DDM Global News

Compassion Samadhi Water Repentance Ritual at Chan Meditation Center during Tomb- Sweeping Festival Holidays

Updated April 11, 2022
During the Tomb-Sweeping Festival, when Chinese people would traditionally pay tribute to their ancestors, the Chan Meditation Center in New York held a Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance Ritual on April 2 (EST). Guided by Dharma Drum Mountain's monastics, more than 40 devotees participated in this Dharma assembly to perform repentance prostration, a Buddhist practice intended to purify one's bodily, verbal, and mental actions, while transferring merits to one's ancestors and sentient beings through prayers. This ritual was conducted live online, with over 70 devotees joining together in real-time over the internet.

Led by the Sangha, participants completed the chanting and prostration rituals of three scrolls of the Water Repentance. During the Dharma talk, Ven. Chang Hua, director of the Chan Meditation Center and the ritual monitor, said that repentance prostration as a group practice is very important, as the force generated by the group’s mental cohesion is indescribably strong. Particularly for the Festival, the venerable cited the Sutra on Entry into the Womb (Garbhāvakrāntisūtra) to explain the karmic affinity between parents and their children, in the sense that a child can only successfully "enter the womb" when their shared causes and conditions ripen. To transform the force of our karma, we are required to start with practicing filial piety towards our parents, and transferring the merit of our prayers for the deliverance of our ancestors, a process that will in turn help "deliver" ourselves.

With the slowdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, the growing spread of vaccination, and the relaxation of the epidemic prevention regulations, CMC will gradually resume its on-site group practice activities. Returning to this "re-opened" Dharma center to join others in the virtual repentance prostration practice, participants expected themselves to renew their repentance, refresh their vows, share their merit with sentient beings, and inspire more people to also apply the Buddhist teaching to deliver self and others, for the benefit of all.

Participants expressed their gratitude towards the Sangha for the guidance, as well as the volunteers for their assistance. Through repentance prostration, they aspired to purify their body and mind and eradicate their karmic hindrances, thereby leaving suffering behind and attaining happiness, as their most sincere blessing and merit-dedication to the world.

Text: Qian Liu (劉倩)
Photos: Yin Ting
Translation: Cheng-yu Chang (張振郁)
Editing: Chang Chia-Cheng (張家誠), Keith Brown