December 10, 2023


On Decemer 10, 2023, we had our last auspicious Taking Refuge Online ceremony for the year. This was also the the third online ceremony hosted by Global Meditation Center New York (part of Dharma Drum Retreat Center), after previous sponsorship (with Dharma Drum Mountain San Francisco Bay Area Center) ended last year.

As more worldwide practitioners understand Why Take Refuge in the Three Jewels, we had a group of six (6) fellow Chan practitioners from Australia, Canada, Singapore, and the United States.

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

from Chris:
When I saw online that Dharma Drum Global Meditation Center New York was offering a Three Refuges and Five Precepts Ceremony online, I immediately filled up my application.

It felt so serendipitous, as if it was time for me to come home. As I took the Refuge vows and performed the prostrations this morning (it was 5.00 am in Singapore time), I felt refreshed and uplifted in the heart. This wondrous opportunity was a concatenation of many causes and conditions. It was indeed a blessing and a reminder for me. Blessing— because it was like the Buddhas spiritually connecting me to the Dharma Drum Sangha after all these years. Reminder — because the Buddhas were encouraging me to continue my practice of Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings, however young and fumbling a practitioner I may have been and still am.

Actually, today's occasion was more like a renewal of my Refuge, as I have taken Refuge and Precepts decades ago with my Theravadan and Tibetan Buddhist teachers. But it was a doubly significant Refuge ceremony for me, being my very first ceremonial connection with Dharma Drum Mountain.

Thank you to Guoyuan Fashi and all Dharma brothers and sisters.


from Eric:
Thank you all so very much! This moment means the world to me. It is the culmination of 27 years of study and “occasional” practice. NOW it is time to practice for real. Life changing event. Thank you immensely. I feel such gratitude towards Venerable Guo Yuan. His kindness and generous spirit
show through even at such a distance! Now I’m going to read some poems by Cold Mountain and look out over the valley here in Northwest Georgia, basking in the afterglow of the ceremony.

from Hayden:
I would like to extend my gratitude to Venerable Abbot Guo Yuan for leading the online Taking Refuge Ceremony, and to Warren from DDM for his warm and compassionate guidance in the lead-up to such an auspicious occasion. The teachings and deep wisdom of Master Sheng Yen have resonated with me for many years through his books and online talks, so to be able to make a formal commitment to Buddhism within the Dharma Drum Mountain lineage feels very special and precious to me.

Having taken part in such a succinct yet profound ceremony, it was a perfect reflection of how one can embrace and experience Ch'an Buddhist practice to benefit themselves and, more importantly, to benefit others with simplicity and great compassion. This experience is made all the more special after having practiced with my local DDM meditation group here in Sydney and knowing that I have strengthened the connection with them; and now I feel connected with other Dharma Brothers and Sisters around the world who have undertaken the commitment to walk the Buddhist path of Ch'an. I feel sincerely blessed to have had this opportunity to become part of the Dharma Drum Mountain family of practitioners. Amituofo!

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

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