CMC Holds the Buddha Bathing Ceremony.DDM Abbot President on “Cherishing the Conditions, Creating Positive Connection”

At 10 a.m. on May 17th (North America time zone), the DDM Chan Meditation Center (CMC) in New York held a Buddha Bathing Ceremony, in which DDM abbot president Ven. Guo Dong was invited to give a Dharma talk on “cherishing the conditions, creating positive connection.” Afterwards, he gave a much-expected book signing of his recently-launched book, Forgive and Let Go, to Form and Live in Favorable Conditions, creating a sense of festival filled with joy in the Dharma.

As the ceremony began with the powerful vibration of the chanting and music, devotees proceeded in an orderly manner to bathe the Buddha statue with utmost solemnity, accompanied by the chanting of the Buddha’s name. Ven. Chang Hua, director of CMC, then gave a talk on the meaning of the ceremony: Buddha-nature is pure and untainted in and of itself, already complete and perfect in merit and virtue. The ceremony is meant to remind people of awakening from and repenting of attachment, defilement, and delusion, so as to purify their body and mind.

As Ven. Guo Dong gave his talk, he further explained that the Buddha Bathing Ceremony held at CMC also served as an opportunity to show gratitude and thankfulness to DDM’s founder Master Sheng Yen and his master Ven. Master Dongchu. As “Dongchu” (東初) signifies returning to a beginner’s mind, CMC hopes to inspire its visitors to find their original face at any time and place. He also urged participants to experience during the ceremony the essence of bathing the innate Buddha-nature, Chan in no-mind, and cleaning our mind.

He also stressed that in interpersonal interaction and relationships the Dharma helps us to use correct thinking, stabilize our personalities, and enjoy a healthier life, thereby benefiting ourselves, as well as our families, workplaces, and schools. This is the meaning of “creating positive connection.”

Also, at invitation of CMC as part of the activities, Zhang Yahan (張雅涵), instructor of CMC’s choir, gave a solo performance singing “Tomorrow,” and the choir members sang “The Common Endeavor of Buddhists (四眾佛子共勉語),” “The Three Refuges (三皈依),” and “My Future is Not a Dream (我的未來不是夢),” winning a burst of applause from the audience. The final program was a magic show by Robert, one that is indispensible in this annual celebration. At the Chan Hall on the 2nd floor, Prof. Peter Lin gave a lecture on the idea of Chan in films. In the afternoon, CMC organized a tea time served with hearty snacks, while the participants relaxingly exchanging and sharing their spiritual experience, perfectly wrapping up this Buddha Bathing festival.

(Translated by Navi Chen/ Edited by Chiacheng Chang, DDM Cultural Center)

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