Repentance Prostration enables Peace and Ease of Mind-Emperor Liang’s Repentance Ritual at Nung Chan Monastery

A major repentance ceremony named after Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty was held at DDM’s Nung Chan Monastery from August 16th to 22nd this year. The first day saw over 7,000 participants from different parts of Taiwan attend.
This ritual, also named the “Compassionate Monastery Repentance Ritual”, follows 10 volumes of rites extracted from Mahayana Buddhist texts and the names of 1275 Buddhas. It was written with the intention to lead practitioners through the practice of repentance in its true sense by acknowledging one’s faults and repenting them. More than regretting wrongdoings, repentance requires one to apply wisdom for the seeds of one’s affliction to wither, so as to attain purity and liberation. It also arouses compassion towards sentient beings who are suffering, poor and needy which is an important aspect in the cultivation of the Bodhisattva practice of benefitting oneself and others as one aspires for Buddhahood.

At Nung Chan Monastery, participants engaged in the ritual with all sincerity and mindfulness of body and mind as they performed repentance prostrations and chanting led by DDM monastics. The participant’s minds were charged with the warmth of sublime spiritual strength that transcends time and space as they pray for blessings for family and friends as well as spirits of the dead, thus benefitting both the living and deceased in a unique way.

In his talk delivered in the afternoon of the 16th, DDM’s Abbot President, Ven. Guo Dong said that the strong typhoon that had hit Taiwan a week before might have resulted in the entire relocation of the venue for the ceremony, but it had fostered participant’s willpower to practice. He encouraged everyone present with his personal adages - “keep peace of mind in both agreeable and adverse situations. Maintain a calm and concentrated mind by practicing meditation and Buddha-name recitation. Have a sense of shame and repentance, and you can purify your mind. Dharma joy and Chan delight generates from the mind as bright as a mirror. Be grateful, repay kindness, and give of your life. With compassion and wisdom, you will enjoy happiness and harmony in all circumstances.” Life is impermanent. By participating in the repentance rituals and practicing accordingly, one can let go and loosen one’s afflictions and mental knots, thereby attaining calmness and ease of mind.

Zhang Jinglong, whose father passed away towards the end of last year, said that this was his first time to attend Liang Emperor’s Repentance Ritual. He was joined by his whole family to pray for deliverance of his late father and ancestors, as well as for blessings for his family. His wife, Chen Meiting also expressed that repentance prostration had helped her untie her inner knots and that she would like to attend every year.

Shi Yuxuan, a Grade 8 student who has attended many of DDM’s Dharma assemblies since childhood with her grandmother, said that she has always felt helped by the bodhisattva whenever she encountered difficulties. Her mother, Lin Xinpei, also expressed thankfulness for the reconstruction of Nung Chan Monastery into the “Water-Moon Dharma Center,” as she could invite her family for group practice and introduce the Dharma to them as a common topic of communication within family, which she found most joyful.

Translated by Sherry Lai/ Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team

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