DDM Global News

Delegation from Lien Hoa Buddhist Temple Visited DDM as their First Stop in Taiwan

Together with more than 40 Vietnamese monastics and North American followers, Venerable Thích Chúc Thiện (祝善法師), Abbot of Lien Hoa Buddhist Temple in San Antonio, the U. S., arrived in Taiwan on March 26th and made a special trip to visit Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) World Center for Buddhist Education. The delegation was warmly welcomed by the Venerables and volunteers of DDM Visitor Service Office, as well as Vietnamese disciples studying at the Dharma Drum Mountain campus. They had lunch together after prostrating to Buddhas and bodhisattva in each of the Buddhist halls to pray for the blessings.

Venerable Thích Chúc Thiện, the leader of the delegation, shared that he had known Master Sheng Yen more than 20 years ago while he was studying at the Graduate School of Department of Education of the National Chengchi University, and was deeply impressed by his way of propagating the Dharma. As a result, Venerable Thích Chúc Thiện often encourages young monastics to learn from Master Sheng Yen's way of transmitting the teachings, which is adapted to contemporary education and culture. Of particular note is Dharma Drum Mountain's way of teaching at the university, which emphasizes both understanding and practice as well as the integration of research and practice. Venerable Thích Chúc Thiện explained that, since Lien Hoa Buddhist Temple often shares with its adherents the spiritual cultivation approaches of the major Dharma centers in Taiwan, for many years he has been leading groups to Taiwan to learn from other Buddhist organizations. This year, he specially visited Dharma Drum Mountain as their first stop, since he has long established deep friendships with many monastics of Dharma Drum Mountain.

Accompanying the delegation throughout their visit, Venerable Sheng Xiao (聖孝法師), a second-year student at Department of Buddhist Studies of Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA), said that he was grateful to his teacher, Venerable Thích Chúc Thiện, for encouraging him and his monastic peers in Vietnam to come to Dharma Drum Mountain for further study. He was delighted to meet his teacher and the adherents, who came all the way here. Venerable Jing Yen (淨嚴法師), a graduate of Dharma Drum Sangha University, dedicatedly translated for the Vietnamese followers from North America, introducing the Wish Fulfilling Guanyin and the Lotus Bell Tower at Dharma Drum Mountain, as well as the geography around Jinshan. He was also grateful to his teacher, Ven. Sheng Xiao, for introducing him to learn at Dharma Drum Mountain. He will accompany the delegation during their round-island trip this time.

After their visit to Dharma Drum Mountain, the delegation will travel to other renowned Buddhist sites in Taiwan, such as the Jing Si Hall (靜思堂) in Hualien, Miaotong Temple (妙通寺) in Baolai Village, the Fo Guang Shan (佛光山) Monastery in Kaohsiung, Taiwan Lingyen Mountain Temple (靈巖山寺) in Nantou, and Chung Tai Chan Monastery (中台禪寺). Before returning to the U.S., the delegation plans to come to Yunlai Branch Monastery in Beitou to meet with Venerable Chang Yuan (常遠法師), the Director-in-chief of Dharma Drum Mountain Sangha, and other fellow monastics to deepen exchanges between the Taiwan and the U.S. regarding Buddhist propagation.

Original text written in Chinese by Zhang Yao-zhong (張曜鐘)
Photos provided by
Zhang Yao-zhong (張曜鐘)
Translation: Siang-ling Li
Editing: Keith Brown, YKL