I'm joining Service Space because ... life led me here.
A good day to me is when ... my heart is open and at peace.
My hero in life is ...a Chinese peasant who gave birth to me.
My favorite book is ...the Lotus and the Avatamsaka.
One thing I'm grateful for is ... my free time to ponder over life.
Jul 06, 2020, 1 smiles [The following is from Professor Doug Powers at the Dharma Realm Buddhist University, in response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement. This is excerpted from a transcribed spoken interview, lightly edited.] America has a long history of extreme racism. It has racism built into it from the very beginning; it is a fundamental aspect of this country. [...] Then looking at the values of Buddhism – generosity, loving-kindness, compassion, equanimity, joy – all these different unselfish qualities are opposed to racism because all racism is fundamentally based on selfishness. [...] Advice for Students The first thing our students need to do is to look into themselves and see how much they’ve taken racist prejudices into themselves from their cultural surroundings. [...] A huge element of mindfulness, of being aware of yourself, is to see the racist elements in yourself. [...] you have to look and see: where did those racist elements arise? To get ... Read Full Story
Jun 23, 2020, 3 smiles When the students at the Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) asked for insights on how to engage in the current Black Lives Matter movement, Dean of Academics, Professor Martin Verhoeven responded: First, I want to commend you for caring, and for asking what should be asked, not only by you but by everyone. Feelings and emotions overwhelm—outrage and shame, shock and frustration, anger and compassion regarding what's happened in Minneapolis. But not just Minneapolis, throughout the world. Not to be affected, not to be nearly overwhelmed, would be an even bigger problem. […] Anything less than seeing the non-duality of myself and all beings and all worlds is the problem. That distinction, that discrimination, that difference, once set up, is the precise root which grows into racism, to speciesism, to war, to environmental devastation, to exploitation, to abuse, and the notion that “other lives do not matter.” [...] The Dharma clearly says that ... Read Full Story
May 02, 2020, 1 comments, 7 smiles Much gratitude for the over 300 participants and the team (Jossera, Ari, Andy and Xiao) for making the 21-Day Karunavirus Challenge such a sweet and inspiring co-created learning and practicing journey. Many thanks to Audrey and Birju for your great support, always. Today we just finished our zoom circle as the final sharing. As Rajni shared today on zoom, "It is a small small world. We all are united with love...My life is such that, truly speaking, challenge is always nice to me. They are not challenge, they are mostly part of my life." He also sends out inspiring email with helpful and inspiring stories to about 200 of his contacts himself. Below are some highlights from the last three days of the Challenge reflections. Day 19: Honor Animals and Wildlife "I have always been an animal person. I have stretched my interest to include insects and bugs. I found this Daddy Longlegs ... Read Full Story
Apr 29, 2020, 3 smiles More excerpted reflections from the participants of the 21-Day Karunavirus Challenge. Day 12: Be A Good Friend "I struggle with friendships. I don't have close friends, but I have cultivated an appreciation for the friends I do have. The first week we sheltered in place I was struggling to find grounding, so I reached out to everyone, and I mean everyone in my life. This included a friend I had fallen out with 20 years ago, my grade school principal, and people who are friendly acquaintances on the periphery of my life. I learned a lot of people in my life are undergoing tremendous challenges. I write to check in, to ask if they need any kind of assistance, and I make myself available to talk or to offer other resources that I have found helpful. I have been stunned by the very positive responses I get. People seemed very touched and ... Read Full Story
Apr 22, 2020, 5 smiles Some Reflections by the participants from the 21-Day Karunavirus Challenge hosted by a team of volunteers: Joserra, Ari, Andy, Xiao, and two members behind the scene. :) Day 9: Appreciate the Beauty of Nature "One thing which has been a positive from being in lockdown is the ability to appreciate nature because there is more stillness than previously. I have loved the opportunity to notice the birds singing and the blossom developing on the trees." --H Day 10: What Is The Earth Telling Us? Tune In. "What do you not want to "go back to" when you step out of quarantine? I don't want Los Angeles traffic to be like it was. There is so much calm and peace now. Be healthy and safe my friends. :-)" --B Day 11: Allow Grief In "Yesterday was a very difficult day for me. I couldn't put my finger on why until I read today's challenge. I am grieving ... Read Full Story
