DDM Global News

​Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain Sends Blessings to the West Coast of North America

On May 22, starting at 10 am (PST), Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver, San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles Centers conducted a live-streaming Bathing the Buddha Ceremony via Zoom and Facebook. Some 200 families worldwide attended the event to celebrate the Buddha's Birthday together.
Abbot President Venerable Guo Huei shared how he planned to review the works of Master Sheng Yen, the founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, during the COVID-19 preventive period. He reminded everyone to take proper precautions and pay moderate attention to the current situation of the pandemic. No matter how long the pandemic prevails throughout the world, we should calm ourselves and others using Buddha-dharma.

This event marked the first time that the three centers invited devotees to attend an online Bathing the Buddha ceremony via electronic devices such as computers and cellphones. Venerable Chang Wu, the director of Vancouver Centre, performed the ceremony and bathed the Buddha's statue on behalf of all the attendees.
Venerable Chang Wu remarked, "We bathe the Buddha's statue to express gratitude not only for the birth the Shakyamuni Buddha, but also, more importantly, for his teachings and insights arising from the Buddha's enlightenment, which show us the way to free ourselves from all suffering and attain Buddha-hood."

Dharma Drum Mountain's branches and monasteries in North America have remained closed for nearly half a year since preventive measures were imposed last year. Venerable Chang Xing, Director of the San Francisco Bay Area Center, noted that devotees were initially forced to make changes, after which they gradually accepted the situation, and finally, came to embrace changes in the way they participate in Buddhist events. Venerable Chang Yue, Director of the Los Angeles Center, regards crisis as an opportunity for self-transformation, and thus has been facilitating events to go online. Venerable Chang Wu, Director of the Vancouver Centre, proposed that these events be conducted both in person and virtually once the pandemic situation improves, to accommodate those who prefer joining practice events online.
Finally, the Abbot President reminded everyone that "Though material deprivation may cause people inconvenience, it is spiritual poverty that will lead to crisis for humanity." He also expressed gratitude to Dharma Drum Mountain's monastics and volunteers in North America for actively interacting with other religious groups to broaden their horizon and vision of sharing the Dharma. He stressed that only through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation can religious groups really help enhance world peace and the well-being of humanity.

Text: Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver Centre
Translation: Hsiao Chen-an
Editing: Chang Chia-Cheng (張家誠), Keith Brown