The months of November and December, 2013 took H.E.Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche to Taiwan to conduct annual dharma activities. While there, he gave empowerments, led meditation courses and visited two major Buddhist centers: Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) and Fo Guang Shan.
His first visit was to Dharma Drum Mountain, where Rinpoche returned on November 27 after an absence of nearly two years. Accompanied by a dozen disciples, he first met with Abbot Master Guo Dong. After casual conversation and an exchange of gifts, the abbot gave Rinpoche a tour of the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education, followed by lunch with Deputy-Abbot Master Gui Hui and Principal Master Hui Min.
In the afternoon, Rinpoche gave a lecture to both the college students and laypeople on “Dharma Practice in Modern Academia.” In it, he emphasized the importance of mindfulness training for dharma practice. Referencing both Tibetan Buddhism and his own academic backgrounds—traditional and western—he described how he has grown in his personal beliefs. Each school he attended presented a different interpretation of doctrine and a different method of exploration and understanding. Through these, Rinpoche has become more accepting of different views and more open-minded in his practice. Throughout the two-hour speech, the mutual warm and enthusiastic interaction between Rinpoche and the audiences impressed many.
One week later, on the morning of December 4th, again accompanied by disciples, Rinpoche traveled from Taipei to the southern part of Taiwan. Arriving at the headquarters of Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Kaohsiung, Rinpoche and his disciples were received by Vice-abbot Master Hui Luan. After a casual conversation, Master Hui Luan showed the group around the compound of Buddhism Memorial Center. Rinpoche discussed the importance of imbuing architecture with spirit. When a building has no spirit, it is just a building; what makes the Buddhism Memorial Center architecture special is the way the spirits of dharma and the philosophy of Master Hsing Yun have been integrated.
At both DDM and Fo Guang Shan, to express gratitude for their support of the World Center for Peace and Unity in Lumbini, Rinpoche presented the newly-printed photo book of WCPU. It was a gesture of friendship, and also a way to emphasize WCPU’s spirit as a place for everyone, regardless of nationality or sect.