What was I doing before DRBU?
I was volunteering at Avatamsaka Monastery and trying to find a job while attending classes at University of Calgary.
Influential class I’ve taken:
Surangama Sutra, Platform Sutra
Influential book I’ve read:
Empty Cloud: The Autobiography of the Chinese Zen Master Xu Yun translated by Charles Luk was the most touching and influential book I’ve read.
Concept that blew my mind:
Everything is contained within the true mind; how can it be blown? Lol! Just kidding, I think yogacara doctrine was quite difficult to understand but really interesting.
Challenge(s) I faced:
I think living in Sudhana Center with a lot of people was quite challenging. Everyone has their own way of doing things, their own personalities, and views. Living in close quarters, sometimes we rub up against each other, and I think that was one of my challenges.
How has DRBU changed me?
I think it taught me to be tolerant of others and to be “patient” with myself and others. I still don’t really know what patience means… is it to endure? Is it to slow down? Maybe it’s both.
What surprised me about DRBU?
The amount of care, consideration, and kindness from staff and students.
Title of senior essay/a recent paper:
Descartes’ Thinking Substance analyzed through Yogacara.
What language are you taking?
My first year, I took Classical Chinese, and now I’m learning modern Mandarin with two teachers. One is from Taiwan, and the other is from China.
What’s your service scholarship (work study) job?
I work in the Big Kitchen (CTTB Campus) every day, clean DRBU, help with Covid testing and some cleaning at Sudhana Center.
Do you have a daily practice—if so, what is it?
I recite the Great Compassion Mantra 108 times a day and do the Great Compassion Repentance and finish it off with the Universal Door Chapter. I have a good affinity with Guanyin Bodhisattva’s Dharma doors. They really help me ground myself and make me feel happy.
What do you do for fun?
I like to listen to guzheng & guqin. I also like to read. I love going on hikes and being around nature. I also like to help out the monastery as much as I can.
How does what you’re learning here carry out into the world?
I think if we can transform our inner world, we can bring great benefit to the world. If we can lessen our desires, tread lightly on the earth, and reduce our greed, hatred, and stupidity through the texts and practices learned at DRBU, students here can be of great benefit to humanity.
[Seniors] What’s next?
I’m not too sure. I was thinking of going to Taiwan to further my studies in Chinese language and maybe Buddhism, but who knows…