A Brief History of DDMMBA
What is life? Why are we born here? How to get the vast road of life?
In 1987, a number of Buddhist scholars at home explored each other to search their inner maze, they all felt the Dharma is the light for human beings. But there was not a Chinese Buddhist group in Massachusetts at the time. So they founded Samantabhadra Buddhist Society in Lowell. After some time, in order to develop it further, in 1989, it changed its name to “Buddhist Association of Massachusetts” officially and began to search a Buddhist temple where more people can learn and grow together. In 1990, in order to make it more convenient for people coming from all over the state to learn Buddhism, the site was moved to a Lexington family. It may be because of the Budda’s help, a year later, the present Buddhist temple, “Samantabhadra,” was bought. Which was the first Chinese Buddhist temple in Massachusetts. It had since attracted many people who are interested in exploring the realities of life.
Although most of the members are intellectuals who studied in the United States, but under the equality of the Buddhism, they use the best of their ability to help each other. Because there is no resident Venerable, each month will invite the Venerable or lay teachers to visit the temple. The usual Sanskrit reading, study group and discussion were what we applied to help each other, and in turn laid the Dharma foundation. As a result of the principle of “If there is Dharma, there is grain”, this Buddhist temple has never had a problem of financial shortage. At that time, we do not differentiate people from different origins, Dharma from the North and South are all covered, and widely learned. Dharma teachers came all praised Samantabhadra is a very high quality and positive high level group.
In addition to the introduction of Buddhism, the lecture hall also added six Buddhist nuns to the Buddhist community. Six more Chinese Buddhist monasteries in Massachusetts have been in existence for more than 20 years. Only the organization of Samantabhadra is still the only “family group”. We still invite Venerable or lay teachers to visit the temple to teach; the difference is that most of the sentimental faces are now blurred, several moved to warmer states, and even some have faded. Impermanence has been clearly shows the reality of the world, never relax its enlightenment to human beings. With the pace of impermanence and the needs for future development, we began to consider other feasibility for the “transformation” .
We had a consensus when we first bought the temple, that this will be a ten-party nature’s temple, we only have the right of management, but no right of ownership. And the original intention of “to establish the temple, to provide a learning place for Buddhism,” has been achieved, the intended tree has been planted. Samantabhadra lecture hall should be returned to the teachings of “Buddhist monks to teach, Lay Buddhist to shield and sustain” normal mode of operation, let the more professional Buddhist monks to lead the groups, nurturing Buddhist talent, so that more people can be under the cool comfortable shade of the Dharma tree. After a rigorous procedures of choosing who will take charge Samantabhadra’s future, result came to “Dharma Drum Mountain”. The Lecture Hall hence was renamed to “Dharma Drum Mountain Puxian Lecture Hall”, but the group continued to use the name of the Buddhist Association of Massachusetts.
After a few months of transition after the run-in period, in 2016 the Dharma Drum Mountain officially assumed a large office, by the President Venerable GuoXing, and we finally have our first ever monastic Venerable GuoChi be the residing teacher in MBA’s history. Now all the activities are planned and led by the monastic, Lay Buddhists in the family shield and sustain Monk, in accordance with the planned order of practice, “Spread the teachings of the Buddha to benefit all the livings, to accomplish the Buddha-way” concept. Now the main activities are meditation, Buddha chanting, reading, Buddhist discussion, parent-child Bodhi, body and mind workshops etc. Lecture will follow the time in the season, and strive to follow the Dharma to carry out Bodhi and Buddha to ease everybody. As long as there is someone who wants to eradicate his/her suffering, and get the bliss, there is the need for continued presence of the temple, to provide more destined people to purify their life and mature all the affectionate creatures.