Youths Taking Five Precepts and Vow to Become Volunteers
Dharma Drum Mountain hosted its first Refuge Taking Ceremony of the year on 27 January 2008 at Nung Chan Monastery. Nearly 1,400 people joyfully took their vows to take refuge and to commit to abide by the Five Precepts.
Among the participants were twenty-eight youths from elementary and junior high schools from Dongshi Township of Taichung County who took part in the ceremony to become Buddhist disciples. They vowed to learn and practice the Buddha's spirit of altruism.
The grateful youths then committed to volunteer at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education during their winter vacation in the spirit of education and altruistic contribution. They came from families devastated by the 921 earthquake of central Taiwan in 1999 who have been receiving assistance from the DDM Peace Relief Station at Dongshi Township which was established following the event.
"In face of deterioration of social ethics in recent years, everyone should truly obey the Five Precepts─refrain from killing, stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct, incorrect speech and refrain from taking intoxicants─to the uplift character of humanity," Venerable Master Sheng Yen said in his blessing remark.
"By being in line with the Five Precepts, practicing Dharma in daily life, practicing Chan meditation, reciting the holy name 'Amitabha Buddh', the land of merit and wisdom could be cultivated and uplifted in everyone's heart."
The ceremony concluded with the Venerable Guo Dong presenting a necklace with images of Amitabha Buddha and Guanyin to each participant individually demonstrating warmest blessings from Venerable Master Sheng Yen and DDM.
Venerable Guo Dong looks forward to seeing all participants embrace the spirit of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Guanyin) through helping others and propagate Dharma and Buddhist compassion in society.
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)