DILA holds its first Graduation Ceremony

DILA Holds Its First Graduation Ceremony

The first Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) Graduation Ceremony was held at the International Conference Hall of DDM World Center for Buddhist Education on July 13 2015. Twenty-three graduates of bachelor, masters and associate degrees took part in this ceremony that was permeated with Buddhist culture.

To the background song of Bodhisattva Practice (菩薩行), DDM’s incumbent Abbot President, Ven. Guo Dong; President of DILA, Ven. Hui Min; the director of Department of Buddhist Studies, Ven. Guo Hui (果暉); the administrative Vice-President, Venerable Guo Zhao (果肇) and Vice President, Cai Bo-Lang (蔡伯郎) offered Buddhist scarves (菩薩衣) for the neck of graduates dressed in ceremonial robes (or Haiqing, 海青). Another part of the ceremony saw Ven. Guo Dong light up the main lamp to symbolize the transmission of the Dharma light to the graduates via their teachers.

During Ven. Guo Dong’s address to graduates, he encouraged everyone to take vows at the ceremony of “lighting up the bright lamp of mind and living a good bodhi life’. By this vow there is hope that each graduate could become a lamp bringing illumination, peace, happiness and well-being to the world wherever they are.

When it came to President Ven. Hui Min’s speech, he explained that the academic dress used at domestic graduation ceremonies, featuring a long loose gown and a square academic cap with a tassel attached to the centre, actually originated from the medieval vestment in Christianity. Following this and given that each country has developed its own characteristic academic dress, we decided to design a suit of garment based on Han or Chinese culture, with the combination of Haiqing and a Buddhist scarf. While offering Buddhist scarves to the graduates, Ven. Hui Min said that they could see the ceremony as a new stage of their Bodhisattva practice, and to assist them to lead a braver, healthier and unswerving life in the future. Never forget to prioritize thoughts of benefiting all sentient beings as a high priority said Ven. Hui Min.

As soon as this simple but solemn graduation ceremony was perfectly wrapped up in a movie review on the graduates learning process and their gratitude to their experience, a burst of majestic heart-shaking drumbeats, presented by the“Pogu Club” (魄鼓社, , literally meaning Shocking Drum Club), immediately sounded outside the venue. This was seen as a further celebration of the graduation from faculty and students. After this, undergraduates started another well-planned graduation party, in which teachers and students presented wonderful warm songs of gratitude, wishing the graduates a great new chapter to their life to spread Buddhist compassion and wisdom to every corner of the world.

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