Students of Long Island University experience Chan Buddhism at DDM
From October 4th-6th 2013, fourteen students from Long Island University in the United States of America attended at the Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education in Jinshan District, New Taipei City, for a three-day program on Chan Buddhism.
The Department of International Relations and Development (IRD) at DDM arranged a series of different inspirational courses: an introduction to Buddhism, the thoughts of Venerable Master Sheng Yen, Protecting the Spiritual and Natural Environment, Buddhist Etiquette, Morning & Evening Service, Chan Meditation, Eight-Form Moving Meditation, Sharing of Monastic life, Calligraphy, Tea & Chan, and others.
The Director of IRD, Venerable Guo Jiann, represented the DDM Sangha community to offer a sincere greeting to the students upon their arrival. She also encouraged the students to ask any questions that they might have within the three-day program.
During the three days, the students actively participated in the courses. They practiced diligently during the introductory meditation class as they learnt the methods and concepts of meditation. They learnt that meditation is not restricted to sitting on the cushion but can be practiced in different aspects of daily life such as walking, eating and reclining. For example, the weather on the morning of October 6th was very stormy, but there were some students willing to attend the morning service from Chan Hall to the Grand Buddha Hall. Even though they were new to the meaning of the Buddha chanting, they still recited the chanting very earnestly and devotedly.
In addition, after listening to the lecture of “Protecting the Spiritual Environment” made by the chief coordinator, Ven. Chang Xuan, the students felt very inspired, and they started to think of things with a positive angle and learn to conceive gratitude to everyone. For example, just right after the lecture, the students immediately rushed to the volunteers and said “Xie Xie” (thank you) to them with real sincerity.
The calligraphy class also impressed the students very much. When Ven. Guo Jiann demonstrated how to write Chinese characters with a brush, the students present all concentrated on the demonstration. Amazingly, all of them could write beautiful Chinese characters. From what they wrote, we found most of them wrote down what they learned during the program and their gratitude to the Venerables and volunteers.
At the end of the program, the students felt satisfied with the 3-day program, and they felt they would apply what they learned to their daily life after returning home.
(By Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)