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Course: The ‘Magic’ Of Zen: Origins, Legends & Essence (2nd Run)


Feedback from 1st Run’s Participants:

‘I enjoyed this evening’s first lesson of The “Magic” of Zen very much. Thank you for painstakingly preparing and presenting such a promising course that I’ll look forward to attending during the next weeks!’ – Jacqueline

‘I am very glad I attended the Zen class, and learnt a lot. If there is module 2, I would like to sign up. I always enjoy your classes very much. Jiayou! I hope have chance to join your Pure Land class soon.’ – Amituofo, Miaoyun

‘The “Raisin Experience” was wonderful! I really enjoyed the class. You have made it very interesting with stories and illustrations… Thank you for the effort. I have learnt more about Zen, and the harmony between Zen and Pure Land in this class. If there is a Part 2 to this course, I will be happy to enrol. 😉 Have a Zen day!’ – With metta, Val

‘I really enjoyed the course with the numerous stories =) Wish I could have attended more but I had to miss some lessons when I went overseas. I thought the Zen videos and music were cool examples of how we can find Zen and be Zen in our everyday lives… Thanks for the course!’ – Amituofo, Xinyi

‘The example of the Apple computer designs and how they used Zen impressed me. Thank you very much for your teaching. See you.’ – Very best regards, Lay Har

‘Thanks for coming up with the course on Zen. Before the course, I could not put a definition to it (Zen). Was it an art form? A way of life? I thoroughly enjoyed the easy pace and stories that embody Zen teachings, photography, music, art, diet etc. So Zen is about simplicity in life, things around us, about us, within us, things taken for granted and Pure Land teachings included! Why do we make life so complicated and complex? Live and enjoy the moment as and when it should be! Yes, life should be lived as such (even more so before retirement)!’ – Choi Pheng

‘This was certainly a delightful course which covered myriad interpretations of Zen. The koans are at times, elusive, most times, enlightening, prompting a lot more mental adjustment on everyday life, a refreshing alternative to structured sutra learning. For such a popular word (Zen), I guess not many know its deeper meanings. This course has been well laid-out to explore that. Thank you for holding this course, I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. Looking forward to follow-up courses, if any.’ – Amituofo, Shannon

‘Thank you, Teacher Shi’an, I enjoyed the “Magic of Zen ” very much, especially the humourous parts.’ – Amituofo, Brother Waichong

‘The course is filled with interesting and fun information about Zen Buddhism. You incorporated the essence of Zen into different aspects of our lives, which makes Zen a valuable tool to use in our daily lives, if only we have enough wisdom. This is what I find so touching and encouraging about your course… Thank you so much! 您用心良苦!’ – Warm regards, Jo-Anne

‘I have enjoyed the ‘Magic’ of Zen course very much. A big thank you to you. I appreciate very much your great effort to provide us with all the interesting, touching and enlightening Zen stories; pictures of conventional Zen-like furniture, decorations etc, and the practice of Zen awareness in our daily living. Hope you will conduct more courses on Zen in the near future.’ Amituofo, Yuen Leng

‘Thanks for making such a tremendous effort to share your knowledge on Zen. I have understood Zen better and it shows that Zen can be practised at every moment… Thanks again.’ – Amituofo, Brother Kee

‘I find this course pretty interesting, with various suitable stories to illustrate your points. I particularly like the raisin lesson and your sharing on the Apple and Muji brands as I was totally unaware of their origins… From now onwards, I will particularly pay more attention to the design of these products when I step inside these stores… Thanks for the much information which you painstakingly sourced for teaching us.’ – Amituofo, Janice

About Shen Shi’an 沈时安: An independent Buddhist teacher and writer, he was one of the founding members of the Dharma Propagation Division of Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (Bright Hill Temple in Singapore) in 1997. Holding an MA in Buddhist Studies, which covered the major Buddhist traditions, he recently served as a Dharma Trainer and Project Coordinator in its Community Development & Training Department till 2011, focusing on Buddhist research, writing, teaching and answering of media queries. He was the founder of the temple’s Youth Mission (now ‘KMS Youth’), a book purchaser for its Awareness Place project, and the Chief Editor of the Web (and Library) Department, which co-supported, one of the world’s most popular Buddhist websites.

He is the founder and editor of since 1997, one of the world’s largest independent Buddhist inspirational e-newsletter with over 29,000 members, the editor of ‘Be a Lamp Upon Yourself’, ‘Awaken: Gateway to Buddhism’ and the writer of ‘The Daily Enlightenment (Book 1,2,3,4)’. He also contributes occasionally to magazines such as ‘Nanyang Buddhist’, ‘Awaken’ (for which he was a Contributing Editor) and ‘For You (Information)’, and writes movie reviews for, the world’s leading Buddhist news network. To date, he had reviewed over 300 movies. He popularised Dharma@Cinema, which is an innovative way of sharing the Dharma through detailed review discussions of both popular and offbeat films, and was part of the film selection team of T.H.I.S Buddhist Film Festival 2009.

Specialising in the Pure Land teachings, he has taught the subject at Singapore Buddhist Federation, Pu Ji Si Buddhist Research Centre and Poh Ming Tse, while leading the ongoing weekly Pureland Practice Fellowship at Kong Meng San, where he continues to teach various Dharma courses. He is also frequently invited to conduct Dharma discussions for youths for tertiary institutions’ Buddhist societies (SPBS, NPBS, NYPBS, NUSBS, NTUBS) on various subjects, along with the sharing Buddhist perspectives at Secondary Schools (SPS, Manjusri School), Junior Colleges (CJC) and International Schools (UWCSEA, SJII).

He was also a guest speaker for Dharma activities hosted by Dharma Drum Mountain (Singapore), Fo Guang Shan (Singapore), Tai Pei Buddhist Centre, Singapore Buddhist Mission Youth, Singapore Buddhist Youth Mission, Wat Ananda Youth, Buddha of Medicine Welfare Society and Kampung Senang. He has represented Buddhist views at governmental events conducted by NACLI, NHB, NHG, SAF, SPF, MHA, ACM, STB and, and was a committee member of the Inter-Religious Organisation, co-representing the Buddhist faith, through which he served in interfaith harmony projects such as giving of public talks to introduce Buddhism. He also co-runs, which is a community blog that promotes sharing of Buddhism via creative writing through thousands of articles. (He can be reached at for invitations to share the Dharma via talks and classes.)

A Buddhist magazine’s interview:

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