DDM Global News
Safeguarding Our Body and Mind by Protecting Our Spiritual Environment: Stroll in the City with Peace of Mind
Put on the earphones, relax your body and mind, and go look for a personal gift presented by the city. On 25 July, the “Peace-of-Mind City: calm, immersion, and slow walk at Taipei Expo Park 2020” event organized by Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Foundation, DDM Humanities and Social Improvement Foundation, and the Health Promotion Administration of Ministry of Health and Welfare, invited people to immerse themselves in the Taipei City’s environment to interact with its landmarks and natural sights, guided by the sound of music and spoken words through the Web App. As they quietly enjoyed a slow walk in the city, the journey speaking to their mind inspired them to return to the wonderful enjoyment of breathing.
Around 1,200 participants slowly walked to the Square of Butterfly Hall at the Park, and then danced freely to the music while enjoying the company of Mother Nature. Next, they watched a dance performance designed to inspire the audience to reflect on how the pandemic has impacted people's lives, learn to reduce opposition and criticism, transform pain and fear, and rediscover love and tolerance.
“May the deceased rest in peace and the living be free from worry. Empathize with other people's pain, and start a brand new future with compassion. May the world enjoy real peace and everyone has safety and happiness.” Led by Ven. Guo Huei, Abbot President of DDM, some hundred of young people on the stage and the participants jointly prayed for the world, and then sang a song, Sunrise, to signify infinite hope. Jia Shu-li, deputy director-general of HPA and Chen Li-zhong, director of Department of Mental and Oral Health, and Zhong Ming-qiu, secretary-general of DDMHSIF, among other special guests, were also present to show their care and blessings.
The abbot president shared the late Master Sheng Yen's words that “Benefit ourselves by benefiting others,” and “Have peace of mind, and you will have peace in your life,” as an encouragement to people, and said that since the pandemic situation in Taiwan hasn't been as severe in other countries, we must show gratitude for these good conditions we have and realize that helping others is more important than feeling fear ourselves. We should also learn to protect ourselves by protecting our own spiritual environment, and show care and concern with compassion towards the people and areas in need of help. As long as we live a normal schedule and remain optimistic, we will have strong immunity.
In her opening remarks, Jia shared that “As the world is spinning faster, we should, however, slow down our mind.” The participants’ experience of enjoying a slow walk and listening to the music in the spirit of Chan all the more showed the importance of mutual trust and quality of citizens. Seeing the world ravaged by the pandemic, many are more able to compassionately reach out to care for others. She emphasized that the trust of the government and the quality of citizens represent the most powerful vaccine that Taiwan possesses. Stressing the “benevolent love for others”, Chen encouraged the participants to develop a calm and compassionate mind, as well as learn to care about the people around us. Once we let go of our self, we'll naturally have real peace of mind.
Cai Min-ni, general organizer of the event, said that calmness in mind and slow walk enhance the health of our body and mind. The research and development of the “Peace-of-Mind City Web App” system is an innovative attempt, which includes four routes within the Taipei Expo Park. Based on the idea of environmental theater and combining the elements of theater, dance, music, and technology, it aims to enable participants to relate to how they can more connect to the environment and safeguard each other as a community. During the stroll in serenity, they discovered the strength to settle their body and mind.
DDMHSIF expressed that although the pandemic has greatly impacted humans both physically and mentally, it nevertheless represents an opportunity for the world to pause and ponder. The foundation expected to inspire people to enjoy the outdoors and experience how Chan practice can help calm their mind in daily life, including mindful breathing, mindful walking, and mindful silent sitting. By practicing the methods for protecting the spiritual environment when faced with any situation, we will be more able to safeguard each other's physical and mental well-being.
Text: Lin Ya-Ying (林雅櫻)
Photos: Li Jia-Chun (李佳純); Chang Tian-Pei (張田沛)
Translation: Hsiao Chen-An (蕭宸安)
Editing: Chang Chia-Cheng (張家誠)