Friday, November 30, 2007

T-Shirt Designing Contest

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

What is the colour of the wind?

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Sentosa Island - Reviving & Fun Cycling

The awaited Sentosa day-trip was finally held on 22/9/2007. There were 23 participants altogether. As this is the first Dharma Drum Youth outdoor activity, everyone gathered in an exciting mood.

The contingency plan was not used since it was a sunny day. Early in the morning, some youth committee members already gathered and started preparing the program at Sentosa Island. Some were at the train station, taking attendance and leading the participants to the island. Around 8:30 a.m., everyone has gathered on this scenic Sentosa Island.

Firstly, we enjoyed the nutritious and nicely prepared breakfast! We were grateful to Pei Ling for the preparation of the sandwiches and fruits which we enjoyed very much. After the breakfast, we gathered in a circle on the beach. The president of Dharma Drum Singapore, Mr. Xie Shi Yu started the self-introduction. Everyone seemed to be shy since it was the first time we met each other. We just gave our name sequentially.

After the introduction, we did the warm-up session – Dharma Drum Moving Meditation.
Maybe this was the first time for some of us, some laughed up the sleeve during the movements. Nevertheless, we still followed the instructions of the leader throughout the whole session. After warmed up, we had the first game session to get to know each other better. This ‘shape-hunting’ game was led by Pei Yee and Hui Wei. The losers were punished by having their faces decorated colourfully and creatively. Everyone lost the shy feeling after looking at each others’ face. The game ended with joy and laughter.

The following activity was cycling around Sentosa Island. Pei Ying and Mei Da were leading this activity. We found that cycling was a good way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of this island. In addition, the double-seater bicycle received more attention due to its difficulty level. We cycled for about an hour and came back just in time for lunch! We had vegetarian rice noodles and delicious moon cake prepared by Pei Ying. Everyone seemed to work hard participating in the activities, we managed to finish the food in seconds!

After lunch, Sister Ai Li and Brother Shou Yuan led us in two activities -meditation and hold- the-water-bowl. Soon, everyone fell into silence peacefully. The participants found that to calm one’s mind down is not easy at all. It seemed to be an interesting experience for those who got in touch with meditation for the first time. After enjoying the peace of mind, Pei Yee and Hui Wei brought everyone three melodious songs; two were masterpieces of Pei Yee! Everyone was revelling in the melody while Pei Yee played the guitar. When she played the song ‘Purigecic’ (DDM Youth’ theme), everyone sang together happily. Followed by the songs, we had the game ‘trample the balloons’. Every pair attempted to trample the balloons of ‘enemies’ playfully. Surprisingly, the winners of the game were two gentle looking girls!

The activity ended by having Pei Yee (DDM Youth representative) giving out Master Sheng Yen’s book – Orthodox Buddhism to every participant. In addition, hand-made key chain and book mark by her and Nian Si were given out together with the book. The participants can feel the effort and care of DDM Youth. After receiving the membership The participants can feel the effort and care of DDM Youth. After receiving the membership forms from participants, we felt that our effort is worthwhile. This had built the confidence in us, motivating us to introduce the ideology of DDM Youth to more youth, like what Master Sheng Yen said, youth has to bear the responsibility to the society. Please trust us; we are working diligently towards the goal!

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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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Realisation - One Day Organic Tour

In the early morning, 38 participants gathered outside Outram Park MRT Station, awaiting to set off at 8am sharp. The participants who had arrived first waited patiently in the coach while the volunteers took attendance and gave out administrative forms. While everyone was enjoying the organic bun breakfast provided, our tour guide, Qi Yao, told us, “Actually, there are currently no
farms in Singapore that are 100% organic.” Nobody appeared surprised by that, perhaps because everyone recognized the fact that Singapore was a concrete jungle. “To be healthy, one must first learn not to be too attached.” He suggested that we bring with us a sense of anticipation to go explore how Singaporean farmers try their best to produce organic food on lands that have already been contaminated and in the face of various limited conditions.

