A Letter from a Turkish Volunteer

Hello Dears, I greet everyone with respect and love.

I volunteered in the kitchen of the Dharma Drum Singapore from December 14th to January 7th. I would like to share this valuable experience ...

After I was accepted from the organization which I applied for on their website, Bro CK and Bro Dr. Neoh contacted me and I decided to come to Singapore from Thailand. This was my first time in Singapore. After settling in a hostel in Chinatown, I visited the city on the first day and I liked it very much. The next day I met Dr. Neoh in a cafe and we got acquainted and he gave me information about the city, about Dharma Drum Singapore. 

From the moment I first stepped into Dharma Drum Singapore, I felt that positive energy and instantly I did not feel alienated. First of all, I learned the rules of working in the kitchen and the rules in Singapore. While helping in the kitchen, we had very nice conversations with other volunteers.  During my time in the centre, I tried many delicious local and new dishes, I liked them very much. Especially the various vegetarian dishes were very delicious and I felt the positive effects on my physical and spiritual development day by day.

I also joined their group meditations on Wednesdays and Sundays. Although I had practiced Chan meditation as an amateur before, I had many shortcomings and mistakes. To correct them, the other volunteers took care of me one-on-one and taught me the right things. They showed me the correct Eight-Form Moving Meditation and prostration movements, shared links to these practices with me on the Dharma Drum Mountain website, Facebook group and YouTube. They translated Master Sheng Yen's Chinese teachings into English and took care of me during and after the meditation. I started practicing these teachings myself in my free time. As time went on, I progressed much better within my own “boundaries"...  I improved both physically and spiritually in Chan meditation. In my free time at the Dharma Drum Singapore and outside, I was reading and learning more and more about meditation and Buddhism in English books that were given to me as gifts. During my volunteering at Dharma Drum Singapore, I received many gifts from many brothers and sisters (meditation pants, bracelets, many books...)

3 weeks of volunteering and learning at Dharma Drum Singapore was an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life. I made many warm, friendly friends who took care of me from the first day to the last. On the last day I said goodbye and left Dharma Drum Singapore for Johor Bahru, Malaysia, with a heavy heart. I would like to thank Master Sheng Yen, Dharma Drum Singapore, Fashi and everyone for giving me this invaluable opportunity to learn. See you again... I am grateful for everything.


Written and Photo by Nadir Sever
Date: 14 Dec 2023 - 7 Jan 2024