerable Maha Weerawat and Venerable Thawee headed a delegation of 40, including followers and abbots from other WPD branch monasteries, in their visit to the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education, Jinshan, New Taipei City. In addition to visiting Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) President Venerable Hui Min and DDM Abbot Vice President Venerable Guo Hui, they also visited various DILA physical structures, the Library and Information Center, the Founding History Memorial Hall, the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall and the Grand Buddha Hall, conducting a cross-sectoral Buddhist educational exchange between Chinese Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism.
The Dharma Assembly of Transmitting the Light was held at 7:00 p.m. on February 27, 2015 in memory of the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen, the founder of DDM, who passed away six years ago. This ceremony was simultaneously held at Dharma Drum Mountain and its affiliated monasteries, such as the Nung Chan Monastery, Anhe Branch Monastery and Zhaiming Monastery, just to name a few. Ven. Guo Dong, the Abbot President of DDM, led the DDM Sangha as well as nearly a thousand devotees in lighting lamp bowls to symbolize the continued wisdom of the Buddha as well as upholding the late Venerable Master Sheng Yen’s great compassionate vows.
Dharma Drum Mountain held its yearly Grand Prayer Ritual at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education on February 18, 2015 which was also the eve of the Lunar New Year. The Lotus Bell (from the Lotus Sutra) was rung 108 times to greet the coming new year. At 10:00 pm, the Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong as well as the Vice Abbot Presidents, Ven. Guo Hui and Ven. Guo Pin started ringing the Lotus Bell together and completed the last ring with the President of Taiwan, Ying-Jeou Ma, Vice President, Dun-Yi Wu, Mayor of New Taipei City, Eric Chu as well as other honorable guests. DDM also shared its slogan of blessing for 2015, that is, “Great Light” by projecting it throughout this event.
The DDM Awakening Camp is for those who wish to experience the monastic life for a short period of time. Below are some of the sentiment of past participants on the homepage of the camp (http://ddmawakening.blogspot.tw/): “A feeling of ease that I had never felt before”, “I finally found the direction in life and will make the most of my time to pursue it”, “The Buddha Dharma is in all aspect of my life, not just in the sutras”, “I cried upon realizing the ego that I have been carrying around”.
At 5 p.m. on December 13, 2014, among the chant of the sacred names of Amitabha Buddha and sound of Lotus Bell, DDM Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service was consummated through the solemn Ceremony for Sending off the Sages, in which, about ten thousand followers jointly devoted their sincere vows and wishes to those they want to worship, make offerings to, and express their gratitude to. During the event, many people also use DDM digital prayer system to offer their blessings to others throughout the world, which makes the long-standing event have a new style in modern times.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh)
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.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh)