Honored Guests from Sri Lanka visit DDM Taipei for religious and cultural exchange
On 11 January 2008, seven honored Venerables and nine lay practitioners from Sri Lanka paid their first visit to the Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) in Jinshan Township, Taipei County, to participate in religious and cultural exchanges at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education.
The honored guests included Venerable Bodagama Chandima Thero, Venerable P.Sarada Thero, Venerable B.Damma Siri Thero, Venerable P.Jinaratathana Thero, Venerable Kondanna Thero, Venerable Sirinivasa Thero and Venerable Mingzhi.
DDM Venerable Guo Pin welcomed the visitors at the Bus Terminal and expressed that this exchange of dialogue between the honored guests from Sri Lanka and DDM Sangha community, the Chung Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies and Dharma Drum Buddhist College would foster a closer tie for the propagation of Dharma and dissimilation of Dharma joy with the aim of bringing peace to the world.
DDM Peace of Mind Relief Station was established in Sri Lanka on February 2005, following the tsunami catastrophe in 2004 that left hundreds of people death and homeless, with the aim of establishing humanitarian relief programs and providing material support and spiritual counseling to the victims.
The Secretary General of DDM Charity and Social Welfare Foundation, Mr Kuo-Kai Chen, said that the Dharma has given the tsunami-afflicted victims a spiritual approach to deal with their pain and anguish and the material donations had given them the strength to embark on new phases of their lives. He highlighted DDM ideal of "uplifting the character of humanity and building a pure land on earth", as well as other DDM themes as a way to promote pace and harmony among the people of Sri Lanka. He hoped that visitors will emulate Venerable Master Sheng Yen's compassion after returning home and help local people achieve inner peace and rebuild their lives.
The guests were received in the Briefing Room and watched the film "How Great is the Dharma Drum" to introduce Venerable Master Sheng Yen's compassionate ideas. After lunch, Venerable Guo Pin gave the group a tour of the Wish Fulfilling Guanyin Hall, the Grand Buddha Hall, the Chan Hall, the Statue of Founding Guanyin and the Founding History Memorial Hall.
After the detailed briefings given by Venerable Guo Hui and Venerable Chang Wen, the honored Venerables were impressed by DDM's efforts in Sangha education, and also showed a keen interest in the Dharma Drum Sangha University and raised many questions about its administration, organization structure, fees and student numbers.
Before departure, Venerable Bodagama Chandima Thero, the team leader expressed his gratitude to the warm hospitality received and thanked his hosts for the briefings and the tours. They were impressed with Venerable Master Sheng Yen's compassionate and humanistic ideals in creating an environment for the benefits of all sentient lives and our planet Earth. He believed that regular exchanges between Sangha communities in Sri Lanka and the DDM will contribute to the learning and Dharma education amongst the Buddhist communities and will enhance peace and harmony in societies through the propagation of the Buddha Dharma.
(reported & photo taken by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)