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.
It all started in 2010 at the first “Protecting the Spiritual Environment Camp” (心靈環保體驗營) in Mianyang (綿陽)Secondary School in Sichuan in 2010. That was the first time I encountered Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM). At the camp, we played games, learned to relax and listened to Dharma teachers sharing their thoughts on “protecting the spiritual environment”. I realized that this group of people truly sought to help us. Therefore as soon as I graduated from High School, I returned as a volunteer to pass on to my younger friends what touched me. At the same time, I was determined to devote more time to get to know DDM better.

Meditation is the most powerful tool to promote a child’s peace of mind and by extension, peace of the world. On August 26, 12 small children completed a whole series of eight-form moving meditation without taking any break. Before the course, these children shared that “We are blessed because we are healthy”.
This retreat just passed was my third with Dr. Rebecca Li. To date I have attended two three-day retreats, including this one, and a ten-day retreat she co-lead with Dr. Simon Child. As has always been in the past, this Three-Day Chan Retreat was well run, insightful and moving.
Dr Wendi Adamek’s lecture on Sept 22 at the Vancouver Chan Meditation Centre addressed this seemingly simple question thoughtfully and comprehensively. As Buddhism has moved from culture to culture, and as it has developed over the ages, unique ritual forms and beliefs have developed. Today, as Buddhism moves into the West this process continues. As a new Western Buddhism forms, as the influences of Modernism, science and the scientific method, as well as technological change, influence its development, what must be preserved to still be truly Buddhism?
At the beginning of 2018, the Venerable Chang-Fa from Lan-Yang monastery was invited by the Dharma Drum Humanities & Social Improvement Foundation(法鼓山人文社會基金會) to help mentor the dedicated volunteers serving the Crisis Support Hotline (關懷生命專線), which operates once a month.
On Saturday September 29th Dr. Wendi Adamek of University of Calgary presented to us the study on why the idea of the Four Inversions: “permanence, bliss, self, and purity” is one of the central concepts in the Nirvana Sutra, even though the Four Inversions have always been described as human’s failure to see the truth about the world we are in.
Exactly 15 years ago I met Master Sheng Yen, and started to practice the method of silent illumination (mozhao chan). For several reasons, Ven. Master Sheng Yen remained my favorite and closest teacher.
Venerable Chang Hwa (常華法師), Director of DDM Chan Medication Center in New York, and Venerable Guo Jiann (果見法師), Director of DDM Los Angeles Center together with other Catholic and Buddhist representatives from Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, visited Pope Francis in Vatican on Sept 12, 2018, hoping to receive Pope’s recognition and support on the projects that have been planned and promoted ever since the last dialogue in June, 2015.
I am very glad that I visited this retreat! For me it was the first great encounter with Ch'an Buddhism. Of course, I was a little interested in this before. When I was reading the book "Wisdom of Chan" of Master Sheng Yen, I was attending a retreat only for a half day. Also, I heard something somewhere in conversations, but I did not really understand their meaning. And I'm glad that I become more familiar with this tradition in such an atmosphere and with such a leader.
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