Our Philosophy

DDM promotes the protection of the social, living, and natural environments based on Protecting the Spiritual Environment. The concept of protecting the spiritual environment stresses on purifying the mind through transforming thinking, resulting in uplifting the character of humanity and eventually achieving genuine peace and harmony.

The late Chan Master Sheng Yen had been promoting this value since 1992, in the hope to guide people’s way of thinking, enabling them to face and handle problems with a healthy mind set. And stay calm in any situation, be concerned with people and the world around them, and remain hopeful for the future.

Protecting the Four Environments are not mere slogans, but a concrete plan for implementation. Protecting the Four Environments with the protection of Spiritual Environment at its core begins with the purification of the mind, and then extends the peace and harmony within one’s mind to people in the family, society, humanity, and the natural environment including the ecosystem.

  1. Protecting the Spiritual Environment
    • Chan Meditation
  1. Protecting the Natural Environment
    • Recognizing blessings
    • Cherishing blessings
    • Nurturing blessings
    • Sowing the seeds of blessings
  1. Protecting the Living Environment
    • Our wants are many
    • Our needs are few
    • Pursue only what you can and should acquire
    • Never pursue what you can’t and shouldn’t acquire
  1. Protecting the Social Environment

Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance Campaign is a project to develop the human spirit and consists of concepts and methods for initiating the Protecting the Four Environments. The goal of the campaign is to bring about the purification of one’s body and mind, which can be gradually realized in every aspect of life. It allows modern people to engage the world, transform the quality of their lives, and relieve the spiritual poverty that afflicts most people today.

  1. Four Fields for Cultivating Peace:  A Proposition for Uplifting the Character of Humanity
    • Cultivating a peaceful mind lies in reducing desires
    • Cultivating a peaceful body lies in hard work and thrift
    • Cultivating a peaceful family lies in love and respect
    • Cultivating peaceful activity lies in being honest and upright
  1. Four Guidelines for Dealing with Desires:  A Proposition for Living a Carefree Life
    • Our needs are few
    • Our wants are many
    • Pursue only what you can and should acquire
    • Never pursue what you can’t and shouldn’t acquire
  1. Four Steps for Handling a Problem:  A Proposition for Resolving the Difficulties of Life
    • Face it: face the difficulty squarely
    • Accept it: accept the reality of the difficulty
    • Deal with it: deal with the difficulty with wisdom and compassion
    • Let it go: afterwards, let go of it
  1. Four Practices for Helping Oneself and Others:  A Proposition for Getting Along with Others
    • Feeling grateful for the chance to develop
    • Feeling thankful for the opportunity to hone your practice
    • Reforming yourself through the Dharma
    • Influencing others through virtuous action
  1. Four Ways to Cultivate Blessings:  A Proposition for Increasing Blessings
    • Recognizing blessings is the greatest happiness
    • Cherishing blessings is the best way of saving
    • Nurture blessings, and you’ll always be blessed
    • Sow the seeds of blessings that blessings may be shared by all

Click here for more details on Living in the Twenty-first Century: A Buddhist View

The Six Ethics of the Mind Campaign initiated by Venerable Master Sheng Yen in 2007 falls under our vision of Protecting the Spiritual Environment.  Ethics represent a form of loving-kindness and the compassion of the bodhisattvas. We must benefit others while seeking our own; only by benefiting others will our own benefit be safeguarded.

Family Ethics

The family forms the most basic constituent of any society. A healthy and happy family forms the cornerstone of a happy and harmonious society. Each family member, regardless of position in the family, should think how to give to the family and fulfill our duties and responsibilities.  Be grateful and respectful towards our elders and show concern and care towards our own and the younger generation.

Living Ethics

Realization of the living ethics starts from each one of us. We should not only cherish and make good use of all the resources in our life, but also take care of and respect our natural environment. While seeking our own convenience, we should also respect the rights of others.

School Ethics 

Healthy and heart-warming school ethics lies in how to enable mutual respect and support and harmonious interactions among students, teachers and parents, making up the main body of school ethics. Parents and students should respect and show gratitude towards teachers, while teachers should treat parents and students with respect, talk with parents, show care and understanding towards their students, teaching in accordance with each student’s ability, to develop their potential.

Environmental Ethics

The main concern of environmental ethics is the natural ecology, including living creatures and non-biological resources and environments. Non-biological resources, such as minerals, petroleum and coal, are not living beings, but are connected to the ecology. Therefore the concern for environmental ethics discussed here involves the direct protection of the organic ecology and indirect protection of various resources by maintaining sustainable balances among them.

Workplace Ethics

Any workplace involves interpersonal interactions, whereby each individual should fulfill their responsibilities and duties, work with enthusiasm, give of themselves to their colleagues, superiors, subordinates and society, helping others to achieve their goals.

Ethics between Ethnic Groups 

Faced with the current multi-ethical situation, it is best to open our heart and minds to make contact and establish friendships with each other, treat each other with mutual respect and tolerance, learn from and contribute to each other. That way, we can truly demonstrate the richness and noble value of a pluralistic society.

Click here for more details on Six Ethics of the Mind

DDM is an institution dedicated to education, promoting a comprehensive education, entitled the Threefold Education. Apart from cultivating talent through Extensive Academic Education, DDM hopes to share the concept “Protecting the Spiritual Environment” and its approaches far and wide. Therefore our activities also include Extensive Public Buddhist Education and Extensive Social Care Education. In fact, the purpose of Extensive Academic Education is to train talented people to take on both Extensive Public Buddhist Education and Extensive Social Care Education. The three types of education are connected and interrelated like the links in a chain.

1. Extensive Academic Education

We promote Extensive Academic Education to foster leaders in various fields who will work to uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth, based on the spirit of purifying people’s minds and society. It also educates and prepares highly-qualified researchers of Buddhism, inspiring academic circles and intellectuals at home and abroad to value Buddhist teachings and respect Buddhism. At another level, it fosters highly specialized monastics in the spirit of the religious masters, who are to take on the work of religious education, religious culture, guiding spiritual practice, and the management and promotion of religious affairs.

2. Extensive Public Buddhist Education

We promote Extensive Public Buddhist Education in the hope that in the process of contributing and taking part in our activities, participants may embrace the wisdom of Buddhism, develop a taste for life, and cultivate a sociable, pleasant and positive character, as well as develop a humble spirit eager to respect, forgive, help, and learn from others. This will serve to uplift their own character and will influence the people and environment around them.

3. Extensive Social Care Education

Every phase and every aspect of a person’s entire lifetime deserves our care and concern. This extends from prenatal education beginning from the moment of conception, to the care for terminal ill and the newly deceased. Through Extensive Social Care Education, we promote a compassionate and humanistic society.

  1. Have faith in the Buddha, follow the Dharma, respect the Sangha; The Three Jewels are a bright lamp shining throughout eternity.
  2. Uplift the character of humanity; And build a pure land on earth
  3. Being grateful, repaying kindness: this is first; Benefit others and you benefit yourself.
  4. Foremost is to exert your wholehearted effort; Without measuring more or less.
  5. Kindness and compassion have no enemies; And wisdom engenders no vexations.
  6. The busy make the most of time; The diligent enjoy the best of health.
  7. In broadly sowing the fields of merit; Why fear any hardship or rebuke?
  8. Those who give selflessly are blessed; Those who do good deeds are happy.
  9. In every moment feel the joy of the Dharma; And abide in the bliss of meditation.
  10. Recite “Guanyin Bodhisattva” everywhere; And chant “Amitabha Buddha” without end.