Apr 17, 2020, 4 smiles A few more highlights from the participants of the 21-Day Karunavirus Challenge :) Day 8: Take Care of The Caretakers "The very wonderful author-illustrator, Daniel Kirk, was in the hospital with C19. He is home now and has said many times how grateful he is to the frontline workers... he drew this tribute." --J Day 6: Grow Resilience in Community Groceries & Gardening Chats "We live in a neighborhood that has been very tight! We have a slack channel and email group to communicate, help each other, and organize fun activities: my home offers 4 to 6 times a year community gatherings. Today, however, I reached out to all my neighbors to get their grocery list to buy groceries tomorrow for them. 6 neighbors have sent lists...and more will come. In addition, I gardened in the front for 6 hours engaging in chats with neighbors walking their dogs, and nearby neighbors. This helps build relationships ... Read Full Story
Apr 13, 2020, 1 comments, 8 smiles Last Friday, a few friends kicked off a 21-day challenge to deepen in values during times of corona. Already, the stories people have been sharing are bringing wide smiles to our faces, and inspiring us to flex our muscles of kindness, gratitude, stillness, and more! Here's a few highlights from our first few days... Day 2: Find Quiet Joy In Gratitude "I have been starting each day by writing 3 things I am grateful for since this all started. I also wrote a card for our postal worker a bit ago, and would like to do more of this. The attached photo is the card I made that I left in the mailbox for them to retrieve." --L Corona Chronicles "I found solace in a humorous paper letter received from a friend, sending a snail mail to a pen pal in Turkey, Chatting with a patient on the phone about the trauma inherent in this ... Read Full Story
Apr 08, 2020, 9 smiles “According with conditions, we do not change. We do not change, yet accord with conditions.” --- Venerable Master Hsuan Hua On January 10, 1973, in the midst of a flu epidemic that was killing thousands of people worldwide, the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, founder of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) and the Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU), wrote a poem to ease people's minds, appreciate the present and understand blessings. "When you reflect on the suffering of sickness, Having no illness becomes a blessing. When you reflect on the suffering of hunger and cold, Eating your fill and being warm becomes a blessing. When you reflect on the suffering of calamities, Dwelling in peace becomes a blessing." --- Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, in the book Timely Teachings: Gold Mountain Monastery in the Early 1970's / Buddhist Text Translation Society As Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, a few Venerable Master Hsuan Hua’s ... Read Full Story
Mar 17, 2020, 3 comments, 7 smiles The 21-Day Coronavirus Response Challenge was originally created for the Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) community as the university was closing down. The format uses a simplified 21-Day Challenge model created by KindSpring. Education is without beginning or end. There is not a single location that is not a place of learning, and there is not a single moment that is not a time for learning. — Venerable Master Hsüan Hua, Founder of DRBU Despite the turmoil “outside,” let’s continue to meet “inside.” When the “inside” meets the “outside,” there is only one side, which has no side. May this 21-Day Coronavirus Response Challenge help foster our sense of community and strengthen our self-cultivation while facing changes and challenges during this corona-time. Happy cultivation! Day 1: Be Mindful of Our Hands During the corona-time, the movements of hands should be closely monitored at all times. Be mindful of their habits. Where do they like ... Read Full Story
Oct 14, 2019, 1 comments, 5 smiles [This essay "Authenticity in Virtue" is drawn from the reflections intrigued by the book, The World as Will and Idea, by Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher. It was read in Comparative Hermeneutics class at DRBU] Imagine living without the expectation to be virtuous; society doesn’t govern your behavior, friends and family only wish that you enjoy yourself freely, and you don’t hold the belief that doing good deeds is the path to Heaven or the Pure Land. In short, you are not burdened with the obligation to be a virtuous person. Are you still inclined to be a virtuous person anyway? By “virtue,” I mean genuine goodness. In The World as Will and Idea, Schopenhauer states that it is foolish to expect a moral and ethical system to inspire virtue and nobility in humankind. He writes, “Virtue cannot be taught any more than can genius” (175). He goes on to state, “The ... Read Full Story