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New Students Reflect on Their DRBU Experience!
(Anthony Santana, BA' 2027)
How was your first week at DRBU?
The first week of my arrival at DRBU, I remember I kept running into this distinct feeling that I had been here before. In an attempt to think "logically," I could simply call it deja vu, just some malfunction of my mind; but in those moments of pure awareness, there is nothing to convince me that this place isn't a part of my path. For this, I am sure, because, with the change of environment, there was also an immense shift within me, a shift closer to truth; as DRBU is not just a university where you can come and study Buddhism and philosophy, but it’s also a place to experience the fruit of cultivation. Students come from all parts of the earth, from all walks of life …for various reasons. That I have started to see, whether we know it or not, is that we are all here to remember the same thing.
(Victoria Sheung, MA' 2025)
What’s it like to be a part of the DRBU community? What do you do outside of class?
It feels like I am a part of a family, for the noble reasons we have convened, and for the unwavering faith we have in each other and the best version of each other. It’s hard to utter these beautiful words in a world that is painted with such dismal colors, but that is what I feel in this community. Outside of class, I do a lot! This 3-day weekend alone, I went on an organized window shopping trip downtown with the president of DRBU, helped organize a hike with students and faculty at Low Gap Mountain, visited the most serene homes of the original founders of DRBU where we shared heartfelt conversation and reflections, attended every meditation and tea talk with the greatest cultivators available, and hung out in the lounge making music and getting made fun of by friends. Basically, I laughed and cried a lot!
Are there any resources or support systems at DRBU that have been particularly helpful for you?
I think every single person … I have come across has changed me in some way, shape, or form. From their words and actions to the articles published in our magazine and the effort put into communal cleaning and student projects, not a single person here has not embarked on some transformative journey themselves and poured this golden light back into the community. There is no other place like here, and that is what makes the gates of DRBU so special and regal, for they guard the holy grounds of a place where humans (and peacocks, owls, squirrels, and deer) cultivate with every fiber of their bodies and hearts, the energy of which can be felt in every step taken towards each other and the truth, every smile shared and spotted on serene faces, and effort spilled into making the immediate world a better place for one another.
What is your favorite spot on campus, and why?
My favorite spot is actually my room. I used to dislike being at home or being alone in my room because I felt that so many thoughts and worries would emerge during these moments, but here, for the first time, I relished in the simple decorating process of a space I would call my own to cultivate through meditation, mantra chanting, reading, writing, playing music, drawing, eating snacks, relaxing, and having friends over. I finally feel comfortable calling a small space my own because I have the tools and mentality to transform it into my own spiritual heaven.
How has your perception of the university changed since you first arrived?
My perception of the school did not really change, to be honest, since I first read the student testimonies and snippets of student life and read about its programs and curriculum online. In fact, it just colored in the lines of the broad impression the core mission had left on me. I also didn’t expect California to be so hot—my cohort mates joke that we can reheat our food just by leaving it out.