600 Followers Took Refuge in the Three Jewels at DDM

On Step 1st, the yearly Refuge-Taking and Blessing Ceremony was successfully completed at the Grand Hall in Dharma Drum World Center for Buddhist Education. In a delightful atmosphere, 600 followers, from both local and abroad, aged 6 to 100, vowed to take refuge in the Three Jewels and the Five Precepts, turning themselves into Buddhists who put the faith of benefiting others into actual practice.

Under the guidance of Venerable Guo Huei (果暉法師), DDM Abbot President, all 600 followers repented and took refuge in front of the Buddha then made vows, took precepts and transferred merits to all sentient beings. In his Dharma Talk, Venerable Guo Huei expounded that after taking refuge, Buddhists look up to the Three Jewels for growth in personality and direction in life. Meanwhile, when our mind constantly resonates with the Dharma, compassion and kindness, it would naturally bring along sense of security to our life, as well as health, peace, joy and happiness.

Venerable Guo Huei also exhorted all the new Buddhists to embrace the spirit of Bodhisattva practices by first thoroughly understand what late Master Sheng Yen tried to convey in his “Orthodox Chinese Buddhism.”

Apart from “reciting Guan Yin” regularly, in daily life, prostration to the Buddha, reciting mantras or sutras or volunteering could all be part of one’s cultivation of the Guan Yin method. He wished that DDM followers could duly fulfill their responsibilities as disciples of the Three Jewels: first settling their own body and mind and uplifting their own character, then helping families and friends to grow and enhancing happiness for the society and the whole world.

Rong Cheng Liu (劉榮成) said that after learning Buddhism, he gradually realized that the practice of Buddhism is actually a huge spiritual project and that taking refuge in the Three Jewels is a necessary stage for all Buddhists. Therefore, he brought along his whole family to take refuge with him, including his 85-year-old mother, his Vietnamese wife and his maid from overseas.

When DDM monastics went out to give blessings in the Grand Hall, Abbot President extended his tribute in particular to Han Zhang Fan(范漢章), an 100-year-old lay follower. His hearing and memory is declining constantly, however, as the day for the ceremony drew near, he kept on reminding his family to take him to attend it, deeply moving Ms. Shu Hua Fan (范淑華) and Mr. Qing Long Shi (施慶隆) from Mr. Fan's younger generation.

Seeing that many overseas followers earnestly hope to take refuge as well, Abbot President Venerable Guo Huei made a special trip to DDM Vancouver Branch and San Francisco Branch to host the Refuge-Taking Ceremony. Prior to the conferral, he explained to western followers present the meaning of taking refuge and the five precepts. In addition, he also gave a lecture on Buddhism, hoping to bring to the world the good wish to build a pure land on earth, as well as the idea of having faith in the Buddha, following the Dharma, respecting the Sangha.

Text: Chang, Yao-Chong (張曜鐘)
Photos: Lai, Xin-Ping (賴心萍); Chang, Tian-Pei (張田沛); Lee-fan (李東陽)
Translation: Elenda Huang
Editing:  DDM Editorial Team; John Wu (吳俊宏)

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