December 18, 2022

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As more and more practitioners understand Why Take Refuge in the Three Jewels, we had yet another one on December 18th, 2022, to wrap up the year, with a group of fourteen (14) fellow Chan practitioners from Brazil, Canada, Turkey, and across the United States.

Here are some of their heartwarming words of sharing , to “share the precious forward” for practitioners coming in the future:

from Alen:
Although I've known about Buddhism since my childhood, it was at the beginning of this year that I actually tried to learn more about it and tried to practice its teachings. I must admit, at the very beginning, I was a bit skeptical about whether the teachings fully resonated with me, and whether I would be able to follow them. However, during the summer, I finally realized that Buddhism is the path I was searching for, mainly because of its profoundness, logic, and applicability to real life, as well as its positive influence on my behavior and attitude. So, I decided to take the Refuge and make 2022 my "Year of the Dharma".

As someone who lives in a place where Dharma is not widely practiced, being able to join a ceremony like this is very precious. I am very thankful to Venerable Guo Yuan, Warren, Dharma Drum Mountain, and all others who had put the effort into the realization of this event. By doing this, by supporting this online community, you have raised the quality of our religious experience. Thank you for that.


from Dogu:
A few days ago, I have taken refuge in the Three Jewels and vowed to keep the Five Precepts with many of my beloved Dharma friends all around the world. It was an auspicious and empowering event. Living in a country where Dharma is still yet to flourish, I cannot express my gratitude for this online event. It quickly strengthened my practice, nurtured my faith, and ennobled my way. Lord Buddha once advised Venerable Ananda that he should be his own island. With the blessing that Dharma Drum Mountain has very kindly offered to us, I believe that we all become a serene island and a good solid shelter for ourselves. I hope that we can protect and preserve this jewel that you have given us so generously with our sincere and long-lasting practices.

I would like to thank so very much to Venerable Guo Yuan for offering this inspiring ceremony. His wisdom and kind disposition motivated us. And of course, I have to express my gratitude to Warren and all others who made this beautiful event possible. We cannot repay their continual efforts and selfless service. Last, but not at all least, I'd like to express my gratefulness to Master Sheng Yen. He was a huge 'Dharma gate' during his life, and he still is. The path he paved allowed even me, who lives on the other side of the ocean, to take refuge in Lord Buddha, his flawless teaching, and his admirable Sangha.

Deep bows. Sadhu.


from Lisa:
In regards to taking the Refuge, it was so fortuitous to find it available on the DDMSF website. I had been wanting to take the Refuge for some time but did not know when it would become available to me in person. When I discovered that Ven. Guo Yuan would be offering it, I told my friends and some of them signed up as well. We were all thrilled to be able to take the Refuge together as we practiced together regularly.

I found it very emotional for me during the ceremony. I had to choke back tears and breathe deeply so that my voice would be calm and my words would come out clearly, but I was overjoyed. I did not expect this emotion. My husband watched from the sideline while I said my vows (someday his turn will come). He was very excited for me also.

from Mary:
First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has so generously made this beautiful opportunity possible for me.

When I understood what "Take Refuge" meant, I felt a deep desire that one day the opportunity would present itself to me.

Taking into account that I live far away from any Buddhist Temple, the opportunity that DDM offers is of immense value.

"Taking Refuge in the Buddha, in the Dharma, and in the Sangha" is one of the most desired and profound actions I have ever taken.

Venerable Guo Yuan said so yesterday: “Today is the first day of a new life. Today we are born again.”

Yesterday's Ceremony will be a day that I will remember with immense affection and gratitude.

from Melanie:
I have received my certificate, and I am so happy!

The experience of taking refuge was perfect. I felt totally connected to my Dharma brothers and sisters.

Making a public commitment to the precepts has for sure strengthened my resolve in bettering myself the good of all living beings. Now, the real work begins.

from Tauren:
I would like to thank Venerable Guo Yuan, Warren, and all others who helped bring about the Online Taking Refuge Ceremony. I don't have access to any Dharma Centers near where I live. This was the perfect opportunity to officially Take Refuge, as I had been practicing for the last year. It felt amazing to take this step and really declare my devotion to the 3 Jewels. I really appreciate that the ceremony was made for people new to Buddhism. It was easy to follow and they took us step by step through the process. I am appreciative to all dharma brothers and sisters.

For more information or to apply for the next Taking Refuge Online, please visit here.


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