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When East Meets West

At Dharma Drum Retreat Center, Chef Dwayne and the kitchen crew, James & Ephrium, designed a number of new dishes called “When East Meets West” over several weeks.

The three chefs, proficient in pan frying, cooking, and baking, showcased their skills with French dishes like ratatouille, crème brûlée, and Vietnamese sandwiches. However, using a wok was a new experience for them, let alone stir-frying rice noodles or cooking tasty vegetables.

After two weeks of dedicated effort and exploration, they became skillful in stir-frying Taiwanese rice noodles, Chinese toon with tofu, braised cabbage, Taiwanese braised snacks, black beans stir-fry with green and red peppers, and authentic Jiangnan side dish of mashed lima beans with mustard green.

Since starting this “When East Meets West” project, they have collectively decided to use 100% natural ingredients to create dishes that promote the health of all beings. Keep it up!

Cooking Meditation Retreat

Vegetarian Cooking Class: Health for the Body and Mind

Throughout this vegetarian cooking workshop, participants learned the basic principles of maintaining a healthy mind and body. They learned techniques for creating delicious dishes utilizing simple vegetables and seasonings available at local grocery stores.

Our resident chefs and monastics shared their knowledge for cooking healthy East-West fusion vegetarian cuisine.  Retreatants had the opportunity to participate in creating various dishes over the weekend to fuel body and mind with the energy to walk the Buddha path.

Over the 2-day workshop attendees also practiced periods of sitting and walking meditation to enhance the weekend dedicated to lifting quality of life.


Stillness in Motion 2024

After three years of being held online, Abbot Guo Yuan, Venerable Chang Ji, and David Listen led a beautiful edition of Stillness in Motion this February.

Stillness in Motion was originally designed during the COVID-19 pandemic as an online retreat for participants to bring Chan practice into daily life at home. This year, Stillness in Motion 2024 was offered as an in-person 3 day event. Through daily Dharma talks, meditation, Arts in Chan sessions, and group discussions, participants discovered the benefits of Chan practice and learned how to incorporate it into their lives.

This year’s program included sessions on meditating on sound taught by Abbot Guo Yuan and meditative drawing taught by Dr. Rikki Asher. The snow provided a lovely backdrop to give body and mind a break from hectic lives. We hope to see you next year at Stillness in Motion 2025!

Celebrating Community and Togetherness: Highlights from DDRC’s Family Fun Day

DDRC recently hosted its Family Fun Day on May 6, 2023, as a special event dedicated to serving the local community. Invitations were sent to the neighbors, and the event was designed to cater to families with kids as well as senior couples.

The festivities began at 10 am, with volunteers setting up booths along the path from the parking lot to the dining hall. The registration booth, located closest to the parking lot, warmly welcomed families with kids and provided them with colorful gift bags filled with candies and cookies. One of the highlights of the event was the face painting booth, where professional artists skillfully transformed children’s faces with various designs. Additionally, kids had the delightful opportunity to take home artistically arranged balloons. Adjacent to the face painting booth, the handicraft booth offered materials and provided step-by-step demonstrations on making Chinese knots and necklaces. Participants interested in Chinese calligraphy were able to select their preferred Chinese words, which were beautifully written on traditional rice paper.

On that sunny summer day, the bubble tea station emerged as a crowd favorite, offering a refreshing treat to attendees. The veggie barbecue service began at 11 am, allowing everyone to savor grilled vegetables while enjoying the delightful flavors of bubble tea. As people indulged in their delicious meals, they found a comfortable spot in the seating area facing the ceremony platform at the back of the dining hall. The abbot of DDRC, Guo Yuan Fashi, led a donation ceremony where DDRC generously contributed $6,000 to the Town of Shawangunk.

Following the donation ceremony, Guo Yuan Fashi guided participants through a captivating sound meditation session. With closed eyes, attendees immersed themselves in the resonating sound waves produced by the Gong and Drum. At the center of the ceremony platform, a standing Buddha statue and a water basin were placed, offering individuals the opportunity to engage in their own personal ritual of bathing the Buddha. Guo Yuan Fashi demonstrated the proper steps for this sacred ritual. Nearby, the tea meditation booth, inviting attendees to mindfully savor a cup of tea and immerse themselves in the present moment.

In addition to the veggie barbecue, the kitchen prepared a delectable selection of vegetarian dishes and fruits for the participants. After lunch, attendees had the option to remain on the main campus, engaging in various activities such as horseshoe games and making wishes at the wish-granting fountain. As the event came to a close at 3 pm, people lingered around the tea booth, unwilling to depart from the joyful atmosphere and treasured moments shared throughout the day.

Family Fun Day – Saturday May 6

Celebrating the Beginning of Summer

10:00am – 3:00pm, Saturday May 6

Family Fun Activities:
Bubble Tea, Wish-granting Fountain, Face-painting, Chinese Knots and Necklaces, Balloon Art, Horseshoe Game, Bathing the Baby Buddha Event

Free Vegetarian Lunch

There will be a donation ceremony to Pine Bush township as part of DDRC’s long-term commitment to give back to our community.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by

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