The first stop was “Oh Chin Huat Herbal Farm”. The owner used hydroponics to produce crops on a large scale. An experienced young man working there brought us to a small garden and introduced to us the various types of herbs and spices, their characteristics, specific uses and effects. Besides getting to touch, smell and taste the herbs and spices, everyone also got to see for themselves what some of the plants that were familiar to them looked like. The activity that received the utmost attention was the quiz that came with prizes in the form of potted herbs, spices and ornamental plants, given out to participants who had provided the correct answers. Before leaving, everyone also received two packets of hydroponics vegetables as a gift.

Next, after passing the luscious forested area of a reservoir, we arrived at “Green Circle Eco Farm”. The owner, Weng Li Zhu, started by giving everyone a talk on the crisis of mankind brought about by the extensive use of pesticides and chemicals after the Second World War. Then, under the scorching sun, she and her husband took us through a tour of their farmland, separately explaining to us in detail in Mandarin and English, “The method of cultivation by nature”. The wisdom and selflessness of the organic farmers left us with a sense of admiration for them.

On the way to lunch, Qi Yao shared with us some tips on vegetarianism. He also explained the various classifications of food, ranging from high-energy organic meals to toxic, acidic food that caused illnesses, like fast food and meat. Qi Yao encouraged us to support organic and vegetarian food for the sake of our health and the future. When the demand for meat continually increased, more land would be used to rear animals and more subsidies would go towards reducing the price of meat. As a result in the future, the quantity of healthy organic and vegetarian food produced would drop and they would become more expensive.

Very soon, we arrived at an organic restaurant in Tanjong Pagar. Lunch was a unique and colourful array of organic food that had been carefully prepared to preserve their nutritional value. The restaurant owner also explained to us how MSG could cause harm to our nerve system. Excessive MSG intake had resulted in many youngsters having a poor memory, bad temperament and depression, etc.

After lunch, those of us who liked shopping for health food were treated to a pleasant surprise at “Organic Paradise” in Chinatown. There was a wide variety of organic daily necessities, like soap, shampoo, dish-cleaner, etc that were biodegradable andenvironmentally-friendly! Besides us, customers of other races and foreigners formed part of the long queue at the cashier.

Carrying all our “booties”, we then boarded the coach happily and headed to our next destination, “Yes Natural” in Geylang. The person in charge introduced us to Venerable Ri Chang from Taiwan and told us how he had in the early days influenced others in the development of health food. We got to understand the challenges faced by the developers and marketers of organic products and how they had managed to overcome all kinds of difficulty because of their firm belief in taking care of the people’s health.

Our 1-Day Organic Tour ended with a sumptuous dinner at LivinGreens Organic Vegan Restaurant. I had initially thought that lunch was already the best meal in the universe, but who would have expected dinner to be even better with their exquisite and diverse dishes. The child waiters and waitresses who were helping to serve the food were like walking advertisements for vegetarianism, with their healthy-looking faces and bright, intelligent eyes.

Hopefully, after this tour and hearing about the concept of holistic healthcare from Qi Yao, more people can start paying more attention to the health of their body, mind and spirit. If nobody responds to the warning bell sounded, can we in the near future still find plants as they appear in nature here? Can we still get to savour food that is pure and clean and maintain our original good health?


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Our Vision:
'Better Youth, Better World'. consistent with the Dharma Drum Vision:
To Uplift the Character of Humanity and Build a Pure Land on Earth.

Our Mission:
To nurture the mentally and physically healthy youth, who has amplify personality, who are able to and willing to contribute to the public community, who also have the following PURI-GECIC characteristics:
1) Genuineness
2) Enthusiasm
3) Care
4) Innovation
5) Concentration

Our Objective:
1/ To build up the Dharma Drum International Youth Group (Singapore Division)
2/ To construct course and organize activities which can uplift the character of youth mainly in PURI-GECIC.
3/ To benefit more youth through activities, improving life, making more friend, have multiple perspective, less worry, growing in blessing and wisdom.

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