Based on the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, the assembly reflects the Buddhist spirit of great filial piety.

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.
The October seven day retreat, led by Zarko Andricevic, was the fifth he has led at the Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver and the third that I have attended. As always the retreat was exceptional. Zarko is a great teacher. As usual the volunteers and monastics worked together to help all the participants have a rich and rewarding retreat experience. From my perspective there was one difference, one change from the usual. I was a timekeeper.
As the Monastic Advisor during the 7-day bilingual Silent Illumination retreat at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education, New Taipei City, Venerable Chang-Xiang (常襄法師) supported Zarko Andricevic, Chan teacher and one of Western Dharma Heirs of DDM Founder Master Sheng Yen, to help all retreatants. According to his sharing, this bilingual retreat still brought him newly and unique reflections even after so many years of experiences as a supervisor of Chan retreats.

“Welcome back! Lydia, how are you?” “I am… Happy.”

That’s my response, when my colleague welcomed me back warmly in the office the day after the retreat. Though I arrived at 4am in the morning, with little sleep, I felt a deep sense of joy and gratitude inside me. My sister, Emileigh and I took the 12am flight from Taipei to Singapore, spent 3 hours in the airport, sharing and reflecting what we have learned during the retreat before I head to office that day. I felt joyful, fresh, and happy.
First of all, thank a lot for the opportunity to join this 7 days Silent Illumination retreat. Thanks to all Monastics, Retreat Teacher Zarko Andricevic and all volunteers for the guidance and assistance during this retreat.
What is the best possible way to spend my Labor Day weekend? Is it to head on a road trip with friends, to indulge myself in the sun on the beach, or to max out my credit cards at the shopping mall? These things above, I have done them all. However the happiness that they brought me were short lived; in fact, it disappeared right afterwards. It wasn’t until I started to learn about Chan meditation, that I finally found a way to embrace true happiness. So, that is how I spent my Labor Day weekend this year. Apparently, I was not alone. There were more than twenty people who had attended the 3-day Chan meditation retreat at the Chan Meditation Center in Elmhurst, New York. Our lead teacher Ven. Changzhai had mentioned that she was very encouraged to see us willing to join her to practice Chan meditation. Just like every other retreat, I had gained a lot more things this time as well.

On August 25, the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia Children’s Life Education Kindness Class organized an outdoor activity for 16 children; these children were excited about going to the forest.
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