As part of the Institute’s goal to foster teamwork, altruism, respect and tolerance, students are encouraged to get involved in the various extracurricular activities offered by the Institute’s 6 student-run clubs. For more pictures of club activities, please head to the gallery section.
行願社 (community service & outreach)
One of the Institute’s oldest clubs, the 行願社 aims at bringing to life the ideals of compassion and service set my the school’s founder, Master Sheng Yen. Members of this club try their best to embody such ideals by participating on a regular basis to activities that bring joy, relief or assistance to other communities. Such activities include organizing events for the elderly in retirement houses or youth with behavioral difficulties or holding day-long cleanings for the nearby detritus ridden beaches.
書畫社 (calligraphy & painting)
Led by two outstanding teachers, the 書畫社 offers two weekly classes that will introduce beginners to the basics of Chinese calligraphy and/or painting and help intermediate students hone their skills through a series of guided exercices. In China, calligraphy (書法) and painting (國畫) cannot be easily separated from their spiritual dimension, and these arts are often considered as a form of mental cultivation in their own right (練字即練心). Masters are said to be capable of gauging their disciple’s spiritual progress by the quality of their caligraphy (筆正則心正).
The 桌聯社 is the Institute’s only club that focuses exclusively on sports; primarily table tennis and badminton. Students and faculty meet on a weekly basis to relax and get a bit of exercise after days of study and practice. The club is also in charge of organizing the school’s yearly table tennis competition.
澄心禪學社 (meditation & outings)
The 澄心禪學社 offers a wide range of widely popular activities ranging on one hand from day-long excursions to prominent Buddhist sites and places of practice (道場), various kinds of outings aimed at exploring the beautiful natural habitat of Taiwan’s North coast (forest trails, bicycle trips, etc.) to meditation instruction courses and dicussion sessions on the other. Such courses will typically feature a presentation of one of Buddhism’s meditative traditions by a teacher as well as a practice session. Excursions are also led in the spirit of Chan, cultivating mindfulness and appreciation for the present moment.
Led by a trained drummer, the 魄鼓社 members get together weekly to practice their musical skills and get a non-negligible amount of exercise at the same time. The members of this clubs will usually give a number of performances at the school throughout the year on various occasions. Perhaps inspired by the name of the mountain founded by the master (Dharma Drum, 法鼓), this club aims to bring the spirit of practice to their musical training, attuning their minds to group and blending motion and stillness (動靜調和) into a meditative dance (動中禪).
This club caters to those who have an interest in medicinal herbs and their innumerable uses in Chinese medicine. The 藥王社 puts to good use the Jinshan valley’s remarkable floral diversity, allowing students to learn more about the natural environment that surrounds them. You will find some of the most beautiful specimens on display throughout this blog or in the gallery section.