“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”
~William Butler Yeats
Please give me a few minutes to share with you my life as a student in Dharma Drum Buddhist College (DDBC). I am Malaysian, so it took about 5 hours of flight to reach Taiwan from Malaysia. So you may wonder, why did I come to study here？ Why do not apply for a Buddhist College in my own country？ The reason is very simple, because of the great facilities here, the wonderful environment, the highly qualified and knowledgeable teachers, a prefect course plan, etc. Those things all convinced me of choosing this college to study Buddhist Studies. Moreover, DDBC is unlike colleges you may find elsewhere. It combines Buddhist Studies and the practice of Dharma in daily life, such as meditation, chanting, humanitarian activities, etc. All these activities give us an opportunity to apply what we learn in the classroom. In this way, education in DDBC is not just about filling us with theoretical knowledge but also emphasizes the learning progress and provides us with a space to develop wisdom and a deeper understanding of what we have learned. Thus, I believe that after going through the program at DDBC, we will acquire the ability to face and overcome any problems and sufferings in our lives. In contrast, other colleges may only focus on the academic aspect and ignore inner cultivation. Indeed the burden of classes and homework may generate stress for many students, and might influence their physical and mental health. As a result, many of them won’t be able to complete their studies in good conditions. So I believe that coming here was a very wise decision.
Furthermore, you will learn several other languages which are rarely found in other colleges. Those languages are Sanskrit, Pali, Japanese and Tibetan. Learning these languages helps us understand the old Buddhist scriptures, which is essential if we wish to get a clear picture of the Buddha’s teaching, as well as guide our Buddhist practice. Besides that, DDBC also provides several courses for us to learn how to write a proper thesis. Those techniques will be useful in our future studies and can help us learn how to deliver speeches in public. Other than that, DDBC also has a Buddhist Informatics group, which had become more and more important in recent years. In short, DDBC gives us a great environment for us to learn many skills which will benefit us personally as well as help people around us.
As a conclusion, I would like to share with everyone Master Sheng Yen’s conception of education. Here I will quote one of Master’s adages: “Education is an undertaking that will have an impact for a thousand years; morality is a star that will shine for a hundred generations”. So I hope you won’t miss the chances to study in DDBC.