Taiwan, New Taipei
Influential books I’ve read:
Mencius struck me the most. It helped me become more confident in knowing what is the right thing to do.
Concept that blew my mind:
“According with conditions, we do not change. Not changing yet, we accord with conditions.” This is the Venerable Master Hua’s line. It means that when doing things, be flexible while not changing one’s true principles.
Challenge(s) I faced:
Reading english classics. There were other obstacles in daily life, but with patience everything is okay.
How has DRBU changed me?
Throughout the semesters, my life has been changing and my views are becoming more open and flexible. I have less self-attachment and fewer struggles with myself. From the wisdom from the texts we have read, I have learned how to nurture and adjust my body and mind.
What surprised me about DRBU?
When I am out of class I hear laughter from the other classes. I feel everybody really enjoys the challenge we are experiencing here.
Title of senior essay/a recent paper:
“Freedom from the five aggregates”
What is it about?
It talks about how to get free from the five aggregates, skandhas, which are form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness. They are fundamentally an untidy pile or mass of things that result from mental processes. Why do we need to learn about them? Because skandhas lead one to misery.
What is it really about?
If we know how to handle these five skandhas, we are on the way to sagehood.
The five aggregates are illusory; however, living beings are attached to the “form” of self or others, and have habitualized “feeling” to be oneself. People want “perception” to be real. If one does not understand the process of “volitional formations” or know the sequence, like how flowers bloom and languish again and again, then what is the meaning of life? “Consciousness” is like a website in our brain, all the time searching for every kind of information.
If the mind seeks or craves, then skandhas become bondage.
How do we get free from the aggregates? Learn the principles of the five basic precepts, the four noble truths, and the eightfold path. With these wholesome Dharmas we can transform the aggregates into wisdom. Or we can empty these false states of self. Practicing with sincerity, we can truly become our own master.
What’s your service scholarship (work study) job?
Usually I work in the bookstore and collect the trash once a week. I feel both jobs have benefited me a lot.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy chatting with close friends; we challenge each other’s shortcomings and encourage each other to improve our cultivation.
How has financial aid played a role in your being here?
I am so grateful for the community to provide this opportunity to the Sangha.
How does what you’re learning here carry out into the world?
I have no plans for my future, but I will accord with conditions; I will try my best to do what I can do.