Author  DRBU Staff

Name: Yafang (Edwina) Wang

Cohort: MA student, Class of 2025

Hometown: Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, China

What were you doing before DRBU?

I was translating between Chinese and English, taught English, and recited classics.

What inspired you to choose this University?

I came to know about CTTB and DRBU in 2014 from my tea teacher who encouraged me to study in DRBU to enhance my translation in the field of classics. However, international students were not able to come because the university did not issue I-20. In retrospect, the encouragement was a fountainhead. Meanwhile, the exposure to the professors and the great books of the high-quality academic program answer my inner call to unlock meditativeness, compassion, and wisdom from within.

What has surprised you most about university life?

When I arrived in the evening, I went directly to my dorm. As I stepped into the room, I felt I entered into a world of bliss. As part of the learning environment, the dorm is wonderful and the staff are really supportive. It’s totally beyond a dream. I feel Master Hua’s aspiration to develop talents has been so seriously carried on. Having the opportunity to receive education here has been the most precious gift.

Are there any books from the reading list you’ve really enjoyed?

I enjoy In the Buddha’s Words by Bhikkhu Bodhi. The introductions before each chapter make the reading process to the point and productive. The expressions and vocabularies of the texts are instrumental in writing and translation. The Sixth Patriarch’s Jewel Platform Sutra is also illuminating. Its cornerstone philosophical teaching is to “search out Bodhi only in the mind” (菩提只向心覓). To some extent, I develop a more dispassionate understanding of my feelings, perceptions and thoughts.

What’s it like to be a part of the DRBU community?

DRBU community provides a supportive learning environment for an inward journey towards inner transformation. Whether in the texts, the pedagogical shared-inquiry during the class, or the work-study outside of the class, I feel directed to focus on myself while being supportive to the community.

What do you do outside of class?

Just as Venerable Master Hsüan Hua has said: “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.” There are a lot of learning opportunities both inside and outside of class. Outside of class, I read, do work-study, and go to the Buddha Hall. In the Buddha hall, I really like the melody with which “The Universal Door of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva” from The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra is chanted during the Guanyin Recitation Session. It’s tremendously beautiful and enjoyable.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

The Shurangama Mantra Bell area – out of inner gratitude. And it feels auspicious.

How has financial aid played a role in your being at DRBU?

Financial aid has played a critical role for me. Thanks to the generous financial aid from DRBU, I am able to afford all my educational, living, and travel costs.

What’s your service scholarship (work-study) job?

The work study is a fountainhead of growing wisdom and joy. I work in the big kitchen, the organic farm, and the girls’ school. The carefulness and teamwork required in the kitchen cleaning could be applied to other areas. Besides, the farm work teaches me to observe the weather, to listen to the soil, and to use tools. Working at the girls’ school helps me develop professionalism.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about applying to DRBU?

Your actions will be your best friend. And I want to share a beautiful haiku with you:

“The light of a candle

Is transferred to another candle –

spring twilight.”