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Transmission of the Bodhisattvas Precepts at the Dharma Drum Retreat Center, U.S.A.

DDM 6th Transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts concluded at the Dharma Drum Retreat Center in New York on May 19, 2013.

The “Transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts” is a ceremony under which participants vow to undertake various precepts and vows to purify themselves and benefit other sentient beings (for a more detailed explanation, please visit DDM webpage). We are delighted to have transmitted the Bodhisattva Precepts to over a hundred practitioners coming from various locations across Canada and the United States, as well as from countries as far as Croatia and Switzerland. Venerable Guo Dong, Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain, accompanied by Venerables Guo Qi and Guo Xing, presided over the transmission ceremony with the assistance of the monastics and volunteers from DDMBA and its chapters.

It is only fitting that the four-day event was as much a display of the bodhisattva practice as it was the Transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts. As the Precepts recipients worked tirelessly to learn the meaning of the Bodhisattva Precepts, repent their past karmic misdeeds, and purify their minds and bodies through rehearsal practices, they did all these not only for themselves but also for the benefit of others: on the night before the Precepts recipients receive their Bodhisattva Precepts, we held the “Transmission of Precepts to the Spirit Realm”, a ceremony that allows all spirit beings with karmic affinities with the participants to first receive the Bodhisattva Precepts. And, as with many events at the Dharma Drum Retreat Center, the Precepts recipients also took on various work assignments --- from washing dishes to cleaning the bathrooms --- for the common benefits of our community. Likewise, DDMBA monastics and volunteers put in many hours to prepare for and to host this solemn and important event.

Master Sheng Yen once wrote: “[t]he virtue in vowing to observe the [Bodhisattva] precepts is that it enables us to practice diligently to purify ourselves. These codes of behavior may also help us interact with others in a more peaceful and harmonious manner. If we can purify the actions of our body, speech, and mind through practicing the three sets of pure precepts, the five precepts and the ten good deeds, then, with the wisdom such practice give us, we can banish craving, covetousness, anger and all other afflictive emotions. With a bodhisattva's mind of compassion, we can accept and cherish all sentient beings, and by purifying our own conduct, we can help to transform society at large. Even in the midst of suffering, each individual sentient being can attain the altruistic bodhi-mind and also help others arouse this awakened mind of wisdom.”

We are delighted that the most recent Bodhisattva Precepts Recipients have embarked on their bodhisattva paths and we wish that their tremendous undertaking will inspire you to do the same.

(By Ronald Wu)

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