Saturday, November 3, 2007

National University of Singapore (NUS) Students' Visit

On August 25, 2007, the university students from different cultural background and race sat peacefully in a solemnly silent Zen hall. The youthful yet quiet faces almost freeze the air. They concentrated on chewing the raisin. The noise outside the window had no influence on their concentration. Finally the leader broke the silence by inviting students to share their insight of eating raisin. A foreign student responded by shouting ∶ I feel so hungry!’ Immediately, everybody burst into laugh and broke the ice between each other. Dharma Drum Mountain Youth Singapore had already planned for this reception a few weeks ago. It is organized by Buddhist Society of National University of Singapore as part of its orientation program. Although the gathering lasted only an hour, the committee had strived to perfect every part of the program. We first thought the visitors were comprised of solely local students. Not until the day, we found out that there were international elites among the visitors who came to NUS for student exchange program. The visitors were divided into two groups (each with around 40 members), arriving at Dharma Drum Mountain center at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively on the day. In spite of different races and background, the smile was seen on every young face. Several Caucasian students from the morning group started to take the pictures once they arrived. On the other hand, a Muslim student walked silently to a zabuton at the center of the Zen hall.

After everyone had settled down, our M.C. (Kee Yew) the youth group vice chair started an introduction, and showed the movie
「大哉斯鼓」. 20 minutes later, the author briefly presented Dharma Drum Mountain International Youth Foundation to the audience using the computer. The next program was to experience Zen Eating – eating the raisins. Later, the DDM Youth chair, Hui Wei solo the song Purigecic「纯真觉醒」, a masterpiece by Pei Yee. After the song, everyone gathered in the center, enjoyed the vegetarian food, and shared the life experiences. Soon, the students left the center. Some students showed their interest in Dharma Drum Mountain activities, and filled up the membership form for us. The afternoon session was handled by Xiu Feng and Li Yun.

From the preparation of this activity, I deeply appreciated the diligence and hard work of all masters and fellows. I feel that the group need not work as hard if the people's eagerness towards Buddhism teachings was like their eagerness towards food when they are hungry.


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