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Tuesday, June 02, 2020
On March 16, under the order of the state government, the 8-million population San Francisco Bay Area became the first region of compulsory home sequester in North American during the COVID-19 pandemic. To the residents, this may have been the most significant change to their daily lives since World War II, whereas this is a required course of Buddhist practices for the followers of the DDM San Francisco Bay Area Center.

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On Sept. 28th and 29th, DDM Chan Meditation Center (CMC) in New York celebrated its 40th anniversary of establishment. On the first day, a CMC Membership Celebration - “Cherishing our past, Building our future” - was held at Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, Flushing, followed by Great Compassion Mantra Chanting Service at CMC on the following day. This two-day grand celebration saw in total more than 400 people attending.
On Sept 4th, DDM Abbot President Venerable Guo Huei set out on a month-long journey to North America where he extended his care to followers, hosted the refuge-taking ceremony and gave talks. In addition, he also visited local Buddhist groups on behalf of DDM Sangha, exchanging experiences on various subjects.

On the morning of September 7, Abbot President Ven. Guo Huei hosted the Three Refuge Ceremony and gave the Five Precepts to 35 laypeople at Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver Center, the first stop of his first visit to North America after becoming the 6th-term Abbot President of DDM.
During the period from July 27th to August 17th, Venerable Chi Chern (繼程法師), Malaysian Dharma Heir of late Master Sheng Yen, together with Venerable Guo Yuan (果元法師), Abbot of Dharma Drum Retreat Center in New York, went on their trip to Europe for hosting a 21-day Chan Retreat at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dluzew, urban Warsaw in Poland. Including 7 monastics among all, forty-six practitioners coming from the U.S, Canada, Swiss, Italy, France, Croatia, Poland, Taiwan, China, as well as Malaysia, joined the retreat.
From July 12th to 26th, Venerable Guo Jing (果鏡法師), Director of Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies (中華佛學研究所), along with six students from the Department of Buddhist Studies, Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (法鼓文理學院) visited Vietnam upon the invitation of Venerable Dao Jie (道戒法師), also a student at DILA from Vietnam.
In July, Venerable Chang Kuan (常寬法師), Vice Dean of DDM Sangha University and Managing Director of Three Studies Institute, shared two series of lectures with the followers in DDM Vancouver Center, giving an account of “The Essence of the Middle Way: Late Master Sheng Yen’s Thoughts” during 4 consecutive sessions, followed by 2 consecutive sessions of “The Essence of Shurangama: My Insight.” Nearly 60 Eastern and Western participants as well as the audiences on LIVE webcast were all brought in, once again, to the affinity with Shifu’s true body of reality.
Our world is changing dramatically, rapidly and with ever greater complexity. We see this on full display from the ravages of prolonged conflicts and many new ones to the rising impact of climate change. From growing inequalities to entrenched gender discrimination to the challenges of record numbers of people on the move and the world’s most vulnerable people suffering the most. The United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development — under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council — began its fourth annual session from 9 – 18 July. Four years after their adoption, progress on many of the SDGs remains slow amid rising inequality. The DDMBA delegation of 5 lead by Venerable Chang Ji partook in the conference held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
On July 6 and 7, Venerable Guo Yuan (果元法師), abbot of Dharma Drum Retreat Center in New York, together with Venerable Chang Hu (常護法師), director of DDRC, held a one-day retreat, the Chan in Tea activity, and two lectures on Chan practice at the Soeurs Franciscaines in Luxembourg.
From July 4th to 18th, Ven. Guo Xing (果醒法師), Master of the Meditation Hall, Ven. Chang Xiang (常襄法師), Director of the Meditation Activities Center, together with Ven. Yan Yi (演一法師), student from the Chan Department, DDM Sangha University visited Russia on invitation for a second time to continue the affinity started last year. In addition to paying solicitudes to local senior followers, they also led retreats in a retreat center in the suburbs of Moscow.
Chan Meditation Center hosted a 7-Day Amitabha Chanting Retreat at Dharma Drum Retreat Center in Pine Bush, New York from July 7 - 14, 2019. The retreat was led by Venerable Guo Kai and 7 monastics, and was attended by more than 60 participants from across the United States and Canada.
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