Construction commencement of Dharma Drum University


Venerable Guo Dong, abbot president of Dharma Drum Mountain, presided over the “Dharma Drum Mountain Great Compassion Water and Land Liberation Rite Sprinkling Ceremony and Dharma Drum University Construction Commencement Ceremony” on November 28 at the designated site for the University campus, marking the starting of the Liberation Rite and the joint efforts in establishing the University. Also attended were more than a hundred of DDM Sangha monastics, the architecture team members, the faculty and staff, special guests from the Ministry of Education, Taipei County Government, and the Jinshan Township. More than 2300 audience from around Taiwan chanted in unison the Great Compassion Mantra, adding to the solemn and magnificent atmosphere of the ceremony, witnessing the historical moment of Dharma Drum Mountain realizing its great aspiration to establish the University promoting holistic education

Venerable Master Sheng Yen, founder of DDM, often encourages people to make good vows and fulfill them. His spirit—as reflected in what he once said, “It must be established, and it must be achieved!”—has aspired the collective will of the public to have an extraordinary university, and finally made the acquisition of its construction license possible. The organizer showed a documentary film to convey the Venerable Master’s unique plans for the University, in responding to the worry that it may be short of students duo to the excess amount of colleges and universities and the diminishing birth rate currently in Taiwan. One of its features is the residential college system, through which students will be able to learn outside the classroom, submerged in a gorgeous environment and guided by the faculty. In addition, the University aims to become an international institution by recruiting overseas students, adopting multiple language instruction, and encouraging learning and studying abroad. The Venerable Master believes that its graduates will be highly welcome by domestic businesses, government agencies, as well as global enterprises.


Director Liu An-Chi, director of the University’s Preparatory Office, also made a brief introduction to the University’s vision. Mr. Liu said that the University with around 62 acres is not only going to be a sustainable green university that connects with nature and interact with the environment, it also has a mission for social education, and aims to be one rising to the very ideal of a university. It will include four schools exploring academic frontiers—School of Philanthropy, School of Environmental Studies, School of Arts, and School of Life and Living; and it will provide education of more practicality and challenging content, including residential college education, life learning, dialogues with masters, Chan Buddhism and meditation practice, global exchange, world citizenship, in the hope of cultivate leaders of compassion and wisdom, on the basis of volunteering training.

Since 1998, when Dharma Drum Mountain submitted the application to establish a university based on the idea of protecting the spiritual environment, including the Three Kinds of Education, making full play of comprehensive, integral, holistic, and lifelong education, many volunteers and supporters sharing the same ideal have joined the effort to make the University a reality, including fundraising. Therefore, on behalf of the Venerable Master, Venerable Guo Dong expressed thanks to all the supporters and hoped that the public could continue to lend their support with a mind to repay kindness in gratitude, so that the University may recruit outstanding academics and foster more talent. The Venerable also believed that, with the core value of protecting the spirit environment in mind, every person can uplift his or her own character through the Three Kinds of Education, the Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance Campaign, by practicing the Six Ethics of the Mind, the Four Kinds of Environmentalism, and therefore achieving the ideal of uplifting the character of humanity and building a pure land on earth.

Both the Liberation Rite and the plan to establish the University represent Dharma Drum Mountain’s promise to fulfill its Three Kinds of Education and Four Kinds of Environmentalism to society. The University is scheduled to start enrolling students in August 2010. Dharma Drum Mountain welcomed people to participate the Rite by December 5, to jointly pray for the ceasing of suffering and the realization of a pure land on earth.