On June 29 and 30, the International Conference on Buddhism and Social Science took place on the campus of Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education, following the Development of Chan Buddhism in Contemporary Era forum held on June 28. Nearly 100 scholars and Buddhist monastics from home and from abroad attended the conference, sharing their views on social science with new interpretations and perspectives from the Buddhist point of view.
Having faith in the Three Jewels is certainly the most characteristic feature of a Buddhist. Followers of other, theistic religions either believe only in God (i.e., Jews and Muslims), or in the Holy Father, Holy Son, and Holy Spirit (i.e., [Protestant] Christians), or in this trinity plus the Holy Mother (i.e., Catholics). Because Buddhism is an atheistic religion, Buddhists do not worship the Buddha as a deity, nor do they regard him as the one and only Buddha or as the creator of everything who can absolve all the sins of humankind. Rather, the Buddha is a teacher who can help students change their dispositions, acquire knowledge, and cultivate their bodies and minds; he cannot, however, learn for the students or take entrance examinations for them.
“To build a Pure Land on Earth with the wisdom and compassion of the Dharma”: this core intent of the Dharma has always been upheld by the sangha of Dharma Drum Mountain since its establishment by the late Master Sheng Yen (Shifu). Shifu explained the significance of the ground breaking ceremony, often referred to as ‘opening the mountain’, as thus “To unlock the dormant potential that lies within each of us so that we develop wisdom and compassion, which lead to harmony, peace, happiness and health in society and the world at large. This is the significance of ‘Opening the Mountain’.
To repay gratitude to Shifu and to bring benefits of Chan and Buddhadharma to more people, DDM Sangha will hold two events in June, 2019 – “ Meditation Forum & Workshop: The Development of Chan Buddhism in Contemporary Era” on June 28, and “International Conference on Buddhism and Social Science” on June 29 - 30.

At DDM Sangha’s invitation, scholars and dharma heirs of late Master Sheng Yen from both the East and the West will convene at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education. They will share with the general public their experiences and apprehension in learning and applying Chan, hoping to continue late Master Sheng Yen’s great vows of propagating Chinese Chan Buddhism.