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In May, 2015, I had the chance to attend a nine-day Chan meditation retreat of DDM. I never went to any retreats before and just have a couple of months experience in the Chan practice, so when I first arrived I felt quite nervous and had no idea what was waiting for me.




Saturday November 4th patrons of Dharma Drum Vancouver Centre were blessed to hear a dharma talk from Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong. The turnout was amazing, with chairs spilling out into the lobby and the dining hall at the back. The subject of the talk was a timely one, something that everyone could relate to, namely, how to communicate and get along across generational and cultural lines.
Part One: Memories with Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM)

Hugo is a psycholocial counsellor from Mainland China to study Counselling at NTNU. He was introduced by a western freind to come to International Meditation Group (IMG) to practice Chan Meditation and to get more connections with DDM. He had something to share on his experience during the past few years.
It had been my wish to attend a Chan retreat lasting more than 3 days for a long time. Finally, the moon, the stars, the sun and everything else in my life lined up perfectly. I was able to carve out some time and fly to Vancouver for the 5-day Outdoor Retreat. Here I will share some impressions of my experience from the retreat on Hornby Island from 9/10 - 9/14.


“I think the AC in the van stopped working.”
“It’s not field work unless the AC goes out.”


Mosquitos, sprained ankles, a car tire slipping off the edge of the road, and AC blowing out in the muggy Northern Taiwan climate are all part of a day’s work in the field. Over one hundred religious sites visited, and one week to go. During the Space and Cyberspace Workshop at DILA, three teams were tasked with recording pictures, video, and location data to create a special database of religious sites in the Jinshan and Shimen districts of Northern Taiwan. Faculty and student researchers from thirteen universities worldwide gathered at Dharma Drum Mountain from June 5th to June 16th to learn digital mapping techniques that will help them in a host of digital humanities projects. This workshop is at the cutting edge of research and combines real world field data with interactive mapping technology, bringing innovation to time honored techniques.
The spring language competition has become something of a small tradition here in DILA. Students look forward to hearing their classmates’ chants, songs, and short lectures. For the students who take part in the competition, this is a unique opportunity to get additional instruction from their language teachers outside of the classroom.
Despite being only a beginner at meditation, I am very glad that I became involved with this practice. Truthfully, having a weekly class to attend regularly is what gives me motivation to meditate, thus I am grateful for this opportunity. My experience with meditation was beneficial for my stress and exhaustion, and I have certainly gained a lot of insight and peace of mind from these sessions.
On August 12, 2017, DDYP and DDMBA co-hosted a special event "Buddha Nature in Food", an afternoon of compassionate sharing of food, environmental-friendly ideas, mindful practice, and loving kindness.



In the very early morning our kitchen volunteers prepared delicate and tasty vegan dishes: Sushi by Ivan Shih, Mochi by Henry Tseng, Vietnam spring roll by our volunteer Rosemary's mom, Strawberry with purple yam by our volunteer Aier's daughter. Also special thanks to the kitchen organizer Carol Fong.
In the beginning of 2017, I visited Taiwan, and I spent over three weeks at the Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) Jinshan headquarters at which I participated in the eleven-day Awakening Camp (the Camp), volunteered at the DDM Sangha University, and received the Lay Bodhisattva Precepts. During the past several months, I have been reflecting on my experience in Taiwan and applying many life-changing teachings to my daily life. The Camp and the Bodhisattva Precepts Ceremony at the DDM offered me experience and knowledge that helped me to become a more mindful and kind person.
Amituofo! I was kindly invited to write a short article for DILA Newsletter, so I would like to use this opportunity to introduce myself a little bit to the readers. My name is Grzegorz Polak and I am staying at DILA as a visiting scholar. First of all, I want to say that I am very grateful for the opportunity to be at DILA: it is a great honor and a privilege for me! Here I would like to thank those who have made my coming here possible – particularly Bhikkhunī Dhammadinnā and Prof. Weijen Teng for their help and their patience with me. Even before coming here, I had heard many good things about the hospitality of Taiwanese people, but it has even surpassed my expectations! I am very impressed by the spirit of friendliness of the people living here. I would therefore like to express my gratitude and thank the students and staff at DILA (as well as several other Taiwanese people) who have been helping me, an unexperienced foreigner, in various ways: introducing me to various aspects of life in Taiwan (including eating with chopsticks 😉), helping me with learning
Chinese language, and deal with everyday practical issues. The warmth emanating from the people at DILA more than makes up for the almost constantly rainy and overcast weather!
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