108 Zen Stories: Illustrated & Demystified (2nd Run)

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Feedback from past Zen courses:

Positive feedback: My non-Buddhist friend was ‘enlightened’ by your sharing just now, esp on the ‘worrying or not’ part.. and he can relate this to his work and study. Also… he is already thinking of how to better relate to his boss… Gan en (Gratitude) – Heidi

I highly recommend the course as I benefited greatly from it… The website ( is very rich in content and information too. – Alvin (Castles Can Fly)

Dear Bro. Shi’an, thank you for sharing all the interesting and meaning stories. My wife and I enjoyed your classes and unfortunately could not attend the last class due to work commitment. We will look out for your other courses in future. Amituofo, Seow Hou

Thanks for your Zen story lessons. I gained some new knowledge from your sharing. Regards, Chengding

It’s a fun learning journey… thank you for the interesting classes… really enjoyed them. – Joyce

After attending these lessons. I have a better understanding of the Zen stories in another different angle. – Boon Tiong

I enjoyed this evening’s first lesson of The “Magic” of Zen at Tai Pei Buddhist Centre very much. Thank you for painstakingly preparing and presenting such a promising course that I’ll look forward to attending the next 8 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… Your classes are always appealing to me, and I believe it is the same for everyone else as well. Looking forward for next week’s class! -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 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. 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 complexed; 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 the structured sutra learning. For such a popular word, 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. – Amitoufo, Brother Waichong

The course is filled with interesting and fun information about Zen Buddhism. You incorporated the essense 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, 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 had painstakingly sourced and taught us. – Amituofo, Janice

About Shen Shi’an 沈时安: An independent Buddhist teacher, author, translator and editor, 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 served as a Dharma Trainer and Project Coordinator in its Community Development & Training Department until 2011, focusing on Buddhist research, writing, teaching and answering of Buddhist queries for the press.

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, a popular Buddhist education website.

He is the founder and editor of since 1997, one of the world’s largest independent Buddhist inspirational e-newsletters with over 29,900 members, the editor of ‘Be a Lamp Upon Yourself’, ‘The Stonepeace Book (Volume 1-2)’, ‘Awaken: Gateway to Buddhism (CD-ROM)’ and the writer-editor of ‘The Daily Enlightenment: Reflections for Practising Buddhists (Book 1-6)’ and ‘The Amazing & Amusing Adventures of Sam & Sara: The Zen of All Kinds of Stuff! (which became #1 Buddhist bestseller at Singapore’s largest bookshop).’ Along with translated sutras, he has to date, 11 published works.

He also translates sutras and commentaries, and contributes occasionally to magazines such as ‘Nanyang Buddhist’, ‘Awaken’ (for which he was a Contributing Editor), ‘For You (Information)’, and ‘Eastern Horizon’. He served with the film selection team of a Buddhist film festival, writes movie reviews for, the world’s leading Buddhist news network, and popularised Dharma@Cinema, an innovative way of sharing the Dharma through detailed reviews and discussions of both popular and offbeat films.

Specialising in the Pure Land teachings, he has taught the subject at Singapore Buddhist Federation, Kong Meng San, Pu Ji Si Buddhist Research Centre and Poh Ming Tse, while leading an ongoing weekly Pureland Practice Fellowship.

He is also frequently invited to conduct Dharma discussions for youths of tertiary institutions’ Buddhist societies (NUSBS, NTUBS, SIMBB, NYPBS, NPBS) on various subjects, and to introduce Buddhist life perspectives at Secondary Schools (St. Patrick’s School, Manjusri School), Junior Colleges (Catholic Junior College) and International Schools (UWCSEA, SJII).

He was also invited to share on Buddhism 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, The Buddhist Union, Buddhist Fellowship (Singapore) and Kampung Senang. He has also been invited to Indonesia and Malaysia to teach.

He was a committee member of the Inter-Religious Organisation, through which he served in interfaith harmony projects by writing and giving of public talks. He has represented Buddhist points of view at governmental events conducted by NACLI, NHB, NHG, SAF, SPF, MHA, ACM, SPM, STB,, IRCC and MCYS.

He also co-runs, a community blog that promotes creative sharing of Buddhism via thousands of articles. He can be reached at tde [@] for invitations to share the Dharma.

Interview In Buddhist Magazine:

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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