DDM Global News

​Aspiring to Abandon Evil, Cultivate Virtue, and Benefit Sentient Beings, 1165 Lay Practitioners Receive the Bodhisattva Precepts

Up until now (2024), Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) has organized 27 "Bodhisattva Precepts Transmission Ceremony for Lay Practitioners." Each ceremony lasts for 4 days, comprised of various sessions including etiquette trainings, transmission of precepts, and repentance. This occasion is an extraordinary precepts-transmitting ceremony that Buddhists look forward to the opportunity to take part in. On March 10th and March 17th in 2024, a total of 1,165 lay practitioners received the Bodhisattva precepts at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education.

Right after vowing to uphold the Bodhisattva precepts also known as the Great Precepts of Thousand Buddhas — the aim of which is to "abandon evil, cultivate virtue, and benefit all sentient beings" — the vow takers were presented with Buddhist scarves by three Bodhisattva Precepts Masters. According to Dharma Drum Mountain, the Buddhist scarf is embroidered with the Buddha's image on one side and the DDM emblem on the other side. The design represents the spirit of "learning from the Buddha and turning to the Dharma," which implies being mindful anytime and anywhere, to maintain the pure essence of the precepts. It is hoped that the Bodhisattva precept-takers to arise and achieve bodhicitta among sentient beings, as well as to help all sentient beings develop bodhicitta.

In addition to congratulating participants for successfully receiving the Bodhisattva precepts, the DDM Abbot President, Ven. Guo Huei (果暉法師), expounded that the practice of Bodhisattva is the cultivation of both blessings and wisdom. When we are busy helping others, we can cultivate blessings and will naturally let go of our vexations and ego. The Abbot President exhorted the precept takers to start their practice by uplifting their own characters, and to use the compassion and wisdom of the Buddha's teachings in every aspect of their life. They can thereby easily move others with the embodiment of Buddhadharma.

The DDM head monk, Ven. Hui Min (惠敏法師), cited the Six Perfections (六度), and the Four All-embracing Bodhisattva Virtues (四攝) to emphasize the significance of diligently practicing the "perfection of forbearance" for the Bodhisattva precept-takers. He indicated that Chinese Buddhism especially values Bodhisattva precepts, and hoped that the new precept takers would not regress, as well as to practice every virtuous Dharma continuously. The DDM Vice Abbot, Ven. Guo Pin (果品法師) encouraged the precept upholders to take the "Practices of the Bodhisattva" written by Master Sheng Yen as a guidance, and to practice the Bodhisattva path with compassion and wisdom while developing bodhicitta.

Lai Shan-guei (賴杉桂), a participant who rejoiced to have received the precepts, said that he felt "moved, thankful, and grateful." He was moved by the meticulous care of the Venerables and volunteers, and thankful for the opportunity to receive the precepts and practice repentance. With gratitude, he will follow the spirit of the Bodhisattva precepts to benefit all sentient beings in the hopes of connecting more people to Dharma Drum Mountain. Moved by the dedication of the volunteers, Wang Ying-jie (王瀅絜) said that although she was physically tired from the four-day training, she was happy to listen to Master Sheng Yen's Dharma talks and to receive the precepts because she knew that she could move forward to a better place through repentance and diligent practice.

According to Dharma Drum Mountain, in 2024, the "Bodhisattva Precepts Transmission Ceremony for Lay Practitioners" has been attended by overseas adherents from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Japan, Canada, and France. Dharma Drum Mountain further encourages those who have already received the precepts to make frequent visits to the DDM affiliates to participate in the assemblies for reciting the precepts, and to repent constantly in order to maintain the pure essence of the precepts.

Original text written in Chinese by Zhang Yao-zhong (張曜鐘)
Photos provided by Hsu Chao-yi (許朝益), Hsieh Ming-cheng (謝明成), Fu Li-xian (傅莉嫻), Zhang Yao-zhong (張曜鐘)

Translation: Siang-ling Li
Editing: Keith Brown, YKL