Refreshing Dharma Water: Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance Dharma Assembly
The DDM Buddhism Information Centre in Malaysia (DDMBICM) and Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) jointly hosted a two-day Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance Dharma Assembly on August 17th and 18th at Yuk Chai auditorium, Petaling Jaya, attended by approximately 500 audience and volunteers.
With the vision of uplifting the character of humanity and building a pure land on earth, this Dharma assembly was also designed to promote and focus on the meaning of practice of Dharma assemblies. Therefore, two or three months prior to the Dharma assembly, there were serial workshops and training classes held to promote fellowship in the Buddha Dharma, teaching the public to realize why those great patriarchs and practitioners wrote and edited the Repentance and Dharma, and let the public build correct concepts and master the methods of practice of Dharma Assemblies. If one can be inspired by the profound meaning of Dharma in Dharma assemblies, then practice Dharma in daily life to reduce vexations and lead a peaceful, healthy, and happy life, one is actively protecting the spiritual environment.
As a practical means to respond to the global interest of environmental protection, the Dharma assembly of this time initiated the “Digital Memorial Tablet” to replace traditional memorial tablets made by paper to ward off disaster for avoiding unnecessary wastage of resources and the pollution caused by burning the paper memorial tablet after the assembly. DDMBICM also hoped this initiative sets an example for the future Dharma assemblies which should be “clean, eco-friendly, and thrifty” and let the public easily enjoy a mind-feast of purification of body and mind.
During this Dharma assembly, there are 4 practice sessions using 4 incenses daily (Water Repentance Volume 1, Grand Meal Offering, Water Repentance Volume 2, and Water Repentance Volume 3), and combined with different sutras, it is set for four kinds of offerings: incense, jewels, flowers, and lamps. The rubrics of the Dharma assembly are chanting, reciting texts of Repentance, and bowing and prostrating to Buddhas, and it was an honour to invite three venerables and five volunteers from DDM World Centre for Buddhist Education, Taiwan, to back up the Dharma assembly. The venerable who hosted the Dharma assembly taught the origination of Compassionate Samahdi Water Repentance which teaches that we should repent not only for self-karmic obstacles but also for the sentient beings who are suffering in evil paths, and we should vow to transfer the merits to all sentient beings. Besides, we can practice protecting the spiritual environment by keeping every thought pure through engaging in the Dharma assembly.
The first day of the Dharma assembly was a rainy day but this did not stop people attending the Dharma assembly. Half an hour before the Dharma assembly started, the participants were already queuing at the reception. During the Dharma assembly, various technical difficulties did not prevent the attendees from concentrating on methods. On the second day, there were more participants arriving at the reception at dawn in anticipation of joining the reception. Furthermore, there were quite a few participants from Ipoh, Malacca and Singapore.
After the two-day Dharma assembly, venerables, core volunteers, and Bodhisattvas (fellows) made their voices hoarse due to continual chanting but they were still full of the joy of the Dharma and focused on the methods. The success of the Dharma assembly was dependent on 200 volunteers’ efforts for 3 consecutive days from August 15th; the volunteers excelled in performing their duties related to transportation, reception, hosting, the etiquette of greeting, dining, the digital memorial tablets, stereos, offerings, mobility, medical treatment and logistics, and they also took care of every attendee with the utmost attention. In doing so, it was hoped that all the attendees would bring the joy of Chan which they experienced in the Dharma assembly back to their families, workplaces and lives.
Due to the minds of modern people being often very uneasy, it is very necessary for modern people to personally experience the function that purifies the mind of Dharma assemblies rather than ward off disaster by donating money or lighting a lamp. Contents of Dharma assemblies are the methods that the Buddha teaches us to cease suffering and attain joy. Therefore, if we can really realize the meaning of Dharma and learn to adjust vexations within us, our mind will stay calm and at ease instead of being restricted by vexations. When everyone can do so, we will be closer to reaching the aim of purifying our society.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)