About us

Our community, the Washington State Washington Chapter, is a division of Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association (DDMBA). It is a place to provide residents of the greater Seattle area with a forum for discussing topics related to Chan (Zen) Buddhism. Our goal is to spread and promote the authentic Buddhist Teachings. It was founded in November, 2001.

We have regular monthly activities held on Sundays including book study, meditation, the Great-Compassion Repentance Service and Amitabha Buddha Chanting Service. In addition, we have short-term weekly book-study and meditation during weekday nights. Irregular activities throughout the year include Chan retreats, Dharma talks, picnic and children's summer camp. Most activities are conducted through Mandarin; however an English translator may be available. For more info, please contact Eric.

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Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) was established by Master Sheng Yen in 1989. DDM emphasizes on spreading and promoting the authentic teachings of Buddhism, particularly Chan.

From above, the site of DDM resembles the great Dharma Drum spoken of in the Lotus Sutra. Thus when Master Sheng Yen acquired the property, he dubbed it Dharma Drum Mountain and took that name for his organization as well.

DDM's mission is to "uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth." In order to implement this ideal, we advocate the protection of the spiritual environment and the fivefold spiritual renaissance, as well as the three types of education: education through academics, education through public outreach and education through caring service. In addition, DDM offers various programs to meet the spiritual and educational needs of people at all stages of their lives. Some of these programs include international Buddhist conferences, ecological seminars and lectures, social welfare programs and meditation retreats.

 At the present time, construction work on our facilities at DDM is complete. It is not only a monastery or a collection of monasteries, but rather a global Buddhist educational complex whose functions include academic research, meditation practice, and education. The complex include the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, the Dharma University, Dharma Drum Chan Monastery, the Museum of Buddhist History and Culture, a meditation center, and international conference hall.

We welcome your questions and comments. If you are interested in our association, or you would like to make a donation, please feel free to contact us.

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About Master Sheng Yen

Please follow the links below:

Chan Master Sheng Yen (chan1.org)
About Master Sheng Yen (ddmba.org)
Master Sheng Yen (Video clip)

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Master's passing

Dear Dharma upholders and followers of Dharma Drum Mountain, Amituofo.

Master Sheng Yen

Our guiding teacher in life, Master Sheng Yen (Shifu), passed away peacefully on February 3th , 2009 at 4:00pm, in Taiwan. He relinquished his physical body and entered parinirvana amidst the recitation of the Buddha's name by his monastic disciples led by the Abbot President. With this letter, we are proceeding with Shifu's instructions to notify you of his passing as soon as it occurred.

Shifu once described the course of his life as being full of illness and difficulty, yet he was always full of gratitude. He said this about himself, "Although I led a very busy life, very seldom was I troubled by matters out of concern for myself." While advocating "Protecting the Social Environment", Shifu pointed out that "Death is neither a joyful matter, nor an occasion for grief; rather it's an occasion for a noble and solemn Buddhist ritual." He stated in his will in 2004 that, "Though nothing happens, we've grown old in our busy lives. We cry and laugh, all in emptiness. There is originally no self, so both life and death can be cast aside." Shifu viewed matters concerning aging, sickness, birth and death with an open-mindedness, demonstrating the expansive breadth of his mind that transcends the vexations of birth and death. This is Shifu's most earnest admonition to us, and his spirit serves as an exemplary model for us all to emulate.

Shifu's tireless lifelong mission of spreading the Dharma and bringing benefit to all sentient beings through his travels and undertakings could not have been realized without your involvement. Shifu was always grateful for all of the support and devotion that you have shown him throughout his life. As Shifu had instructed, we would like to convey to you on his behalf his utmost gratitude, blessings, and bid of farewell.

Under Shifu's leadership, Dharma Drum Mountain has developed into a well-established organization and it will continue to operate to carry on Shifu's legacy by way of DDM's ethos in making contributions to society and to all sentient beings. In addition, DDM's faithfuls; monastic or lay, are all under Shifu's orders to never dispute over matters regarding properties, funds, power, and positions. Rather, we are expected to uphold the standards of "Compassion, Wisdom, Harmony and Respect" and to carry out the education based on the Four Kinds of Environmentalism. In accordance with Shifu's pledge: "Although the universe may one day perish, my vows are eternal. What I am unable to accomplish in this life, I vow to push forward through countless future lives. What I am unable to accomplish personally, I exhort everyone to undertake together," we will be united in mind and vows and set out to spread the Buddhadharma to benefit all sentient beings. Let us transform our grief into the strength of making vows and repaying kindness by jointly perpetuating Shifu's vows of great compassion.

We've been truly blessed to have been able to study under Shifu. Today, he displayed for us the ease of being "Thus Come, Thus Gone." We know just like us, you all must also feel the deep sense of sadness in having to part with Shifu. Yet we must remember that although Shifu's physical body is no longer here with us, his Dharma-body has never left us, as his inexhaustible power of compassionate vows will forever remain in our hearts.

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