Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life

DRBU Spiritual Life strives to support students' spiritual aspirations in a holistic manner that integrates their studies, spiritual practices, and daily life on campus into one whole.  The hope is to provide the inspiration for students to take every opportunity of their lives to develop self-knowledge, wisdom, and virtue.  To this end, DRBU provides services and facilities to engage in spiritual practice throughout the day.  At the same time, we do our best to nurture a harmonious community that is based on personal integrity, mutual respect, and spiritual friendship. 

The Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas

At the center of the DRBU Campus is the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas which grounds the spiritual life of the university.  The Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, (Chinese: Guan Yin, Sanskrit: Avalokitesvara) stands at the front of the hall with a thousand hands representing her vow to help all living beings awaken.  Her name literally translated means “Contemplating the World’s Sounds” and points to the importance of careful listening in the process of compassion.  Her practice began with her listening inward to her own sounds, which then connected her to all living beings.  She is very much the spirit of the Buddha Hall as well as the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

Lining the walls of the hall are ten thousand Buddha images that were all hand-made by the Founder of the University, Master Hua.  This was a teaching in hard work, patience, and dedication that forms the foundation of a spiritual life.

Daily schedule of the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas

4:00-5:00 amMorning Ceremony 
5:00-6:00 amUniversal Bowing
7:00-8:00 amSutra Recitation
10:30-11:00 amMeal Offering
12:30-2:00 pmGreat Compassion Repentance
6:30-7:30 pmEvening Ceremony
7:30-9:40 pmSutra Lecture
9:00-9:30 pmMantra Recitation

Spiritual Friendship and Community

Being able to draw near to good teachers and friends is an essential part of the spiritual life.  In this spirit, DRBU does its best to nurture a community that is mutually supportive that bases itself on shared commitments and values such as: careful listening, thoughtful feedback, flexibility of mind, honesty in speech, and sincerity of heart.

Given the diversity of ages, backgrounds, and experiences within the community, students have the opportunity to form many different type of relationships such as: friend-friend, elder-young adult, student-student, student-teacher, and teacher-student.  In DRBU, the spirit is that everyone is a teacher at times and other times, they are a student.  Roles are not fixed; we all learn from one another.

Presence of Monastic Community

Another unique quality of the campus is the presence of Buddhist monks and nuns on campus who are engaged in a life devoted to spiritual practice based on the monastic discipline, the Vinaya, established by the Buddha.  Students are able to see first-hand the living tradition of the Buddhist monastic Sangha that are often referenced in the Buddhist texts and how it works in developing a life of mindfulness and simplicity that leads to wisdom and inner freedom. 

The monastics lead the daily ceremonies and spiritual practices in the Buddha Hall and the monastic Chaplains in DRBU are also available to answer questions or simply have a talk about life.

If you would like to learn more about the monastery, please refer to a small booklet, “Welcome to the Monastery.”

Spiritual Practices

There are a number of spiritual practices available on a daily basis.  Throughout the school week, Monday-Thursday, a regular meditation occurs from 7:00-8:00am in the morning.  This is an opportunity to focus and ground the mind before the school day starts.  In addition, regular spiritual practices occur in the Buddha Hall everyday such as the Evening Ceremony from 6:30-7:30pm.  This ceremony includes recitation of scripture, mantras, and sacred names.  For many spiritual traditions, recitation and chanting forms an important component in immersing oneself in spiritual texts and developing mindfulness and focus.  Students also get together on their own to engage in spiritual exercises that they find inspiring and meaningful.  There is also encouragement for students to develop an individual practice.  DRBU tries its best to provide the space and support for each student develop their spiritual aspirations.

Throughout the entire year, regular meditation and recitation retreats are held by the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.  People come from all around the world to participate in these retreats to focus their minds and deeply enter one spiritual practice.  Students can sign up for these retreats here.

The combination of regular daily practice, immersive retreats, and the DRBU classes allow students to take what they read in the primary texts and apply and investigate them in their everyday lives.  The regular practice provides a foundation for constant mindfulness, while the retreats provide a depth of inquiry into the mind without distraction.  The DRBU classes give constant opportunities to be engaged with the profound wisdom of great spiritual practitioners and philosophers from the East and West.

As a Buddhist institution, DRBU is committed to supporting the spiritual pursuits of students from all religious and spiritual traditions. To this end, DRBU provides services and facilities to promote holistic development among students and to nurture their spiritual pursuits. At the same time, we actively cultivate the values of respect and responsibility regarding religious practices among the entire the DRBU community.