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Daily Practice of the Month

Good Intentions, Positive Speech, Good Deeds.

About Us

Dharma Drum Mountain DDM Toronto Centre is a community that practices Chan Buddhism in the Dharma Drum Lineage. Our practices include regular meditation, chanting, study groups and teachings under the guidance of monastic sangha and lay teachers. We are a Canadian registered charity located in Toronto, Ontario. Started in 1998 , the Centre has since become the spiritual home for people from all walks of life.

Our aim is to help everyone discover the wisdom within themselves, as well as promote a peaceful and healthy society through cultivation of the mind.

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2023 Year In Review

Our Core Values


Authentic Buddhist Teachings for a Modern World

DDM Toronto is blessed to have many visiting monastic teachers and lay teachers from around the globe to provide genuine Buddhist teachings to our practitioners. In addition to drawing from the practices of both Linji and Caodong schools, the DDM lineage integrates key features of both Indian and Chinese Buddhism, as well as evolving its methods to suit the needs of today’s changing world.


Although the world changes, the need for guided practices to unearth one’s inner wisdom remains the same across time. The teachings promoted through DDM Toronto have a clear lineage tracing back to Shakyamuni Buddha as expounded over 2,500 years ago.

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Diversity of Practices

DDM Toronto Centre offers a variety of regular practices, including meditation, chanting, tea Chan, drumming, study groups, and volunteer opportunities.


Sometimes referred to as “Dharma doors”, each path of practice has something to offer according to one’s individual skills, lifestyle, and interests. These practices share a common foundation of applying the timeless wisdom of Chan to one’s daily life and communities.

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Globally Interconnected

Dharma Drum Mountain is a global Chan practitioner community spanning several continents and localities, including America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.


As part of the global community, DDM Toronto Centre members share their own spiritual journeys and gain support from fellow practitioners locally. With the recent COVID pandemic, DDM Toronto Centre strives to continuously support the practice of Chan by expanding its activities to online formats.

Improved Well Being

Among the many benefits of adopting Chan practice into daily life, one can enjoy:

-Improved physical health
-A positive mental outlook
-Better sleep
-A moderate lifestyle with fewer wants
-Effective ways to cope with stress and vexations
-Greater harmony between self and others
-Expanded self-awareness
-Sense of inner meaning and fulfilment
-Wisdom to handle situations with care and equanimity

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Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism 

Our Lineage

In order to address the needs of people from both East and West in modern times, Master Sheng Yen established the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism. Our lineage follows two traditions - Linji which uses the Huatou method, and Caodong which uses the practice of Silent Illumination. We also integrate the features of different schools in Chinese and Indian Buddhism. While committed to tradition, we further incorporate a variety of other activities to accommodate the needs of contemporary society. For more details, please refer to The Legacy of Chan.

Our Founder

Master Sheng Yen

Born in 1931, Master Sheng Yen lived through floods, droughts, and years of war while growing up in China. At the early age of twelve, he left home and became a monk. In order to flee from a chaotic China in 1949, he joined the army and left for Taiwan, later re-entering monastic life under Master Dongchu in 1960.

Master Sheng Yen was the 57th generational dharma heir of Master Linji Yixuan (d. 866) in the Linji school (Japanese: Rinzai) and a third-generation dharma heir of Master Xuyun (1840-1959). In the Caodong (Japanese: Sōtō) lineage, Master Sheng Yen was a 52nd-generation Dharma heir of Dongshan Liangjie (807-869), and a direct Dharma heir of Master Dongchu (1908–1977).

Throughout his life, Master Sheng Yen vowed to teach Buddhism in common language so that people can understand and apply in daily life. As Master Sheng Yen has noted, “The Dharma is so good, yet so few people know about it, and so many people misunderstand it.” 

Master Sheng Yen
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Our Teacher

Guo Yuan Fashi

Venerable Guo Yuan is the Abbott of Dharma Drum Mountain(DDM) Toronto Centre and Dharma Drum Retreat Centre (DDRC).

In 1985, our abbot, GuoYuan Fashi, encountered Master Sheng Yen’s teachings while attending a seven-day retreat in New York. He became a disciple before finally leaving his job in Toronto, Canada, to become a monk in the Chan tradition.


He was ordained in 1987 in Taiwan. Then, for over twenty years, he accompanied and worked as translator to Master Sheng Yen in various Chan meditation retreats around the world. In 1991, he studied Theravada Buddhism for a year in Thailand. Upon his return, Guo Yuan Fashi was elected abbot of both the Chan Meditation Center (CMC) in Queens and the Dharma Drum Retreat Center (DDRC) in Pine Bush, New York. His responsibilities include attending interfaith services, teaching meditation, and giving lectures on Buddhism. In 2006, he became the director of the International Chan Retreat Center in Dharma Drum Mountain, Taiwan.

 In 2016, he returned to Pine Bush to become once again the abbot of DDRC. Fluent in Mandarin, Vietnamese, and English, he leads Chan retreat in many countries around the world.


DDM Toronto Centre welcomes you to join us in activities outlined under Program.
The Centre is supported by donors and volunteers. Unless otherwise specified,
all activities are offered free of charge with voluntary donation.


We look forward to seeing you soon!

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