DDM Global News

Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia Concluded Its “Learning To Be A Happy Buddhist” Online Classes

Updated June 22, 2022

What is happiness? Happiness could entail enjoying a delicious meal or doing something one enjoys. Then, what is the difference between the everyday happiness and the true happiness of Buddhism? Dharma Drum Mountain has designed a series of classes, "Learning to be a Happy Buddhist", to answer numerous doubts that those new to Buddhism may have. In addition to clarifying people's common misunderstandings about Buddhism, the classes also cover topics such as the right principles for studying Buddhism, the operations of a monastery, Buddhist etiquette, etc. These classes were designed with the intent to help participants begin their journey of learning Buddhism in an accessible format, to understand the true essence of Buddhism, and to more confidently deal with afflictions and difficulties in daily life using Buddhist teachings.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, DDM Malaysia Centre's "Learning to be a Happy Buddhist" classes were transferred from onsite to online. The classes were divided into 5 half-day lessons, with a duration of three hours each. The first class was organized on April 17th, in which the Venerables from the DDM Sangha talked about the meaning of taking refuge in the Three Jewels and the Buddhist lifestyle, clarifying many confusions and doubts about Buddhadharma in daily life. In the second class, the Venerables explained Buddhist etiquette and how to practice at home, giving a brief introduction about the etiquette for visiting Buddhist temples and methods of practicing at home. During the third class, the Venerables lead the participants to know Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Organization, the spirit of its founder Venerable Master Sheng Yen and Dharma Drum Mountain's Chan teachings, thus enabling the students to learn its safe and practical meditation methods. For the fourth class, the Venerables explained the meaning and procedures of Dharma services and Buddhist ceremonies. Through a combination of easily accessible contents and humorous delivery, the Venerables helped the participants to acquire some basic ideas of what the Dharma services and Buddhist ceremonies entail. Also, the Venerables focused on the topic of "how to be a Buddhist", and discussed ways to help both ourselves and others follow standards and guidelines from a Buddhist perspective.

In the last class on June 2nd, the Venerables indicated that, while learning Buddhism, we should emulate the Buddha and see him as a role model. In addition to acquiring a correct understanding of Buddhist concepts, the utmost priority is to apply the Buddhist teachings we've learned into daily life practice. With regard to how we should plan our journey of studying Buddhism, the Venerables gave a brief account on the roadmap of learning Buddhism and resources that DDM has for students' reference, from elementary to advanced level, offering a step-by-step blueprint for learning the Dharma. There were in total 76 students who completed the "Learning to be a Happy Buddhist" online classes and, thus, joyfully commenced their Dharma learning journey.

Text: Yi-jie Wu (伍椸潔)
Photos: Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Centre Malaysia 
Translation: Vicky Wei (韋徵儀)
Editing: YKL, Keith Brown