Abbot President of DDM Meets Family Members of Postulants before Ordination Ceremony
The turnaround in parents’ attitude towards their children’s decision on ordination may be the result of community recognition of the long-standing contributions made by DDM towards society stabilization and community benefits. DDM hosted a pre-ordination event on 18th August at the DDM’s International Banquet Hall, Jinshan, New Taipei City where DDM’s Abbot President, Venerable Guo Dong, met the parents and family members of postulants who will soon be monastics. The event created an environment of warmth and cohesiveness among parents in relation to their children’s decision to be monastic. It was also an opportunity for older monastics to witness a social change where the decision of the younger generation to renounce was recognized and accepted by parents.
Prior to meeting the Abbot President, approximately 200 family members took every opportunity to take pictures with their children before their heads were shaved. As parents, they were delighted and supportive of their children’s strong determination to spread the Dharma and benefit society. All attendees were optimistic and offered their most sincere wishes to the 26 postulants with such noble aspirations.
Chen Bo-Wen, uncle of Yen-He Postulant, was initially very shocked at Yen-He Postulant’s choice to become a monastic. Nevertheless, it is a diversified society nowadays where people have the freedom to choose what they want, and nothing is absolutely good or bad. Moreover, Yen-He Postulant is very accustomed to monastic life. Therefore, her relatives all respect her decision.
Principal Yang Wen-Qing, who travelled from Kaohsiung, south of Taiwan, specifically for this event, encouraged Yen-Ben Postulant to appreciate the late Master Venerable Sheng Yen’s teachings and live up to the Master’s expectation. Principal Yang’s encouragement earned huge applause.
In addition, Xie Ming-Cheng, father of Yen-Lun Postulant, encouraged his daughter to take ordination seriously and to consider it a life-long career. Mr. Xie devoutly hopes his four children will all be monastics and spread the Dharma, which would be the happiest thing for him. When someone told him that he would definitely cry during the ordination ceremony, Mr. Xie instead replied that he is very happy to see his child taking the initiative to abstain from dazzling worldly temptations.
Chen Shu-Hwua, a fourth generation volunteer at DDM, thinks it makes no difference once her daughter, Yen-Guan Postulant, becomes a monastic because cultivating blessings and wisdom have and will always be their family goal. Cheng Hung-Qing, father of Yen-Xiao Postulant, said the great development of DDM from a rough iron-roofed house to an international organization signifies the urgent necessity of Dharma in this era.
On behalf of all postulants, Yen-Huei Postulant delivered a speech on monastic life and expressed appreciation to their parents, teachers, and upholders. The speech pointed out the fact that in the past, people thought those who became monastics were people who escaped from the failure of interpersonal relationship or career, but monastics in DDM today understand themselves very well and they devote their lives to serve the public.
At the end of the ceremony, the Abbot President of DDM emphasized that now is the best time to be a monastic, and appreciated the compassion and permission of all parents in allowing their precious children to become monastics. Finally, he wished that everyone can vow to spread the Dharma to benefit others and focus their life: “Life is likened to a dream; you bring nothing to and take nothing away from the world. Put down worldly fame and fortune; shoulder the vow to spread the Dharma and benefit sentient beings. DDSU educates and cultivates monastics; don’t forget the parents’ gratitude after renunciation. Practice the six paramitas on the Bodhisattva path; attain liberation and wisdom of the Buddha.”
(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team )