Abbot Ming Hai (明海法师, 河北柏林禅寺方丈), a Chinese monk from Bailin Monastery in China, visited DRBU in mid-October this year. He was accompanied by Dharma Master Xin Ci and Dharma Master Chuan Xue, also from Bailin Monastery. The three monks sat in on several classes and joined in the discussion. Venerable Ming Hai has been a Buddhist monk for twenty-two years, and completed a degree in philosophy at Peking University in China before ordaining. He offered perspective on mysticism, based on a discussion of William James' Varieties of Religious Experience, while attending a MA Comparative Hermeneutics class. They also sat in on an MA Buddhist Texts class and discussed the The Sixth Patriarch's Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra.
Additionally, DRBU Professor Reverend Heng Sure and Venerable Ming Hai offered the community a preview of their lecture "Applied Buddhism in the Modern World and Chinese Chan and Western Zen" that they gave at the 2015 Parliament of World Religions conference the following week. The two speakers discussed how Zen practice is adapting to the 21st century in China and North America. The preview was enjoyed by over one hundred people from the DRBU and City of Ten Thousand Buddhas community.
The talk was also well received at the 2015 Parliament of World Religions, that took place in Salt Lake City, Utah from Oct 15-19. Nearly ten thousand people attended the conference, representing over seventy countries and thirty religions. Many DRBU students and staff attended the conference and returned inspired by the harmonious interfaith dialogue.