Here is a notice from my Chan organization about our new Resident Teacher, and the pilot Residential Progam.
Maggie Woman Returns
----- Original Message -----
Date: Thursday, June 22, 2006 6:33 am
Subject: A Message from DDRC, June 21
> Dear friends,
> We hope this email finds you in good health and spirit.
> In April 2006, Guo Jun Fashi, who received Dharma transmission
> from Master Sheng Yen in November 2005, officially became the Resident
> Teacher of DDRC. In the past few years, Guo Jun Fashi has served
> as an assistant teacher to Master Sheng Yen in intensive Chan
> He brings with him the trust of Master Sheng Yen, an in-depth
> understanding of Dharma based on many years of study, a deep
> experience in Chan practice, and last but not least, a dose of
> youthful energy. We at DDRC are confident that under the guidance
> of Guo Jun Fashi, Master Sheng Yen's vision of a vibrant community
> where people come from all over the world to fulfill the call of wisdom
> and compassion through Chan practice will be realized. As DDRC turns
> a new page in its history, we ask for your continuing support to
> help fulfill this vision of which we all partake.
> Guo Jun Fashi has initiated a pilot residential program that will
> start in August. This program is designed for those wishing to
> dedicate substantial periods of time (1, 2, or 3 months) to the
> practice of Chan. Residents follow a set schedule of activities
> that includes morning and evening services, sitting and walking
> meditations, mindful work, personal study, as well as calligraphy
> and tea meditations. Detailed information about the program is
> available at http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/index.php?id=events#ja2006
> We also want to inform you that in order for the intensive
> retreats to really serve their purpose, participants in these retreats are now
> required to either have participated in an intensive retreat at
> DDRC before, or have been to a "7-day introduction to intensive
> retreat" at DDRC. This is to ensure that participants come into the retreats
> ready to delve into the methods of practice right from the
> The new 7-day program is designed to introduce the practice of
> mindfulness and the methods of Silent Illumination and Huatou, all
> in one retreat. Many people, including long-time practitioners, have
> found such a retreat helpful.
> Some of you may have noticed that we have been using an online
> application system to help us administer the retreats. This
> system has been very helpful in streamlining the application process, and
> in the mean time, save trees by reducing paperworks. We will
> continue to improve the system and make the application process more
> convenient for retreatants.
> Finally, we wish you a wonderful summer and hope to see you often
> at DDRC.
> Best wishes,
> Your friends at Dharma Drum Retreat Center
> "Some of you said that you feel hypocritical making vows you
> cannot keep. Do not be disheartened. For many of us the Four Great Vows
> are unimaginable in their depth and meaning. Nonetheless, you should
> take these vows because they plant seeds that will someday sprout.
> Vows help to make your practice stronger. Do not despair if you cannot
> keep your own individual vows. Each time you approach your
> cushion, bow to it and make a vow: 'I will not be moved by pain; I will not
> be overcome by sleepiness; I will not get lost in wandering
> thoughts.' Make these vows with sincerity, then forget them. Have faith that
> the seeds planted by these vows are within you, and then put your mind
> on the task at hand, your method. If you are overwhelmed by pain, do
> what you must, but if you move, do it with the same sincerity you
> used when making the vow. When the sitting is over, do not chastise
> yourself for breaking a vow. This is the process. Next time you
> sit, make the same vow again. In this way you will slowly but surely
> strengthen your determination." -- Chan Master Sheng Yen, in "Song
> of Mind - Wisdom from the Zen Classics Xin Ming"