DDM Global News
Dharma Drum Vancouver Center Launches Online Dharma Courses for Continuation of Dharma Learning
The Covid-19 pandemic has plagued the world for more than half a year and the situation in North America continues to deteriorate. In response to this challenging situation, Dharma Drum Vancouver Center (DDVC) launched an online Buddhism course on September 5, 2020.
This is the first online Buddhism course offered by Dharma Drum Mountain. 114 students attended the first class online. There are 143 students enrolled in this course, with an average age of 57; there are more than 20 students who are over the age of 70.
Ven. Guo Yi, Managing Director of Public Buddhist Education Center, sent encouragement to the attendees from across the Pacific Ocean in a recorded video.“We appreciate the hard work undertaken by the monastics and volunteers in DDVC who painstakingly organized this course so that devotees could continue to learn about Buddhism.”She pointed out that the pandemic has disrupted our daily life and learning, letting us experience impermanence, which is no longer a conceptual Buddhist term, but a phenomenon that we could witness with its fast changing pace.”Also“The chance to learn the dharma is precious, regardless of the delivery method, be it online or in-person. Online courses can test and train our resolution, concentration, and patience; it enables us to continue learning about the dharma.”She also wished the students a joyful participation in this online course and hoped that they are as diligent in this online course as if they were to attend an in-person course.
At the opening ceremony, Ven. Chang Wu offered some words of encouragement.“We have moved our courses online since April using the Zoom platform. Although in-person courses will resume in September in Taiwan, we will continue with online courses due to the ongoing threat of the pandemic. In addition, we began to use Google Classroom as a platform for homework distribution and submission; many students are now proficient in these learning platforms.”
Many of our more senior students have never used these online learning platforms. However, their interest in learning the dharma enabled them to overcome all kinds of psychological obstacles and practical difficulties. They are now highly proficient in utilizing these online platforms, which is impressive and admirable.
The focus of this term's course is on the Guanyin and Chan practices respectively, taught by Ven. Cheng Wei. This course is akin to a timely rainfall after a drought. The outlook for the pandemic in North America is not optimistic. In addition, the economic downturn coupled with frequently reported racial conflicts contributes to an unsettled society. The students all hope that while learning to use the dharma to settle their minds, they can spread positive energy to the community and allow more people to receive the benefits of the dharma.
Text: Bian, Jing (卞靜)
Photos: Dharma Drum Vancouver Center
Translation: Hsiao, Chen-An
Editing: Shi, Min (史敏); Leefah Thong