The Tea Party for Thanksgiving in Spring 2011

Although the 26th of March was a rainy day, it was with unabated enthusiasm that the volunteers attended the Spring 2011 Thanksgiving tea party. The party was held at Degui Academy and organized by Dharma Drum University. Altogether, 85 members participated in the party besides the Japanese group members.

When it comes to the programs of this party, it started with the introduction of the desserts baked by the school members of Dharma Drum University. In order to thank these volunteers for their efforts in the past year, the President of Dharma Drum University, Mr. Liu An Zhi, addressed the attendees as ‘coworkers’ in order to express his appreciation to them. He also deliberately coined this term to stress the importance of teamwork. In his introduction, President Liu stated his expectation about the completion of the campus constructions projects and finally he also described the plan for the recruitment activities.

After this introduction, there were two events arranged to show the volunteers’ hard work in the past year. They were ‘The Story of Thanksgiving’ and ‘The Scenario of the Volunteers’ jobs.’ These two events highlighted the issues and the tasks which were finished in the past year 2010, including the enthusiastic participation and all the help in the University Experience Camp at the beginning of the year and in the Zen retreat.

Furthermore, a group, which was founded by the Da-Her Fundation in Japan, was invited to this party. On the one side, the members of Dharma Drum Mountain could express their concern to this party for the 311 Japanese earthquake. On the other side, the group appreciated the volunteers working in Dharma Drum Mountain and sang some beautiful songs for them as their thanks. All members who participated in this party also sang a song, which name is ‘Pray’, in chorus to transmit their blessing to the Japanese people. Moreover, Master Zhang Yuen and Master Zhang Ning helped the group members wear the prayer beads on their hands to indicate people’s humaneness. Furthermore, President Liu presented the group members with one of Master Sheng Yen’s works, ‘108 Adages of Wisdom’, as a gift. Also, the volunteers offered blessed origami paper cranes to display their blessing to the Japanese struck by this disaster.

Next on the schedule, was a tea break. During this time, all participants exchanged their thoughts and feelings while enjoying delicious cookies. At the same time, Teacher Sung Neng Zhou of the School of Environmental Studies reported on the dietary carbon footprint. He also introduced methods which can be used and practiced in daily life to reduce pollution and conserve energy.

 Finally, the attendees were encouraged to relax their bodies by jumping and dancing. All of them were happy to have taken part this party and left with more energy to continue their mission and work on the preparation of Dharma Drum University.