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“Rising Great Compassion, Carrying on the Vows” -Commemorative ceremony for the Most Venerable Master Sheng Yen

Dharma Drum Mountain (Sydney) hosted a ceremony on the 21st February 2010 to mark the first anniversary of the passing of Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain.

The event was opened by welcome speeches that reminded participants that we met to renew our commitment to pass on the light of wisdom and compassion to others by cultivating our own practice. It is in this way that the Master taught that we all can contribute to uplifting the character of humanity and building a pure land on earth.

With the theme of cultivating our own practice, participants settled into a session of Eight-Form moving meditation and then formal sitting meditation. It was in this way that DDM Sydney paused to renew the vows of Master Sheng Yen to cultivate a pure land in this very place and time. After this group practice, the participants’ stood to reflect on the Four Great Vows and recall the teaching of Master Sheng Yen that:

Every day you simply do what you can,
As every little effort adds up, one day your vow will be fulfilled.

After this renewal of vows, participants shared their personal stories as how causes and conditions allowed them to be connected to Master Sheng Yen and the practice of Chan through the Dharma Drum lineage.

To complete the event all participants joined in a ceremony of lighting a candle and passing it to each other with each person offering their own lit candle to the alter to make a personal vow.

This was a meaningful way to demonstrate the teaching that light represents wisdom and compassion in our mind and heart and that transmission of light represents transmission of the Dharma, The ceremony finished with participants joining together to share a healthy and hospitable lunch.

The ceremony proved a good opportunity to reflect on the life and teachings of Master Sheng Yen and reflect on the power of vows and the practice of Chan in Sydney in the year 2010.

It is this way that the affinity between members and friends are nurtured.

May the Dharma Drum Chan linage forever benefit sentient beings.

(By DDM Sydney)

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