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Ten Blessed Years With DDM
After The Earthquake In Sichuan

It all started in 2010 at the first “Protecting the Spiritual Environment Camp” (心靈環保體驗營) in Mianyang (綿陽)Secondary School in Sichuan in 2010. That was the first time I encountered Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM). At the camp, we played games, learned to relax and listened to Dharma teachers sharing their thoughts on “protecting the spiritual environment”. I realized that this group of people truly sought to help us. Therefore as soon as I graduated from High School, I returned as a volunteer to pass on to my younger friends what touched me. At the same time, I was determined to devote more time to get to know DDM better.

Surprisingly this first encounter with DDM encouraged me to stay engaged with it ever since. At the camps, I learned not only the skills and methods of working with other people in a team; I learned even more from the dharma brothers and sisters who were right next to me. The loving kindness embodied in them made me feel that DDM, with its endless treasure, is a place worthy of sincere explore. I later realized that this treasure is Buddhadharma.

There were many chances for us to get close to our dharma teachers at the camp. They taught me to experience all kinds of situations. They taught me that helping others is to help myself. They taught me to relax and keep in harmony both with my body and mind. They taught me to be my own master. All these understandings will take me quite some time to internalize.

Other than the winter and summer camps, the Sichuan Peace of Mind Station (四川安心站) was the other place that I would visit whenever I struggled with making a decision. I brought my questions there and found the sessions calming, whether I was sharing or listening. It helped me to return to my inner self, allowing me to more clearly view the given situations and then came up with the right decisions.

Time flies. It is already in 2018 and I left my teenage years to enter society. As a highway designer, I travel around the country incessantly. I was recently sent to Tibet. Departing the plane with my luggage, I was hit hard with high altitude sickness. At that moment I clearly felt my body rejected the environment. I had difficulty breathing. My head felt swollen. My stomach was churning. To my great surprise, my first reaction was to experience, and not fight or get emotional about the physical discomfort.

While my body slowly adjusted to the environment, my mind was immersed in gratitude. Had I not encountered DDM, I would not have been exposed to Buddhadharma, and would not have had the experience of using the method to change my way of thinking.

From the Sichuan Peace of Mind Station to the camp of “Experience Protecting the Spiritual Environment” in summer and winter, to the scholarship awards, many children like me have come into contact with DDM. We have enjoyed this luxury of learning while growing up, but also worry that someday DDM will leave Sichuan.

The dharma sisters at the Sichuan Peace of Mind Station often said this to us “As long as you are here, DDM will be here.” But who doesn’t want ‘home’ to be right next to them? How I prayed that summer and winter vacations would be longer because that’s when I can get ‘home!’ We all hid behind the Sichuan Peace of Mind Station to wipe our tears after each camp came to an end. All of us prayed that DDM would stay in Sichuan in whatever form. Later we formed a Study Group to study the books of Master Sheng Yen, from twice a year to every other week to now every week. This makes us feel very warm.

DDM, I am ever so grateful that I met you when I needed help most.

Written by: Chen, Keyi (陳柯佚)
Translation: Luh Nelson (邢璐)
Editing: DDM Australian Editorial Team

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After The Earthquake In Sichuan