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Sheng Yen Academy Begins First Comprehensive Bilingual Buddhism Course, Offered Both In-person and O

The Sheng Yen Academy Buddhism Course began its first semester on February 4, after joint preparations were completed by DDM Seattle and Toronto Centre chapters. Based in Seattle, Ven. Chang Wei conducted the online course for the DDM Toronto Centre, Seattle Chapter, as well as the international students from England, Finland, Germany, Italy, Israel, etc.

The Sheng Yen Academy Buddhism Course is delivered in Mandarin Chinese with simultaneous interpretation in English, mobilizing a total of nine volunteers from both the Toronto and Seattle translation teams. The translators are committed to the English interpretation task for the next three years. In the future, lecturers will rotate between the two DDM centers to teach students in person. The discussions throughout the course will also be carried out in Mandarin, Cantonese, and online English discussion groups. Homework will also be submitted online.

A transnational, multimodal, bilingual Buddhism course had been successfully planned and conducted for 1.5 years during the pandemic under the leadership of Dharma Drum Vancouver Centre Director Ven. Chang. This allowed the two centers to accumulate abundant experiences.

At the very start of the course, volunteer representatives from Seattle, Toronto and London were first introduced. During the online course, the Managing Director, Ven. Chang Wu, also encouraged all students to look past differences in culture, educational background, and individual personalities. After all, there is bound to be at least one suitable Dharma method for each person amongst the 84,000 Dharma gates. It is normal to feel uneasy when first starting to learn something new; however, the successful comprehension of one Dharma statement of will benefit us for a lifetime. Therefore three years from now, we will find that the time was well-spent. The Venerable sincerely gave his blessings to all students in wishing them decreased afflictions and increased wisdom and bliss through learning the Buddhadharma. This semester's Course Mentor, Ven. Chang Wei also encouraged everyone to set objectives and take practical steps in learning the Dharma, in the hopes that all may find increased joy in the learning process and uncover the treasures within the Buddhadharma.

"A human birth is hard to attain, and the Buddhadharma is rare"; that is, the causes and conditions necessary for the convergence of all students' paths in learning the Dharma are precious and hard to come by. Together, the DDM Seattle Chapter and Toronto Centre wish the best for all students, hoping that they can support and learn from each other on their mutual paths to attaining buddhahood.

Text: DDM Seattle Chapter 2023.02.13

Photo: DDM Seattle Chapter, DDM Toronto Centre 2023.02.13

Translation: Cheng-Yu Chang (張振郁)

Edited by: Keith Brown, Ariel Shen (沈純湘)



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