Dharma Drum Mountain

Dharma Drum Mountain's logo: Three mountain peaks and a meditating monk. Combined, the logo forms a hand.
Dharma Drum Mountain

Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM; Chinese: 法鼓山; pinyin: Fǎgǔ Shān; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hoat-kó͘-soaⁿ) is an international Buddhist spiritual, cultural, and educational foundation founded by late Chan Master Sheng-yen. The international headquarters of this organization is located at Jinshan District, New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Dharma Drum Mountain is one of the most influential Buddhist organizations in Chinese Buddhism.[1] In Taiwan, it is considered one of the "Four Heavenly Kings" or four major Buddhist temples of Taiwanese Buddhism, along with Tzu Chi, Fo Guang Shan, and Chung Tai Shan.[2] Its impact on Buddhist circles and both Eastern and Western societies stems from the vision, charisma, and life experience of Sheng-yen.[3]


Long before the establishment of the Jinshan headquarters, the development of Dharma Drum originated in the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Culture (CHIBC) and Nung Chan. Both were founded by Dongchu, a prominent Chan monk back in Mainland China and later in Taiwan, who was also disciple of renowned modernist monk, Grand Master Taixu.[4]

CHIBC was founded in 1956 and primarily active in promoting Buddhist culture mainly through publishing journals, such as the periodical Humanity Magazine. Nung Chan ('Farming Chan') was established in 1975. Dongchu died two years later, and at 1978, his principal disciple and Dharma heir, Sheng-yen became the new abbot of both Nung Chan and CHIBC. Under Sheng-yen's leadership, both institutions grew rapidly, the number of devotees in Nung Chan and students in CHIBC overwhelmed the building capacity.[5] Therefore, in 1989, the institutions bought a plot of hilly land in Jinshan, New Taipei City in order to build a new monastery that would accommodate the increasing devotees and students. Sheng-yen named the new monastery Dharma Drum Mountain – also in the same time Dharma Drum Mountain as an organization was formally created.[6]

The architectural design of the monastery took seven years; the construction process took further time. Sheng-yen, in the framework of his environmentalism campaign, insisted the monastery buildings to follow and adjust to the natural contour of the hills – therefore it didn't change much of its natural geomorphologic features. He personally oversaw the whole process and carefully looked after the details.[7] The first phase of DDM broke ground in 1993. The first phase of the project, which consists most of the complex of DDM we see today, was completed and inaugurated at 2001.

At Jinshan, New Taipei City

Dharma Drum Mountain at Jinshan is a complex of monasteries and education centers. Aside from being the international headquarters of Dharma Drum Mountain, it also serves as the campus of Dharma Drum Sangha University (DDSU),[8] Dharma Drum Buddhist College (DDBC)[9] and Dharma Drum University (DDU).[10]

DDSU is specified for monastic training for monks both from Taiwan and various other countries. It had three fields of study: Basic Training, Buddhist Study, and Chan Study. DDBC is for both monastic and lay men. It opens graduate and post-graduate program for Buddhist Study and Buddhist informatics. DDU is currently under development. DDU, however, had opened registration for its first students with its preliminary office located at Beitou, Taipei City, just 15 minutes drive from Nung Chan.

The complex of Dharma Drum Mountain at Jinshan consists of several buildings (DDM Map Guide) (from the entrance):

DDM Complex also has several distinguished features, such as:

Vision, spirit, and ideas

Vision and spirit

Dharma Drum's vision is to "uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth." Its spirit is to "give of ourselves for the benefit of all.[11]

Three types of education

Dharma Drum's educational approach is summarized in three types of education:[12]

in the fields of research, teaching, Dharma propagation, or service through formal academic training.

Four kinds of environmentalism

Dharma Drum also had promoted the four kinds of environmentalism - these are manifestation of ideas and concepts in Buddhism to the frame of modern environmentalism. Hence, it is an offer of guidance for living in the 21st century .

Fivefold spiritual renaissance campaign

Six ethics of mind

Global affiliates

Dharma Drum Mountain has affiliated centers and temples in fourteen countries spread across North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.[15]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dharma Drum Mountain.


  1. "Chinese Buddhism engages the world". china.org.cn. 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
  2. "Come to Taiwan,Return with good memories". Info.taiwan.net.tw. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20080514160638/http://www.dharmadrum.org/master/master.aspx. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. "Dharma Drum Retreat Center: About Us: Meditation Classes, Meditation Retreat, Chan Meditation, Zen Retreat". Dharmadrumretreat.org. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
  5. Sheng Yen, Footprints in the Snow: The Autobiography of a Chinese Buddhist Monk. Doubleday Religion, 2008. ISBN 978-0-385-51330-2
  6. Drum of Life(documentary film). Dharma Drum Mountain Cultural Center
  7. http://sanghau.ddm.org.tw
  8. http://www.ddbc.edu.tw/en
  9. http://www.ddc.edu.tw/index_en.php
  10. https://web.archive.org/web/20080509085556/http://www.dharmadrum.org/about/about.aspx. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. Huimin in How Great is the Dharma Drum film. Dharma Drum Culture Center
  12. Dharma Drum Mountain: Global Affiliates

Coordinates: 25°14′25″N 121°36′54″E / 25.2403°N 121.6151°E / 25.2403; 121.6151

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