Saturday, January 19, 2019

Ven. Dhammadipa in Los Angeles (Jan. 19-23)

Ven. Dhammadipa ( at; Jessie, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
  • 日期 Date: January 19-20, 2019, 9:00 am-4:30 pm
  • (備有午餐。 lunch served)
  • Jan. 21-23, 2019, 7:30 pm-9:30 pm
  • 主辦 Sponsor: 妙林蘭若 UBEF
  • 地點 Location: 14614 Palm Ave., Hacienda Heights
  • 請看詳細內容
What's so special about this enlightened meditation master?
Now 70 years old, Ven. Dhammadipa (Thomas Peter Gutman) was born in Czechoslovakia in 1949.

He studied Chinese literature and philosophy at Prague University, graduating in 1969, then studied Russian literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he received a degree in 1973.

In the late 1970s Ven. Dhammadipa began his Buddhist studies in Berlin, Germany, where he had immigrated as a refugee after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

In 1977, he received a Master's degree in Chinese literature and philosophy at the University of Paris. In 1979, he enrolled at Nalanda University in India (where he also taught French and German) to study Sanskrit and Buddhist philosophy. After receiving a degree at Nalanda in 1984, he returned to serve as the associate librarian at Berlin University.

Three ordinations
In 1986, he went to Japan [took Bodhisattva vows, which is tantamount to ordination there] and studied under Zen Master Harada Serrei Roshi of the Soto school (Chinese Caodong). He was given the Dharma-name Xing-Kong ("Nature of Emptiness").

In 1987, with the encouragement of Ven. Athurugiriye Nyanavimala Mahathera, Ven. Wijayasoma Mahathera, and Ven. Dikwelle Mahinda he ordained as a Theravada Buddhist novice in Meetirigala, Sri Lanka, and was given the Dharma-name Dhammadipa ("Island or Light of Dharma"). He then received full Theravada ordination in Sri Lanka, where he practiced forest meditation under the guidance of his preceptor, Ven. Nanarama Mahathera.

In 1989, he received also received ordination as a Mahayana Buddhist monk [while keeping his Zen and Theravada ordinations] at Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles, California, and began teaching Dharma in the USA, Germany, and Taiwan.

In 1996, he went to Burma (now Myanmar) to practice meditation with the enlightened contemporary Buddhist master Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw. He was recognized as the first of Pa Auk Sayadaw's Western disciples qualified to teach meditation. [This is a humble way of saying that he attained enlightenment and was therefore able to teach others the path to awakening.]

He has since been teaching serenity (samatha) and insight (vipassana) meditation -- tranquility as preparatory for direct seeing of the Dharma -- at monasteries and universities worldwide.

Ven. Dhammadipa speaks English, Czech, Pali, Sanskrit, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and fluent Chinese. He also translates ancient Buddhist texts from Pali and Sanskrit.

His translated works in French and Czech include the Treatise on the Awakening of Faith in Mahayana (Mahayana-sraddhotpada-sastra), Entry into the Bodhisattva Path (Bodhicaryavatara), and a Collection of Han-San's Poems. His teachings in Taiwan have been compiled and printed in Chinese.

Over the years he has presented Dharma teachings and led meditation retreats around North America (, Europe, Taiwan, mainland China, India, and Southeast Asia. Personally he has a larger than life personality conjoined with a gentle and easygoing manner.

His teaching follows the framework of the classic Theravada Buddhist commentarial work, The Path of Purification or Visuddhimagga: One starts with training in virtue (the precepts), which lays the foundation for training in serenity/concentration, and then one systematically develops insight/wisdom through establishing oneself in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.

He teaches that knowledge of the Buddha's Middle Way should be applied, practiced, and verified through direct (firsthand) experience. One ought to make a great vow to tread the Way and realize the Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings. Ven. Dhammadipa is indeed a rare gem in contemporary Buddhism.
  • Text originally published courtesy of Lansing Buddhist Association, Michigan, USA; originally written by Hanlin Wang, translated by George Yeh, edited by Bill Rittenberg and edited by Dhr. Seven (2019) for Wisdom Quarterly: American Buddhist Journal.

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